Every day you are being bombarded with messages; in conversations, on TV, on the radio and very powerfully 24/7 through social media. Images are strategically placed on billboards to catch your attention and there are more free newspapers than ever before. Is it any wonder your mind goes into meltdown? Is it any surprise that so many of the thoughts in your head are not your own, rather a mix of these messages that have stayed with you?
Add to this mix the messages shared by friends, family, work colleagues and what have you got? A melting pot of ‘how to’, ‘when to’, ‘whether to’ and ‘if you do’ thoughts to live by!
Then there are your life experiences. These also shape your way of thinking, believing and behaving. When you look at it like that, it’s easy to see how the 12-30,000 thoughts per day we are said to have, occur (note: many of these thoughts are replays).
This constant activity can often block out the messages that are truly helpful or needed hence the need to master your mind.
Mastering Your Mind focuses on breaking down the constant chatter, the messages you send to yourself that create limiting beliefs, the barrage of information that stops you from being calm and the mixed messages that counteract each other so even when you are doing your utmost to work from a place of positive thinking the underlying thoughts fight back.
Unblocking the blocks will help you to move from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’ without the constant worry about the outcome. Unblocking the blocks will free you to do more than you thought was possible for you…
Your brain system, the Reticular Activating System (RAS) has the job of filtering the many pieces of information you receive from others, your environment, television and everything that is going on around you. Realistically you cannot absorb all of this information on a conscious level so the RAS filter determines what goes in and what stays out. This varies hugely from person to person based on:
1. The beliefs the individual holds (I can, I can’t)
2. The expectations that are put on the individual (I should, I shouldn’t)
3. The emotional state of the individual at that time (Where am I now – and this will vary from topic to topic)
4. What the individual is focused on (what is important or is the individual making important at that time)
Here is an example to drive the point home:
If you believe you are destined to be poor and one of the messages being sent to you is an opportunity to become rich, your RAS is likely to seek out the messages that support your focus (being poor), refer to where you are at that moment (being poor), refer to your beliefs (you are poor) and throw out any opportunities that tell you any different because they do not fit with the ‘belief model’ of your life. The RAS does not allow conflicting information into conscious thinking. It has enough to manage.
When you tell yourself ‘things are rubbish’, ‘life is too difficult’, ‘money is in short supply’ or ‘relationships are not worth the effort’, your RAS will send through the information that supports those beliefs, feelings and focus.
So, when I say you can choose to create the life you desire, it is a real choice however, there is some serious rewiring that needs to take place to make it happen.
A 6 Step Process For Mastering Your Mind
Mastering your mind isn’t done magically; it takes commitment, time and focus. But if it matters to you, this 6 step process is certainly one way to help you on the journey (and I say one way because I believe there’s always a variety of ways to achieve something; this one just happened to work for me):
- Question Your Beliefs – Why do you believe the things you do? What has influenced your thinking?
- Understand Who & What Planted The Beliefs – Who has influenced your thinking? What authority figures have you turned to/listened to over the course of your life? Are their inputs still relevant to you? Do the beliefs they passed on to you still important to you (if they ever were)?
- Identify Negative Long-Term Consequences Of Your Beliefs – If you continue to believe what you do, how might those beliefs affect your future? How might they limit you and hold you back?
- Transform Your Thinking & Labelling Consciously – Start considering how you think about things and identify more supportive beliefs, the type that will help you achieve the life you desire. Even switching your constant negative what if’s to positive ones can have an impact (instead of what if it all goes wrong – what if it all goes right?)
- Interchange Poor Beliefs For Empowering Ones – Begin to use language that empowers you and that creates possibilities in your thinking, replacing the negative language of the past.
- Take Charge Of Your Thoughts & Emotions – You might not be able to control all your thinking and all that you feel however by committing to wanting the best for yourself, you can begin to challenge old disempowering thoughts and behaviours, and you can rein in your emotions when they appear to be getting out of hand.
Practise these steps consistently and you will get positive results. It may take time but with every new empowering thought will come better actions, building better habits and creating the life you desire… As for negative thinking – Quit It!