Some of these beliefs we are consciously aware of and others remain hidden in our subconscious. Whether we are aware of them or not, our beliefs can have us choosing the same path and, like a sled on a snowy hill going down the same tracks repeatedly, we can literally get stuck in a mindset rut. Two things are a constant: our thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies as they shape our reality and it can be hard to change them.
Our perception of the present is coloured by our past, and the meanings and feelings we have assigned to our early memories. We all carry subconscious beliefs which we have absorbed, like sponges, in our early years and up to our late teens or early twenties from the people and environments that have shaped. As well as the good, we have absorbed other people’s baggage, limiting beliefs, opinions and perceptions. We have stored in our memories the perceptions and feelings that we associated with our early experiences.
Our thoughts shape our reality.
Our beliefs lead us to habitually think the way we do and to perceive the world in the way we do. Our habits reinforce our beliefs, thoughts and feelings, which lead to specific actions that determine our results and experiences.
The childhood experience of doing something or not doing something which ended up displeasing a parent or teacher could have been interpreted by our child-self to mean that:
- I am not good enough to...
- I don’t deserve….
- I can’t….
- I should…..
- I shouldn’t……
- I will never be able to…..
As the saying commonly attributed to Buddha goes:
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 your character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
As ancient wisdom has it, “change your thoughts, change your reality”.
Our thought patterns can range from extreme negativity to abundant positivity. We think and communicate in varying degrees of pessimism and optimism. Persistent negativity often prevents people from transforming their lives. Automatic negative thoughts are a defensive mechanism, with the goal of protecting us from potential threats and loss, which can get out of hand through persistent worry. This ends up limiting us or preventing potential solutions and seeing greater possibilities. We can remain stuck in the “survival” mode of automatic reactions which limit creativity, innovation and change.
Beliefs can be difficult to change and are often resistant to rational thinking and logic, but when our beliefs change, life can change.
We know that positive change begins with a change of mind or adoption of a new mindset and thought habits. However, we may attempt to change behaviours without changing the underlying drivers of those behaviours, making it difficult, time-consuming and ineffective.
Why is it so hard to change these in our adult life?
We are naturally wired to stay within the safe known zone and to resist change. Our conscious systems were designed to keep us safe at a time in our evolution when threats to our safety were immediate and real. Change meant uncertainty and the possibility of pain or danger, so our brains resist change and revert to the relative safety of the familiar, which often keeps us stuck in a rut of the safe and familiar even though this is no longer serving our best interests.
It helps to explain why we can sometimes get stuck in jobs and other situations which make us unhappy and why we don’t take action when we have opportunities to grow and change. There is an inner conflict between wanting to be safe and facing the fear, taking a leap of faith, and getting out of the perceived comfort zone.
Some barriers to change:
1. We’re often unaware of the limiting beliefs stored in our subconscious
2. We’re programmed to stay safe, to avoid pain and danger and not to like change
3. Our Reticular Activating System (RAS) selectively filters out information that is allowed into our conscious brain. We often experience what we expect. We see what is congruent with our beliefs and the RAS ignores the rest.
4. Our mirror neurons allow us to feel empathy and emotional contagion, where we take on other people’s moods. Being in a negative environment, surrounded by negative people is contagious and keeps us in a negative cycle.
5. Fixed mindsets – a tendency to focus on what went wrong, what could go wrong, to overgeneralise and to label things without being able to see the possibilities
6. Cognitive dissonance – we rationalise why we can’t be/do/have things we want that are not supported by our beliefs. When we don’t take action in order to stay in the comfort zone, harmony is restored, but we miss out on our goals and potential
The good news
· The neuroplasticity of our brain gives us the ability to change our neural paths (the wiring of our brains) through new behaviours, thoughts, environments, emotions and experiences. It makes self-development possible and allows for greater resiliency, adaptability and persistence in conquering our challenges and achieving our goals
· Optimism can be learned. The concept of learned optimism is at the heart of positive psychology. Achieving a state of optimism can be done by being fully aware, challenging negative thoughts, and putting ourselves in a supportive, positive environment, surrounded by positive people.
· You can apply positive psychology to promote happiness and support greater success. Quoting Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, “Happiness gives people a competitive edge”.
· Mindsets can be changed from being fixed to being focused on growth. A person with a growth mindset will persevere and seek solutions. They will see the big picture and modify their approach in the face of failure. They will be more willing to work harder and tackle challenges.
· The practice of gratitude is considered one of the most powerful life-enhancement tools, which makes us happier, and focuses our thoughts away from the negative and towards that which we want to create more of.
Even better news
There is a new technology which can help fast-track the reprogramming from our ingrained limiting thought patterns to a more positive mindset. It is called MindPT.
