Updated: Jan 23, 2019
Everyone tends to be grounded in something that meets his or her most fundamental mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional needs.
We may not always do what is best for us, but we will always do what is necessary in accordance to our perception of self-wellness. Problems arise when we seek external stimuli to fulfill our spectrum of internal needs as this outside-in approach creates unsustainable illusions.
In doing so, we forgo our powerful capacity to remain firm in the midst of our varying experiences by relying on materials outside of our best selves such as negative/over-thinking, other people, substances, and so forth. Our deepest needs to sustainably feel secure, certain, and worthy can only begin from the internal input and processing in an inside-out approach.
When our mental processes are balanced and aligned with the goal to be the best version of our self, suddenly the world becomes our playground. Why? Because we are living in a grounded sense of empowerment which inherently commands all unique experiences to be put to our highest good through victory and education. As the great emperor Marcus Aurelius said, “The obstacle in the way becomes the way.”
The inside-out approach invites strength, courage, and empowerment whereas the outside-in approach is temporary and erratically fickle over time.
As the famous adage goes, the strongly rooted plant is not affected by the outside winds. We too can train our roots to be powerfully grounded for goodness by properly organizing the contents of our minds.
The next obvious question is: How do we align our minds and energetic being to vibrate in such a state where we know and feel what’s for our highest good and act accordingly? The first step is to evaluate what we think we know that actually isn’t so, for this is the fuel for false beliefs and therefore misaligned actions. This will allow us to take command of our state of mind and therefore what we are attracting into our lives.
As the famous scientist Richard Feynman once observed, “The first principle is to not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Many us live life reciting a false feel-good narrative that shuns the potential pain of the truth. The good news is that we can counteract much of this foolishness by harnessing our unique natural ability to self-reflect and thereby end the paradigm of self-sabotage. We have the ability to objectively detach from our experience, which gives us the ability to make good decisions that can free ourselves from natural foolishness and error.
Furthermore, because our actions are mirror images of what we consciously or subconsciously believe, regular non-judgemental observation and inquiry into how we are investing our time is powerful. There are several means to train your capacity to reflect, from meditation to journaling to therapeutic intervention.
A great resource in this regard is OOTify, a game-changing social enhancement platform designed to connect individuals struggling or suffering by connecting these individuals with professionals and peers with vetted backgrounds. In doing so, OOTify revolutionizes the standard social media crux of portraying your "peacocked" internet self by acknowledging your human self is real and that the consistent quality of your human experience is paramount.
Self-sabotage is a natural and therefore very common occurrence.
Why can willpower alone not function to get you to stop getting angry or smoking cigarettes? Because growth-based change is fruitless when contemplated yet priceless when practiced. As you engage in various self-inquiring contemplative practices such as the ideas suggested above, you will become very clear on what exists below the surface of the decisions you make. In the beginning, you may be startled by how negative the voice in your head is, or how fear-driven it is.
As a result, you will likely be disappointed to find that much of the action you are taking in life is being pushed by fear rather than pulled by passion. You will begin to learn the nuanced ways of your mind, and this clarity will empower you to change by unrooting these beliefs and planting new seeds for a life you truly and purely love. This newfound clarity will help give you the strength to redesign your garden.
The next step is to add “seeds” of goodness that will build internal “roots” of empowerment. These aforementioned “seeds” are most fundamentally the thoughts we think and how we think of them (i.e. what we think and what we believe it means). For any change to manifest in our physical, spiritual, or emotional fitness, we must change the way we relate to the relevant cognitions and thoughts.
For example, as you evaluate your way of living, you may find you have gotten into the habit of worrying about the uncertain which produces anxiety or even panic.
You may realize that chronic stress over the years has infiltrated and toxified your ability to relax even in non-stressful environments thereby creating a subconscious belief structure that may sound like: “Oh God, I can’t go to that party, what will people think of my weight?” The thought itself is irrational but the feelings associated with the thought are not. How do you know? Because you’re feeling them! You cannot change the physical sensations of such anxiety because it has been created over years of conscious belief that it is real.
What you can do is put the belief in a new context. Instead of fighting the negative feeling, invite it and follow it. See where it takes you. You will discover the surprising truth that the most effective way to fight your own negativity is to surrender your ego and desire to control in order to allow yourself to choose how you want to relate to the problem. Instead of initiating the usual cycle of panic you may experience by indulging in the cravings of your conditioning, learn to let go and just feel the physical sensations.
Relax in your discomfort.
Then you will be able to clearly identify the irrationality of your thoughts and feelings while feeling empowered enough to enhance your relationship to it so as to tailor it to serve the highest good. Perhaps the anxiety could function as excitement or panic could function as simple nervousness. By dialing down the extent you believe in your own mind through conscious reflection, surrender, and contextual readjustment, you can effectively feed your root beliefs to better equip yourself to manifest goodness in your life.
You possess the infinite capacity to imagine, believe and create meaning out of your thoughts; therefore, your goal should be to create the meaning that is most suitable to a loving and empowered lifestyle. Just like anything, removing weeds and planting new roots in your mind’s garden is a practice that gains momentum over time. It may feel impossible now, but will have you feeling unstoppable in due time.
Commit to a daily exercising of your reflection, surrender, and commitment to your goodness muscles and you will notice a clear improvement of the quality of your experience over time.
How can you do this? Try journaling based on a question that you want the answer to, or sitting in silence and asking for help with that same question. These practices are simple and don’t take too much time, but have the potential to make a big impact on your health and happiness. I encourage you to take the time starting today to objectively question yourself and allow yourself to change to become a better version of yourself. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain!
About Sahil Aneja
Sahil is currently a senior in the Business School of the Rutgers Honors College. He is studying Business Analytics & Information Technology (BAIT) as well as Psychology and Philosophy. Sahil is the published author of the book Happiology: The Science of Creating Your Happiness and regularly speaks on the topic. Currently, he is the President of Iota Nu Delta Fraternity Incorporated and is seeking to facilitate health and wellness in the Rutgers community during the upcoming school year.