We have the ability to determine which thoughts we will act on and which we will ignore. We call this discernment.
Managing our thoughts is a normal part of our daily mental process. We recognize decision making as part of our regular process of thinking. We choose how fast we will drive our car, we choose what food to eat and whether we will show up for work, etc.
However, managing our thoughts can be done more deliberately and more consciously if we want to really accelerate our own personal power and quality of life.
We can increase our ability to function in our lives at a higher level by becoming more aware of the underlying thoughts that cause us to habitually choose one thought pattern over another.
Everyone has default settings in their brains. We automatically wear a certain type of clothing, we eat a certain type of food, we hang out with certain types of people, and we automatically fear certain events or situations.
It does not have to be this way. These are learned events. We can, through developing more awareness in the choices we are making (before we make them) so we can change the outcome away from the default setting.
Do you automatically drive the same route to work every day?
Do you eat the same food for breakfast every day?
Do you automatically get upset when certain situations occur?
What happens when you choose to do one of these differently? Are you willing to accept the challenge to change the outcome?
Our egoic mind is trained to accept life in a fixed set of outward expressions. It does not like change. In fact, if the change is too dramatic, it causes all kinds of pressure on you to give up on the change and stay in your comfortable rut.
When you decide to do something different, it fights you, doesn’t it?
Sometimes the pressure can be almost unbearable. You feel nervous, your mind starts making excuses why you should stick to the old way. It can even create circumstances to elude you into believe that making the change is not in your best interest. If you accept the illusion, you can forget making the change.
If you understand that what you are feeling and experiencing is just a tool the ego uses to maintain constancy, you can make good long-term changes. It is just a matter of understanding how to get through the change period.
How do you do this you ask?
The first step is to recognize what is going on in your mind. Hear the thoughts as the ego gets fired up about your desired change. Please understand that you are not obligated to accept or act upon any of the thoughts that pass through your head.
The thoughts in your head can be managed just like adjusting a radio dial. If you are hearing thoughts you prefer to let go of, you just need to adjust your dial; by making deliberate choice.
The second step is to be conscious of your breathing. Choose to be okay with the fact that you are making change and that you know you are safe to do so. Consciously take slow deep breaths from your belly allowing your whole body to fill with new vitality.
The third step is to be ready to make a different choice while accepting the fact that the choice may be a mistake. (If you have thought out what you are choosing to do, you likely will not die from it.)
The fourth step is to make the new decision. Making the decision to change, then acting upon it causes the radio dial to shift in your head.
The fifth step is to relax, keep focusing on your breathing and keep moving forward in your new decision while awaiting its result.
When you become of aware of how the outcome of your decision is coming together, you can adjust the steps you are taking. Do not allow yourself to go back to your default choice. Repetition and a relaxed determination will bring you long term change as long as you maintain focus.
Once you have made the decision to incorporate the change, you have undermined the strength of old beliefs. They can never have the same power over you again. Repeating the process with other fear based beliefs will dramatically strengthen your personal power.
Here is an example from my life.
I have long recognized my fear of heights. It was so bad that I would not walk across bridges or stand within 10 ft of the edge of a cliff. In fact, when I stayed in a hotel room on the 16th floor once, I would not even walk over to the window!
I was already aware of this fear but I had chosen not to do anything about it. However, I knew it was something I wanted to deal with as it was getting in the way of some things I wanted to do.
The opportunity to deal with this fear came upon me when I was visiting in Jamaica in 2009. As my lady and I were sitting on the beach sun tanning, a boat came by pulling a person who was parasailing. It looked like so much fun!
I could feel the tension from the fear rising in my body as I saw myself at the end of that rope seemingly a mile up in the air. My breathing became shallow as I thought about hanging from that long rope tethered like a kite up in the sky.
My mind quickly tried to make me think about something else as it yelled at me: “You could fall and get killed. You could get hit by an airplane flying by!”
As I recognized the thoughts going through my head, I focused on my breathing and calmed down. I decided that it was now time for me to deal with this fear once and for all.
I walked down to chat with a life guard who was sitting on the pier nearby. I asked him about the parasailing opportunity. I asked the typical questions about safety, how high they go up, etc. Then I asked him about the cost and how to get hold of these guys. I now committed myself to taking action.
I decided on the spot that first thing in the morning I was coming down to the beach with the correct amount of money in hand and I was going parasailing.
I had learned from my past experiences in dealing with fears that the nervousness and the negative thoughts in my head were all part of the ego’s game of trying to stop me, however, I had made the commitment. I knew who was in charge in my head!
When I got nervous or my mind filled up with counterproductive thoughts, I would just stop, take some nice long breaths and quiet my mind. I was going parasailing the next morning!
The next morning couldn’t come soon enough! I was now focusing on the excitement of trying something new.
After breakfast, I practically raced to the end of the pier where the boat was parked. I was very nervous, but I was committed! Part of me wanted to back out but I forced my body forward. I handed the man my money and we were off!
Am I ever glad I did! It was the thrill of a life time. As I floated 250 feet in the air I unloaded years of old fears and limiting thoughts about heights! I loved it! I felt so free!
The big challenge for any of us in changing our mindset is to keep managing the mind. Use your breathing to do it. Focus on your breathing to relax and to give your mind something to focus on other than the thoughts promoted by the fear. Keep managing the thoughts until you achieve your desired outcome.
Be okay if you don’t succeed the first, second, third or whichever number of times it takes. Just be determined that if it is really important to you, you will complete the task successfully. It is worth the effort. Always be your own true best friend. Rejoice at your achievement!
Once you have achieved your goal, repeating it will be easy!
Remember, the little ego mind is here to keep you safe, according to what it know as safe. It learned these rules when you were small, so these rules may not apply to you today as an adult. Overcoming limiting beliefs and fears can only be completed by conscious mind management, the process of deliberately choosing to make change.
Learn to recognize what your ego is telling you through your thoughts. Some thoughts may be good for you to validate and some may be causing excessive limitations. How you interpret them is up to you. The reward you get for your choices is also up to you.
You can only learn to get past those limiting beliefs by recognizing them, understanding how they are impacting your quality of life and making a change to re-frame the belief.
I believe that too often we are led to believe that we do not have the ability to make good solid changes by the people who love us or claim to have authority over us. Many people live at levels of life quality and health far below their capacity for only one reason-
They have not learned and accepted the amazing ability they have to change their lives by managing their mind.
Now that you have read this article, are you going to carry on in unconsciousness or will you start today to make those life changes that are holding you back?
One small step at a time is all it takes.