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Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get stuck in a mode of complaining about things even though that’s not you conscious intention? Why is this, even when we basically don’t want to be doing it? In personal growth work, understanding your thinking can be a great help with managing what you may think you are stuck with and not have any control of.
What I’m talking about comes out in a glaring way at times when we are in a group of people that gets going on complaining or criticizing another person. Have you witnessed how the group seems to get on a roll, with each person adding another and another related comment? If we are not careful about our presence of mind we can get pulled right into it.
Now, the reason complaining starts in the first place is a different matter, here I want to address what happens in our mind to keep feeding it. Once we start it is so easy to keep on with it and even enhance it even when it may not be in our normal character.
It has to do with the way your brain works, your brain is a seeking, answering mechanism. It wants to solve or satisfy what you are telling it through your conscious thought. Essentially everything you are thinking is a question to your brain. A question your brain is programmed to either answer by finding proof or find more of the same to validate your conscious thinking. Your brain wants to support and please you! It will quickly show you that what you are thinking is ‘correct’.
So, when you either start complaining yourself or you are listening to others complain, the brain goes to work finding more related content for you to back up your current thoughts. This validates your thinking, and yes what another person is saying, you are thinking about. If you agree or go along with what they are saying, you are thinking it yourself, thus asking for more of the same, or validation.
This is how you get a related thought popping up which leads to your statement about it. If you had complained, this new thought will likely be another related complaint. If you are making negative comments about another person, your brain will help you find more, and even bring up other people to criticize in a similar way.
Of course this works for all thinking, so it if very beneficial to you when your thoughts are happy and positive. Your brain will seek more of the same for you. The key in this is thought command. All of this brain activity is instigated by your conscious thought. Your conscious thought, which you can choose all of, is ultimately the director of your mind. If you are in command of your conscious and subconscious thinking.
However, the subconscious mind might be doing some things that it thought you wanted at an earlier time. This is where thought habits and beliefs are stored as programs to be turned on when a new related thought comes from your conscious mind. This is a topic for another article, but briefly, this is why you may have behavior that you are not sure why you have.
Even though these programs turn on automatically and direct your thinking and behavior, you are still ultimately in command consciously. You just need to recognize what is going on so that you can redirect or reprogram them as you now want.
In regards to complaining, in order to not have our mind help us complain, it is necessary to take command of our thinking. This means that you must first notice what you are thinking, then you can make a choice to keep on with it or change it. This is where the ‘master switch’ of your thinking is, in your conscious choice of thought. You don’t need to stay with a complaining though, or agree with others as they complain.
Just because something did happen, it does not mean you must let it continue. Because others are having a complaining session, or that you have noticed that you complained, you can choose to change that pattern of thought. You must specifically put in new thoughts, there can be no voids in thought, thee must be some thought. Choose a line of thought that is based more on being happy and loving.
Choosing your intentions and watching to keep your thoughts aligned with them is where you power is. Like anything with regards to managing your thinking, it can take some practice to get efficient at it. But doing what you can right now is better than waiting for some perfection, the doing will bring about more ability to assert your command of your thoughts.
Many will say that you must ask God to be given what you want, in a “will you please” way. But this is relinquishing your natural ability and right to know for yourself, to think for yourself and to choose what you want. What we receive from the Intelligent Universe is not based on the whim of a human like mind, it is a clear cause and effect system. We are here, as individualizations of God, to notice what’s possible and ask for it. And, yes we can expect it to come into our life experience, but we must prepare for it first.
We don’t actually make anything happen, God, the Universal Intelligence does that, but we do request it and allow it. We ask for it and we allow it to connect with us, through our thoughts, feelings and vibration. For anything that we ask for to show up in our life experience, we must first align with it – we must be the person who does, has or is that which we want. The thing we want will not change us, or make us into what we need to be, we must do that first.
Once you have asked for something through your thoughts, feelings or vibration, or usually all together, the Intelligent Universe gets it all set up for you. If you are still waiting, what you have asked for is already there, you are just not yet aligned with it yet.
What very often happens is that we think strongly that we are thinking and feeling in the right ways for something to occur in our life, but we are actually not. Much of our life is commanded by our unconscious thoughts, where automatic functions are in place to simplify your conscious thought requirements. It is here that you may have strong thought patterns that are not in support of what you say you want. And guess which thinking usually wins out?
