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Exercise: Running the Gauntlet to Find the Enemy Within

Summary: Find Out if You are Your Own Best Friend or Worst Enemy

For Quick Access to This Exercise:

To get to the parts of this exercise you are most interested in viewing, click on the link below to go there. For best results, read through the entire exercise at least once.

Background on This Exercise
Goal of This Exercise
Preparation for This Exercise
How to Do This Exercise
Example of Exercise Results

Background: "Get busy living or get busy dying" (Shawshank Redemption): that is what life is about. At every moment, we are choosing either life or death. We choose life when we honor ourselves by making empowering choices, by having life affirming emotions, and by seeing ourselves "positively". When we do not, we are - in essence - choosing death. By our choices in life, we can be our own best friend or worst enemy. It begins inside with the beliefs and thoughts we choose.

Goal: The goal of this exercise is to determine if a "revolution from within" is needed. This is achieved by "running the gauntlet" of common experiences and emotions to see how you "measure up" to life's challenges. You cannot choose life-love and death-fear at the same time.

To make better choices, you need to know where you are right now. If you are filled with negative thoughts and beliefs, you need to know that so that you can unlearn them. For only when you can think and act from a place of love, can you be at peace with yourself, with others, and with God.

Preparation: All you need is a blank piece of paper, a pen or pencil, and a quiet place and time to do this exercise.

How to Do This Exercise:

DO it quickly: Take the FIRST answer you get!

1> Rate yourself as to the "self images" you hold and "emotions" you experience:

Self Images
Self Images

___ Self Accept ___ Action ___ Self Abuse ___ Anger
___ Self Approval ___ Acceptance ___ Self Conceited ___ Blame
___ Self Assured ___ Clarity ___ Self Conscious ___ Criticism
___ Self Confident ___ Confidence ___ Self Contempt ___ Depression
___ Self Control ___ Contented ___ Self Criticism ___ Despair
___ Self Discipline ___ Empathy ___ Self Deception ___ Dishonesty
___ Self Discovery ___ Enthusiasm ___ Self Defeating ___ Fear
___ Self Examine ___ Faith ___ Self Denial ___ Guilty
___ Self Expression ___ Gentleness ___ Self Destruct ___ Hate
___ Self Help ___ Hope ___ Self Fearful ___ Inadequacy
___ Self Improve ___ Humble ___ Self Hatred ___ Jealous
___ Self Love ___ Kindness ___ Self Shame ___ Lethargy
___ Self Preserve ___ Joy ___ Self Inflicted ___ Lies
___ Self Protection ___ Laughter ___ Self Judgment ___ Loneliness
___ Self Reliance ___ Love ___ Self Limiting ___ Meanness
___ Self Respect ___ Relaxed ___ Self Mutilating ___ Nervous
___ Self Satisfaction ___ Respect ___ Self Pity ___ Prideful
___ Self Starter ___ Responsible ___ Self Righteous ___ Regret
___ Self Sustaining ___ Truth ___ Self Sabotaging ___ Sadness
___ Self Worth ___ Trust ___ Self Sacrificing ___ Shame

___ Total (+A) ___ Total (+B) ___ Total (-A) ___ Total (-B)
___ Final (+A+B) Image+Emotion
___ Final (-A-B) Image+Emotion

2> Rate yourself as to the "personal statements" that you feel apply to you now:

I AM Personal Statements        "I AM NOT" Personal Statements

___ I am a good person ___ I am not but could be good
___ I am a positive person ___ I am not but could be positive
___ I am a loving person ___ I am not but could be loving
___ I am a joyful person ___ I am not but could be joyful
___ I am a confident person ___ I am not but could be confident
___ I am a trustworthy person ___ I am not but could be trustworthy
___ I am a strong person ___ I am not but could be strong

