Inner Engineering is the Key to Positive Results in Life and Love

Libby Shively McAvoy
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All of the answers we seek are within. So why then do we look to others for external validations, for answers in troubling times, for things we actually already know? There are many reasons for this. Sometimes we lack confidence and feel others are more knowledgeable, sometimes it is pure laziness, sometimes we simply want validation that we were right, and other times we subconsciously do not realize we knew the answer all along.

I believe happiness is overrated and the key instead is joy or contentment, which comes from within, and the way we achieve this is through a positive growth mindset. We achieve a positive mindset by inner engineering our thoughts and feelings, and connecting our bodies, minds, and souls.

Many people are afraid to tune out the chaos of the external world and go within because they have been living on autopilot for so long that if they go within, they may not know themselves anymore. But the journey within is the only way to find authenticity and to inner engineer all of the subconscious parts of our mind that create self-limiting patterns of defeat. In essence, we need to re-program all that we have been taught to believe to become who we really are.

Eight Steps of Inner-Engineering

  1. Awareness: Increasing personal awareness is the first step and then awareness of those around you.
  2. Acceptance: Practicing self-acceptance and self-love exactly as you are where you are is incredibly important. From there you can acknowledge where you wish to go, but you must accept yourself along the way.
  3. Forgiveness: It is critical to forgive both ourselves and anyone from our past who may have hurt us. Shame is one of the most harmful emotions we can harbor. We do not need to tell anyone we forgive them, but instead do it for the release within ourselves.
  4. Detachment: Detaching from outcomes and expectations frees us fromdisappointment.
  5. Kindness/ Non-harming: Compassion and kindness, living without harming others allows us to live with a lighter heart.
  6. Non-judgement: Observe free from judgement. We need to not only allow our own emotions to flow freely without judgement, but we also should not judge others. We never know the kind of day someone is having or what they have experienced in life.
  7. Practice the Pause: Learning to respond rather than react when our emotions are heightened is critical. It is also important to learn healthy self-soothing responses when emotionally triggered.
  8. Mantras and Positive Affirmations: Mantras shape our reality and re-program our subconscious thoughts creating more confidence.
“This too shall pass”
“I can do this”
“My thoughts become my reality”

Why these Inner Engineering Practices Work?

I can tell you with certainty these practices work because I stopped caring what other people thought of me. I stopped living to please others. I stopped living on autopilot and started living authentically. And when I did, I became a magnet for success. At first, I was scared I would lose friends. And the truth is the people I surrounded myself with did shift a bit. Now I am surrounded with more inspiring successful people. I no longer play small. I am not afraid to take risks. It is incredibly empowering.

When you live authentically people can sense that, and it is more attractive than trying to be someone you are not. I started to become part of something bigger and connect to the divine within as well as to realize my connection with the entire universe as a whole. I am not afraid to spend time alone, but also like to connect with like-minded inspiring people. The difference is I do not rely on external validation, nor do I become a chameleon and try to blend in. I now maintain my autonomy.

Awareness is the catalyst for change and improvement. It all begins with personal awareness. If I see something in myself that I am not proud of I can then work to improve it. Likewise, if someone else points out a flaw rather than having my ego bruise, I simply take it as a challenge to rise to the occasion of self-improvement. Being aware of those around me helps me to know how my energy is affecting them and how theirs is affecting me. If someone is draining my energy, I remove myself from that person and situation.

Acceptance allows me to be at peace with each situation as it is rather than wishing it to be otherwise. The more I practice acceptance the more I know everything is temporary and the less stress I carry.

Forgiveness can be a difficult concept and task, but it is an important task. If we do not forgive it can cause physical illness in our bodies and minds. I have learned to forgive my mistakes and the pain I have caused loved ones. I have also learned to forgive those who have caused me pain. I have even forgiven my ex-husband for the extreme physical abuse. I did not have to tell I forgave him, but I chose to because I knew he was harboring that grief as well. I refuse to hold grudges because I know it only hurts me in the long run.

Detachment helps me so that I set myself up to succeed. Being attached to outcomes and having expectations always seemed to lead me toward disappointments. In relationships, being too dependent on someone led to heartbreak. It is important to maintain my own interdependence and not get too attached to anything or anyone.

Living with kindness, compassion, and non-harming to me leads to contentment and joy. I treat everyone as my equal with respect. I love living this way and also respect others who live this way. I have been vegetarian and sometimes vegan for fifteen years now. I do not judge those who eat meat, but this lifestyle works well for me. I feel light and completely content and healthy.

