July 27, 2015

During a recent trip to NewYork to see my family I read a few sections of Tony Robbins new book, Money: Master the Game and came away with a few thoughts to share.

Tony delves into the limiting reality of our negative emotions and what he calls the "Power of Story". Whether it is a child's relationships, sense of self, or their parents self beliefs, the negative version of these emotions can stymie any growth phase of childhood and adolescence.

What story is your child developing? Is it filled with core memories that are expansive and growth oriented or limiting and stifling? Limiting beliefs and stories prevent us from finding the correct pathways and strategies for success in all facets of life.

Think of the child or adult who is trying to lose weight. She has the tools to succeed through education, a pathway in place with counseling, the availability of the correct foods, an exercise program set up and still says that she cannot do it!. This only occurs when a person has developed an inner belief in the story of "I can't do it or I don't want to do it". "This only works for skinny people". "I have no luck with these things". Negative mantras are all around this person. This is the easy way out. No work. Skate by on the same old ice that has achieved little but is safe and familiar. This persons failure is predetermined from her speech.

On the plane ride home to NC, I discussed these topics with my 9 and 11 year old children. I wanted their take on this scenario. They were surprisingly aware of such scenarios in their lives and others around them. They confided that they had even failed to succeed because of such limiting beliefs already at such young ages. The story can be written very early.

We then discussed the difference between success and failure. One always precedes the other. You need to stress yourself, fail and then say that "I will get up again as many times as it takes and succeed!" There are millions of cases of great people overcoming hardships with great success. Each one of these people had resilience and a positive storyline even when the past was less than. They had Hakuna Matata!

Kelly McGonigal, PhD at Stanford, a stress researcher, has noted in the current research that your attitude about stress is unbelievably important in your physiological response to it. No matter the level of stress that one is under your attitude toward stress dictates how your body responds to it and the diseases that follow. "The bottom line is, science has now proven that how you think about stress matters - the story that you attach to stress. Telling yourself it's good for you instead of harmful could mean the difference between a stress-induced heart attack at 50 or living well into your 90's."

I then spent the next few minutes explaining to my kids that changing their negative stories is key. Moving through and past a limiting belief is a key piece of a successful life. It IS a choice. Life is FULL of choices. The stories that you tell yourself are choices in how you feel and believe about a past situation or a future prospect. CHOOSE to feel good and believe that stress is good for you and all of your cells. Be the stressed person that thrives in any environment. Do not limit yourself to only the nice life that you want in order to be happy. CHOOSE happiness in every scenario!

And above all, I told them: fail as often as it takes to be great!!!!

Lessons learned the hard way,

Dr. M