You can have something blocked because you are obsessed with having it. I know this sounds odd on the surface, but I’ll explain, what can be a more powerful want than obsession? It’s what is linked to it that is the biggest problem. And the most common restrictive factor is, a condition attached to the desire. A commonly attached condition is one related to happiness. Like, “I will be happy when I have . . . “
* You notice what you want, picture it and you see happiness as part of having it.
* This picture in your mind, is what is conveyed to Spirit as what you want.
* The Intelligent Universe (God) goes about to set it all up for you.
* And your role now is to align yourself with the desired outcome and to take any actions you are guided through Spirit to take.
* For you to experience what you want, you must be a vibrational match for it. You must be the person who is in and at one with what you want. Your vibration is based on your thoughts and feelings.
* Then, like two perfectly matched magnetic puzzle pieces, you are drawn to what has been created for you.
Now, going back to the happiness condition we placed on our desire. That happiness condition says, “I will be happy when . . . ”
Notice this about your happiness – it’s not before, but when!
In order for you to be a perfect vibrational match for what you want, you must be that happy person first – before the match can take place.
So. . . this attachment to your desire that says “I must have this in order to be happy” is keeping you away from it. You are stuck in a cycle: you have declared that you won’t be happy until it happens, and the Universe will not connect you to the experience until you are happy. The two can never come together under this scenario.
Consider this, when you are saying that you will be happy when what you want shows up, you are saying that right now you are not happy. This is a command to the Universe, like all thoughts are. You are saying, and commanding, “I am not happy now.” This is what you will get, because this is what you are resonating with vibrationally right now. Unhappiness begets unhappiness.
So even if consciously you are saying clearly what you want, but you are not a vibrational match for it, it will not come. But at the same time, unknown to you, you are actually saying and resonating the vibrational match for more unhappiness. You get the thing you are resonating with. This could be considered a form of self sabotage as you are preventing yourself from getting something you say you want.
I’m sure you have heard before, “Be happy now”, well, now you know why. Because if what you want has happiness as part of it as most things we want do, you will need to be happy before the Universe delivers it to you. What you want is already there, waiting for you to be a match! Time is a relative thing we use in our reality, but to the Universe – there is only now. So what you are now, is what you will be when anything new happens. Think about it, anytime anythign actually happens, it’s now!
Also, many times when we are saying that we want something really badly, we are actually spending a lot of our time focusing on what we don’t want. What you don’t want may be the logical reason why you do want something, which is fine, but remember – what you focus on and resonate with will be what you get.
Noticing what you don’t want serves the purpose of helping you to identify what you do want, but don’t remain dwelling on it, or feeding it emotionally. Move on to focusing and feeling what you DO want so that you resonate with it. Our emotions have a very strong affect on our vibrational energy, which is why you’ve probably heard it’s best to get emotionally behind what you want.
Eckhart Tolle said in his book, A New Earth “You cannot manifest what you want; you can only manifest what you already have.”
This means that you must have a very clear picture of it, with appropriate emotional feelings and be a vibrational match for it. This is the state of being with it already in your mind, and feeling it, which includes being the person that fits into the picture.
The Law of Attraction is valid and it lines up with what Jesus and others taught us about how to operate our life, it just needs to be better understood for us to get what we really want.
This is one example of what can be going on unconsciously and there are other factors which can affect your easily getting what you want as well, I will discuss those in later posts here.
Your growth is a work in progess, if you undertake it.
A while back I saved an article I read about a girls college softball team that did something amazing. They identified with positive motivating statements and started winning games. This is a perfect example of how self-talk and affirmations can affect your actions.
It started when coach Kathy Straham of Sacramento State looked up 10 motivational sports related sayings and asked each player to pick two that they could relate to. The girls took this to heart and after receiving the sayings they started to win games, in fact they logged 8 consecutive victories ending the season as winning their conference.
Here are a few of the sayings that helped motivate the players into believing in themselves;
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” – unknown
“Ask not what your teammates can do for you; ask what you can do for your teammates.”
– Magic Johnson
“Champions keep playing until they get it right.” – Billie Jean King
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, you’ll find and excuse.” – unknown
If you say these statements to yourself and allow yourself to get excited about the meaning, your motivation will increase. When your motivation increases, you will do more, do it better and with more energy. Then you will see some success, which in turn increases your motivation, your energy and your desire to take actions. With more success comes more motivation, more energy, more action . . .
See what happens – all from a statement that you choose to internalize and get emotional about in a positive way. Many think that repeating positive phrases does nothing towards success. I know different and so does the team described above.
