If You Want Better Behaviors And Experiences Then You Have To Change Your Thoughts And Beliefs.
We live in a diverse world where an infinite number of beliefs and thoughts exist in each person. These can be unique and specific to each person and they can also be held collectively by groups and societies. Take a moment to stop and examine some of these thoughts and beliefs that you personally hold. You will continue to see that your behavior and how you experience events in your life are largely affected by them. That's great news! Because you are in charge of what you think! And many of the beliefs that you currently hold are just thoughts that you have continually thought to be true over and over until they developed into beliefs. Most people just go through their daily life accepting their beliefs without even questioning them. They continue to think the same thoughts without even observing them. If things are going fine in your life then that's typically not a problem. But what about when you actually want to experience something different? What if you have a specific goal you want to achieve? Or what if it's something less ambitious but still highly desired like you want that coworker to stop being so irritating?
It doesn't matter what the situation or goal is. The starting place is still the same. It starts with the thoughts and beliefs we have, which then create the feelings we experience. (More on that in a future post). When you begin to examine your internal dialogue around a specific subject, then you will see exactly what it is that you believe about yourself in relation to that topic. If those thoughts and beliefs are in alignment with what you want, then all is well. If they are not, then there's a conflict and in order to get a new result, these will have to be examined and changed.
How do you change a thought or belief about something when what you think and believe are "true"? Well, first of all, by realizing that although it may be true for you, it doesn't mean it's ALWAYS true. It's true for you because you have evidence in your life to validate it as true. Because you have experienced events in a way that has reinforced those beliefs. This is where it becomes a vicious cycle. You have a thought. The thought creates a feeling. The thought/feeling causes you to act or react in a specific way, then that creates an experience that further reinforces that belief. Since most thoughts and beliefs are repetitive, then most of our experiences are just REactions with the occasional action. So, let's keep it simple for now and just start with some baby steps.
If you have an area of life that you want to change, start by examining what your thoughts and beliefs are around this topic. Write them down. Next, create some new thoughts that would be in better alignment with what you prefer to experience. Don't worry about whether they are true (for you) or not. That may have to come later. For now, just come up with some new thoughts that are better. Those thoughts can be the exact opposite of the original thought, or they can be a smaller jump to something that, while not in perfect alignment, might be a "better" thought for your desired outcome.
1. Goal: To eat a healthier diet.
Old thought: "I really don't like vegetables."
Better thought: "There are some vegetables I enjoy eating."
New opposite thought: "I love eating vegetables because I know they are providing me with great nutrition."
2. Goal: To have less stress with a coworker.
Old thought: "This person is incredibly irritating."
Better thought: "There are times that this person is ok."
New opposite thought: "This person has no effect on me at all. Everything rolls off my shoulders when it comes to them."
I have countless situations where I have done this. Sometimes I was able to just decide to have a completely different thought and it was easy to do so. Other times, depending on the situation or goal, I had to take baby steps to change my thoughts. Either way, in time, things changed. That's because the brain will actively look for information to validate your new focus.
Leverage the power of your mind to be in alignment with your outcome. Create new thoughts that naturally guide your behavior in the direction you want to go rather than trying to push against your own thoughts with willpower. You must find some agreement in your mind to sustain yourself. When you look for a better thought, choose the ones that you can agree with. There will always be something you can agree with in the direction you want to go. Even if it's just a slight shift, it's still a shift in the desired direction. As you shift, then you will naturally find evidence to support this new thought, which in time, will help to create a new belief.
1. If you have something you want to change or a situation that's not ideal, take a few moments and write down all the thoughts you have that cause you to feel the way you do. (This will be your old mindset)
2. On the other side of the paper write down new thoughts that are more in alignment with what you would prefer to experience. (This will be your new mindset)
3. As you go through your week pay attention to your thoughts. When you notice the old thoughts popping up, rather than denying them or resisting them, just tell yourself that's part of an old mindset that you're actively choosing to let go of. Remind yourself of the new and better thought that's part of your new mindset.