Alison has provided me guidance that has resulted in a significant series of breakthroughs – more than any counsellor, coach, or mentor to date – aside from my parents. I was so damn close to...
How To Retrain Your Brain To Think Differently
If you read/watched my last blog, you’re now aware that you have the power to retrain your brain.
You hold in your mind the ability to ditch the limiting beliefs and fear-based thoughts that might hold you back, replacing them with thoughts that help you move towards achieving the things you most desire.
Halleluiah for that!
So that simply leaves the small matter of how.
Here I’m going to take you back to blog one in this series of three. In it, I asked you to have a go at identifying any limiting beliefs you might hold in relation to something you’re really like to achieve.
If you didn’t do the exercise then, please check out the blog and have a go at it now before coming back to this point.
Now, you should have one or more reasons written down for why you believe you can’t have or achieve that particular outcome.
Of the reasons you’ve listed I want you to consider each one in turn and choose the one that feels the worst. The one that feels like a physical punch in the gut.
If a number of them produce the same intensity of negative feeling, just pick one, it doesn’t matter which.
Then I’d like you to switch that chosen thought around and write down its complete opposite statement.
For example, if your original thought was “I’m not good enough”, it would become “I am good enough”.
If it was “I can’t compete”, it would become “I can compete”.
“The good guys never win” would become “The good guys win”.
You get the picture.
Now, with your new opposite statement in front of you, I’d like you to write down three specific examples or proof points that back it up.
The examples can be big or small, personal or professional and from any time over your lifetime. Everything is valid.
So if you were finding examples for “I am good enough” you might write down things like:
- Because I put my partner’s needs before mine the other day
- Because I worked hard and qualified in my field despite the challenges
- Because I was good friend to Rob this week
Try to ensure your proof points are as specific as possible. Avoid vague statements where you can, simply because being specific will have more impact.
As you think of three examples, be aware that your mind won’t like this exercise very much!
It will try to tell you that you have no examples. This is totally normal.
Just notice your mind’s resistance to the exercise, almost thank it for its concern and have a go at it anyway. Just keep going with it until you have three.
You might be wondering what the point of this is, but what you’ve started to do with this exercise is challenge your own mind’s thinking.
By finding proof points for the complete opposite of a limiting belief, you have started to blast small holes in it and show it for what it is: an untrue statement.
It’s untrue because you’ve managed to find examples for the complete opposite.
Every time you do this, finding opposite proof points for any unhelpful thought, physiologically you are creating a new neural pathway in your brain.
This is important because with repeated practice you’ll strengthen that neural pathway until it automatically becomes the path your mind chooses.
It will become something you don’t even think about. You’ll simply notice that your thoughts generate positive feelings, and those feelings mean you find it much easier to take steps in the direction of the things you really want to achieve.
In effect, you will have retrained your brain to think differently and turned it into an unconscious habit – a good one!
This exercise might seem overly simplistic, but it’s genuinely the most powerful way to change your thinking.
So have a go at it, and try it with a number of different limiting beliefs as they come up.
For a lot of my clients who keep at this, they eventually start to find their original thinking funny, which removes its power altogether. Imagine that.
P.S. If you feel seriously stuck with limiting beliefs that you’re finding hard to remove and you’d like some professional help dissolving them once and for all, contact me here for a free consultation to see how my coaching could help you break free.