Non-judgement is the only way to go in my humble opinion. I try to observe free from judgement. I have made many mistakes in my lifetime so who am I to judge anyone. Who is anyone to judge? And nothing bothers me more as I age than gossip. My mother used to say, “If you have nothing nice to say, do not say anything at all.” I now live by that motto. We never know what someone is going through or has been through. So, rise above and extend a smile. It will lead you toward a positive life. Judgement will lead you toward a negative life.

Practicing the pause by taking a few breaths has saved me from saying and doing many things I may have otherwise regretted. It is nearly impossible to control ourselves when we are in a heightened state of emotion or triggered by our sense of Fight or Flight. So, when you feel anxiety heightened, pause, and take several deep inhales and several deep exhales. Have self-soothing techniques available that calm you down such as walking outside, listening to music, or calling a loved one. Then, respond rather than reacting. A response is well thought out, calm and respectful. A reaction is when we blurt out an emotional string of words that we often do not mean that can be hurtful.

Mantras and positive affirmations were uncomfortable to me when I first started practicing. I find it best to write them on a sticky note and place it on the bathroom mirror. Then say it out loud looking at myself in the mirror several times a day until I finally started to believe it. Then I would repeat it in my car and throughout the day. I find it especially helpful to say them just before a big meeting or stressful situation.

“Imagine your mind like a garden and your thoughts are the seeds. You get to choose what seeds you plant in it. You can plant seeds of positivity, love, and abundance. Or you can plant seeds of negativity, fear, and lack. You can also spend time trying to take care of everyone else’s garden. Or you can work on making yours beautiful and attract other beautiful people to your garden.” ~Jake Woodard

Speak Kindly to Yourself

In addition to tuning out the external chaos it is also important to quiet the inner critic. We need to speak nicer to ourselves. It is important to question negative thoughts and to turn them into more positive thoughts when possible.

How to Recognize and Turn Negative Thoughts Positive

  • Labeling- labeling is a form of judgement. Remind yourself that one negative event does not define you.
  • Blaming/Shaming- avoid playing the victim role by trying to see the situation from the other person’s perspective. The blame will not always fall on one person, and it is important to take responsibility for seeking solutions and moving forward.
  • Catastrophizing- Try not to make it any more negative an event that it is. Try to find any positive you can in the situation. Stay present and in the moment.
  • Polarized Thinking- try not to think in black or white. Be less extreme and try to remain flexible in your thoughts and ideas.
  • Jumping to Conclusions- making assumptions is not helpful. You do not know what might actually happen. Ask logical questions and collect evidence.
  • Personalization- try not to take everything so personally. More often than not the way others treat you is more about them than you.

A positive mindset creates resilience.

Not every day will be great. Even a very positive person will encounter difficult situations and sad or deep emotions. A positive mindset allows me to find things I am grateful for even in those difficult times, it allows me to see different perspectives, and to hold on to the hope that things will improve. Once I recognized the different forms of negative thinking and learned how to question those thoughts and turn them more positive I was able to attract more positive outcomes in my life as a result. I am now able to “bounce back” from difficult situations much faster and more effectively.


If you wake up in the morning and struggle to get out of bed, or struggle with positivity in general, create self-care rituals that bring you peace and joy such as lighting a candle that reminds you to honor the light within your soul to shine bright. Consider playing relaxing music or practicing a guided meditation that allows you to quiet the mind and turn your attention inward. Write a list of all that you are grateful for and/ or all of your positive qualities. And finally, practice positive mantras and affirmations that will reprogram the subconscious mind to think more positively.

Creating these self-care rituals and tuning into your internal needs will reduce stress, boost immunity, and strengthen your relationships with others by building your own confidence and resiliency. When you love yourself you are ready to love and be loved. If you choose to love and embrace another person life has the opportunity to become even more fulfilled. If you are satisfied on your own that is a personal choice. Either way, now you can see how a positive mindset can attract positive outcomes in life.

You are worthy of living your best life and the way to achieve that is through a positive mindset. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Wishing you all a positive outcome on whatever it is you are wishing for.

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Libby is a Personal Development and Relationship coach specializing in emotional intelligence. By blending motivational speaking, leading yoga and wellness retreats, and writing, she has mastered the art of living her best life while helping others.

Cincinnati, OH

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