When You Just Can’t Wake Up

October 28, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Play by Play 

This last week has been a great week.  I keep learning more and more and the things that I am learning seem to be fitting together like pieces of a puzzle.  Last post talked about ways to work on the limiting beliefs we have.  I met with a new friend and she talked about how the affirmation and subliminal stuff is something that she never got into.  I really respect that, her life has been amazing, she has lived in other countries, gotten awesome jobs that she might not have; all without the tools that I work with.  For some, the techniques of having a vision, and knowing it will evolve, come naturally and easy.  For others, the feelings of inadequacy and impatience often get in our way. 

There are some other things that I want to share with you on how to change our limiting beliefs and the habits we have created.  This idea moves away from creating new pathways in your brain however I am using it with these tools and techniques.  (If you haven’t read this post, you can find it here.)

This particular tool deals with our pain and pleasure.  We all operate in our lives by looking for pleasure and avoiding pain.  The problem is, we strive for the pleasure or avoidance of pain in the short term results rather than the long term. We will tend to do something that gives us short term pleasure and get pain in the long run.  For instance, I have been having difficulty getting myself out of bed early in the morning.  Why?  Because the short term pleasure (staying in a warm bed) is more important than the long term pain of all the things that don’t get done because I am choosing to go for the short time pleasure.  The following are the steps to take to work through changing a habit that you have.

  1. Ask:  what is the pain associated with this action that keeps me from taking it?
  2. Ask:  what are all the pleasures received by not following through?
  3. Ask:  what is the cost of not taking the steps; in the next 2-5 years?
  4. Ask:  what will be gained by taking the action right now?

So, using my problem of getting up:

  1. The pain associated with getting up is the getting out of a warm bed, feeling tired and finding the pain of waking keeping me hitting the snooze.
  2. The pleasure is that I get to stay in bed all warm and cuddly and I get more sleep which feels so great!
  3. The cost is that I am not getting in to work when I want to, I am often not getting the walks in that I love, I am not getting in my reading time, or my journaling time, or my meditation.  I am not getting the action steps done that I know I must do in order to have the successful business I want.
  4. If I woke up early (when I set my alarm) I would get my walks and meditation done which give me more energy for the day, I would get some of my self improvement things done (reading, journaling) which are helping propel me down the path I am determined to walk down and I would get the things done for my business which will take me closer to my dreams.

So, looking at it like this, my goodness, it is totally obvious what I really want to do, what I must do.  Even if this seems to convince you, there is another step.  The next thing to do is get very solid on why it is you want to make the change.  Write 10 reasons why you want to change the habit, or take the action.  Get very solid and clear. 

By getting clear in our minds why we want to do it and then combine it with some of the tools and techniques talked about in a previous blog, the changed habit will occur soon because you know it must.

As usual I welcome your thoughts and suggestions!

What Is A Habit?

September 27, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Play by Play 

In my last blog I talked about changing habits.  As I read Self-Coaching by Joseph J. Luciani it became crystal clear that I have become quite the expert at some habits.  Some habits that people have are obvious; like over eating or smoking; but there are other habits that we all have that are impacting our lives.  In general, many of these are things that if we never changed, we could live a fairly reasonable life for the rest of our lives.  If we continue to talk meanly to ourselves about how we should be doing this or should be doing that, we will still live reasonable, secure lives.  However, if we want to achieve our dreams, if we want to take a step further towards improved lives; better financially, increased level of happiness and joy – then we could do this by taking a look at ourselves and some of these habits that are keeping us in our comfort zones.

How does a habit become a habit? 

It might help to explain the brain a bit.  There are two parts of your brain the conscious and nonconscious.  I first heard the term nonconscious reading a book by John Assaraf and Murray Smith called The Answer.  The term nonconscious is being used only to differentiate itself from the Freudian term unconscious.  Basically Freud believed that the unconscious brain had some external force causing it to do something and so to make sure that there was no confusion the cognitive theorists used nonconscious to ensure that it was not confused with Freud’s.  Today, the word unconscious is used for both.  Our nonconscious or unconscious brain is much more powerful and busy than our conscious.  The nonconscious brain controls 96-98% of perception and behavior.  96-98%!  No wonder I have had such a difficult time working to improve myself and some things around me.