The power of doing this is in what it does to your thinking, then your feelings – that’s where the power is. If you are not experiencing what you want, your thinking is not supporting what you want, it can’t be any other way. By repeating a positive supportive phrase that is in alignment with what you want and who you want to be, you are essentially retraining your minds default thinking. Default thinking is those thoughts that just come up on their own, you can change that with better more supportive thoughts.
What statements can you come up with that support what you want?
What statements can you get intense feelings about?
Find them, read them, think about them, and imagine through them.
It starts with ‘I think I can’
As you make attempts with this mindset it will get easier to do and you will start to see more ways to align your thinking with the life direction or accomplishment you desire.
Are you focusing your time and attention to the right things? Are you placing importance on the right thoughts, feelings and behaviors?
Did you know that for most people, much of what they do in life was not consciously chosen by them? And many times we have done these things for so long they now do seem important to us, but deep down they really are not. At least not as important as what truly is deeply important. This is because doing so requires us to take command of our thinking and analyze the state of our life. But letting our minds just run things is easier, efficient and more comfortable. Most people have not taken the time to discover what is truly important to them, life just kind of goes along with many seemingly important activities going on all the time. Your brain will ‘take care’ of you in it’s own way and understanding this is very helpful if you want any kind of change in your life.
When you put your attention to something you will see and experience more of it, you will think about it more and even expound on it. Have you ever become interested in a certain model of car from reading and pictures, and then in the next few days you all of a sudden see lots of them on the road as you are driving around, and you hadn’t really noticed many before? Now that you have placed some of your attention, and maybe with some heightened emotional feeling, into the car you want your mind will help you experience more of the same. Your mind is just doing it’s job, to help keep you as comfortable as possible, and make your life easier with patterns, habits and easily repeated behaviors.
When you understand the way your brain works you can better work with it to get and experience what you want. In this case, it is valuable to be aware of what your mind will tend to do automatically so that you understand that you must be purposefully proactive with your thought and attention. Your mind gets programmed through repetition to see and pay attention to what you have already paid attention to. So if you don’t consciously otherwise direct your thinking, your mind will normally keep replaying the same things you have already done and have experience with. This is makes life easier, you don’t have to ‘think’ about a lot of things.
This is why we can feel as though our life has just been going on by itself, because it is. Until you step in, taking command of your thought, and direct your thinking – it will remain as it was. Well actually not exactly the same, your mind will continue to help you expand and develop on the theme – good or bad! In addition, whatever your mind focuses on becomes more important to you. This importance does not differentiate between good or bad.
When you place your attention on anything, this is a command to your brain telling it what you want. So, your brain works to fulfill this. Now this can be anything, even what you don’t want, or a bad experience, or a fear – anything you have focused conscious attention on your brain will help you experience more of it. This is one reason why habits are so hard to break, you keep falling into routines and have the same reactions and feelings over and over.
What can be done about this? Your brain is performing as intended but you are stuck repeating many experiences you would rather not have anymore or you want something new and different. You need to consciously take command of your thinking and override the automatic aspects of your brain. This is where your true power resides, in your conscious command of your thoughts. Just because your brain throws out thought and defense of it does not mean you must follow this – your conscious thought is ultimately in control. It may not seem this way because you have become accustomed to allowing the brain to keep things going automatically, but you can step in and take command anytime you choose.
You may not even know your deepest desires even though they have likely popped up once in a while. You will need to take some time and give attention to discovering what is deeply most important to you, it may not be what you have thought is important. There are different ways to go about this, with most consisting of quieting your chattering mind talk and learning to be receptive to inner information coming up to the conscious level. Doing things like asking yourself questions about yourself and becoming receptive to answers may not be something you are accustomed to doing, so it may take time, patience and persistence realizing that you are really in charge of your thinking. Even adding this kind of activity into your day means that you will need to make time by replacing something already present.
There are a few factors to be aware of that can hamper your progress:
Your brain will attempt to defend the repeating thoughts, throwing out ‘mind chatter’ to dissuade you from your new thinking and actions.
There is more short term comfort in what you already know, even if it is very bad for you. Keep your vision on the long term intention and satisfaction, as a way to get by the desire for feeling good now.
You must remain persistent, more persistent than the brains need to protect what you are trying to displace. Utilize whatever tools and techniques you can to help yourself stay on track. Persistence reveals the winner!
