The month of July hosts several Independence Day celebrations around the world.  July 1st was Canada’s Independence Day and here in the US, July 4th was our Independence Day.   While leaders strive to bring freedom to the outside world, it is freedom in your personal world that we write about this week.

Freedom starts within you and your relationship with your own thoughts and internal conversations.  You will never be truly free unless you are free from your own inner-tyranny and self-persecution.

In our education and training workshops, it surprises participants to learn that the three roles that make up the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer operate inside of themselves (we call this your inner-DDT), as well as how you relate to your outside world.

Many people do not realize their inner Persecutor is running in the background of their consciousness, influencing their beliefs about themselves and the world.   If your personal thoughts are critical, your peace of mind and emotional well-being will suffer, and you may never experience true personal freedom.

We have coached hundreds of leaders who, by all accounts, are outwardly successful.  But when asked about what they say to themselves privately, they often are their own worst tyrants.

Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have.  How you relate to yourself will have a big impact on how you relate to others.

Victor Frankl, a survivor of Auschwitz and the holocaust, wrote in his classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning: “The last of human freedoms is the ability to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances—to choose one’s own way.”

Fully embracing that you are always at choice is where personal freedom lives.

The key to making empowered choices and personal freedom is to understand how your mind works.   The more you understand that your inner Persecuting voice is really only one of many voices, it will loosen its grip.   Just because a thought pops into your head, doesn’t mean you have to believe it, give it any power, or act on it.  It is only when you invest your energy in self-criticism does a thought grow and Persecute you.

We all have self-critical and demeaning thoughts from time to time.  The secret is to view them as passing chatter.   Just a few deep breaths or a short conscious walk can help you quiet the voice.  Once you do this, you can calm yourself and realize that you are always at choice about what you believe and act upon.

Personal freedom is choosing what thoughts to give your attention and power to.  Just as you have the DDT roles operating in you, you also have the TED* (*Empowerment Dynamic) ® roles of Creator, Challenger and Coach operating in the way you relate to yourself and others.

As you become more self-observant and self-aware, you can choose your response to life’s challenges.   Taking responsibility for your choices will reinforce and grow the Creator in you and will enable you to act upon the freedom to create your own life.

The Creator in you helps to clear your mind and brings well-being and freedom to your life.  You will feel a lot more positive energy and joy when you see that freedom does lies within.  You may still hear your inner-tyrant from time to time; you just don’t have to give that voice any power.

You can choose freedom by understanding your true essence as a Creator – and give that voice unlimited power!