I had lunch with a dear friend the other day. While I enjoyed the company and the food, I left feeling a little depressed.
When I thought about it, I realized my friend was brilliant at dismissing every book, concept, guru, self-help method, or healing approach he had read or heard about.
He was not directly negative or purposely critical. He sincerely wanted something that would work in his life. But he was unconsciously dismissing everything that came his way.
At one point I told him about a guru I had studied over two decades ago. I told him that people said, "My guru was obviously enlightened. He radiated it."
My friend cut in saying, "I'm sure there are people who saw that guru and didn't think he was any smarter than a paper bag."
Well, my friend is right.
But my friend is also unhappy.
I think there's a lesson here. When we dismiss people and ideas because the entire world doesn't agree with them, we get to be right. But we also get to stay empty inside. By dismissing what could work, we dismiss our own growth. We dismiss what's possible.
It doesn't matter if the book you read and love is loved by anyone else. It doesn't matter if the teacher you admire is admired by anyone else. It doesn't matter if the healing method that worked for you doesn't work for everyone else.
What matters is you. Your happiness. Your health. Your healing. Your well-being.
Truth is, no method works for everyone. No teacher is right for everyone. No book is going to inspire everyone.
It all comes from within. You are the first and final authority on your life.
Rather than dismissing what is possible so you can be right, what can you accept so you can grow?
Dismissing is often a way to deflect the messages. It's a self-defense mechanism. If you dismiss the book, idea, or method offered to you, you get to be right --- and stay right where you're at.
Every successful person I know has accepted new tools into their lives over the years, spent thousands of dollars on personal growth and self-study, and never regretted any of it.
The key is not dismissing, but digesting.
For example, Nerissa and I had dinner with friends recently. One friend was complaining about her job. From her perspective, there was no way out of the misery she felt at her place of work. Bad boss. Bad hours. Bad pay. You name it, it was bad.
Later we were joined by other friends. As "chance" would have it, one of the new friends had connections where our complaining friend worked. He gave our unhappy friend a name, and said he could help her resolve her issues. He went on to say that this connection was a supervisor, head of many departments, and could probably resolve whatever was wrong.
I was stunned. So was Nerissa. We were seeing magic happen right before our eyes.
But what did our unhappy friend do with her new lead and new hope?
She dismissed it.
She didn't write down the name or the number, or show any signs that something wonderful had just occurred.
Do you see how this works?
Sometimes we can self-sabotage the things we say we want. We simply dismiss the good.
People often write me and ask what one single product can they get that will transform their lives. When I tell them I so loved Dr. Robert Anthony's material that I financed, recorded and now market his "Beyond Positive Thinking" CD set, they are sold. They go to
and buy it.
Yet some people complain, "It cost $99." Ah, of course it cost money. Are you going to pay it and get what you want or are you going to dismiss the greatest self-help material of all time? Do you want the good you say you seek or not?
Let me end this with another example:
Yesterday I received a letter in the mail about a new audioprogram about dissolving illusions. I read the piece but dismissed it. I figured it was simply stuff I had already heard before and probably even recorded elsewhere myself.
Then today I got another mailing, this time from a different source, but selling the exact same audioprogram. I read it over closely. I thought, "This is interesting, but I bet there's little new in it." I then placed the mailing aside.
An hour or so later, as I was reviewing this very article you're reading right now, I suddenly realized that I was doing the very thing I am warning you not to do: I was dismissing an opportunity to learn.
I dug out the mailing, filled out the order form, and dropped it in the mail. The audios are on the way.
The point is not that you buy everything that comes your way, but that you don't dismiss everything that comes your way. Sometimes a dismissal is a mask. It's your self-sabotage at work, keeping you where you're at. To grow, you must allow.
Again, you are the final authority on your life.
Tune in to yourself and do what's right for you. And as you do this, be alert to those times when you may be dismissing the next gift to come your way.
Let your guard down, and let life in.
Dr. Joe Vitale is the author of way too many books to list here. His latest title is "The Attractor Factor: 5 Easy Steps for Creating Wealth (or anything else) From the Inside Out." Register for his monthly complimentary ezine at http://www.mrfire.com/