When you begin to see what is truly most important, you will then want to start to change what you focus some of your time and attention to. In order for the new desired experience to come to fruition you will need to continuously give it attention and time in your day. It is like a seed that needs to be nurtured. As you do this your brain will help expound on this and gradually have it become part of the automatic norm for your life just as it has with what you experience now.
Remaining in focus with what you have now or with what you don’t want will only tell your brain to perpetuate it. The first and necessary step for anything to change is your taking command of your thought and choosing what you do want based on what is important to you, then focus on it even if your brain throws up resistance. It’s up to you to choose your priorities and tell your brain what you want to focus on, not the other way around. Your brain will follow your lead once you’ve established your athority over your thinking. Take charge of your life, utilize your true power, choose your thought and your priorities.
Self-discovery happens as the result of conscious mental and physical action. Doing the same things over and over is not conscious mental action, it’s passive unconscious automatic beahavior.
We think we are thinking because our brains are working, that is not thinking. Real thinking is active curiosity, analysis, planning, dreaming and questioning. When you carry on only doing the same things each day in the same ways, you are essentially living one day many times. But when you are actively thinking, you are living a new day each day. And your personal growth and development is based on self-discovery. If you don’t find out more about yourself, who you are and what you can do, there is nothing to grow into. Becoming aware of yourself right now is the first important step- you can’t do anything about what you aren’t aware of.
I learned this lesson in my early 20’s when I was the night shift foreman in a precision sheet metal shop in the Silicon Valley during the initial electronics boom of the 70’s. The owner of the shop had hired a new brake operator who said that he had 20 years of experience doing the job. In this shop situation we did many small run jobs so there was always a lot of setting up the machines required all day long. The idea of someone with 20 years experience excited me because I was the main person doing all the set ups at the time, which kept me running from place to place to keep everyone productive.
When I was introduced to this new man, he looked at me, the 20-year-old, and gave me this look like, who are you to be my boss? I didn’t let it bother me as I had been working with others much older than I for some time. I showed him the machines where he would be working and gave him a basic run down of the current task at hand, and left him alone figuring he knew what he was doing. After about 30 minutes I got a chance to go to see how he was doing, I figured he would be well on his way.
He had not done anything! And guess what, his demeanor had changed. Right then I found out that here was a guy that had been using this kind of machine for over 20 years and did not know how to make a simple set up for one. All he had done for all those years was to put the parts in, hit the pedal to make it operate, and pull the part out – someone else had made the set ups.
Now I am not saying this to brag rather to illustrate the difference in how we can spend our time. Here was a man that essentially lived the same year 20 times, never progressing with his knowledge, skills and activities. Then, I was a 20 year old who started this kind of work when I was 16 and at this time had been doing prototype work and now running my own shift making most of the set ups for everyone there. My previous 4 years were each different as I progressed through the learning and skill development process.
My point here is not to judge someone for wanting to remain doing the same things for years but rather to illustrate how we can look at our use of our time. Everyone has their own life path and certainly can choose as they will. But if you are not experiencing life as you have dreamed, you can do something about it. It comes down to choice, if you are enjoying your life as it is great. But if you have been thinking about wanting your life to be different and you can see that you have been doing the same things in the same ways for a long time, you can do something about it.
How this all fits into self-discovery is this, when your mind is actively working with questions, finding solutions, being creative, and trying new things you are setting yourself up to discover more. Just ask yourself this question, if what you are doing and how you are doing it is working and satisfying, why would you seek a different or better way? You wouldn’t. You mind is designed to help automate as much as possible for you so doing simple tasks and operating your physical body do not require a lot of conscious thought all the time. Can you imagine the mental burden if you had to consciously think about all this basic stuff?
Your mind is consciously engaged as you choose to engage it. Your conscious mind does always have something going on, but if you do not actively engage it, this thought tends to be mainly repetitive, as you know. In order to engage your mind you are actually asking it questions or giving commands. Your brain will serve to solve these questions and fulfill the commands. And this is when you really discover many things. You discover more about yourself, more about how to do something, and more of what is possible for you. All this because you are engaging your brain with active thought.
Take a look at what you are doing? Enhance your self-awareness. Are you moving forward at the pace you are happy with? Do you feel stuck in a repetitive cycle? Do you like where you are, or not? Asking questions of yourself is a great way to stimulate self-discovery and get your life moving in the direction you want. And, to find out what you are truly happy with right now. Personal growth and development is a daily ongoing process, to keep it going, pay attention every day.
