When King Louis XVI was dethroned and decapitated during the French Revolution, his son Louis XVII, the “Lost Dauphin,” was taken captive by conspirators against the throne.
According to legend, his captors believed that if they could break the prince morally, they could void any claim he had to the throne and destroy the monarchy forever.
They exposed him to every vice they could muster: alcohol, fattening foods, foul language, and lustful women. They tried incessantly to force the prince to participate in these vices, but he never did. He never caved under pressure. He never once compromised his morals.
When his captors asked him why he never indulged, he simply replied: “I cannot do what you ask, for I was born to be a king.”
Knowing the truth about who we are can make an enormous difference in how we live our lives and how we respond to the put-downs of The Bully. If we really know how capable and powerful we are, there’s nothing The Bully can say that will derail us. We will never falter.
As it stands, The Bully preys upon our insecurities and tells us lies about ourselves to try and get us to engage in negative behaviors. Just like in the story of the young Prince, The Bully is relentless.
While The Bully has many lies he might tell us, and and the specific language he uses may vary from person to person, all of his talk tends to center on three negative beliefs:
I am powerless to change, and I will always be the way I am.
I am a victim of my circumstances.
I am broken and “less than.”
Besides being untrue, each of these negative beliefs tap into the core of what makes people miserable. Sadly, these are beliefs that people often have about themselves. All negative beliefs are founded in helplessness, hopelessness, and an unwillingness to change.
Listening to the lies of The Bully leads to a destructive lifestyle of addiction and self-hatred. If we buy into it enough, those lies can become our beliefs.
Many reading this may have made the Bully’s lies a part of their Belief Systems—but I have good news: you can change your beliefs!
I’m going to tell you the TRUTH about who you are and what you’re capable of. I’m going to teach you 3 Foundational Beliefs that you can use to counter the lies of The Bully:
I have the dignity and ability to choose.
I am a masterful creator.
I am powerful beyond measure.
These are the beliefs that helped me make breakthroughs in my own addiction recovery. At first they might seem foreign, extravagant, maybe even foolish, but as I explain each of these beliefs further, you will understand why they are essential to any positive Belief System.
I have the Dignity to Choose
We are not victims.
I know that’s often the stance people take when confronting their problems, but ultimately this attitude leads to despondency and inaction.
In fact the opposite is true: we have the opportunity to choose at every turn in life.
Learning that you have the ability to choose is one of the most important steps in recovering from addictions and learning to love yourself. By recognizing this truth, you liberate yourself from the paralyzing grasp of the Bully. You can no longer hide behind the excuse of not being able to do anything about your situation … because you can!
No matter what position you find yourself in, no matter how bad you think your problems are or how deeply addicted you have become, you have the power to turn your life around and choose something else. You can choose a better life!
As George Bernard Shaw put it, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”
Now I recognize that you choose your circumstances in the sense that you can’t always control what things happen to you in life—but that doesn’t make you a victim! You CAN choose how you handle your circumstances and how you will allow them to make you feel.
Typically we consider circumstances to be the one thing have no power over, but in reality, they’re all we have. In any given moment we are given the gift of our present conditions. If we choose to embrace them, learn from them, and enjoy them, we can become the master of our circumstances.
The Bully will try to convince you that you have no choice, that you are stuck or hopeless. Don’t believe him. Remember, choice isn’t just something you’re capable of, it’s something you’re worthy of. You deserve to choose the life you like. You deserve Love of Self.
I am a Masterful Creator
When you recognize your ability to choose and start making choices that will better your life, you become a creator.
Every person has the faculty to create, but not everyone uses it. When we allow ourselves to be shaped and manipulated by powers outside of ourselves, we are denying our God-given potential to create.
By instead choosing the life we want, we are in turn creating it. If we choose not to feel grief over a mistake or hardship we are creating feelings of joy and peace in our lives. If we choose not to let someone’s flaws make us angry or irritated, we create love. If we choose that we want a life of prosperity, we will create wealth, good health, and joy!
The truth is, you can create anything you want in life. Anything your heart desires, anything that is good and positive, you have the power to create! You can bring it into existence, make it a part of your identity, and allow it to enrich your life.
We often think of creation as a trait that only gods and artists possess. But when you think about it, what does an artist actually do? An artist envisions in his mind something that inspires him, something that he wishes to create, and then he brings that something from thought to reality.
That’s all that creation is! Taking our thoughts and making them our reality. And every single one of us is capable of doing that.
This is where choice comes in. If we choose to believe that we are broken, damaged, and have no hope of recovery, THAT is the reality we will create.
On the other hand, if we choose to believe that we are capable, powerful, and full of love, we will be able to overcome ANY negative behavior. We will be able to beat back The Bully and choose the life we want to live.
I am Powerful Beyond Measure
This is the Foundational Belief that people tend to struggle with the most.
Sadly, so many people believe that they are powerless. It is HUGELY prevalent in the culture of addicts. The thought that they might be “powerful beyond measure” is ludicrous to them. They can’t even imagine it in their wildest dreams.
One such person was my client, Travis. When I met Travis he was addicted to hard drugs and had been thrown in jail for possession of heroin. He wanted to turn his life around, but he felt powerless to do so.
When I first told him he was powerful beyond measure, he laughed in my face, but eventually he agreed to give the belief a try. I challenged him to recite the phrase, “I, Travis, am powerful beyond measure” 400 times each day.
At first, Travis struggled. He said the words but they were empty. He didn’t really believe them. After several days however, he discovered his true power. He was able to recite the words and truly feel them coursing through him.
By the end of my time working with Travis, he told me that he positively knew that he was powerful beyond measure and that he exercised that power every day.
As you begin to create the world around you, you will quickly recognize your own power. You will discover that there’s nothing you can’t do!
Now when I say power, I’m not talking about magic and unicorns. I’m talking about the power of thought.
As James Allen said, “All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.” Thought shapes our reality! Thought is our reality.
We always have power over our own thoughts, feelings, and intentions, and therefore, we have power over every aspect of our reality. We can create anything! We are all powerful.
In some cases we will create literal tangible things, such as wealth or artwork. In other cases we will merely use our power to change our perception of our world. Either way the result is the same! If you make the truth that you are powerful beyond measure a part of your Belief System, your life will be filled with Joy and Love of Self.
You already have it
I will return briefly to the story of Louis XVII. The young prince had not yet been crowned King of France, but he knew that it was his birthright and destiny. It was already a part of who he was, and so he lived his life as if he was already king!
The single most important principle I can teach you about the 3 Foundational Beliefs listed above is this:
You ALREADY HAVE IT!
You already HAVE the dignity and ability to choose! You already ARE a masterful creator. You already ARE powerful beyond measure! It’s all yours.
These are not skills you have to cultivate over years and years. By your very nature you are endowed with infinite power. You simply have to recognize it and learn to bring it out.
Makes these truths a part of your Belief System! Like Travis, declare them positively and assertively each day! Repeat them again and again until they become your beliefs. Every time The Bully tries to tell you that you are helpless, worthless, or powerless, counter those lies with the truth!
By recognizing that these beliefs are true, you will become anyone and anything you want to be!
Now that you know the truth about who you are, what’s next? Use your power to change your behaviors and experience Joy in your life! The next several articles will explain how to do this, what practical steps you can take to conquer any addiction or unwanted behavior.
Remember, you have all the power in the world. No matter what anyone tells you, you are never EVER left without a choice.