What I Learned from Reading Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through

I recently finished reading Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Best-Selling author Iyanla Vanzant. I saw Ms. Vanzant on Oprah‘s farewell season — it was a good show! I didn’t run out and get the book, but months later I ordered it from the library. I admit I started doing this as a way to ‘try a book before I buy it.’ I decided I want to add this book to my library.

I found the book to be very moving, especially when Iyanla spoke about her daughter, Gemmia. I recognized myself in Gemmia; I also recognized my mother to a certain extent in Iyanla. I also recognized my father in Gemmia’s father, even though my father didn’t leave; he was an abusive alcoholic and in a sense, checked out of my life.

Like Gemmia, I threw myself into school and got good grades and was responsible. I was looking for validation from my father that I really didn’t get. He tried to tell me how proud he was when I earned my B.S., Accounting degree; however, I always felt that a part of him was jealous that I did earn a college degree. He wanted a degree and attended college here and there, but never earned a degree.

I also learned that it would be in my best interest to let go of the anger towards myself. I forgave my mom and dad; I realized they parented me based on they were parented. They didn’t know better which is why they didn’t do better. However, I still haven’t forgiven myself for the decisions I’ve made along the way such as pursuing an accounting degree, when I wanted a marketing degree. I also wanted to pursue art and writing. I pursued an accounting degree to please my father. There’s another lesson — people pleasing seems to run rampant in my family.

Getting back to forgiving myself … I need to let go of the anger I have towards myself because my life hasn’t worked out as I thought or planned it to. For example, I moved to Arizona in 2007, and three years later I was living back home with my mom in my home state. I kept beating myself because I know I’m responsible and it should have worked out because I planned everything out. I also allowed certain people to ‘guilt’ me into thinking I made a mistake by moving to Arizona; I left my mom and sister. I now realize I can’t help it if certain family members are scared to take a risk such as moving out of state. I now know — it’s none of my business. I also realized that sometimes family members won’t have your back. It is what it is. I’m now determined to ‘create’ my own family, a family of loving and supportive people.

BTW: I released my hold on Arizona when I read Iyanla’s words about hearing her daughter say, “Let go of the physical.” I re-read those words over and over until it sank into my brain.

I realize that I need to acknowledge my disappointment about my move to Arizona and other things that have occurred in my life — there are too many to list here. It’s not easy for me to wade into disappointment; I’m a fun loving Leo (horoscope sign). I know if I want to continue to heal, it would behoove me to feel the pain and work through it. If I don’t, I could repeat the self-sabotaging pattern. I’d rather work through it.

I also realized that Gen X and Gen Y could benefit from life coaching from their peers. No offense — but most life coaches seem to be old enough to be my mom or dad. I’m not saying I can’t learn from these people, obviously I learned from Ms. Vanzant, but it’s nice to hear from my peers and how they released and forgave their past, parents, spouses, them, etc. It makes think, “Gee, I’m not alone.” This is why I’m glad Iyanla wrote about her daughter, Gemmia, and her life experience.

I would recommend reading Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through. If you’re ready to really get to the ‘heart’ of your family’s pathology and recognize the patterns, this book is for you. If not, that’s alright. Perhaps, one day you’ll be ready.


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How to Shift Your Beliefs

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Question: I’ve been studying the Law of Attraction for a few years, but I still don’t get it. I want to change my beliefs, but I don’t think saying affirmations every day works for me. How can I shift my beliefs once and for all? I’m tired of the ‘same old, same old’ in my life and am ready to embrace change. Thank you!

Answer: Ah yes, the Law of Attraction. Many people watched The Secret or read the book. It takes more than saying affirmations — you must believe in them. Also, how you say affirmations is important. For example, if you want to ‘reverse the aging process,’ you may be tempted to say, “I am reversing the aging process.” However, it would behoove you to say, “My youth is replenished and restored.” Do you see and feel the difference between these two affirmations. The latter is truly affirming that your youth is restored.

According to Abraham (Esther & Jerry Hicks), “You can’t get rid of anything. You can’t get rid of your beliefs because you activate them as you try to get rid of them. Instead, practice new beliefs to make them more dominate.” In other words, stop trying to ‘get rid of old thought beliefs’ and cultivate new ones.

You have beliefs you’re not aware of; these aren’t big players in your experience. ~ Abraham

How to shift your beliefs

1. Journal your current beliefs. Grab a journal or notebook and journal all of your beliefs; categorize them into negative and positive. Review your beliefs and ask the following questions:

  • Are these truly my beliefs?
  • Where did I learn these beliefs?
  • How do these beliefs serve me?
  • How are these beliefs creating my present and future?
  • Am I willing to release the beliefs?
  • Am I afraid to release these beliefs? What will happen?