Have you ever been overwhelmed with fear as you have faced doing something? We all have I think, each at our own level, with some becoming physically immobilized by it. If your fear feelings overpower you to the point of inaction you have given fear the upper hand. I stated it this way on purpose, your fear is not doing anything to you, rather you are allowing the fear to affect you as it does – it is all within your thought. And you have command over your thought and feelings as well.
When you get the fear feelings based on doubt, worry and uncertainty you choose to allow these thoughts to roil around in your head. You choose how you interpret them and how you react to them. A fearful thought does not come pre-packaged with a specific set of feelings and behavioral commands. Those too are of your choosing.
When you let yourself remain in the fear, you are choosing to have the fear guide your actions. It’s a logical progression to react to the fear feelings based on how most of us have developed our perceptions around fear. But when you realize that you have created the whole cycle in your mind, you can begin to see that you have ultimate command over the whole cycle. You can change this existing cycle of perception, interpretation and reaction to one that is more supportive of the life you want.
Dr. Wayne Dyer is well known for saying in the Power Of Intention that – when you change the way you look at things, the way you look at things changes. He is referring to your perception, which may appear at first to be totally automatic but it’s not. Well it is and it isn’t! It is automatic as it functions now, but you have the ability to change it and have it automatically be different. Just because you now, as most do, react to worry, doubt and uncertainty with fear thoughts does not mean this is the only way or that it must be this way.
So how did your perceptions, interpretations and reactions get the way they are? And why does it seem that this is just the way they should be? Because you were taught these things by those you were around as you grew up. You took on the perceptions, interpretations and reactions of those who provided the greatest impression on you as you grew up. Your mind allows this, unless you consciously step in to stop it, because it seems normal in the environment you were in when young and highly impressionable. When most or all of the people you are around do it ‘this way’ there is no red flag raised in your thinking to question it, so you don’t. Their way becomes your way.
This is how your behavior and that of groups, families and societies is formed and why it appears to be ‘normal’. And the fact that many people behave in a certain way does not make it the best way, many times it is just the easiest way. It is easier to conform than to take a unique path. You don’t have to remain stuck in the mode of allowing fear thoughts to control your actions. You have command of your thinking so you can change the whole cycle or mental chain of events that occurs with fear. Initially the thoughts of doubt, and some uncertainty are normal when you are facing something new, different or challenging but you don’t need to let the heightened feelings well up and create this big fear thing that you then cater to.
You can change the way you look at doubt, worry and uncertainty. They are just certain thoughts questioning what you are about to do. “Am I prepared?” “What if ____?” “Maybe I won’t remember?” “How will they react?” “How do i look?” These are mostly logical concerns about what you are about to do and if you can answer them logically, without emotion, you can clear them up and soothe your mind. Some you can specifically answer and check off the list and others you will determine you can’t do anything about, so you do not concern yourself with it any more. Choose to leave out the doom and gloom thoughts, the “i can’t” thoughts that are not part of the original concerns – they are your reaction to those thoughts.
Just because you are concerned with how you look, dies not mean you should stop from doing it. Just because you are wondering if you are prepared or not does not mean to turn and run. Just because you have not done this before does not mean you can’t. Your interpretation and reaction to the logical progression of thought leading up to your planned action is what causes you to freeze up. But even when you allow the feeling of fear to well up over these thoughts, still does not mean you must behave in a certain way. You can proceed with the fear, don’t interpret the fear feelings as a stop sign. Just acknowledge those feelings and move on. Accept them, realize how they come about and let them be. Fear thoughts and feelings in themselves can’t do anything, only when you choose to react in specific ways do they. Choose not to react to them.
In acting they teach actors and actresses to channel their fear. It’s not that that many don’t have it, but it’s how they have learned to handle it. Many who perform live or speak in from of large groups are nervous every time before they do. But rather than letting this stop them they are able to channel the energy in the fear towards what they are doing. This actually transfers that heightened energy you notice with fear thoughts into their performance or presentation. Have you ever noticed that some performers seem to have a different ‘personality’ off stage than they do when they are performing? Many are quiet and reserved when talked to away from a performance, but when on stage they come alive with energy and boldness. I wonder where that comes from -re-directed fear perhaps.
Everyone has the ability to do this, to transfer that energy attached to fear thoughts onto something else, like what it is you want to do but feel afraid to. It’s really a matter of perspective, yes, how you look at something and how you interpret it determines what you will do with it. Have you noticed how that when you have chosen to do something you feared you did it with a higher energy level than you normally operate with? This is that energy re-directed to something of your choice, which better supports what you want.
