When you face a challenge you cannot control (like a chronic illness, losing your job or the decision of another person); you can always control the way you interpret your perception of what happens. Victims are people that accept what happens as the only reality they deal with. The empowered person realizes what happens is something they have to deal with, but how they interpret what happens determines the quality of their life, their response and how their response is received by others.
Imagine the power you have in the simple act of how you interpret your reality. The person with an externally directed focus only looks outside for the solutions to his problems. The person with an internally focused awareness tends to look within for the solutions of his problems. Both inner and outer focus have qualities for solutions, but like a conscious breath, the inner and outer harmoniously work together. We need experts’ advice in the area they specialize and we need our inner resources to consciously respond to their advice.
Think of our in-breath as the way we take in input and connect to inner wisdom. Then, in a split second our body processes that input, which activates our powerful inner resources to respond. It is not a matter of choice; our mind and body are previously programmed to respond in a specific way.
Here is our biggest question: Can the conscious and subconscious mind and body be reconditioned? The answer is complex with many variables, but the main point is, if you really want it to. Most people don’t even consider that question unless their life or what they value is threatened. People with chronic illness, facing the threat of death desperately strive to change, but some are successful and some are not.
The way we interpret our situation plays a significant part in how we deal with our struggles; that is the easiest thing to change. You can change a negative interpretation simply by changing the habit of what part of you interprets. You can consciously condition habits that are connected you to your inner wisdom instead of the you that was locked into negative past conditioning. That doesn’t change the problems you face; it just changes how you perceive and interpret your situation. Of course you could be a victim to your past conditioning and simply respond as usual…but why?
By consciously conditioning a new self image, the part of you that interprets thoughts and perception…you see the world differently. Now this new self image is not purely fantasy, it can be made from your past so that you can identify with it. Even though the self image you want to change was strongly conditioned and may resist change, you can create new habits that make it feel like a special part of you. When that special part of you deals with your problem, you respond more consciously with a stronger quality of life.
If this can be done with a significant life skill like your self image, why can’t it be done with skills like self trust, confidence and how we utilize our inner resources? We don’t have to rely on how we have been conditioned; we have the power to recondition our mind.
Empowered people are free to recondition their mind. Victims feel their past conditioning is their reality.

Author's Bio: 

Marc Lerner is the President of Life Skills Institute and has been working with people in a health crisis since 1982. Learning to discover oneself in difficult times is the theme of A Healthy Way to be Sick, the e-book Marc Lerner wrote. Go to http://ahealthywaytobesick.org to read a mini-version. Learn this same technique to deal with any difficult time with the e-book, A Light Shines Brighter in Darkness, at the same website. Marc Lerner is available for public speaking and tele-seminars on the same website. When you learn to master inner resources and avoid negative thinking, you automatically tap powerful inner resources to become an active partner with medical professionals. Patient participation can influence the results of the doctor’s treatment. The doctor’s relationship with the patient can also influence how the patient participates in healing. Marc’s work is dedicated to establishing this partnership.