Chew On It – The Powerful Voice

Founder, Richard Chew

Years ago, during a session with a Journey Therapy counsellor, I realised I was tolerant of mistakes from others but not myself.  I have since rewired my mind to be kinder to myself and more tolerant of my misdeeds. Now if only I could be more forgiving of my past mistakes!

After talking with lots of people, I discovered this is a common issue. We are usually our own worst enemy, continuously telling negative things that hold us back: I’m too shy. What would people think? I’m not capable of doing that…

Our inner voice is the most powerful tool. It is imperative to ensure it encourages us to expand our boundaries and not the opposite. If you keep thinking that you are unable to do something, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. ‘Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.’ Henry Ford.

It’s like believing you’re a bad driver, and after hitting a pothole thinking, see I’m a bad driver. Then the next time you drive along the same road and again hit the pothole, you’ll tell yourself, it’s proven that I am a bad driver!

It has taken me many years to reset my subconscious mind to break the cycle of negative affirmation. I consciously challenge my negative thoughts that create limitations. I have developed a positive mindset, but I continue to be conscientious in reminding myself to focus on it. I am a pragmatic optimist while bearing in mind this definition: an optimist is just a pessimist who has not lived long enough.

As I approach 70 (holy crap!) personal tragedies have knocked me around and I have experienced a great deal of pain. The choice is to live in misery or continue to see the beauty and joy of life while carrying the heartache.

Esther Perel is a Belgian psychologist who grew up among Holocaust survivors. She categorised them into two groups: “those who didn’t die, and those who came back to life”. Esther asserts that those who came back to life were those who understood erotism as an antidote to death. Erotism is a topic that I will write about soon. Something so natural, pleasurable and beautiful has been made dirty by many cultures.

I do not want to be regretful of how I lived my life on my deathbed. I am pleased that I have become the person I want to be, and I continue to expand my boundaries. Many people think that I am an extrovert. In reality, I’m an introvert. I had to work on myself to push my limitations to not be shy. The work continues.

When I am in a lift, I would now strike up a conversation with whoever is there. I cannot say that I am comfortable with it, but it has become much easier. To combat the social norm of planting my nose on the lift doors, I choose to face people in the lift. It’s uncomfortable, but I detest following the crowd.

Most parents have done a disservice to their children by controlling their behaviour — telling them that people are looking at them and to be concerned about what people think. It is important how people perceive you when it comes to virtues such as integrity, compassion, generosity and tolerance. But it’s unimportant what people think about your mistakes or actions that are harmless to others. It is not enjoyable to live in fear of what people think, as you have allowed them to control your behaviour.

When I was married to my second wife Debra, she was a master of controlling my behaviour. I would tolerate it to minimise confrontations. It was a joke between my daughter and me, that the song Suspicious Minds was an appropriate song for our marriage. Sadly, Debra passed away a few years ago. In my speech at her funeral, I said, ‘When I first met Debra, she took my breath away and every breath thereafter.’

Love is a funny thing. Sometimes you can be in love with someone, but it does not mean you should be with that person.

After we divorced, I started becoming the person I wanted to be. I have learnt to speak my mind with my heart, and I discovered I have creativity and a sense of humour, provocative as it may be.