In our fast-paced, sometimes frenetic, technology driven World, we move in time with the demands upon our energy. For the most part, this works. But, in other instances, it does not. For those feeling life is less than ideal, they might begin to explore consciousness and shift their attention on how to fix the broken elements of their lives. They are ready for change.
But where do we begin? How do we become the ultimate hero of our story? As a writer, I learned of the work of Joseph Campbell. His premise is that there are 12, identifiable, steps in a hero’s journey. While Campbell’s work is most commonly applied to the process of screenwriting, it applies to everyday living.
The Hero’s Journey graphic above illustrates the work of Campbell. Dan Bronzite, of MovieOutline.com, references this chart as he discusses Campell’s work. Bronzite goes into more detail than this post, which may be explored here: https://bit.ly/1kRUQT4. For purposes of this article, my focus is upon the “Refusal of the Call.”
During the “Refusal” stage, the hero recognizes the need for change. Typically, this recognition is brought about by fears and doubts. We have the option to crossing “the threshold” or remain stuck. These fears and doubts may become insecurities functioning as stumbling blocks. We may become tempted to focus upon what we don’t have rather than our strengths and gifts. Fousing on deficits results in suffering.
People choose to focus on deficits for a host of reasons. These thoughts dwell in either our conscious or subconscious mind, typically conditioned by external stimuli. Daily, we are bombarded with imaging and messaging of what is good enough, sufficient or adequate. We then try to mirror what we are fed during our cycle of interaction with friends and family, peers and coworkers, news and media and even social media.
Mirroring behavior may result in settling for options to please others rather than ourselves. This mirroring pattern may snowball over time into a life that is foreign to the authentic you. And, you are left wondering who is the person looking back at you in the mirror.
Self-doubt is the other challenge with consuming the spamming of the “ideal”. Super models become icons of the desirable. Celebrities become setters of trends we receive encouragement to follow. A societal status bar of measurements and expectations may continue to build frustration when we believe we don’t fit the profiles presented.
The best part of the Refusal stage is not what you feel as much as your awareness of your dissatisfaction. Being aware is an opportunity to create change. It may sound a bit too simple and even more difficult to implement. So, what do you do? Unpack the negative from your psyche.
Naturally, we eliminate negative programming daily from our psyche. However, sometimes we validate negative information if it comes from a source we respect or whose authority we accept. The cycle of negative acceptance and processing may eventually alter acceptance of self, does not feel good and is a call to action.
Digging out from the negative may require a variety of measures to rebuild appreciation and acceptance of self. The first thing may be to create boundaries within your present circle. Who will you allow to dictate authority over you? Evaluate who and what drags rather than encourages you and make adjustments. Tell yourself new stories in which you become your own hero. Create new memories while ridding yourself of the old. Embrace what brings you true happiness.
From social media, we know people are attracted to positive stories and imagery. We also know people tend to follow people whom they admire, with whom they can relate, and who trigger emotion allowing them to feel. Take a look at Chrissy Teigen. She’s sharp witted, but also self-deprecating. She provides entertainment. The Kardashians enjoy huge followings because they understand their brand appeal and how to emphasize the positive aspects of their lives, even if they experience something negative. Imagine if Kim or Kylie posted each day about how they are not enough? Their numbers would dwindle and their empire would collapse!
The leading social media personalities understand the need to dismiss doubts and fears. They’ve mastered the art of silencing external critiques. They’ve created boundaries allowing within their circle that which uplifts them. They tend to accept their flaws and move forward. I’m not advocating that you become a social media guru. However, following their techniques may help you to unpack negative programming.
This article does not intend to make light of the wounds readers may be managing. The effort to unpack may require consulting a professional for assistance. This professional may be a life coach, therapist or choosing a mentor from outside your current circle. Ultimately, the most important thing to focus upon is a conscious effort to unpack what fails to bring happiness to your life.
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