Just. Think. Positive.
If only life was so simple, eh?
Sometimes, they've read The Secret or watched a YouTube video on The Law of Attraction and they've become excited and hopeful at the prospect of using positive thinking to transform their lives.
It appeals to their logic and seems to make sense.
They recognise that the majority of their thinking is negative (there is a very good reason for this which I'll share soon) and rationalise it must be their negative thinking to blame for not having the life they want.
Positive thinking, therefore, becomes the missing piece of the puzzle to getting what they want.
Except it isn't. As you'll soon see for yourself.
In this piece, my intention is to share why positive thinking doesn't always work and what really works when it comes to programming your mind to give you what you want.
The Limitations of Positive Thinking.
The biggest limitation with positive thinking is it goes against the way our brains are actually wired.
Our ancestors survived because they were cautious pessimists who expected the worst.
Imagine it's the Stone Age, and two hunter-gatherers - we'll call them Bob and Bill - are out hunting in the woods.
They hear a sound, a loud rustle in the bushes.
Bob is a pessimist. He thinks the worst, believing the sound was a Sabre-toothed Tiger and feeling he'd better move on through the woods pretty quickly to his usual safer hunting spots. He legs it.
Bill, on the other hand, is an optimist. He thinks more positively about the situation and tells himself the rustle in the bushes wasn't a hungry predator, it was just the wind. He doesn't leg it. He gets eaten.
What sort of person do you think was more likely to survive? Bob, the pessimist, or Bill, the optimist?
You know the answer.
Negativity kept our ancestors alive.
Even in the modern world where we're no longer being stalked by predators, our Brians still have the same #1 Intention as those of our ancestors... Survival.
Although the threats in modern life are different, our brains still have a Negativity Bias to ensure our survival.
The Negativity Bias means we are for my likely to notice and remember negative events compared to positive ones.
Our brains are like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones - Dr Rick Hanson.
Which is why we stay awake at night worrying about our colleague's comments in the boardroom.
Why when we get home, we're more likely to talk about what went wrong during the day rather than what went well.
You may be thinking to yourself, given we have a negativity bias, isn't positive thinking a good thing?
My answer is, possibly.
If I choose to think positively, I'm using my Conscious mind which is creative by nature.
I can dream, imagine or think using my conscious.
The conscious mind is only about 5% of the mind, whereas the subconscious mind is 95%.
The subconscious mind is far more powerful than the conscious mind and is home to our programmed beliefs, habits, behaviours.
So even if consciously I'm thinking positively and telling myself ''I am a happy and positive person'' unless my subconscious mind has a belief to confirm this thought, it will override the positive thinking of the conscious mind.
Meaning, I can say affirmations or think ''I am a happy and positive person'' consciously all day long until I'm blue in the face but will it make me genuinely happier? Not likely. Because...
Positive thinking works when the belief in the subconscious is in agreement with the belief in the conscious mind
- Dr Bruce Lipton
Just because we have a negativity bias, doesn't mean we're doomed to stay stuck.
Change is possible. However, change is needed on a Subconscious level.
This is where positive thinking alone isn't enough.
Other techniques are needed to reprogram the subconscious mind...
How to Reprogram the Subconscious Mind
So we know positive thinking only works when the subconscious mind is in agreement.
The next question to answer is how do we get the subconscious mind in agreement, how do we reprogram it to give us what we want?
I'll share with you 2 ways in just a moment but before I do, It's useful to know how our Subconscious mind was programmed in the first place...
Sometimes my RTT clients are worried about how it feels to be in Hypnosis.
They're often surprised (and you may be too) when I tell them for the first 7 years of their lives, their brains are always in a state of Hypnosis... because our brain waves for the first 7 years of life were in Theta.
This is how we learn in early life.
We are looking for our parents, families and others for guidance and download their programs.
Programs about everything from how to eat, love and relationships, to money.
So often we stay stuck as adults because we're living off of Subconscious programs we took on when we were children.
Right now as you read this as an adult, your brain waves are in Beta which is normal waking consciousness.
When you're feeling calm and relaxed, you're in Alpha.
Theta is a lower brain wave than both Beta and Alpha, Theta is imagination and reality mixed.
In Theta, we are very suggestible because suggestions go directly into the subconscious mind (again, this is how we learn in those first 7 years).
This knowledge is exciting for us!
If we can give ourselves new suggestions and programs whilst in a state of Theta then we can reprogram our subconscious minds (which is in charge 95% of the time remember).
1. Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT).
Since training in RTT, I can hand-on-heart say it's not only changed my life, but it's changing the lives of my clients too.
Being an RTT Practioner requires me to continue working on myself and receive RTT sessions from other Practioners. RTT has helped me to enjoy new levels of energy, creativity, sleep better, work on my money mindset and stop drinking alcohol.
It's helped my clients to stop addictions, break free from anxiety, live with confidence, to a name a few areas.
Although it uses Hypnosis, it's so much more than Hypnosis.
Its power is due to the fact it not only installs new beliefs, behaviours, and thought patterns on a Subconscious level, but it removes the old limiting beliefs, behaviours and thought patterns too.
To use a Garden metaphor: RTT helps you to remove the weeds before planting new seeds.
With RTT you can expect results and positive changes after 1-3 x 90-minute sessions depending on the results you want. To learn more, click on the 'work with will' tab on my homepage.
2. Sleep Programming.
Another powerful (and fun) way to reprogram your subconscious mind is through sleep programming.
Before you fall asleep and after you wake up, your mind is naturally in a Theta state as you go from waking consciousness (Beta) to sleep (Delta).
This means you have two great opportunities each day to reprogram your mind.
How to do this?
Record yourself talking about the new programs you wish to install!
In other words, record yourself talking about the results and changes you want in your life.
Here are some tips:
Talk in the PRESENT tense.
The subconscious mind only lives in the now, not the past or future.
State clearly what you DO want rather than what you don't want.
(I enjoy feeling healthy instead of I enjoy not being sick).
Speak with Certainty.
Say it like you mean it!
A great mobile app I can recommend to write and record your new programs is ThinkUp which is available on the App store. Check it out!
To summarise, positive thinking only works when we have a belief that supports the thinking.
Having a positive attitude in life is great but we need to know it's limitations.
Change is possible but not with positive thinking alone.
Thank you for reading,
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