Kim Serafini, an Australian and a best-selling author of the “I am gr8ful for you” and “I am gr8ful for life” books, is a pioneer in the spa and wellness industry. She developed the Lithos or Hot Stone Therapy which is now widely used around the world. MindPT is Kim’s latest offering and is the most recent and the most exciting of her endeavours. It is already causing a lot of buzz in the US, where it has taken off due to grabbing the attention and imaginations of some very prominent people in self-development and in positive psychology.
It is a very effective way to prime the mind for positive change and success and a better life by elegantly combining the latest scientifically proven principles from neuroscience and positive psychology in simple to use, daily transformational sessions, which can be viewed in as little as 3 minutes a day using your mobile or other device #1.
It bypasses the filter of the critical conscious mind, creates a receptive, meditative state and primes the mind for positivity and success. Available in a simple, easy to use and fun format, it replaces the need for static vision-boards and gratitude journaling. Providing a dynamic array of positive images and affirmations, it combines the practice of gratitude and creates a positive emotional contagion effect, which has the same impact as actually being in a positive environment with positive people. Each session can be personalised, by slotting in your name and own images and affirmations to the existing session.
Shawn Achor, an American happiness researcher, author, and speaker known for his advocacy of positive psychology is now using MindPT as a key training tool in his 21 Days to Happiness program, which he delivers on the OCourse (Oprah Winfrey). He uses it to increase self-awareness and put power back into the trainees’ hands to automate success. To quote Shawn, “MindPT is at the forefront of the movement to combine technology and positive psychology research to make positive individual change easier and prime the brain for success”. There are many others in the field of personal development, such as Michelle Gielan, Christine Carlson and Jack Canfield who have quickly seen the potential and are endorsing it.
MindPT resonates with me and I am now one of the first coaches in Australia to use it in my coaching as a motivational and transformational tool for helping clients stay in a positive mindset, goal focused and on track. Clients have reported that they felt calmer, happier and more focused at work after just a few weeks of continuous daily practice. After only a few weeks of regular daily practice one client, who had previously felt stuck and unhappy at work, mentioned that he was asked by work colleagues what had changed about him as he seemed happier and less fazed. This is someone who had felt stuck in a rut and not enjoying work for a few years! It turns out a change in industry was not required after all, as he had feared. He found he could tweak his internal and external environment in order to enjoy work again, which provided him with a solution for improving his current situation while implementing goals and strategies for navigating the next steps of his career journey.
MindPT is being embraced by psychologists, hospitals and those in the health-care and wellness industries in the US and starting to get discovered in Australia. A US health coach and hypnotist shared his experience of MindPT on a live weekly coaches group call recently. Commenting on his own daily practice, he said “I truly like how it makes me feel. It boosts my mood. I feel more energetic and I’m ready to go”. As a hypnotist, he spoke of the ABS principles of hypnosis:
· Get Attention
· Bypass the critical faculty
· Stimulate the unconscious mind
He saw MindPT as a visual hypnosis, saying it does all those things, and now plans to have it play a big role in his hypnosis practice and in boosting his clients’ transformation. This person is also an expert in the field of sleep medicine and is planning to create a tailored MindPT session specifically targeting sleep problems. to add to a library of many different sessions currently available, which cover many areas, ranging from achieving goals to boosting immunity and winter wellness.
This fun and easy to use tool has grabbed my attention as a career coach and someone who loves to facilitate people’s personal and professional development. I love to see the possibilities and to be the catalyst for spreading and implementing great new ideas in order to help others to achieve positive change and fulfil their potential. I can see many possibilities and applications of the technology in being used as a transformational tool, including helping people to overcome self-limiting beliefs, shifting negative thoughts and supporting positive mindsets so they see greater possibilities and fulfil their potential.
What’s next for you?
It is possible to get out of the mindsets and repeating thoughts and behaviour patterns which sabotage our life experiences.
Your “stuck in a rut” situation could be quite different from my case studies, but the advice to “change your thoughts, change your reality” still applies. Developing a deliberate mindfulness practice and recoding limiting thoughts and beliefs will open your world to greater possibilities and shift your reality. MindPT is one new tool which, judging by all feedback from current research and case studies, appears to be able to fast-track our transformation and results #1. This could be just what you need to achieve your own breakthrough.
Click here for more information on MindPT or contact me at email@example.com to find out about the coaching programs I offer to help people achieve their own breakthroughs.
#1 “Priming the Mind for a Better Life” by Kim Serafini, Jarmila Gorman and Cheryl Valk, 2015
#Mindset, #positivepsychology, #neuroscience, #happiness