Saturday, May 14, 2011

change your thoughts and you change your world. the how-to of change.

i never quite understood the power of the phrase "you are your own worst enemy", until i started to uncovering what it was that was holding me back. i have a list of the silliest excuses: i'm tired, i can't because i have to clean up my house and defrag my computer, i will tomorrow cus right now i need to relax, i'm too stressed with school etc.etc.etc. but the only reason i haven't done what i've wanted to do is me. thomas edison said "if we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves".. so why don't we accomplish all that we want to? what could possibly be in the way of me now. vs me succeeding in my goals?

the truth is: it's our thoughts. i am a firm believer that thoughts create reality, what you subconsciously tell yourself will result in what happens to you. this isn't a sermon of "think happy thoughts" and to sugarcoat even the most traumatic experiences, this is a fundamental tool that will show you how absolutely powerful your thoughts are. Lao Tzu said: 

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

we don't realize it, but when you tell yourself you look fat in the outfit you're wearing, or that you're an idiot for not turning in your library book on time, or even that you wish you could have so&so's accessory/trait/whatever, you're subconscious doesn't know the difference between facts and mindless negative self talk.  have you ever met those people who have the shittiest 'luck', and they'll tell you about every negative, destructive, energy-sucking detail about what they've been through? there's no coincidence that what they're focusing on keeps reappearing. they aren't aware that they're being controlled by their own limiting beliefs — beliefs that many of us don’t even know we have.

despite all the awful things you've been through, you can absolutely change the way you see yourself, people in your life, opportunities that come your way, and even the world. Just as cleansing and detoxifying your body can be important to maintaining physical health, cleansing yourself of limiting beliefs is the key to creating vitality and wellness that will steer you toward greater success and happiness.
this is how you can change your thoughts, and thus change your world. 

how beliefs work:
our beliefs are just simply thoughts and ideas that we've repeatedly told ourselves until they've become merged to everything we do in almost all aspects of our lives. we understand our beliefs as truth, even though they were created as only an idea and begin to act from them. inspirational, empowering beliefs can give us the drive we need to become what we seek to become. but on the other hand, destructing, negative, limiting beliefs will only take us as far as that idea will let us go.

Polly Campbell explains that parents, teachers, friends and even television programs influence our limiting core beliefs, many of which we absorb unknowingly as children. they become embedded in our unconscious and affect everything from how we feel about ourselves to how we interact with others, succeed in our careers and accomplish our goals.

yet, by identifying and exploring our unconscious beliefs, we can release those that are sabotaging our success and replace them with conscious beliefs that support, inspire and empower us toward our greatest selves.

at, they show you how you've been programming these beliefs into your identity, and how to release the ones that are holding you back. 
how to identify a limiting belief:

1. notice what you complain about. if you are constantly frustrated or complaining about the same thing — three times or more — congratulations, you have uncovered an unconscious belief. If you are always complaining that you feel criticized by your boss or spouse, for example, which belief do you hold that suggests you deserve to be criticized? if you complain about how little you have, what belief do you hold that indicates you don’t deserve more?

2. look clearly at your current circumstance. you say you want to lose weight, but your cupboard is filled with cookies and chips. perhaps you think you’re ready for a loving relationship, yet you work so much that you leave no time to date. your current circumstance is a physical representation of the beliefs you hold. If you aren’t moving toward what you want, chances are an unconscious belief is catching you up. often, Hendricks says, we don’t recognize our core beliefs until they create some negative results. look closely at the results you’re getting — if they aren’t what you want go deeper and explore the beliefs behind them.
3. pay attention to the self-talk. what is your inner voice saying? is it encouraging and helpful, or does it sound narrow, constrictive, even guilty? the words we use with ourselves (and others) are powerful and often evolve from the unconscious beliefs we hold. next time you’re in a situation that feels stressful or scary or difficult, stop and pay attention to that inner voice, then cross-examine it. awareness can diffuse the power of that negative self-talk and allow you to choose language that works with you rather than against you.

all of these techniques require an openness and a willingness to explore your own thoughts and experiences. that isn’t always comfortable. go easy. take on these beliefs with gentleness and plenty of self-compassion.

in order to change, we don’t need to beat ourselves up or criticize ourselves. in order to change, it’s important to love and accept the very thing we’re here beating up on.

how to boost your self esteem:  
once you’ve identified the beliefs you want to change, recognize them for what they are — repeated thought patterns. bad habits. with practice and commitment, you can trade out the bad beliefs for better ones. Here’s how to do it.

1. stop the behavior pattern. become aware of your behavior. if, for example, you catch yourself buying doughnuts when you want to lose weight, or you’re surfing the web instead of developing your resume for that dream job — STOP. take three deep breaths and notice that your behavior is coming from your unconscious limiting belief and it’s sabotaging you. now, put the doughnuts back, click off of Facebook, or pick another, better behavior that aligns you with a more empowering belief.

2. develop a new conscious belief. next, choose what you do want in your life and develop a belief to support it. if you want to have a healthier body, replace your limiting belief of “I can never lose weight” with a better one: “each day I make healthy choices for my body.” go for greater abundance by replacing old beliefs such as “i don’t deserve it” with “i appreciate and embrace all the abundance in my life.” repeat your new belief often. practice it. write it down. consciously take actions that support those new thoughts. in time, you’ll form powerful new habits around your empowering beliefs.

3. cultivate support. One of the reasons people stay the most stuck is that they have a group of friends around them that support their victimhood,” polly says.

if you now subscribe to the belief that you are talented and competent and ready for that big promotion, it’s not easy to be around people who don’t take you seriously or claim that you’re not qualified. just as living with a spouse who makes mac and cheese every day can be hard on your weight loss plan

as you and your beliefs evolve, it’s important that you have a support group that does the same. talk to the people closest to you. tell them what you need and desire, and ask them to support you in that. But know, too, that often when we drop our limiting belief patterns, we must also release the friendships, habits and other things in life that don’t align with our new way of thinking and living.

4. make a commitment and take action. commit to your new belief and support it with consistent and specific action.

if, for example, you replace your limiting belief that you don’t deserve a loving marriage with a better belief that you are deserving of a loving relationship, you’ve got to start acting on that belief. perhaps that action inspires you to marriage counseling. maybe you will behave more lovingly toward your partner by openly appreciating him three times a day or doing three things to support your relationship.

changing your beliefs will alter your actions and that becomes life changing. when you uncover and detox from the unconscious draining beliefs that are keeping you stuck, your life will open up and expand. you’ll be free to adopt better beliefs and behaviors that will help you grow into your greatest self and create the life you desire. you have to believe it.


  1. jan, chey, this is dedicated to our summer.

  2. June 13th! I'm excited. I started writing today!