By Patricia Omoroqui
How often do you buy into what other people tell you about yourself and your possibilities rather than deciding for yourself?Â We have many â€œprophetsâ€ around us.Â They try to foretell our future, judging our capabilities and potentials for us.
Recently, I met Joseph Jaiyeola, a motivational speaker and life coach based in Lagos.Â Joseph has a passion for making a difference in Nigeria.Â He shared with me a short essay he wrote called, â€œWho Told You?â€Â I thought you would enjoy a few excerpts:
â€¦.A prophet is meant to give a helping hand in the fulfillment of your Divine destiny.Â Unfortunately, many self-ordained prophets offer condemnation, when Heaven would declare hope.
Who told you that you are unworthy?
Who told you that you are a â€œNO-DO-WELLâ€?
Who told you that you are limited, and must remain limited?
Who told you that you cannot improve yourself and your lot in life?
Who told you that you cannot experience great success?
Prophecies like these tend to come from close friends, relatives and fellow countrymen who have experienced limitation and are projecting it onto others.Â Â Do not sell your mind and heart to unsolicited prophecies, commentaries and pronouncements.Â You are what you think.Â â€œAs a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.â€
Whatever mere mortals have told youÂ it is time to wake up from your slumber and think for yourself!
What you hear and accept influences your experience of life.Â Shut your mind against the world of limitation, depression and frustration.
Why would you remain the way you are simply because prophets cause you to doubt yourself?
Have you ever considered what the Immortal is saying?
Why would you remain limited when you have been given life by an unlimited Creator?Â Why worry about the opinions of mortals when you have access to the Immortal, Omnipotent God through prayer?Â It is the Omnipotent Who can help you fulfill your potential.
In whatever areas you have been labeled impotent, all you need is an encounter with the Omnipotent Who is ever-potent and willing to help those Who sincerely call on Him.
Humans may condemn. The Divine assures you of hope.
When next mortals place limitations on you, ask them who told them.Â If the Immortal has not written you off, why write yourself off?
When next a mortal tells you something, consult the Immortalâ€¦
(You can contact Joseph Jaiyeola atÂ email@example.com.)
As I read Joseph’s piece, I found myself reflecting on the power we give to those whose Voices we listen to.Â Who are you allowing to define you? Family, friends, teachers, community, the media?
I encourage you to pause in your reading and answer this question.Â Start to become aware. Too often we make decisions based on what we hear from the Voices, these â€œprophets,â€ in our lives.Â If you are like most of us, you are probably beginning to see the extent to which you allow others to determine your view of yourself and your life journey.
If you don’t take time to answer the questionsWho am I and What do I Want?other people will gladly do it for you.Â And you will accept their answers by default.
Remember your greatness and life experience is up to YOU!Â Unless we become conscious of the influence people have on our thinking, we will make decisions that lead to disappointment.
I am not suggesting that you avoid family members or cut off friendships.Â We all need companionship as we move through life.Â I’m simply asking you to take a good look at the people you are allowing to form your view of yourself.
Your assignment this week is to become highly aware of the Voices of Influence in your life.
To do this, start by making a list of the five (more, if you choose) people with whom you spend time.Â As you make your list, you may find that Voices of people from the past are still very much present with you; for instance, a parent who has passed away.Â Be sure to include them.Â Also, remember your favorite media personalities, authors and musicians.
Once you have your list, take each person/voice one at a time and answer the following questions. This exercise will be more effective if you write your answers down.
1What character traits does this person have that you want to develop?Â List them e.g., honesty, kindness, humor, empathy, self-discipline, steadiness, steadiness, focus, optimism, faithfulness.Â You may find it hard to come up with an answer for some people on your list.Â What does this show you?
2What is the main message both verbal and non-verbal you repeatedly get from this person?Â Here are some examples of core messages:
â€œYou can do it!â€ vs. â€œYou’ll never reach that dream.â€
â€œYou are really gaining a lot of wisdom from your experiences.â€Â vs. â€œYou are a failure.â€
â€œYou are a wonderful person.Â I love being with you.â€ vs. â€œYou are a loser.Â You have nothing of value to offer.â€
â€œDo the right thing. When you do, it always works out for the best.â€ vs. â€œDon’t be so uptight, a little white lie won’t hurt you.â€
3. Is this person’s impact on you positive, negative or mixed?Â Rate each person with a â€œ+,â€ a â€œ ,â€œ or with both â€œ+/-.â€œ
4. How much influence and power are you allowing this person’s views to have?Â Rate each person on a power scale from 1 (least) to 10 (most).
Use this exercise to help you form a clear picture of the â€œprophetsâ€ whose Voices are currently affecting your self-view.Â Ask yourself, â€œAre these voices supporting me in being the person I want to be?Â Are the people in my life helping me to make progress toward my goals and dreams?â€
Take time to contemplate as you work through this exercise.Â Our goal is to become aware.Â Awareness is the key we need to begin shifting the power dynamics in our most important relationships.
Food For Thought
Open your eyes.
Take a fresh look at your life.
What influences have you been unaware of?
It’s time to discover the full impact of what you have been choosing.
Each choice is important.
You create your life experience one choice at a time.
Patricia G. Omoqui 2010, All Rights Reserved
Patricia Omoqui, The Thought Dr. â„¢, is an internationally recognized inspirational speaker, life coach and writer.Â Patricia’s mission in life is to inspire people to move beyond fear so they can reach their full potential.