___ TOTAL(+): About Me ___ TOTAL(-): About Me

___ I respect myself ___ Others are more important than I am
___ I will be who I am ___ I will be who others want me to be
___ I affirm my worth/goodness ___ Others affirm my worth/goodness
___ I acknowledge my needs ___ Others to acknowledge my needs
___ I forgive myself ___ I do not easily forgive myself
___ I am tolerant of my mistakes ___ I can never forgive my mistakes
___ I am a friend to myself ___ I do more for others than I do for me

___ TOTAL(+): About Self ___ TOTAL(-): About Self

___ I am loved by others ___ I am not but could be loved
___ I trust people ___ I do not trust people
___ I am a friendly person ___ Others do not believe I am friendly
___ I make friends easily ___ I lose friends easily
___ I establish my boundaries ___ I let others do what they want to me
___ I express my feelings to others ___ It is hard telling others how I feel
___ I forgive others who hurt me ___ I find it hard to forgive others
___ I easily give/take with others ___ Others take too much from me
___ I am tactful with others ___ Others must "like me or lump" me

___ TOTAL(+): About Others ___ TOTAL(-): About Others

___ I love life & it is an adventure ___ I get through life & it is a struggle
___ Life's challenges energize me ___ Life's challenges wear me down
___ I am in control of my life ___ I am a victim of my life
___ I am in charge of my life ___ Others control my life more than I
___ I take full charge of my life ___ I may/not be in charge in the future

___ TOTAL(+): About Life ___ TOTAL(-): About Life

___ I love my body as it is ___ I do not love (---) about my body
___ I am comfortable in my body ___ I am not comfortable in my body
___ I treat myself with kindness ___ I do not treat myself with kindness
___ I enjoy leisure without guilt ___ I must always be doing something
___ I balance work and play easily ___ I use play-work to escape work-play
___ I touch others with gentleness ___ I am not always gentle with others

___ TOTAL(+): Physical ___ TOTAL(-): Physical

___ I like myself the way I am ___ I do not like (---) about myself
___ I am at peace with myself ___ I should be more/do more
___ I am calm and tranquil ___ My mind is always racing
___ I have great potential ___ I feel I have used all my potential
___ I value my mental abilities ___ My mind works against me
___ I can trust all of my thoughts ___ I do not trust ALL of my thoughts

___ TOTAL(+): Mental ___ TOTAL(-): Mental

___ I love myself the way I am ___ I do not love (---) about myself
___ I feel good about myself ___ I do not feel good about myself
___ I feel complete today ___ I feel I should have done more today
___ I feel happy and contented ___ I feel OK but not truly happy
___ I feel surrounded by love ___ I do not feel surrounded by love
___ I give and receive love ___ I find it difficult to express love
___ I am emotionally calm ___ My emotions are always stirred up
___ I am emotionally supported ___ My emotions work against me
___ I can trust all of my emotions ___ I do not trust ALL of my emotions

___ TOTAL(+): Emotional ___ TOTAL(-): Emotional

___ I make wise choices ___ I could have made better choices
___ I rejoice in my abilities ___ I rejoice in my possessions
___ I handle criticism with ease ___ Criticism makes me angry/sad
___ I handle conflict with ease ___ I avoid conflict at all costs
___ I face my fears confidently ___ I avoid my fears at all costs
___ I work to overcome my fears ___ I ignore fear rather than work on it

___ TOTAL(+): Self Mastery ___ TOTAL(-): Self Mastery

___ I am a resourceful person ___ I get by only when I have to
___ I am a capable person ___ I do most things satisfactorily
___ I am a responsible person ___ Others should not rely on me much
___ I am an independent person ___ I am not self supporting
___ I make decisions confidently ___ I do not always trust my decisions

___ TOTAL(+): Life Mastery ___ TOTAL(-): Life Mastery

___ I have a great future ___ Nothing much will change for me
___ I let serenity flow into my life ___ I am waiting for problems to happen
___ I look forward to each day ___ Today will be like yesterday
___ I feel great hope ___ I feel things will remain the same
___ I am optimistic and alert ___ I am pessimistic and wary
___ I must control myself ___ I must control others
___ I can make things happen ___ I just let things happen
___ I meet change without fear ___ I avoid change - I fear change

