It was recently suggested by a mentor that I read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Funny thing was, I had read the book a number of years ago. Amazingly, the words on the pages changed while it was sitting on my bookshelf. This time, as I read the book, I was getting a whole new meaning. I understood that for so many years I had been held hostage to beliefs that I had agreed to unconsciously.
What an eye-opening experience I had when I understood that without any fight, I had given up my individuality, my independence, my self-determination, my self-esteem. I had heard what people around me said to me and about me – and since I didn’t disagree, the words that were said implanted in my brain and in my mind, and I continued to live under the assumption that they were right. Suddenly I knew where all those little voices came from that I had heard rattling around in my head whenever I wanted to step forward, make my move, step away from what was expected of me.
I’m not blaming anyone. I take full responsibility for allowing those voices to continue. But now I had the key – I had the answer – how to dismiss the little voices, the thoughts that held me back, the disempowering feelings in my gut. I could make new agreements with myself – consciously.
These are The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
- Be impeccable with your word. If you say it, mean it. Carry through and make it happen. To paraphrase another mentor, if you allow your word not to matter today, each day it will be easier and easier to let things fall by the wayside. Cultivate new habits by never making exceptions to what you have said you will do.
- Don’t take anything personally. How many times do we say, I don’t want to deal with rejection? Rejection of what? Is it really you that is being rejected or is it an idea that someone else cannot comprehend because of where they are coming from? Once you know that everyone carries around their own dictionary of definitions, you can redefine the word rejection to another word which will lessen the intensity – perhaps even to substitute the word decline as opposed to reject. It feels better already.
- Don’t assume. Again, with our own dictionaries we can’t truly understand what someone means without further exploration. If I say the word dog in a group of people, most likely no two people would have the same picture of a dog in their minds. The key is asking questions.
- Do your best. What does that mean? It doesn’t mean be perfect. It means do the best you can with what you’ve got for today. Know that when your task is completed, you personally couldn’t have given it more of yourself. Walk away with the knowledge that it was a job well-done and not incomplete.
I would encourage you to read The Four Agreements. Determine for yourself what little voices you have been hearing that have been keeping you back – agreements you made unconsciously. And then make new agreements with yourself so that you can live powerfully.
From the office of Drew Berman, contributed by Ellen Reach.
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