“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” —Albert Einstein.
Have you ever struggled to make a change?
Despite your best efforts, loads of action, tons of willpower, things have stayed the same?
I know I have!
The simple reason why we fail at achieving our goals and making the changes we wish for and want in life is this...
We focus purely on changing the external world whilst our internal world stays the same.
By our internal world I mean; our thoughts, feelings, beliefs about who we are and the world in general.
Here is an example.
Bob wants to lose weight. He tries his best to eat the right the foods, be more active and go to the gym.
It goes well for a few weeks but sooner or later, Bob returns to his old ways.
Now Bob isn't lazy. He's genuinely tried his best, he really has. His will-power (which is finite) has ran out.
What has stopped Bob from succeeding is his internal world.
Because like all of us, Bob has limiting beliefs about himself (maybe believing he is lazy or he's always going to be a big guy). On top of limiting beliefs, he experiences (consciously and subconsciously) the same, negative thoughts day in day out. Thoughts that talk him into being who he's always been, doing what he's always done and feeling how he has always felt.
This simple illustration shows why we stay the same:
Same actions + behaviours
= Same reality
So although Bob may have started to make some different choices leading to some different actions, his thinking was largely the same. Meaning it was only a matter of time before he returned to his old way of being.
This is why to make lasting changes, to create a new life for ourselves, we have to develop a new way of thinking. Because:
New actions + behaviours
= New reality
So how do we actually do that?
Before the how, I want to mention briefly the when. The best time to create new thoughts.
First thing in the morning, as soon as you wake up, you want to be creating new thoughts.
For a couple of reasons.
1. When you're in the process of waking up, your brain is switching from a Theta brain wave to a Beta brainwave.
Beta is the brainwave we're in most of the day, normal waking consciousness.
We're in Theta when in a deep sleep. The mind is much more suggestible whilst it's in Alpha and Delta (the brain wave frequencies between Beta and Theta) meaning your new thoughts have a better chance of reaching your subconscious mind, which is responsible for your habits among many over functions.
2. Also, experiencing new thoughts first thing in the morning will get you off of auto-pilot straight away, hopefully having a domino effect for the rest of the day.
Of course, you want to be experiencing as many new thoughts and ways of thinking as possible, but it's really best to start as soon as you wake up!
To give you some ideas on how to experience new thoughts, which in turn will lead to new choices, new actions, new experiences, new feelings and ultimately a new reality, here are 6 (ish) suggestions for you.
If you know me well, you'll know I LOVE questions.
Questions are the gateways to thoughts and possibility.
Here are some ideas for questions to answer if you're considering journaling:
Who am I committed to being today?
What am I committed to doing today?
What do I most feel grateful for?
What am I look forward to?
What are my to dos?
What are my not to dos?
You'll find plenty more journal prompts, ideas and questions by searching on Google :)
If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand - Bob Proctor.
Imagine yourself and your life 12 months from now.
Picture all the amazing things that are happening.
Imagine what you see, hear, smell and most importantly FEEL.
The mind doesn't know the difference between real and imaginary, so when you visualise an inspiring future vision, you'll begin to feel how you would feel if you were living in the future reality, right now.
Alternatively, you can visualise short-term, for example, each morning you could visualise yourself acting out the day ahead. See yourself going through the day, thinking, behaving and feeling the way you want to.
Exercise doesn't just give you physical health benefits.
Whether you're chasing the Runner's high or prefer the calm coming from hitting the Yoga mat, because of the Mind-Body connection (our thoughts affect how we feel and how we feel affects our thoughts), the change in emotional state triggered from exercise will lead to new thoughts.
What better way to start the day than running further than the voice in your head tells you and creating the thought ''Wow, I can do this''.
4. Practice Gratitude.
I know I mentioned gratitude a moment ago under journaling but Gratitude really deserves it's own section. For ways to practice gratitude, check out this piece I wrote on LinkedIn a few moons ago. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/want-more-happier-practice-gratitude-daily-heres-my-3-will-aylward/
I'll be honest, affirmations aren't my cup of tea. But I know plenty of people who swear by them!
Affirmations are usually spoken out loud and they're positive statements. Although they're not my favourite tool, they certainly have the potential of creating new thoughts, if they work for you.
Here are 35 affirmations to practice to saying out loud https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-carmen-harra/affirmations_b_3527028.html
Afformations are less well known compared than Affirmations but they're worthy of a mention too.
Rather than a positive statement, afformations are phrased as questions (so of course, I love them).
An affirmation would be: my life is a miracle.
An afformation would be: Why is my life such a miracle?
I personally prefer afformations because it forces you to think about the answer whereas with affirmations it can sometimes feel like you're 'faking it until you're making it', especially if the statement your saying doesn't feel true for you.
Bonus Tip: Change your environment!
Here's a cheeky bonus tip.
Change your environment!
A big reason why we experience the same thoughts day to day is that we're surrounded by the same places and people. When we're surrounded by the same old, we're reminded (literally re-minded meaning experiencing the same mind) of the story of who we think we are, which only triggers the same old thoughts.
So for new thoughts, create a NEW environment.
Tidy up. Declutter. Move the living room around.
Post inspiring messages around the house! Create a vision board and hang it on the wall.
New environments will mean new thoughts.
Thanks for reading!
Let me know your biggest takeaway by leaving me a comment!
This piece was inspiring largely by a great book I'm reading titled 'Breaking the habit of being yourself' by Dr Joe Dispenza. Check it out!
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