Finding inner peace can be very elusive for many of us. The thing is that we are guided by set of ideas and philosophies that we have adopted along the pathway of our lives. We have done this for a variety of reasons. Needless to say, some of these ideas are wonderful and have been reliable, yet others have only served as obstacles.
Inner Peace Often Requires Something from Us
When we look back at times when we have injected real change in our lives, and I mean changes that mattered and really made a difference. We most likely had to let go of an idea or belief that was blocking the path to that real change.
I came across these 9 beliefs posted on the delightful blog Tiny Buddha that are blocking many of us from finding inner peace and joy in life that we are really seeking. As described in that post, the author referred to inner peace in his life that seemed to occur as something that occasionally interrupted the everyday background noise. It would come and then shortly disappear – leaving only the background noise again.
As he slowly let go of these 9 beliefs, the inner peace eventually became the background noise. This is truly how to find inner peace. With that said, here are those 9 beliefs that we need to let go of:
1. “I have to be doing something now.”
This belief is very subtle and is a product of our society. We are raised and taught to be obsessed with achievement and productivity. Many of us find it impossible to relax because something always needs to be done.
Even though our ego is tricking us into thinking we will feel great from getting things done, the real joy comes from learning to let go of this feeling. Take time to relax and enjoy life knowing that those things will get done in the proper time.
2. “When I get what I want, then I will be happy.”
This is yet another cliché that really isn’t true at all. Ask the many people who have gotten what they want. If you don’t learn to be happy before achieving your desires, how are you going to know how to be happy when you achieve them? Your goals are objects, things and perhaps status, happiness is merely a state mind – that you can decide to have anytime.
3. “Finding inner peace is very difficult.”
A lot of us believe that we are a long way from having inner peace, and we admire those we think have found it. We see the separation of their status to ours and awesome the same gap exists for inner peace – not true at all.
We see the path to peace as a long journey, when the only true difficulty is letting go of the belief it is a long journey. When you do this, the journey is over.
4. “If I express my emotions honestly people will think I’m weak.”
This is another product of our society. We are taught to now show our emotions to others. Many emotions are thought to be socially inappropriate – like fear, anger, and sadness. The problem with this approach is we end suppressing positive emotions as well – like joy and excitement. And then we have difficulty getting the things we want because we don’t know how honestly express ourselves.
The irony here is when we learn to be authentic and real, we actually get respect and admiration from others.
5. “If people knew the real me, they wouldn’t like me.”
This is also related to difficulties with honest emotional expressions. We believe we need to hide specific parts of our personality. What we are doing is branding ourselves publicly by the things we show others and then cloaking a private brand of ourselves that is defined by what we are hiding. The truth is that we can offer more than either brand of ourselves and others will become attracted to people we really are because they value the honesty.
6. “I ought to be happier than I am.”
One of the worst habits we have cultivated in our society is focusing way too much on social comparisons among individuals. When we are not feeling good, we tend to look at the things we lack in our lives as compared to others. Then sometimes we look at the things we have and see others doing without and then feel guilty because we are not happy enough. Happiness is simply a state of mind that comes and goes naturally. It is not something that is in direct correlation with finding inner peace.
7. “Not being at my best simply isn’t good enough.”
Much of our society has become more focused and aware of personal improvement and development over the past few decades. Even though this is a good thing overall, there are times when the motives to improve are actually toxic. For instance, many people are not improving because of the benefits to themselves and their community; they are seeking improvement because they do not feel worthy in the first place.
Ridding yourself of the notion to be at your best all the time will mean ridding yourself of a lot of self-induced anxiety. Learn to appreciate and love yourself today, the way you are, and you will learn that this is more than good enough.
8. “I owe the world.”
This is also related to the need to be at your very best. There is no doubt that gratitude is a wonderful thing, but it really shouldn’t mean that we ought to feel indebted to the universe all the time. This is apparent in those who keep trying to prove themselves to others all the time – they indebted to them somehow. Understand that being grateful in itself is more than enough. When you let go of those feelings of debt and obligation, this is when you are really free to give others the things you have to offer.
9. “There was a time in my past that absolutely sucked.”
Many of us have certain things in our past that we are ashamed of – that is part of growing and being human. Often times, we feel the weight of trying to live those bad things down in our present life. We let those ugly events from the past restrict us today when they really shouldn’t. In fact, we begin to define ourselves by those acts that occurred a long time ago.
Sometimes we think we need to open up to others about them in order to get their full acceptance. But what this really is that we haven’t yet forgiven ourselves. This is what is missing about bad memories that we can’t seem to live down. We just need to forgive ourselves and understand that we are only human. It was simply a mistake and we learned from it. We need to not be so hard on ourselves and show some self-love and self-kindness. Once this is done, then you are on the path to finding inner peace.