We all have superstitious beliefs and one that is quite common is avoiding things that are associated with the number 13 (e.g., some buildings skip the 13th floor, some people stay at home on Friday the 13th). As we go into a whole year with the label 13, how about we make the most of it and work on changing our mindset from one of hoping for luck to one of having faith in ourselves? Let’s examine what this might look like.
Avoiding things means shrinking your world
Think about the energy it takes to avoid or ignore something. It’s pretty difficult, isn’t it? In addition, it tends to mean missing out on things as well as living in a state of anxiety. To expand your world, you need to consider how you choose your activities: are your choices based on fear or enthusiasm? Having faith in yourself can be as simple as channeling the energy you would have used in worrying over or avoiding something into actively seeking out a happier alternative.
Uncover the message behind your reluctance
We may be avoiding something for a valid reason, however there are times when our avoidance is simply a habit. To open yourself to experiencing more of life, you need to discover what lies behind your apprehension and how facing its cause could enhance your life. Beginning to notice where and when you tend to limit yourself can offer important insights. A first step in reversing those patterns can be as straightforward as asking yourself “why?” when you find yourself doing so.
Luck is what you make it
What some people call luck, others call being prepared to seize opportunities as they arise. To make your own luck, it helps to be open, flexible, and willing to examine your attitude toward the unexpected. Feeling lucky can be as simple as reframing the hurdles in life as interesting surprises, challenges to be explored, or chances to grow in maturity and wisdom.
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In 2013 how can we learn to recognize our capacity for courage and start to see the events that come our way – good or bad – as ultimately lucky? How can self-discovery help us get to the root of our superstitions and fears and start to let them go? Let’s reclaim 13 as fortunate, knowing that no matter the number on the calendar or the circumstance facing us, we can choose to make our own luck!
We all like to have explanations for what happens in life. We feel more secure when we can point to a clear cause and effect. Sometimes, however, needing these reasons gets in our way and gets us down. If we struggle to explain the way things evolved, we may be setting up ourselves and those around us for a sense of failure. Instead of seeking reasons that may unfathomable or unsatisfactory from a logical standpoint, let’s discover ways we can understand the events in our lives from a “success perspective.” Let’s start seeing success where we may not have realized its existence due to our very human insistence on things being explainable, rational, and organized. Let’s nurture the feeling that we are in active partnership with a higher purpose and/or higher power and that even if the results of this partnership are not obvious, we have fulfilled what we set out to do simply because we are here and are living each day as best we know how.
We did our best. To see events in this way, we need to let go of the view that success always means persevering through thick and thin. Of course there are times when it is important to keep going when the going gets tough, and yet it is not the duration of our efforts as much as it is the quality of them that’s important. If we have sincerely given our best with the skills and knowledge we posses, we have truly done it all and done enough. After all, what more is there to provide when you have already given your best?
We are manifesting “the whole” by working the parts. When we can see the small, but by no means insignificant success of simply having the courage to move step-by-step through each day, we can release ourselves from the burden of needing to have all the answers or be “perfect.” True accomplishment comes from being present and facing what comes, good or bad. Being able to say we have achieved some outward standard of excellence, although wonderful, is not possible in many instances. Further, these accomplishments are certainly not as important as the internal satisfaction of moving forward when it would be easier to hide from our challenges or stay stuck.
We have grown. Interestingly, when we make positive changes we can still feel that we have failed because these changes may reveal that some of our relationships and circumstances are no longer a good fit. Rather than celebrating our increased self-awareness and rejoicing in our improved conditions, we beat ourselves up, get scared, and try to change back in order to make ourselves and others feel more comfortable. When we can see that we are changing our connection with what is familiar rather than cutting it off as we move forward, we put things into the proper perspective. We realize that we can continue to show love and respect for our old friends and our old ways and thereby help others not to feel threatened by our new level of awareness and development.
We have made a difference. Another way to see success is to look at our life in terms of the opportunities we have had to make a difference. When we evaluate our performance with a gratitude mindset, we open ourselves up to see how, as challenging as a situation or relationship is or was, we were probably able to do something that was constructive, helpful, or kind. Sometimes a smile is all it takes to brighten someone’s day and we may have been the person who gave that simple gift of warmth. Give thanks for these little opportunities to make a difference and see them as the successes that they are.
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We may not feel as though we have a say in how our lives unfold, but we do get to control our reactions to its ups and downs. How might you cultivate a “glass half full” attitude? Where can you see bright spots in dark times that, if they were made the focus of your attention, would have positive consequences for all involved? Notice success in small things and watch it multiply in large ways. Choose to see success – it’s all around you!