Change your thoughts and you change your world. ~Norman Vincent Peale
Some people suggest that our thoughts and feelings are not actually true – that we made them up based on the conditioning we received and the interpretations we made, or even the belief that all of the physical reality is perception and not actually the “truth.” What is real is our “Natural Self” ─ who we are behind the beliefs that lead to the feelings we all experience.
That said, what are we to do when we are “caught in the web” of a negative feeling – typically a result of an underlying belief associated with fear? We can’t run from it for sure, and no matter how hard we try to stop thinking or feeling what we are drowning in, there’s doesn’t seem to be a quick fix or extrication from the grasp of what our mind is telling us.
How to Take Authority over Your Thoughts and Feelings
Personally speaking, extricating myself from those limiting beliefs has been a slow and difficult process, and only occurred over time as I challenged my negative thinking. I finally came to realize, however, that I was in charge of my thoughts and feelings, and could take authority over them. Rather than snap my fingers and have them go away, I still had to process through the experience I first created, enter into the feelings, release them, and create a new belief or interpretation to empower my actions.
I like to think of life in the way Timothy Gallwey explains how to play The Inner Game of Golf. He refers to the critic standing over our shoulder telling us how to hit the next shot, telling us what not to do, and then scolding us for doing it! To dispel the voice of this “intruder,” he suggests a number of action strategies to get us back in touch with our Natural Self ─ the one who hits the ball far better than the “self” who listens to the voice of our critic. This strategy has direct application to anything we do in life. By finding ways of getting back in the flow of being and doing that which is aligned with our authentic or Natural Self, we not only perform much better but are far happier living life.
So, how do we change our story or shift our beliefs? Typically, these limiting beliefs have been with us a very long time, and they are probably embedded in our unconscious mind.
The first critical step to be mindful of is Awareness. As you become aware of negative thoughts having a field day in your mind (being directed by “the intruder”), try using various strategies to first interrupt the old story. Then start the new game of practicing doing this as often as needed, in order to diminish the power of and change the old belief.
Here are some strategies to interrupt “rut thinking” as soon as you become aware of having fallen into a hole:
Stand up, move about, take a walk, get physical.
Stop and engage the moment with a few breaths, and notice how your body feels.
Look up, look around, and notice where you are in the present moment rather than being lost in thought or planning
After interrupting your pattern, you can then return to the situation and discover more clearly what is going on, the thoughts you were making up, and the feelings that resulted. Then begin the process of taking back your authority. Choose the thoughts you want to think by using this Seven-Step Pivotal Technique to release and replace the false story you had been conditioned to make up:
1. Notice how you are feeling, how your body has reacted.
2. Experience the feeling as fully as you can. For five minutes try playing out the worst case scenario in your mind. Sorry, but this step is important. Personally, I breathe in the negativity and imagine it entering every cell of my body, and I have not died from the fear yet!
3. Surrender to the Universe ─ an all powerful loving Source. Feel the gift of this love coming your way. Ask for assistance in releasing the old unwanted pattern; then take a few deep breaths, and let go. (Some call this “Casting the burden.”)
4. Now determine whether your feeling/belief is actually true. What is the information you have to base your decision on?
5. Notice how the old belief felt absolutely real, although it was probably not actually true. Claim this as a mantra anytime you are confronted by experiencing an old limiting belief: “real, but not true!”
6. Take authority over your thoughts, decisions, and choices, and create a new empowering belief. (If the old belief led to a limiting outcome or disappointment, consider how the new belief will create just the opposite. Imagine a new end result, with an inspired feeling, in the present moment of Now! This practice will let the Universe get busy and start creating the possibilities into which you will step and act to manifest the new result you want!)
7. Experience a moment of deep gratitude, then get active, and move on!
One of the interesting facts of life is that we sometimes pay little attention to the facts of life! So, rather than believing what you are thinking is actually true, check it out! It may just be that by noticing the actual truth, leaving negativity behind becomes a lot easier.
Do you tend to believe everything you think? What are your biggest challenges? Join the conversation in the comment section below :