In fact sometimes your energy is so high, in a calm way that you are ‘in the zone’ able to do what you are doing without much conscious thought. This is how powerful it can be to channel your fear associated energy onto the task at hand particularly if you are prepared to do it. As you may have found, even being prepared for something still does not prevent you from feeling fearful about actually doing it, but preparation does make it flow better once you get yourself to go.
Don’t allow your fears to slow or prevent your progression in life, choose to change the way you look at them so your personal dreams can be expressed fully. When you feel the fear and do it anyway, you choose to let it be and proceed as planned, and channel the fear energy into your planned actions to enhance your performance. As you do this, like with anything, over time it will get easier and easier. You will be actually re-training your unconscious thought patterns to automatically behave differently, to do it the way you want it done. Dropping the emotional reaction to logical thoughts can allow you to address them and move on. Once you have checked your hair, it’s good -stop dwelling about it.
Remember that you have command of your thinking not the other way around. It may seem that your thoughts and feelings run the show, but this is just because of the default programming that had been allowed to become established as you were developing. At the time you did not know any better or different so as to guide this development differently. But now you can change your perceptions of everything in your life, you can alter how you interpret everything that you see, and you can adjust your reactions to these as well which in turn changes your behavior. Choose what best supports; the life you want, what you want to do and how you want to feel.
What keeps us from doing all that we want? Many say that personal
growth and development and self awareness are our number one
priorities in life, yet most spend very little time and attention
towards this end. Some people do not realize how important it is to
continually grow, in fact they may not even realize they can. Many
people know that they can continue to grow, develop and become more
self aware, but they don’t do much about it.
And then there are those few that seem to be able to actively keep
moving forward on their life path. Why? They allow their thinking
to focus on their enlightenment, on how they think and act on a
regular basis, not just once in a while. They are able to let their
mind calm down and get quiet, allowing the chatter to fade away.
They are willing to allow their fears, doubts and worries to be
present in their thought, knowing that these thoughts can’t
actually harm them – knowing that avoidance just postpones not
There are different reasons why we all don’t actively participate
in our own personal enlightenment, but one of the main reasons is
due to distraction. The human mind can actually do only one thing
at a time, those of you that think otherwise are just good at
rapidly switching from one focus to another. So what we choose to
think about determines much of our life experience. In relation to
distraction, when we think about is something that helps us feel
comfortable or think we should be doing because of our life
responsibilities we are not focusing on growth and self
Now I’m not here to tell you what is and is not important in your
physical life, but I know that you need to apply some of your time
and attention to your inner growth which includes how you think and
act. So what keeps you from doing this you may not even be aware
of. Since it is normal for humans to seek happiness, which we
equate to comfort, we tend to avoid uncomfortable thinking and
feelings. And we do this in many ways, some are our daily
activities. We may not be aware of how our daily activities can be
getting the way of our growth and self-realization
Things you may do to avoid discomfort:
Listening to music
Listening to talk radio
Playing video games
Hold on! You say, “these are normal things.”
Yes they are, but they can all be used as a distraction. And only
you can know what role they play in your life. Like anything,
moderation is usually the best.
There are two situations you may be avoiding.
1)If you tend to go to any activity when you feel
uncomfortable, you are probably escaping. Sure you will feel better
doing something you are familiar with, but this behavior can just
postpone what you are avoiding or even make it worse. What I’m
referring to here relates to more discomfort than simple relaxation
2)One of the biggest things you may be doing without
knowing it is avoiding real thinking. This is when you are
uncomfortable with allowing your mind to run through the incessant
mind chatter, which shakes your worries and doubts in your face, to
the point where your mind is clear.
Life requires balance, and what I have found is that for most, any
self-growth is pushed into a small corner receiving only spare time
attention – sometimes. Are you running in circles doing the same
things each day and not seeing any change? Are you frustrated with
your life? There could be an initial feeling of discomfort when you
choose to allow yourself to think freely and not choose a
distraction, but this will pass. Using methods of relaxation and
meditation will help.
If you want more for yourself take a look at what you do and why
you do it. Take a look at what you do everyday towards your own
personal growth and development, to what you are doing towards
self-realization. Only you can know if you are using activities to
avoid something that is actually more important. Choose to set
aside time to just relax and think – this is how you can get in
touch with your inner self on a more regular basis.
The choice of how you spend your time is yours and the result is
your life experience.
Tips and tools for daily personal growth, increased happiness and
Are you actively expressing gratitude every day? You should be. Expressing gratitude is one of the most powerful acts you can do to support your personal growth. There are always even minor things around and in your life that you can start to feel grateful about. The act of focusing on what you are thankful for places those things to a high value in your mind. And what you think about greatly affects your life.
Is your gratitude as potent as it can be? We know that thoughts are powerful, but what is even more powerful? Thought that has emotion added and focused thoughts are far more powerful than plain thought. This is why we tend to see more of what we fervently dislike in our lives, because there are strong emotions attached to the thoughts.
So how do we add emotion and focus to thoughts about gratitude? Write down your thoughts, in a gratitude journal, to engage more of your senses. Your mind is using many more brain cells with the act of writing, thus more of your brain is engaged.
First, Your emotions will greatly increase when there is more brain involvement. And your brain will better be able to link multiple related positive thoughts to your gratitude statements enhancing positive emotional feelings. The number and strength of the neural connections in your brain actually increase with the added activity with writing. The more attention given to anything, the more it will affect your life. The addition of positive emotions will supercharge your gratitude.
Second, your mental focus is enhanced as it takes more of your mind to do the writing. Your mind is pumping out thoughts all the time, how would it know that you want specific thoughts to be more important than all that chatter? You add this importance by giving the thoughts more attention. Writing down what you are grateful for and allowing your related emotions to develop clearly moves other thoughts out of your awareness. You can truly only think one thought at a time. The act of writing helps keep you from bouncing from thought to thought. Gratitude thinking is the kind of thought you want to spend your time with, it is positive and uplifting.
Start a gratitude journal. It can be anything from a fancy hardbound journal to a simple spiral notebook, all you need is blank space to write. With a physical journal it is easier to set up a routine to use it, and it is easy to review when you want a little boost or motivation. You can establish a time of the day to pick up your gratitude journal and express your thoughts and feelings. This helps create a good habit that you will follow over time.
More on Gratitude, Effective Personal development Blog
One of the things that makes it tough to change your thinking is the attachment to existing thoughts.
At first you may think that you wouldn’t do such a thing when the new mode of thinking is what you think you want. And of course this is true, but there is the aspect of your mind that loves to hold on to what you know and are familiar with. It’s very much like how a magnet automatically attracts iron and steel. Your existing thoughts seem to have a power of their own. They don’t of course, other than through your allowing them to.
But the hard part comes with your not always being aware that these thoughts are even there. Your unconscious mind harbors these thoughts which are integrated into your base mental operating system
Two aspects that are very powerful with us humans are the desire for comfort and following the familiar. Even when thoughts are not really in our best interest but are familiar to us, we will gravitate towards them, craving what is known.
We generally have a hard time facing the unknown, thus we shy away from it rather more often seeking what is known and comfortable. In our desire to eliminate the unknown, we attempt to define, categorize and organize everything to put it all into neat order that we can feel comfortable with.
This of course can not actually be done. In reality everything is in constant change, but because we are generally uncomfortable with new and different, we seek the known no matter how inappropriate it may be for us. This is also why thoughts and actions that don’t serve your best interest are so readily held onto and acted upon automatically in your unconscious mind.
“Change is inevitable, growth is intentional.” — Glenda Cloud
Part of your mind is trying to help you feel comfortable by building a database of what you have already experienced and use this as often as possible to help you feel good. One of the basic human drives is to feel good and our unconscious mind is geared to help accomplish this.
I know, how can doing something that is harmful such as a bad habit be comfortable? It can in the sense that it is known. It is more comfortable than what you have not done before because at least it is known to you. As you know many people will hang on to some very destructive habits without knowing why. This is one of the main reasons why change is so difficult.
For the most part you are unaware of this mental activity as your unconscious mind efficiently streamlines many of your thought processes. Don’t get upset with your brain, it’s just doing it’s job. Just imagine if you had to consciously think about everything your mind did – you wouldn’t have time to do anything above your basic life support, if that.
“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” — Abraham H. Maslow
Our unconscious mind, much like a computer operating system, performs many functions without our need to be aware of them. But also like a computer program, your automatic brain functions can be altered. As a programmer can go in and change a program such as Microsoft Word and get it to perform different functions, you can change many of your basic thoughts, feelings and perceptions that automatically guide your behavior.
