What are The 5 steps To Live Your Best Life? No bullying, shame, or fear.
Have you ever had thoughts about yourself that were so damaging that you felt like you were stuck with their message? Thoughts like “I’m fat”, “nobody likes me”. “I’m ugly” and so on. Maybe you have experienced bullying.
It may be subtle in a workplace or social group, starting with snide comments and veiled remarks. Maybe it was throughout your childhood, education, or is in your family structure? Or maybe you have fears centered around money, status, health, injustice, or fear of a person (people), an animal, or you may have a phobia.
No matter what has been in the way of living your best life, you need not keep doing so. You are at a fork in the road, or a crossroads of life. The path you choose to take is up to you. It is not up to those around you, your limiting beliefs, or negative thoughts.
Imagine a fork in the road, you are on a walking track. One side shows a path that is plain but well worn. There are no glamorous promises from this path, it leads to a point you want to get to. The other path is adorned with a lovely footbridge, it is lined with rocks and leads through a beautiful tree lined park and suggests (from where you stand) that it gets to the same point as the other path eventually. Which path would you take?
To know which path is right for you (neither path is wrong- being wrong is a belief that can hold you back), you need to know how to navigate the path. Now, you could march on with faith that the paths are both going to be safe and help you. This may be true but you have reached a fork in the road before and you have told yourself that it wasn’t the right choice that last time.
It may have cost you time, money, self-worth or caused you pain. So now you stand at this fork in the road with conditioning in your mind. Your choice is now influenced by previous experience, by self-talk and by beliefs. Why is it that taking a path is not directed by inner knowing and by adventure? The same causes behind you choosing the path you take are behind those bullies and their actions, behind your self-talk and behind your fears.
The backbone of his message is that the world teaches us how to live and make choices. From our childhood, we are taught what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. In school, this is reinforced but taken to a next level with the influence of classmates and teachers. We are told what society finds acceptable and what is not and we are taught to live our lives in judgement of others, judgement of ourselves and judgement of other external influences. This is known as operant conditioning. The world teaches us ‘do this’ and get a punishment or get a reward. In doing this, we learn to hide our true beliefs and thoughts until they have all but disappeared and we begin to operate from a new personal manual, a manual written in codes of fear and self-criticism. In looking at the five agreements, we can see how the path we choose is tainted by our beliefs, our experiences and by the beliefs and experiences of those around us
The First Agreement – BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD. Speak with integrity and say only what you mean.
Your word is all you have. Your word is the sum of you and affects your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions. Your word can be self-critical or it can be uplifting. Another person’s word can be denigrating or it can be inspiring. When we meet bullies in our lives, we are allowing them to inject their word into our lives. Their word is their problem! Not yours. When we have negative self-talk, we have used our words against ourselves. What you say to yourself and to others is what you hear and follow. Whether you follow religion, politics, gurus or the like, you are following their word. How you decipher that external information will modify your personal beliefs, your personal beliefs will form your word and so on. The word ‘impeccable’ is derived from Latin and means ‘without sin’. Why do you sin against yourself with your word? Be impeccable with your word, speak with integrity and say only what you mean – to others and to yourself. If you believe in Karma, then karma is your word. Karma states that what we put out, we get back.
The Second Agreement – DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.
Humans take everything personally. We find insults and persuasions in every facet of our lives and we allow them to affect us. We live in a ‘me’ society. What can it do for me? We respond to fears, shame and bullies with reactions and we feel hurt, scared, trapped, etc. If you take things personally, they will have an effect on your word and your word will not be impeccable.
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” Buddha
Taking things personally only harms you. Those who shame you, insult you or try to bully you are not affected but you are.
The Third Agreement – DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.
When we make assumptions, we believe we know what others are thinking. Instead of being impeccable with our word, we are imposing our tainted word onto them. Maybe the bully in the workplace has their own set of issues. Instead of being impeccable with your word, you take things they say personally and impose a tainted word back onto them. In a situation like this, you may as well pour petrol onto a fire. Nobody is living in agreement with themselves and nobody will come out un-scarred and unhurt. When you make assumptions, you try to strike out first to avoid being hurt. But you are hurting yourself.
The Fourth Agreement – ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST.
Your best is all you have at that point in time. You can only do what your environment and yourself allows at that time. Your best today is not your best from yesterday or five years ago or even tomorrow. Perfection is not the point, your best is the point. Requiring perfection is not being impeccable with your word. Striving for perfection guides you to make assumptions about the situation and you take things personally and tell yourself that you have failed if not ‘perfect’. Doing your best creates a positive consequence, not a reward but a consequence that cements the other agreements.
The Fifth Agreement – BE SKEPTICAL BUT LEARN TO LISTEN.
When you hear from others, their thoughts and words, learn to take the information and sift it through your own filters (your first four agreements). Remember that their word may be persuasive, strong or controlling. Filter it, be skeptical but listen. Just remember to filter their word! Stop feeding fears and beliefs by stopping the attachment of emotions to the word of others.
Don Miguel Ruiz suggests we should be our own spiritual warriors instead of victims of negative emotions, thoughts and words.
“The difference between the warrior and a victim is that the victim represses while the warrior re-frames. The victim represses because he’s afraid of showing his emotion. Re-framing instead holds the emotion and expresses it in the right moment.” Don Miguel Ruiz
So how do we apply the five agreements when we come to a fork in the road? How do we become free from fears, shame or from bullies?
Create a new normal where your word gives you balance, let go of past fears and experiences, trust your inner knowing and passion, be yourself (take away conditioning from others and ask yourself who you really are), do the best you can every day and in every way and of course forgive others and yourself. Past mistakes, experiences, and reactions are all in the past- they do not need to influence your today, tomorrow or beyond.
To create health, to create progression, to be free from shame, fear and pain- you need to be respectful and supportive for yourself.
Death is not our biggest fear. Our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive and to express what we really are ~ Don Miguel Ruiz
We have applied the five agreements into our own lives and have seen what a difference this makes. Our coaching clients have been applying the five agreements in their lives and have been beating food addictions, fears and self-esteem issues. Learn to lower your stress and to grow and heal in any part of your life. Our results coaching can help you implement the five agreements, help you achieve your goals and overcome your adversities.
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