Fall is one of my favourite seasons. There's this sense of anticipation in the air. The trees are changing, and dropping their leaves. The air is changing from cool, to crisp and cold. Everyone is solidly in the midst of intense activities. The holidays are changing from Thanksgiving into Halloween.Change is solidly all around me.
So you'd think that with all this change around me, that it would be easy to move forward into the changes that I want to create in my life. Yet, this seems to be the exact time that everyone slides backwards into old patterns. It's really interesting, actually. From a brain perspective that is.
This backward slide seems to bring with it a reinforcement of the past negative things we think about ourselves; I'm not strong enough, I'm weak willed, I'm not smart enough, I'm lazy. And actually it's usually none of these things at all. It's a component of strategies. And it has to do with the direction of our thoughts; towards our goals, or away-from our pain.
Last month I wrote about strategies; the 'how' we do what we do. This month we need to refine our strategy focus in terms of the 'movie in our heads' that we are creating from. Are we focusing on what we really want, or on not creating more of what we don't want. And by focus I'm referring to that little voice in your head that chatters at you all day long – you know the one with all the negative, disaster thoughts? I call it our 'monkey-mind'.
Let's use money as an example. Most people want more money in their lives. So I'll ask clients, 'When you think about having more money, do you have a picture?”. They always say yes. (And here's where it gets interesting). When I ask them to detail the sights, sounds, and feelings of what they are seeing they usually say something like “so now the bill collector won't call”, or “my spouse won't yell at me over the credit card bill”, “I hear my parents telling me I'll never understand money”, etc.
In NLP language, those are called 'away-froms'. Remembering that the brain can not process negatives, this translates in your brain to...(you guessed it), having more calls from the bill collector and more yelling at bill time. The rule is: Whatever you focus on, grows. So focusing on what you don't want brings more of that into your life! What the monkey-mind continually chatters about, is what you get!
If you're willing to use a quick and powerful tool to keep you on track to your goals, then go through the following exercise:
- Imagine that a magic wand has waved itself over your life and that there is nothing to fix! You have all the money you really need to live the way you wish to live. You are healthy. You are in a great and passionate relationship. Remember to really imagine that this is the case! See it. Hear it. Feel it. It's just an imagination exercise, so really play at 100%.
- Ask yourself, “Now what?”. Specifically. Imagine, in detail, with all of the colour, sights, smells, sounds and textures possible. If you weren't spending all your time on problems, what would you create with your life? Imagine it. See it. Hear it. Feel it. Make it so real that you can taste it. This becomes your new goal. Now if you said “I don't know”, than that's the problem! You can't create something unless you know what you're creating!
- Spend as much time every day with this new goal as you did with your problem. Talk about it with friends and family, imagine it, research it on the internet, draw it, create a brain map to it, make it real to your self and everyone around you. That way you will be spending your energy creating something positive, rather than negative.
Remind yourself that this is more than a 'think good thoughts' game. This requires specifics, time, energy, and eventually it might even entail money too. But one thing at a time. Begin to make your goals and dreams more real to you than your obstacles, and you will reprogram your own Unconscious to use all of your resources to create consciously towards your goals. It happens fairly quickly and it's fun too.
Happy 'Towards' Everyone!