Is there too much chaos in your world? Are you out of control? Or do you feel stagnant and stuck?
Chances are, you’re blaming circumstances around you — too much on your platter, not enough support, etc.
There’s a theory, though, called the Law of Consciousness, that states our outer world is a reflection of our inner world.
In this vein, your chaos may be coming from within. And when you pay attention to that inner storm, your external world will shift. The trouble is, it’s so hard to see this when you’re in the midst of the storm.
Adm. William McRaven, author of the book “Make Your Bed,” has some unusual advice. He relays how important it is to start your day by making your bed. What’s up with that? Couldn’t you get further ahead by researching or studying about a challenge you’re facing?
Here’s the deal. Making your bed instills a sense of order in your life. It programs your mind to feel more in control of your day.
“External conditions mirror internal conditions, so straightening your desk or your room settles internal disorder,” affirms authors Charlene Belitz and Meg Lundstrom.
Everything starts with you. If you agree the world is volatile, you’ll look for evidence to validate this. Other people may claim life is wonderful — and attract pleasant experiences as a result.
Is your environment out of control?
Last week, I was in a health care environment that is usually a peaceful place to visit. As a result of extremely polarized political views from their patients, however, their waiting area had become polluted. It got to the point that the professionals felt like they had lost control. Patients were spewing venomous comments, and others were retaliating back.
This situation didn’t arise overnight, and it will likely take a while to change. I suggested, though, that the practitioners look at how this had developed into such a downward spiral. Were they subconsciously projecting their own strong political views? Or starting to get defensive — or feel on edge — when they knew certain patients would clash?
This had built up to such a fever pitch that it was starting to cause a lot of stress in their environment and take a personal toll on them. We talked about ways to diminish these negative charges and how they could look at the situation as a disease — and vow they weren’t going to be “hosts” for the disease.
Mind you, these are very positive people. And they found themselves unintentionally going down a rabbit hole — feeling powerless over the situation. We examined some ways to right the ship.
They disconnected the TV in the waiting room. Patients were arguing over which cable news station was on, so this took away their ammo.
They agreed to declare their work environment as a stress-free zone by returning to their former environment as an oasis — where patients could come to escape their everyday pressures.
They’re looking for ways to divert the negative energy — having some funny stories on hand or sharing cute videos from YouTube.
You teach people how to treat you. And these professionals had unwittingly allowed their environment to become a place where this behavior is OK. Well, it’s not OK.
With consistent practice, I’m confident they can get their environment back to a more peaceful place over time. They have to be willing to commit to this daily discipline, though. I’m sure their patients will test them.
Are you listening?
Our inner world is always talking to us. For the most part, though, we’re not listening. When your inner world is in disarray, the best thing to do is stop and figure out what is happening on the inside, according to author Carole Mandi.
If you’re unhappy with what your outer world is reflecting, then something has to give, explains Mandi, and it has to start internally.
Stop that impulse spending, for example. Quit eating all that junk food. Then that internal decision to change needs to be followed by a commitment to action — and the discipline to see it through.
What you can do
There are three things you can start doing immediately, according to the research website, iempowerself.com, that will help to turn things around:
- Take a hard look at your current reality — career, relationships, health and finances. Ask yourself a few questions: “How are my inner thoughts and attitudes being reflected in my outer world?” “Where did these thoughts come from?” “What is the root cause?”
- Take full responsibility for whatever is happening in your life — good or bad. It’s so easy to point fingers and blame others. Resist that urge, though, and look at making the choice to change your thinking around these situations.
- Start to visualize your world as you’d like it to be — and focus your thoughts in this direction. Ask yourself, “In order to achieve this in my outer world, what changes do I need to make internally?”
Just like the health care office with the toxic waiting room, it will likely take some time for your new thought patterns to take hold. And that’s perfectly OK. At least you’re moving in the right direction.
Peace of mind is priceless — and is summed up well in the following quote by author Roy T. Bennett.
“The outer world is a reflection of the inner world. Other people’s perception of you is a reflection of them. Your response to them is an awareness of you.”