The question is – are you willing to face your basic comfort seeking programming in order to experience something new and different in your life? You must choose to step into the unknown, into what is new to you and away from what you have been deriving some comfort from. On the surface this seems and feels unnatural – but it’s not.
Learning to face and accept the uncertainty of the unknown releases your ability to change your lot in life, realize your potential and increase your happiness.
Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.”
This applies here with your perceptions about the unknown, comfort and feeling good. When you change how you look at change, the unknown, anything new, you can affect your related behavior and how your automatic unconscious mind tries to keep you away from it.
Your life is designed to continuously develop with you becoming more of what you are capable of as you go along. When you allow yourself to shy away from change you are actually stopping this free flow of growth. When you see something new as being somewhat painful because it is different, this is a perception – a choice. Something new and different does not come with discomfort attached that is your doing. Nothing comes with perceptions or emotional feelings attached – that is all of our doing.
One of the most powerful self-help methods is totally free. Ask yourself questions, the right questions. Your subconscious will seek to answer your serious heartfelt questions. And questions can be used to assist with changing the way you perceive the unknown and change so that you welcome it rather than avoid it.
Ask yourself, “How can this be beneficial to me?”
“How can this be more beneficial than remaining as I have for so long?”
“How can this, new and different activity, better support the life I want?”
The questions you can ask are endless. It will take a little practice to figure out what to ask, just keep playing with it – having the intent of creating effective questions you will discover the right questions for your situatuion. You will also likely need to learn to listen for the answers. Quieting the incessant mind chatter is necessary and can be done in various ways such as breathing and meditation.
Another angle for questions is to ask yourself why you feel as you do about change, comfort, happiness, new and different to see if you can get clarity into your perceptions about them. This then allows you to see what you don’t want which then leads to the opposite, what you DO want.
Take the position mentally that something new and different is basically good and beneficial, ask questions seeking how this is. Rather than your old way of looking at change as uncomfortable and undesirable. Look for the benefits, not the detriments – this is a change of perception. Your emotional feelings will follow your perceptions, you will feel different about change when you look at it differently.
Be proactive with how you look at things, choose the perceptions that best support the life you are meant to live. Just because you have had a certain perception now does not mean you must keep it forever. The first step is to change the way you look at change.
“Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.” — Herbert A. Otto
John Halderman teaches and writes in the areas of personal growth and development focusing on effective methods for self actualization, increased satisfaction and happiness. For more:
Another article in the ‘Daily Action For Self Improvement’ series, articles focusing on the personal development and growth actions you can take daily to support a high level of happiness and satisfaction in your life.
In looking what you can do each day to support what you want in your life – check your thinking throughout the day.
Ask a simple question of yourself, “Am I a magnet for what I want?”
You see, your predominate thoughts direct your magnet. Unfortunately, spending a lot of time thinking about what we don’t want seems to be the norm.
But doing this just defines your creation magnet – so you are essentially requesting more of what you don’t want.
You do this when you re-play in your head;
What you don’t like,
What you are upset about,
What you worry about,
What you are afraid of
And, this is so easy to do, it is automatic. But it doesn’t have to be. You can stop and shift ‘thought gears’ whenever you want.
The first option is to switch your focus onto something, anything that you can feel good about. Get yourself to delve into this topic for a while to divert your attention.
It is easier to replace thought with another thought than it is to try to get yourself to just stop the current thinking. Replace your thought with something desirable.
A second option when you catch yourself stuck in ‘the negative thought spiral’ is to look for the opposite of what you are thinking. Usually at the opposite of a dislike is something you would want. Identify this and place your focus on it, allowing yourself to feel better.
Wherever your mind is – you are seeking more, even if it is what you don’t want. So, train yourself to not remain in that state of whirling around in what you don’t want – use that to look for the opposite, what you do like. Or even just switch to thinking about anything to get your mind into a happier place.
To get yourself to begin to notice more often what you are thinking about try this:
Get a 3 x 5 card to take with you for the day.
Write on it –
“What am I thinking about right now?”
“Does it make me happy?”
“What else can I be thinking?”
Keep this where you will see it often. It’s good to put it somewhere where you will accidentally notice it without thinking about it. This helps you catch yourself off guard so you can take notice of your thoughts. Using a tool like this can help you to learn to take more notice to what you are thinking all the time.
When you are aware of your thoughts, you can decide if you want to change them.
John Halderman teaches and writes in the areas of personal growth and development focusing on effective methods for self actualization, increased satisfaction and happiness. For more: