We celebrate the new year. We ring it in, we shout it out loud, we make resolutions, we say things like “new year new me”.
In reality, nothing really changes unless and until WE are ready to change. The date may change, the place may change, your job may change, your partner may change, the way you look may change. But despite how it looks on the outside, nothing actually changes until we change inside. The universe keeps repeating lessons until we learn from them. It is our most important teacher, and if we listen and respond accordingly, we will be excellent pupils and ace our exams! If you find yourself basically dating the same person over and over, having the same relationship dynamics regardless who you are relating to, or getting stuck in your career no matter what job you take.. there’s work to be done. The good news is, THERE’S WORK TO BE DONE! That means, you are not a victim of circumstance, and that you have more control of how your life plays out, than you were led to believe. So, what is this work? 1. The first step is figuring out what limiting beliefs you have about yourself. They usually come in the "I am not enough"" form. "I am not_______" ( smart, good-looking, interesting, skinny (insert your own enough here). 2 .Once you figure out your limiting beliefs, it's time to catch your thoughts in action .One way to do this is to set an alarm on your phone, for a pre-determined interval (every two hours is a good starting point). When the alarm goes off, take inventory of your current inner monologue. The things we say to ourselves, the names we call ourselves, and the crimes we accuse ourselves of, would be really inappropriate to say to anyone else. Why do we give ourselves permission to inflict that kind of judgement inwardly? 3. Reprogram your thoughts. Reprogram? Yup. That voice in your head isn't really you. It is a program fed to us by the outside world. Think about it. Babies aren't born with derogatory feelings and negative self-talk. Society, the media and family all plant the seeds that grow into the program before we can even comprehend. And this is not to family bash, our families have all been subjected to the very same program. The negative, repetitive, critical thoughts are a habit that have formed neural pathways in your brain (which I'll go into in another post). The exciting part is, neural pathways can be filled in, and new, more positive habits and thoughts can be created. There was a skit on Saturday Night Live in the 1990s where Al Franken, as Stuart Smalley, looks in the mirror and says to himself "I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggone it, people like me." Hysterical, no? Maybe, maybe not. The truth is, Stuart Smalley was a genius. (See, he was right!!!) Positive affirmations DO work. There are a couple of ways to do them. Pick what works for you: The most important part is catching, stopping and replacing the negative self-talk as it happens. The thought can be replaced with a positive thought or even a neutral thought (if the positive thought seems like a stretch).
Sleep hypnosis is one of the easier and more effective methods of retraining the brain. There are thousands if not millions of positive affirmation sleep hypnosis videos on YouTube. Pick one that speaks to your areas of insecurity hit play, call it a day and let your subconscious do the rest. The neural pathways fill themselves in as you sleep. It's like your brain is going to the gym overnight and waking up with 6 pack abs!
Make sure you pick an appropriate affirmation video (warning: another TV reference ahead). You don't want to wind up like Chandler in "Friends", when Rachel gives him a sleep smoking cessation tape for women. "You don't need to smoke. Cigarettes don't control you. You are a strong, confident woman."
This all may seem cheesy or uncomfortable at first, but I promise you it works, AND eventually the positive replacement thoughts become automatic. So, get to it. You can do it! You got this! You're worth the work! (Insert your own here) My favorite quote comes from the "Wizard of Oz". Dorothy has been fighting, and struggling, and figuring out a way to get home. Towards the end of the movie Glinda the good witch turns to her and says, "You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself."