“What your life is like today is the result of prior past conditioning and decisions. You learned and co-opted beliefs and values from others while growing up. You came to some of your own conclusions, based on those you co-opted, from experiences you had.
You believe you are a free agent and independent thinker. To some extent that is accurate. Another way to consider this is that your mental mindset was formed before you had choices about it. You got it from others, it is habitual and it runs the show.
Your reactions are wired in. You are preprogrammed, it works reliable and it makes you predictable. We all are. This is both marvelous and not so marvelous. On the marvelous side it means we are able to learn and learned while very young and very well.
Your Past Never Defines Your Future If You Don’t Allow It
It operates without much conscious thought so it is reliable and consistent. We don’t have to relearn things over and over again. It works well for us. We are resourceful in many ways. We are conditioned and able to function perfectly.
The down side is much of what we learned is outdated. It served us better at one time than now. It is mostly other people’s opinions of life and of ourself that we live from, rather than our own. It can run counter to our own conscious desires and goals.
At the same time it may be why we have certain desires and goals and not others. We are a mix of really wonderful incredible processes and abilities and some not so great software, to use an analogy. If we have some faulty software we get faulty results.
Your Future Is Programmed By Your Thoughts Not Your Past
If your life is crap it is because you ALREADY, outside of you own awareness, decided it is crap. The decision was made for you, by you, out of the old chronic conditioning. Your very own habits determine how you would react to things. Do you understand this?
Your prior programming is both a blessing, it truly is, and a limitation, it truly is. It is absolutely both. Many good and wonderful things have come about because of who and what you are. Some limitations present themselves too. Don’t succumb to blaming self or others.
You are both wonderfully resourceful and limited. Accept yourself and love yourself for who you are. Your past condition is not unchangeable. Some of your past is excellent too. Remember that. You can keep the good while ridding yourself of limitations.
Let Go Of The Limitations Of The Past And Keep The Good Past
Since these programs, this conditioning runs on and on, consistently and reliably, if you want to change things YOU have to do it now. Others programmed you in the past but now only YOU can change that programming. This next piece is important to understand.
You react before you have any awareness of what is happening. That is how the brain works. It learns to do things and then it does them automatically. Something internal or external triggers a programs and away it goes. It runs on and on, often, before you even know it.
Until or unless something happens to alter it or stop it, it does what it learned to do. Habits are wired in. There are good habits and good programs that run a lot of your life. There are other habits many might label less than glorious. We are a mix of many things.
The Best Way To Predict Your Future Is To Create It
For example, getting very mad because traffic is ‘bad’. You don’t have to. Some people don’t, but, you do because that is what you’ve always done. Somewhere at sometime you reacted that way enough until it became a reliable neural highway! It became habit.
You could have learned it from parents. If a particular role model always yelled and screamed at traffic, it is reasonable that you might. It isn’t written in stone that you would, but there is a good chance you learned to do similar things. Experience and modeling shapes us.
Chemicals squirt and electric impulses fire off in a particular sequence and voila’ ROAD RAGE! It is reliable. It is automatic. It happens so fast. It happens nearly every time. You live with road stress. You’d prefer not to but you haven’t changed it, yet.
Everything Is A Blessing – A Learning – An Opportunity
Imagine this occurs day and night, to work and back. That is NO way to spend your time. It is no way to spend your time in a car. Some people are worse, but many others are far better. They aren’t bothered at all about traffic. For others it may be a mild nuisance.
The only way to change it IS to change it. You have to get inside and make a new decision before the old one fires off. BUT how on earth can you do that? How do you extinguish the chronic behavior? You have to teach the brain ‘Not That’ but ‘This’ instead.
You have to train your brain to NOT DO THAT but to do this other thing instead. You have to shift from rage to relaxed. HOW? Awareness is the key. You can’t get inside before the trigger results in a flood of electro-chemical activity.
You Have A Rare And Unprecedented Opportunity Before You
You must catch it shortly afterwards. The sooner the better. SO you must become sensitized to what sets it off. You must know the trigger. You must know the trigger point. You do this by deciding to change it. That is the first step. You make a decision.
You catch yourself after it happens and re-direct it. This is one way to approach changing it. The other is to pre-program what you want. Imagine it, visualize it, the way you want it to go instead. I’ll discuss this aspect in another blog post soon. Stay tuned.
One thing you can’t do successfully is think ‘I won’t get angry’ or I will not get angry.’ What is the key word in that sentence? Angry, right. SO if all the rest of the sentence weren’t there what are you left with? Angry. If you take away, ‘won’t’ and ‘not’, what have you?
Start Your Day With A Smile – Enjoy Every Moment Of Your Life
You are left with the thought ‘I will get angry’. The mind doesn’t accept negatives. It works only on positives. Similar to computers that function by code the brain has its own way of doing things. It says yes to everything. It ignores and doesn’t process, the ‘no’.
If you say, ‘I won’t overeat’ you are communicating ‘I’ll overeat’. If you say, ‘I do not want to be poor’ you are saying ‘I want to be poor’. Your subconscious responds to your thoughts AS commands. It does what you are telling it not to do, over and over again, habitually.
To begin to change you must change your thoughts and language by rote repetition and will. You must specify and say what you want. If you say, ‘I will only eat healthy’ does you brain know what you intend? It is better to specify. ‘I will eat green leafy vegetables.’
You Can Change Your Life – What We Think We Become
You can soften it a bit, at first, by saying, ‘I will learn to enjoy eating green leafy vegetables’ or ‘I will eat green leafy vegetables and like it.’ If you say ‘I want more money’. How much is more? 50 cents, a dollar or two is more money. Will that satisfy? Specify the amount.
Say, ‘I will make an extra 50 dollars a week.’ Or whatever amount you actually believe you can make. If you said a million, while it may be possible, it certainly is, if you don’t believe you can do it right now, start with a smaller amount you do believe and work your way up.
Then you get things working together for you. It’s important to believe your new declarations. If you say, ‘I will exercise everyday’ and you don’t believe it, chose a number of times you know you will and start with that. Then gradually add to it. Work up to it.
Believe You Can – Believe You Can – Believe You Can – Believe
Success breeds confidence and confidence breeds success. The more you successfully take small steps toward a positive outcome the more likely you will succeed. You will build your wins and as a result win more often. Drop by drop the tub gets filled.
It begins with awareness. The first awareness is that you want to make a change. Specify and clarify what you want in positive terms. Say, ‘I will behave in loving ways towards my children when they…’ rather than ‘I won’t get mad or upset when they…’
Know what you want. Specify it. Use positive phrasing for the declaration. You subconscious doesn’t care what you choose so you must. If you say, ‘I am stupid’ you subconscious mind says, ‘YUP’. If you say ‘I am smart’ your subconscious mind says ‘YUP’.
This Is Your Life Shape It – Take Charge Of It – Or Someone Else Will
Either way it will find examples from your past and your circumstances that demonstrate precisely what you said you were, stupid or smart. So learn to clean up your language. Whenever you utter something that leads to a bad conclusion you can change it.
The instant you hear yourself utter a less than glorious phrase, think or say, ‘Cancel’. or ‘Cancel that’ and change it to a positive phrase. You can think or say to others if you slip, ‘That is what I used to say in my past’ or some variation of that.
Put any behavior you don’t want into your past. That is something you used to do, but ‘thank goodness, I do ________ (insert positive behavior or thought) instead’. Become aware when you make assertions or declare how things are, when you don’t want them.
The Smallest Things You Do Can Lead To The Biggest Changes
Assert and declare what you want even if you don’t have it yet. You will eventually because you focus your mind on what you want to go after instead of what you don’t want. It will go after either without care, so you must determine which is goes after the most. Get it?
Clean up your language. Place less than glorious behaviors and thoughts into the past. Frame it in your mind as something you used to do but thankfully you are wiser now and you think and do better things. Stop reinforcing what you do not want. Is this clear?
Reinforce ONLY what you do want. Whenever you think ‘I don’t want that’ STOP and switch the thought and the utterance to what it is you do want. Clarify what you want and affirm that. ‘I want this’! This is how you begin to train you brain and mind to work for you.
Age Is Of No Importance Unless You’re A Cheese Or A Wine
You train it to work for you to do what you want it to, instead of what it learned to do while you were very young and not in charge of it. NOW you take charge. Whenever you ask yourself a less than glorious question you change the thought and the language too.
When you catch yourself asking things like, ‘Why do things always suck for me?’ or ‘why am I unlucky?’ STOP and ask yourself a positively phrased question instead. Cancel the first and ask ‘Why I am I so blessed that good always happens for me?’ or ‘How come I am so lucky?’ Phrase it in the positive for yourself and ask away!
To change you must change what you are doing and do something you rarely did or never did before. You must clean up your thoughts and those things you say to yourself. A useful exercise would be to write out the limiting statements and questions you make .
I Am A Product Of My Decisions Not My Circumstances
Then write out their opposite positive statement or question. Take your ‘will nots’ and make them ‘I wills.’ Create a list for yourself of the ones you know you do. The others, you aren’t aware of, you will catch as you make progress. You can absolutely change this!
You can end what holds you back and begin living in a new, positive, delightful way. Remember, every declaration you make about you, others, your circumstances, anything that follows the words ‘am’ ‘have’ ‘is’ or ‘are’, are affirmations, whether positive or not.
Stop negatively affirming and your life will improve. You get what you focus on. Stop putting energy and attention on the less than glorious and put it onto the positive and glorious. Focus on the good right now in you, others and your circumstances and your future.
If You Want Success Start Thinking Of Yourself As A Success
You will make the invisible good that you desire, the good you don’t yet have, visible and you’ll come to own it as you focus on creating it for yourself. Be proactive! Make these changes and you will bring about incredible opportunities and blessings.
I’ll share more in the next blog post. Meanwhile, focus on the good, the present blessings in your life and feel grateful for all. Declare it and emphasize it. Repeat your declarations whenever you can. Think them and say them out loud. Enjoy saying them and delight! Celebrate everything!” Rex Sikes
Today, make it wonderful!
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Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.
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