“[…] we need a great deal of courage to challenge our beliefs. Because even if we know we didn’t choose all these beliefs, it is also true that we agreed to all of them.”
Sometimes little books are the most powerful. They come into your life, give you a big aha moment, and life will never be the same again. So was the case when I picked up “The Four Agreements”. A quick read of a little more than 100 pages that you can finish in one lazy Sunday afternoon, this book gives you the extremely simple belief system to live by, while shining a lot of light on all the beliefs we have adopted over the years that don’t actually resemble us at all.
“The fear of being rejected becomes the fear of not being good enough. Eventually we become someone we are not.”
Like most of us, I have struggled with not feeling good enough most of my life. Not being a good enough daughter, student, nutritionist, fitness trainer, sister, wife, mother, friend, ... the list is endless. I have been the odd one out for as long as I can remember. In school I was mostly mute because I didn't feel like I fit in. Most of the time I didn't really care - but of course as a teenager I did want to be accepted. This is when I started changing what I said, how I said things, what I did, how I looked, and so much more in a never ending quest to fit in. At some point in my twenties I woke up and realized I didn't recognize myself anymore. I was so far away from my true self. Over time I hadn't just adopted new coping strategies in the world, but new belief systems as well. I always wanted to fit in, and was so worried about being rejected and not being good enough. It was exhausting! So there came a time when I picked up this book and read exactly what I needed. I needed to be true to myself, and not take it personally anymore when someone didn't like what I had to say.
The four agreements sound simple, but can be quite hard to follow in certain situations:
Be impeccable with your word
Don’t take anything personally
Don’t make assumptions
Always do your best
I often go against the grain, and bud heads now - especially in my work :-). However, I do this knowing that I am always doing my best, and that is all that matters.
I don’t want to give too much away, because the book is so powerful to read through a lot of examples of how we are no longer living freely like our inner child but are drowning in responsibilities and judgements of ourselves. So go ahead, read the book, I know you will simply love it, and perhaps you will also have some big aha moments!
“The agreements that come from fear requires us to expend a lot of energy, but the agreements that come from love help us to conserve energy and even gain extra energy.”
For more information:
Don Miguel Ruiz: www.thefouragreements.com