MirrorMany attempt to search for answers to these questions outside of themselves, finding someone that will love them completely, a new job, moving to a new location, a new relationship, buying something new. What we find is a temporary relief from our pain, our unhappiness, until the novelty of the new thing wears off, and we find ourselves alone once again. The pain returns. Unable to find a cure, we may turn to one of the many addictions to mask our pain. And for some, the pain is too much and they may even take their own life. I know these feelings. For much of my life I struggled with this pain, until I decided to stop looking forward for the answer and started looking in the rear view mirror to help me understand what got me here. This was no easy task, but the most meaningful journey of my life. The discovery of who I was, why I was that way, and what I needed to change to become the person I always wanted to be.

Unhappiness has a huge cost.

Many of us go through experiences in life that result in developing layers around us that keep us from experiencing true love, happiness, success, magnificence, purpose, meaningful relationships, and greatness. These are the ingredients that make life so meaningful and fulfilling.

These layers are primarily the result of unhealthy beliefs we formed during traumatic or painful times in our past. These beliefs were stored deep in our subconscious, stuffed away and forgotten. However, as much as we try and hide these experiences or deny their existence, they have a direct impact, a cause and effect type relationship, on our behaviors and what we perceive life to be like. They are like filters over our eyes, tainting our views to only reaffirm our unhealthy beliefs about ourselves, others and of life itself. Unhealthy beliefs become unhealthy patterns or behaviors that produce negative consequences or effects, which only serve to reaffirm our unhealthy beliefs.

For example, I formed the belief that I am unworthy, that I will never amount to anything. This played out in my relationships where this translated into not being good enough or loveable, so I had to hold on tight to anyone that risked loving me. This created co-dependent relationships where I became dependent on others to love me since I was unable to love myself. I became jealous, needy, and angry, which only served to drive others away, reaffirming my belief that I was indeed unworthy of being loved.

So how do we discover these unhealthy beliefs? Well the first part begins with the realization that we are indeed unhappy even though we may not know why. We may feel lost, angry, confused, sad, with a growing sense of despair. We recognize at some level patterns emerging, for example, that I struggle in relationships. Mostly we grow tired of feeling this way. This is the first step, dissatisfaction with the current state. When this is combined with a true willingness to change, you open the door to personal growth and self-discovery.

Okay, so I am now ready to understand what it going on, what next?

Part Two in my book speaks to various methods one can use to take that challenging look within. These are what I refer to as “Tools for Self Discovery”. There are many tools that are readily available to begin your journey. I would always suggest to start with a professional wherever possible to help provide a structure for you, particularly if you are feeling high levels of fear, pain, unhappiness and despair. Part One of my book is my personal story and how I utilized these tools to initially stabilize myself and heal the pain that was a result of my past. Inspired to learn more, I continued to use these tools to learn more about myself, my dreams, aspirations, personality type, strengths, and other areas I wanted to develop. Ultimately this journey became a spiritual quest to discover the meaning of life and how I fit in.

ImageThe outcome of this journey was to Discover Michael, understanding my life in a whole new perspective. It was about coming to a better and a healthier place where I could continue with my life and find greater levels of happiness, meaning and fulfillment. This is why I am such an advocate of personal growth. I know first hand the difference it made in my life. Realizing how much pain and struggle is out there, and the impact that this can have, has inspired me to share my story with the intention of motivating and guiding others on their own personal journey. To come to discover you!