How to transform negative thought patterns

October 30, 2009

brain photo blog sizeIf you are indeed serious about transforming your life, the first step is changing the way you think about yourself.

This is much harder than you might think, because your brain loves a good routine or pattern, and it is now stuck thinking negative things about you, as discussed previously.

It’s time to start challenging all of your previous assumptions about yourself , who you are, and why you do the things you do.

You must now begin consciously choosing thoughts that are the complete opposite of your usual negative patterns.

Positive thoughts are stronger and more vivid in nature. Like radio signals traveling through space, the waves that have more force behind them counteract those that are weaker in nature. Eventually, the synapses that support negative thoughts dwindle from disuse.

Just by repeatedly thinking something positive about yourself, something you want to think, on a daily basis, you can make your negative thoughts disappear in about 4 weeks. Positive thoughts will then affect your habitual emotions, your self-identifying belief systems, and your interactions with others.

The most well-known positive thoughts are called affirmations.  I’m sure you’ve all heard of these, but they really do work!  These are the chosen thoughts that replace the negative self-talk from childhood.  My favorite is to stand in front of a mirror, look myself directly in the eyes, and say:

“I love you and respect you exactly the way you are!”

Another way to challenge previous negative brain patterns is to begin questioning deeply your feelings about specific situations.

When you are involved in a difficult situation or feeling bad about a belief about yourself, first write it down.  Then separate yourself from the emotions of the situation and start diving deeper into the root of your unhappiness.  Play the “why” game with yourself.  “This make me feel bad.”  But why?  “Because I feel guilty (stupid, selfish.)”  But why?

In only a few cycles of “whys” you will begin to understand your feelings in much more depth, feel some compassion for yourself, and perhaps give yourself a break instead of feeling bad for the rest of the day about something you said or some other situation.

Your goal is self understanding and compassion.  Learn how to treat yourself at least as well as you treat others in your life!


What creates real human change?

March 4, 2009

joe-dispenzaI heard an interesting expert on the human mind and brain function last week. 

Dr. Joe Dispenza came to town to speak about how losing your mind can lead to the creation of whole new dimensions of your Self and reality.

You might recognize Joe as one of the scientists in the popular film “What the bleep do we know?” which came out in 2004.  That movie blew my mind!  I still watch it regularly to remind myself how much I’m missing in my limited day-to-day way of seeing my life.

Joe spoke here about how unlikely it is that any one of us will ever change very much if we keep doing things the same way and thinking the same thoughts which lead to the same emotions, like an endless, boring cycle in our brains.

Joe believes we are all “reality-producing machines.”  So to make any real changes in our lives we have to be able to think beyond our present circumstances, dream BIG, and then live as if that dream was already unfolding.

The examples he gave were Gandhi and Martin Luther King.  Both of these men saw little around them that would convince them that racism would change any time soon.  So they instead chose to live as if their own vision of a world without racism were already a reality.  In other words, they had to change their mind ahead of their actual real-life experiences.

So why don’t more of us do this?  Because we don’t believe we can change anything.  We don’t believe any of this visioning stuff works, so we instead get busy with our day-to-day lives and never get beyond that reality.

In this model, the only circumstances where real change is possible is through crisis or trauma.  Something big and undeniable may confront us and force us to consider other possibilities for our future.  In my case divorce and then job loss threw me for a loop, forcing me to think outside the box, and reconsider all of my previous assumptions about myself and my life.

According to Dr. Joe, this caused changes in my actual brain circuitry.  I began seeing the world differently right about the time “What the Bleep do we know?” came out.  I decided to change my mind and now it works better for me.  First I removed MANY of the limitations I had built around my existence.  I realized that I really could do anything if it was that important to me.

For me, crisis is when things get interesting!  My own private take away from Joe’s talk was the  revelation of why I unconsciously chose to became the crisis queen. Crisis is where change becomes possible!

Crisis opens up opportunities unseen before.  It creates interesting u-turns in our lives and somehow gives us permission to change something major.  When we change it is often to something we had only dreamed of before, in my case I finally became a writer after thinking about it for decades!

Crisis is exciting to me now.  It is a fool proof way of keeping life interesting!