Have you noticed how our thoughts and beliefs can have us stuck in a rut, repeating the same behaviours and patterns which continue to limit or sabotage us?
Some of these beliefs we are consciously aware of and others remain hidden in our subconscious. Whether we are aware of them or not, our beliefs can have us choosing the same path and, like a sled on a snowy hill going down the same tracks repeatedly, we can literally get stuck in a mindset rut. Two things are a constant: our thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies as they shape our reality and it can be hard to change them.
Our actions are driven by our beliefs, thoughts, feelings and habits and shaped by our imagination, memories and perception.
Our perception of the present is coloured by our past, and the meanings and feelings we have assigned to our early memories. We all carry subconscious beliefs which we have absorbed, like sponges, in our early years from the people and environments that have shaped us.
Our thoughts shape our reality.
Our beliefs lead us to habitually think the way we do and to perceive the world in the way we do. Our habits reinforce our beliefs, thoughts and feelings, which lead to specific actions that determine our results and experiences.
The childhood experience of doing something or not doing something which ended up displeasing a parent or teacher could have been interpreted by our child-self to mean that:
- I am not good enough to…
- I don’t deserve…
- I can’t…
- I should…
- I shouldn’t…
- I will never be able to…
Such limiting beliefs get stored in our adult subconscious, and can have us automatically revert to limiting behaviours, which become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As the saying commonly attributed to Buddha goes:
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
As ancient wisdom has it, “change your thoughts, change your reality”.
We think and communicate in varying degrees of pessimism and optimism. Persistent negativity ends up limiting us or preventing potential solutions and seeing greater possibilities. We can remain stuck in the “survival” mode of automatic reactions which limit creativity, innovation and change.
Beliefs can be difficult to change and are often resistant to rational thinking and logic, but when our beliefs change, life can change.
We know that positive change begins with a change of mind or adoption of a new mindset and thought habits. However, we may attempt to change behaviours without changing the underlying drivers of those behaviours, getting little result.
Why is it so hard to change these in our adult life?
We are naturally wired to stay within the safe known zone and to resist change. Our conscious systems were designed to keep us safe at a time in our evolution when threats to our safety were immediate and real. Change meant uncertainty and the possibility of pain or danger, so our brains resist change and revert to the relative safety of the familiar, which may no longer be serving our best interests. It helps to explain why we can sometimes get stuck in jobs and other situations which make us unhappy and why we don’t take action when we have opportunities to grow and change.
The good news:
- The neuroplasticity of our brain gives us the ability to change our neural paths, which makes self-development possible and allows for greater resiliency, adaptability and persistence in conquering our challenges and achieving our goals
- Optimism can be learned. The concept of learned optimism is at the heart of positive psychology.
- You can apply positive psychology to promote happiness and support greater success. Quoting Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, “Happiness gives people a competitive edge”.
- Fixed mindsets can be changed to growth mindsets. A person with a growth mindset will persevere and seek solutions, see the big picture, modify their approach in the face of failure, and be more willing to work harder and tackle challenges.
- The practice of gratitude is considered one of the most powerful life-enhancement tools, which makes us happier, and focuses our thoughts away from the negative and towards that which we want to create more of.
What’s possible when we harness all these?
Kim Serafini, an Australian, is a best-selling author on gratitude and a pioneer in the spa and wellness industry. Kim’s latest offering called MindPT or Mind Power Technology, is the most recent and the most exciting of her endeavours which has grabbed the attention and imaginations of some very prominent people in self-development and in positive psychology, such as Oprah Winfrey, Shawn Achor, Michelle Gielan, Christine Carlson and Jack Canfield.
MindPT combines the latest scientifically proven principles from neuroscience and positive psychology in simple to use, daily transformational sessions, which can be viewed in as little as 3 minutes a day on a mobile or other device. It is a very effective way to prime the mind for positive change, success and a better life*.
At the heart of MindPT is the concept of self-fulfilling prophecies. It bypasses the filter of the critical conscious mind, creates a receptive, meditative state and primes the mind for positivity and success. It replaces the need for static vision-boards and gratitude journaling. Providing a dynamic array of positive images and affirmations, it combines the practice of gratitude and creates a positive emotional contagion effect, which has the same impact as actually being in a positive environment with positive people. Each session can be personalised to make it more effective.
Shawn Achor is now using it as a key training tool in his 21 Days to Happiness program, which he delivers on the OCourse (Oprah Winfrey Channel). He uses it to increase self-awareness and put power back into the trainees’ hands to automate success. To quote Shawn Achor, “MindPT is at the forefront of the movement to combine technology and positive psychology research to make positive individual change easier and prime the brain for success”.
A client I had trialling the tool reported that he felt calmer, happier and more focused at work after just a few weeks of continuous daily practice. The results were visible to those around him as well, as he was asked by work colleagues what had changed about him, as he seemed happier and less fazed. This is someone who had previously felt stuck in a rut an unhappy at work and dreaded spending another day “at the salt-mines”.
The biggest thing is though, not knowing what needed fixing and the fear of change and the fear of the unknown had him feeling stuck like this for the past 5 years! It turned out a change in industry was not required after all, as he had feared. He could tweak his internal and external environment in order to enjoy work again, which provided him with a solution for improving his current situation and we developed some goals and strategies for planning the next steps of his career journey.
I heard a health coach and hypnotist share his experience of MindPT earlier this week. Commenting on his own daily practice, he said “I truly like how it makes me feel. It boosts my mood. I feel more energetic and I’m ready to go”. As a hypnotist, he spoke of the ABS principles of hypnosis:
- Get Attention
- Bypass the critical faculty
- Stimulate the unconscious mind
He saw MindPT as a visual hypnosis, as it does all those things, and now plans to have it play a big role in his hypnosis practice and in boosting his clients’ transformation. This person is also an expert in the field of sleep medicine and is planning to create his own MindPT session specifically targeting sleep problems, which will be available to subscribers along with many different sessions currently available, which cover areas ranging from achieving goals to boosting immunity and winter wellness.
This visually-stunning, fun and easy to use tool has grabbed my attention as a career coach and facilitator of people’s personal and professional development. I can see many possibilities and applications of the technology in being used as a transformational tool, including in overcoming self-limiting beliefs, shifting negative thoughts and supporting positive mindsets so people see greater possibilities.
What’s next for you?
It is possible to get out of the mindsets and repeating thoughts and behaviour patterns which sabotage our life experiences.
Your “stuck in a rut” situation could be quite different from my case study, but the advice to “change your thoughts, change your reality” still applies. Developing a deliberate mindfulness practice and recoding limiting thoughts and beliefs will open your world to greater possibilities and shift your reality. MindPT is one new tool which appears to be able to fast-track our results.
*“Priming the Mind for a Better Life” by Kim Serafini, Jarmila Gorman and Cheryl Valk, 2015