What Robin Williams Teaches Us

We lost Robin Williams, and I am so sad for him and for all of us. By all accounts, he struggled in his life, particularly with depression and addiction. Since I, too, struggled with depression and addiction, I understand the depths it can take a person.

Unfortunately for all of us, Robin Williams did not find the permanent, reliable and effective tools for relief that he was looking for. His search continued until he gave up. And that makes me profoundly sad for him.

I think of struggle as a perpetual cycle of negative self talk and beliefs peppered with occasional moments of relief and hope for a better life. We struggle when we desire to change our lives for the better and we hope, but we do not address our false beliefs. False beliefs are unconscious and negative beliefs such as, “I’m not good enough” and “They don’t really love me.” The struggle cycle of hopefulness, disappointment, hopelessness, disappointment, hopefulness, and despair is painful and exhausting. If left unchecked, the negative becomes the stronger and stronger focus of your mind, eventually dimming and extinguishing the hope so that all you have left is hopelessness and despair.

In his fascinating work, The Biology of Belief, Dr. Bruce Lipton explains that the nature of a belief, or thought that you keeps thinking over and over again, is that it perpetually seeks evidence to support itself. In other words, when you keep thinking something, it turns into a belief, and that belief allows you to see only the reality that makes it true. You ignore all of the reality that makes it not true. You cannot see, hear or feel any other evidence, even when it is surrounding you or staring you in the face. You believe only your beliefs are true.

How do you know you have a negative, false belief at work, eroding your life? When your life is unsatisfying to you. When you are struggling.

While there are many viable ways to release yourself from the struggle, I found that for me, NLP was the most effective because it has given me exactly what I was looking for: permanent, reliable and effective tools to use whenever I find myself struggling, or in any negative emotion that wants to take hold of my life. Now that I know how powerful these tools are, I no longer accept that struggle is a natural part of life. Now, when the signs of struggle present themselves, I promptly apply my NLP tools and reverse the cycle of negativity and return to productive, powerful thoughts and behaviors.

Negative emotions are an essential part of who we are. Hopelessness, anger, fear, sadness, resentment, and disappointment tell us that we are not thinking and acting in the direction we want to be going. Negative emotions are our signs that something is wrong, and they give us the opportunity to shift our thoughts and behaviors to beliefs and actions that are aligned with who we really are and what we really want to be doing. In Good Will Hunting, Robin’s character, Sean Maguire, says, “You’ll have bad times but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”

Robin Williams treated us to laughter and tears so that we could feel alive. I am grateful for his life of wonderful gifts that we enjoy again and again. The tragedy of his death is, in my opinion, his final gift to us. He teaches us the power of our thoughts. He teaches us what happens when we focus only upon negative thoughts. He teaches us what happens when we focus our thoughts into beliefs. He teaches us what happens when we allow a negative false belief to be true. He teaches us that we can focus on positive thoughts or negative thoughts.

In the days following his death, I listened to so many people who questioned how he could be so hopeless when he had achieved so much, entertained so many, created such laughter and joy, and had so much wealth. How could he suffer. Robin Williams teaches us that despite our successes and despite the love that is surrounding us, we can become so focused on our negative false beliefs, like he did, that we can no longer see, hear and feel the love and appreciation that is surrounding us and beckoning us out of the darkness. That is the power of thought.

His death has inspired me. I am committed to reaching out to the world with the assurance that spending time in struggle is unnecessary. Our thoughts and beliefs are powerful. We can choose to focus our thoughts on evidence of the love and support surrounding each of us. We are all more valuable than we believe.

Rest In Peace Robin Williams. You are my inspiration. Thank you for everything.

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Posted in Coaching
2 comments on “What Robin Williams Teaches Us
  1. Margie says:

    What a beautiful meditation. Death can be inspiring and there can be illuminating hope after such tragic loss. Dawn, you are showing us a new way to respond.

  2. Monty bevard says:

    You just amaze me!

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