One of the biggest and most important influences on changing my life, at a time when I was feeling overwhelmed, tired and stuck, was re-evaluating and changing the way I thought. That is, I went about interrupting the unconscious patterns that were running in my mind and I installed a new way of thinking. If you get a sense that it sounds somewhat like a software upgrade on a computer or an update for an iPhone app, well in some ways you are right. It is not about creating a whole new you but rather just improving the areas that are not serving you well.
Here are my top strategies for weeding and nourishing the garden of your mind:
Whether you realize it or not, every word you use has a meaning attached to it and this meaning will affect the way you react to a situation. For example by changing “This is too much.” to “I am ready for this opportunity for growth.” you can change the way your unconscious and conscious mind deals with the situation. The first phrase makes us the victim, whilst the second prepares us for action.
Change The Rules
Sometimes the rules we have to determine an emotion can be so rigid there is no possible way of every feeling that emotion consistently. For example if you can only feel happiness when you have a million dollars in the bank, then you may be waiting a while to be happy. The other issue with this is that money can be taken away from you and therefore so can your happiness. When you create rules that are within your control, then it is easier to feel emotions on a consistent basis. An example of this could be I am happy when the sun rises in the sky to start a new day. At this present time it is considered a universal truth that the sun will rise everyday, so you have the opportunity to be happy everyday.
Create Space For Brilliance
When our mind is filled with the busyness of life, the resulting outcome is overwhelm and exhaustion. By creating space through meditation it is possible to reduce anxiety and allow the mind space for creation, creativity and peace.
Evaluate The Values That Drive Your Behaviour
Your values play a huge role on how you think, behave and operate. By listing your values and evaluating whether they are helping you or hindering your progress is essential. Internal values conflicts will halt even the most motivated person. A person who has freedom as their number one value will often feel trapped, as they acknowledge every time they cannot be free. eg. Following road rules.
What Else Could This Mean?
Commonly known as a reframe, using the question “What else could this mean?” can create new understandings. For example you may see your friend across the room and as you come towards her, she crosses her arms. You immediately feel shut out and think there is a problem. By asking, “What else could this mean?” you may realize she was standing in a draft and was cold. Perhaps she even begins yawning when you talk, do you immediately think she is bored? No, clarify – what else could this mean? She may just have had no sleep because the children are sick.
Embrace The Power Of Now
By embracing “The Power of Now” as a tool, it is possible to overcome anxiety and fear. When we train our mind to pay attention to the task at hand and halt thoughts of the past and future, we enter a zone of mindfulness for the job at hand. Those of you who love to plan may feel a little anxious over this but remember your “now” time might be set aside for planning.
Keep Your Mothering For The Kids
Within us we all have various parts that step into play at appropriate times. For example the part of us that is a mother will step into play when children are around or the part of us that is a perfectionist will step up when something needs to be done to a high quality. There are times, however, when these inner parts rear their ugly heads at the most inappropriate times. For example your inner mother comes out when your husband leaves a towel on the floor and he feels like he is being treated like a child or your inner perfection comes out when you have a tight deadline where near enough just has to be good enough.
Limiting Beliefs Are Just That – Limiting
When our beliefs are limiting, they hinder us from achieving our inner most desires. These beliefs seem real to us but when looked at from a different perspective may seem a little crazy. Keep an ear out for them. They may start with “I can’t because … ”. For example: “I can’t earn very much money because I didn’t go to university.” Ask Anthony Robbins (multi-millionaire) if he believes that?