I often recommend books to my clients at my coaching and hypnotherapy practice. I am currently reading a fascinating book that was proved so controversial the manuscript was hidden for over 70 years before it was finally published a couple of years ago. Written by Napoleon Hill in 1938, Outwitting The Devil looks at the root of what prevents us from reaching our full potential. It identifies the greatest obstacles we face in reaching our personal goals including fear, procrastination, anger and jealousy.
Although it was not published for all those decades because of the fear of a backlash from religious leaders it is not actually about religion. Hill uses a conversation with the devil as a metaphor to explain what hold us back, controls us without being aware of it, like you would imagine the devil would do – to keep you in a place of fear rather than one of love and peace.
Hill has an imaginary conversation with ‘the devil’ and wants to know his secrets. What is at the root of his ‘power’ over people that keep them in a place of fear and preventing them being at peace with themselves and living a life of innate wellbeing and happiness. The answer: our thinking.
I don’t want to get in to a discussion on theology because whether you believe in God/the devil or not we all have personal thought which has immense power over our wellbeing and experience of life moment to moment. Without knowing it is our thinking that is our day to day coach, for better or worse.
When we get caught up in our thinking we detach ourselves from our true selves. We are focussed on external things; what people think, worries, concerns etc. which we can experience as feelings such as sadness, anxiety or fear. We are only ever feeling our thinking, our emotions are a result of the thinking in our minds, whether we are conscious of it or not. Hill uses the term ‘drifting’ for being stuck in our thinking.
I related to this as I can look back and see how I ‘drifted’ through life until I had an awaking moment which is often a result of a challenging and painful experience in life, however it doesn’t have to be if you seek to be more in control of your happiness and wellbeing.
I was in a very well paid and successful career but I realised I had drifted in to it. I couldn’t remember ever stopping and taking a step back and thinking what I wanted to do with my life, what fills me with joy and doing what makes me happy. Even through school I was too busy worrying what people thought of me and managing their expectations to be aware of what I wanted in life. Thought is fear based. Fear or what people will think, fear of failure, even fear of success.
“Fear is the tool of a man-made devil” Naploleon Hill
I was unconsciously seeking happiness without knowing where to look – which resulting in drifting. I was looking in the wrong place because I was looking for it through work, relationships, religion etc. when it is inside us all the time. We are born with innate wellbeing. When we stop looking outside, trust ourselves and seek within we find ourselves. We tune in to who we are, our passions, our talents and can begin to live life with a sense of intention rather than drifting.
Are you drifting in any areas of your life? What thinking/story are you telling yourself which you can let go of? What does your instinct/intuition say about this?
Feel free to contact me if you would like a conversation to explore how coaching and hypnotherapy can help you stop drifting and let go of any stories holding you back from the life you want.