Our physical and mental habits reside in our nonconscious brains; this is where accomplishments and achievements take root.  Habits are things that we have created by repeatedly doing something over and over. Thinking something over and over again becomes a habit of thought.  Constantly looking in a mirror and talking to your self about how “bad” you or something is becomes a habit.  This habit becomes an attitude or belief over time.  And then beliefs become self-fulfilling.  A belief is very powerful and we do a lot of protecting our beliefs. As we look in a mirror and the self talk chatter starts, as time moves forward and this happens every time we look into a mirror, eventually the talk that takes place is not actually heard any longer.  Suddenly you are believing you are less than perfect or unattractive,  Once this is a belief, our self care isn’t as good, our body language changes – our shoulders come forward, we don’t smile as much and generally create some truth out of what started out as very false self talk.

Wow!  So this is how things that we are working to break through and overcome have become so entrenched in ourselves that they are things that occur without our thinking about and seem so very difficult to get to.  Very difficult to see and to solve.  That – and we are working to solve the problem witho our conscious brain.  Our conscious brain is not good at modifying our habits – only at stating a goal or desire to do so.  Since habits live in our nonconscous that is where they need to be changed.

In order to become successful in our lives and in our attempts to reach dreams and goals we need to work on ourselves.  Personal development and personal growth are important to maximizing happiness.  The better people we become, the better the world can become.  Learning that we need to work at changing the habits and self limiting beliefs in order to move forward has been great information.  I do believe my work is cut out for me!

Thinking

September 21, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Play by Play 

“Change requires action, not reflection; motivation, not passivity; desire, not apathy; and a willingnes to see the truth rather than fiction. But most important, change requires that you recognize that no one and nothing is going to change you- except you.” –Joseph J. Luciani

Care of David Reece-Flickr

I am writing this on a plane… on the way to Atlanta on a business trip.  I actually love airplane flights, they give me time to read or often, time to just think.  Thinking is something that happens all the time, but on a plane, it can be directed thinking.  I just finished reading Self-Coaching by Joseph J. Luciani.  As I have been working through my part in the problems in my life I continue to work on how I can move beyond some of the self sabatoging things I do.

As I am working through how to personally grow and work towards a life where I am working in the personal development industry I know that working and growing myself will always be something I concentrate on. I have been doing this type of work for almost 20 years.  I liked Self Coaching – I liked the book because I know that for me what so many things boil down to, is my thinking and my self talk.  Much of my thinking is unconscious; however as I have focused in on my self, I seem to be getting to a place where I am starting to become much more conscious of my thinking.  I know that as I grow and think about helping others do the same I believe one key is to start hearing and knowing the throughts that are going through my head.  I am often really hard on myself and haven’t recognized it.  Now that I am recognizing it, it hurts. I have felt sadness over this and some anger – anger at circumstances that helped form this; but then there is realization that I have control.  I have full control to change myself and my thinking so that I can get to the place I am trying to reach.  Circumstances and things in my life are just that; I can choose to accept them and learn to realize that I don’t have to continue reacting the same way to them.  I choose to step out and make the necessary changes to myself that will allow me take my life where I want to go.

One thing that this book said that I resonated with is that negative self talk, thinking and self sabatage is a habit.  It is something I started doing very young and have really learned to do very well.  I am an expert at it; so expert, that it has become natural.  This book has taught me that I need to break these habits.  There are habits of guilt that arise from thinking that I should do this and that I should do that.  There are habits of not supporting myself; feeling deep down that I can not succeed at something that I really love; or that I may not be worthy of the success. 

It isn’t that I haven’t had success – I have been very successful at many things in my life; however – as I strive to achieve the goal of working my passion I seem to stop before I  try; I keep changing directions and having too many things to do and not taking enough action. 