___ TOTAL(+): About Future ___ TOTAL(-): About Future

___ I am loved by God ___ I am not loved by God
___ I am a child of God ___ I am a child of man
___ I allow God to enter my life ___ I do not believe in God
___ I trust God's serenity ___ I do not believe God can help me
___ I believe God cares about me ___ I do not believe God cares about me
___ I am not alone: God is here ___ I am alone: God is never there

___ TOTAL(+): About God ___ TOTAL(-): About God

3> Calculate the TOTAL Score by filling in your results below.

___ FINAL(+): Image+Emotion ___ FINAL(-): Image+Emotion
___ TOTAL(+): About Me ___ TOTAL(-): About Me
___ TOTAL(+): About Self ___ TOTAL(-): About Self
___ TOTAL(+): About Others ___ TOTAL(-): About Others
___ TOTAL(+): About Life ___ TOTAL(-): About Life
___ TOTAL(+): Physical ___ TOTAL(-): Physical
___ TOTAL(+): Mental ___ TOTAL(-): Mental
___ TOTAL(+): Emotional ___ TOTAL(-): Emotional
___ TOTAL(+): Self Mastery ___ TOTAL(-): Self Mastery
___ TOTAL(+): Life Mastery ___ TOTAL(-): Life Mastery
___ TOTAL(+): About Future ___ TOTAL(-): About Future
___ TOTAL(+): About God ___ TOTAL(-): About God

___ TOTAL(+): ALL Above ___ TOTAL(-): ALL Above

___ Weighted: Total(+) x 1 ___ Weighted: Total(-) x 2

___ GRAND TOTAL = Total of Weighted (+) + Weighted (-)

Note: the "negative" statements are counted as TWO TIMES the value of the "positive" statements.

That is because it takes twice as much "positive" thinking to overcome the "negative" thoughts. The good news is that once the "negative" internal weights are gone, there is no limit to how your positive thinking will be able to transform your life.

4> Compare your GRAND TOTAL score to the ranges below to see where you ended up after "running the gauntlet" of your beliefs. The goal of doing this exercise quickly was to access the unconscious part of your mind that always tells you the truth about yourself. Remember: that for things to change, you must change. To effect lasting change, you must change your beliefs for they create your reality.

For Scores 819 to 318: Empowerment Range: You are the type that says "life is fabulous". You only have teeny, tiny, minor "blemishes" of negativity to clear away to make your wonderful life even more magnificent.

For Scores 317 to 0: Achievement Range: You are the type that says "life is good". It is good but it could be better because you have "blotches" of negativity you need to eliminate. You can tell what they are by looking at your results. You have enough self confidence to handle them on your own.

For Scores 0 to -585: Existence Range: You are the type that says "life is OK". It is only adequate because your negative beliefs, thoughts, and emotions have made it that way. You have several areas where negativity has taken root. You may need help from counselors to overcome these blocks.

For Scores -586 to -1287: Struggle Range: You are the type that says "life is hard". It is hard because your negative thoughts have manifested struggle for you everywhere in your life. You definitely need help from counselors.

For Scores -1288 to -1989: Disempowerment Range: You are the type that says "life is terrible". You are a virtual prisoner of your negative beliefs. For you "not feeling bad" would be a step up. You absolutely need to stop everything you are doing right now and get some counseling help!!!

Example: "It is your thinking that will change your life. Feelings come from thoughts. Start today to change your negative beliefs. You deserve it. Be good to yourself. Start being your best friend and stop being your worst enemy. Remember: Love makes all things new and the truth will set you free".
Mark Bedillion

Credits: adapted from "Alcoholics Anonymous: 12 Step Program" -



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