2. Monitor your thoughts. Try this exercise for one week. Notice your thoughts without judging them. How do you ‘feel’ when you think a thought? How does your body react?Really get into your body and allow it to guide you around your thoughts.

3. Set the intention to shift your beliefs. If you want to ‘shift’ your beliefs, set an intention to do so. Write it down — post it around your home. You could also post your ‘new’ beliefs around your home as well.

4. Keep your thoughts to yourself. Unfortunately, the people around you may not be supportive that you’re going in a different direction. It will behoove you to keep your thoughts on shifting your beliefs to yourself for a while. If people begin to distance themselves, bless and allow them to go. You’re embarking on a new path/journey that may not ‘mesh’ with their path/journey anymore.

5. Take it one day at a time. You can expect to change your beliefs overnight but you could be setting yourself up for failure. If you slip into ‘old beliefs/thought’ patterns, acknowledge it. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re doing the best you can.


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How to Overcome Low Self-Confidence and Self-Doubt

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Question: I had a horrible dream, more like a nightmare, where I saw billowing smoke in the air. I ran up a hill along with other people and saw an airplane in the air. It was cracked in half and people were falling out; I could hear their blood curdling screams along with the screams of those still in their seats. I could even see what the people looked like and what they were wearing. It was frightening to say the least. What does this mean? Why would I dream something horrible like this? Is this a premonition?

Answer: Breath and relax. According to Dream Moods Dictionary.com your dream symbolizes the possibility of setting too high or unrealistic goals for yourself and seeing them crash down. Another interpretation is your self-confidence is low and you have self-doubt about reaching your goals. Your self-defeating mindset is causing your dreams or goals to crash; you experience loss of power. You don’t believe in your abilities to reach your goals.

How to Overcome Low Self-Confidence and Self-Doubt

1. Trust that you have the answers inside of you. Nine times out of ten, you know what to do. However, you may not take action because you fear you’ll make a mistake. The good news is if you make a decision and it doesn’t work out, you can make another decision. It’s not a waste of time and effort because you probably learned valuable lessons. Accept those lessons and move forward.

Remember … No one is perfect!

2. Approve of you. The only approval you need is from you. If you constantly seek approval from others, you’re not self-confident. You are free to be who you are. What matters the most is YOU love and approve of you. Remember, “What others think of you is none of your business.” Some people may or may not be in your tribe or ‘get’ you — it’s alright.

3. Affirm you are talented. If you don’t believe in your abilities, who will? Know and affirm you have what it takes to succeed in whatever it is you do. Recall times when you did well and give yourself a ‘pat’ on the back. Also, make a list of activities you enjoy and do more of them.

4. Stop believing and thinking self-defeating ideas and thoughts. Parents, grandparents, teachers, etc. probably contributed to your belief system. They meant well but could have passed on self-defeating and limiting thoughts. The good news is you’re an adult and can shift your beliefs. You don’t have to be bound to thoughts such as, I must work hard to earn a living; You don’t get ahead without hard work; No one in our family ever got ahead with talent alone; and other limiting beliefs. Ask yourself, “Are these true? Is it true I have no talent?” You’ll be surprised by your answers.

Cultivate new beliefs. After all, your parents aren’t responsible for you anymore. You are responsible for you. Saying affirmations could work; however, they only work if you believe in them. Don’t say affirmations if you don’t feel positive about them.

5. Take ‘inspired’ action. Taking action for actions sake won’t work. Inspired action means you’re really enthusiastic about something. Whether you’re applying for a job or filling out a volunteer application, make sure you’re inspired to do so.

There isn’t a ‘perfect’ time to do something — this is an illusion. You may encounter obstacles and roadblocks as you begin to take ‘inspired’ action. Go around them and move forward; you’ll gain more skills and become more confident.

6. Get educated. Maybe your current skills need updating. Perhaps, it’s time to learn new skills which you can apply to a new career. It’s never too late for education. Remember: if you stop learning, you stop living, and you eventually die.

7. Laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh at your mistakes and correct them. What’s the worst that could happen? Making mistakes happens to the best of us. Even Einstein didn’t get it right the first time. You learn by ‘trial and error’ and correcting what doesn’t work.

Shake off low self-confidence and self-doubt by recognizing your abilities. Please remember, most people fail at one time or another in their lives. The word ‘fail’ isn’t a bad 4-letter word. In fact, many famous authors had their manuscripts rejected countless times. Some of them self-published before any major editor noticed them. Give yourself credit for trying and don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re doing the best you can and that’s all that matters.


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