To me, Self Coaching suggests to first recognize that the struggling of life is due to the habits that we have formed as we have tried to control life.  It suggests working on identifying the faulty thoughts that we think about things and to separate fact from fiction.   The next step is to realize that you can choose to flip a switch and change the faulty thinking and turn the self talk to truths and see and believe the positive side of things. Then, it suggests to let go. Just let the thoughts that are sabatoging our life float away, like a balloon caught in the air drifing away.  Then you need to ensure that you are working to believe the positive aspects of your life, having positive thoughts alone will not work, there needs to be a point where you BELIEVE the positive aspects of life.  As this happens and successful challenges can be met, you will gain some energy that will allow you to keep up with the new way of doing things so that over time, the old habits of faulty thinking will be changed to a new habit of thinking and seeing the reality of life.  That there is always a way to work your way out of any hole. You can do it.

Luciani pointed out that there are three truths:

  • Let Life Unfold, there are no dead ends; only obstacles.
  • Trust that your instincts and intuition will serve you
  • Know that every problem has a solution although it may not immediately appear.

“Motivation isn’t mysterious. It’s the energy you feel when you are willing to risk believing that you can change your life.” – Joseph J. Luciani

I am willing to risk this belief, anyone with me?

3 Ways to Move From Unconscious to Conscious Thinking

August 1, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Play by Play 

Have you ever done something and looked back and wondered why the heck it happened? For instance – ever eat too much and wonder why you didn’t stop at that first helping?  Or ever get back from shopping and know that you spent more than what you had planned on spending? What has been the answer to the “Why?”? I would be willing to bet that the answer is often, “I don’t know”; or “I guess I just wasn’t thinking!”. And these are the answers IF the question is even asked.

We are very busy; there never seems to be enough time in a day. The list of things that we want to get done often never get touched. We are rushing here and rushing there; taking care of the home, our jobs and our families.

This week the topic of unconscious verses conscious thinking came up in several areas of my life. What is unconscious thinking? This is when we are not aware of the thoughts that are going through our heads. Our inner intuitive voice gets shut out and is rarely heard during this kind of thinking.

While thought is unconscious our decisions become decisions that we would not make had we been actually THINKING. If we aren’t really THINKING we make bad decisions. Good decisions are made when we can see and recognize the consequences. If we are thinking unconsciously, we aren’t asking ourselves what will happen IF.  We don’t even think in terms of consequences.  Part of personal development and improvement of our lives requires that we find out how to always be conscious and mindful of our thoughts. Thoughts create things!

We can eat healthier if we consciously eat: we will recognize when we are not hungry any longer; we will make better and healthier food decisions. (Read “Mindless Eating” by Brian Wansink for some interesting insights to other things that occur while eating without thinking)

We will be more productive if we consciously make decisions: instead of hitting that snooze button we will recognize that it is better for us to get an early start on the day. Waking up a little bit early to exercise or meditate, or get started on a project will ensure our success in reaching goals.

We will communicate better if we are thinking consciously when we speak to others: if we are fully present in our conversations we will recognize when others may not hear us the way we intended.  If we recognize these misunderstandings early we can improve all of our releationships.

3 Methods to move from Unconscious to Conscious thinking

 
Be in the now: While your mind is thinking about the future your unable to pay close attention to what is going on with you now.  While you are beating yourself (or others) up over the past your now will be gone – wasting energy and not focusing on and ensuring your now is perfect.  Not being in the now only sets you up for continuing the cycle of worrying about the future and “what if’-ing” about the past.

Meditate: Meditation has been proven to slow ones thinking down. Meditating will help you suddenly find spaces between your thoughts that had not been there before, giving you time to make the decisions that are right for you, making sure you start hearing your inner intuitive voice.

Slow Down: I heard this week that we often feel that life is about nouns and verbs, but if we look at life being about the punctuation, the periods, the commas and exclamation points we can pause and not only enjoy what the experience is at the moment but make room for the conscious thinking that helps us improve our lives.

I would love to hear other techniques on how you have been able to start slowing down enough to think consciously – Please feel free to comment!