Has this been your experience?
Perhaps you’ve learned that you have few choices, and have to make do with what you’ve got or what’s given to you.
You may even believe that you have few choices of what you can do because you’re challenged with anxiety and/or panic.
There is much in our lives that we have been conditioned to think, understand and believe that may not be beneficial to us as individuals.
Focus on fighting your way past these types of limitations and you’re stuck doing so every day of your life.
That’s because you think if you overcome what’s standing in your way that things will change.
The reality is – first you change – and then you have a better shot at changing your reality.
That’s easy to say, and very tough to do.
But here’s an excellent place to begin: your own Personal Bill of Rights.
Why Start With a Personal Bill of Rights?
In the US Declaration of Independence it states that a person has a fundamental right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”, but what does that mean to you, in your life?
Do you believe you have only the rights that other people grant you?
For some of us, the answer is: it depends.
Yet what if you gave yourself permission to have the same rights as those people who you think are limiting yours?
- What rights would you give yourself?
- How would those rights redefine your possibilities?
- How could you put those rights to work in your life?
By starting with your Personal Bill of Rights, you’re giving yourself the foundation for how you want to affirm your life, how you want to yes to your uniqueness, and what you want to work on to fully express yourself.
That includes what you’re going to do to outsmart your panic and anxiety and begin taking steps to reduce stress and anxiety in your life.
How to Get Started
Step 1 – List everything you can think of that’s not working in your life. For example, I dislike it when people don’t listen to me, or talk over me. I dislike it when people disrespect me by assuming that I need to be told how to do something, or take it away because I don’t do it the way they think it should be done.
Step 2 – Once you’ve got all your dislikes written down, rephrase them to reflect what you do want.
Step 3 – Look over your list and begin putting them in categories such as family, health, work, spiritual, financial, etc. When you see them separated in that way, how does it make you feel? Are there any categories that may have gaps that need filling?
Step 4 – Take a look at Edmund Bourne’s list from his book The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Googling “Personal Bill of Rights”. You’ll see that each right he identifies begins with the words, “I have the right to . . . “
Check his list for anything that you may have missed that you want to include. Then rewrite your list in using the format he uses.
Step 5 – Once your list is done, review it and think about what positive actions you can take to begin making to validate yourself.
Your Own Personal Bill of Rights
By creating your own Personal Bill of Rights, you’re consciously declaring what you want for yourself, and how you want to be treated.
When you begin implementing your Personal Bill of Rights, start with small personal changes. Be consistent, and patient with yourself. Imagine different situations and scenarios and practice how you can best handle each one.
Depending on your situation, you may want to use your list or portions of your list to open discussions with other people in your lives such as family members, managers, co-workers etc.
There’s something about doing a Personal Bill of Rights that reinforces your ability to say in a positive way: I am. I am someone who is worthy of the same rights as everyone else.
And you are – simply by being you.
On December 10, 1948, the United Nations released General Assembly resolution 217 that declares the fundamental human rights to be universally protected.
For more information, or to get a copy go here: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights