How To Center Yourself For Greatness

One can center their life on an array of things: family, self, principles, friends, work, money, and a host of others. Many things influence our lives. However, it is crucial to have a solid center, because it affects how we interact, perceive, and interpret people and the world around us; circumstances that influence both our actions and reactions.

Centering your life on a series of core principles allows a stable foundation for personal growth. By principles, I mean the values and beliefs that make up your very core or character (in essence who you are). Unlike other life factors, principles are consistent and don’t depend on the behavior of others or the environment. Your principles should be fundamental truths that are timeless and unchangeable.

For me, holding to my principles is essential because I am a highly sensitive person who is often affected by other people and my surroundings. I’m like a sponge, I will soak-up others’ emotions. In crowds or social situations I tend to get very anxious and overwhelmed. I have found that creating a mission statement or daily affirmation helps me re-focus and re-center my mind in these situations.

One of the greatest assets of the human mind is imagination. Through it you can visualize a situation using your affirmation: that is, you see it, feel it, and experience it before it actually happens. So when you get into an uncomfortable situation it is not foreign, because you have created an internal comfort zone.

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey points to the importance of affirmations in becoming the person that you really want to be. An affirmation should be personal, positive, engaging, and emotional. Many athletes and peak performers partake in this activity. You can do it before a game, performance, presentation, or really any event/situation.

According to Covey, it allows you to handle the situation with awareness. Visualizing that experience in advance forces you to think through your priorities carefully, so that you can align your behavior with your beliefs.

Here is an example of one of my affirmations: It is fulfilling (emotional) that I (personal) listen (engaged) with an open heart and think before acting, so that my decisions are made with love and integrity.

 Such an affirmation is leading me down a path not driven by the superficial dramas that surround me but by a script that I have created for myself; a mission based on my own set of values.

Let Go Of The Past

You can only lose what you cling to. – Buddha

Most of us have feelings of regret at some point in our lives. Things we wish we had said or done differently (or not at all). However, it can be toxic to cling too tightly to the past. For me it’s like a venomous snakebite. The longer you wait to treat the wound the more conditions worsen as the venom spreads throughout your body.

Regrets can give you a sense of loss, sadness, or even anger. But suppressing those feelings or denying them will only prolong the pain. It can virtually take over your life and essentially become who you are. We must keep in mind that this continued suffering is of our own choosing. While no one wants to feel the pain of regret, letting it fester only makes things worse and serves to keep happiness at bay.

Emotions are temporary; they change like everything else in this world. We don’t need to attach ourselves to negative emotions. The only thing for certain is that nothing is for certain.

Yes, all actions have consequences, but those consequences may not always be in your control. I once held onto a relationship just because I needed closure from him so I could move on. But we can’t change others, we can only change ourselves. I eventually ended the relationship and created my own closure so I could “shed” the past. Not only did I feel better, but also I was free.

Instead of holding onto the loss of someone or a relationship, grieve. Regrets come from the mistakes we make, and everyone makes mistakes. We should learn from our mistakes and move on. So reflect, learn, and grow. Don’t let your past define you, but let it help shape who you want to be.