As we have seen so far in our study, making changes in our lives that actually last is an involved process that only those that have made a true decision are going to engage. The fact is, so many of us have hyped ourselves on the quick fix and the microwave reality that our world so desperately desires to be true that we have forgotten that simply doing something quick doesn’t mean it’s going to stick.
Last time, we talked about how if we want see some real changes in our lives then we’re going to have to focus on the real roots of the problems that have presented themselves in our lives – our thinking patterns. So how have these thinking patterns existed to sabotage us so often? How did they get there in the first place? And how can I change them in order to win the battle of personal change?
If we want to create changes that last we must reprogram ourselves for success.
We all use computers now on a daily basis. Computers consist of both hardware (body) and software (mind). The hardware is useless without an operating system of software written to take advantage of all the parts of the machine. Many of us would think little of the software programmer who wrote an operating system that put our machine at a disadvantage or rendered whole pieces of hardware inaccessible and unused. Our bodies are much the same way, and our minds provide the operating system in the form of our belief system. Unfortunately, while our brains were forming these systems of thought they didn’t always take advantage of all our capabilities and potential. These belief systems then acted as governors or limiters on our lives and dictated to us our perceived boundaries.
The thing is…how many of us know if our computer software is actually utilizing our hardware system to its full capacity? Do you? And now that I’ve brought it to your attention, will you be on the lookout for a system analysis? I’ve just activated what scientists term your reticular activating system in your brain. Your attention is peaked. You are now aware of something that could be affecting your life in a negative way. You are on the lookout.
Welcome to the first step in changing your belief system. Self-awareness. If you become aware of what thoughts and patterns of thought are influencing your emotions, decisions, actions, and habitual behaviors – then you are in a position to replace those beliefs that are negative and useless with ones that are positive and useful.
Are you currently engaged in an attempt to change a negative behavioral pattern right now? If you are, then use this knowledge today to practice your awareness. Over the next week, journal every time you have an urge (feeling) to go back into the behavior you’re engaged in changing. What are you feeling? What are the thoughts that are swirling around in your mind? What is it that you want to do, but know you shouldn’t? Write down all these things and then ascribe a number from 0-10 of how powerful the moment was for you so you can begin to understand what thought patterns have the deepest roots in your belief system.