The idea that thoughts focused on, turn to beliefs, and if you focus on your thoughts and beliefs, you can have, be, or do anything all started to pervade the American consciousness back in 1937 when Napoleon Hill stated “What the human mind can conceive and believe it can achieve” in his book, Think and Grow Rich.
Over the decades, philosophers, authors and speakers have taken this concept and evolved it into what’s commonly known as The Law of Attraction. You’re probably remembering Oprah hollering “The Secreeeeeeet!”… at this point. Nonetheless, this idea that we can simply change our lives by thinking about it has become the modern-day mantra for success.
I ask you if this were true, why aren’t we all rich, fit, and happy?
Don’t be a nitpicker and say, “Well, not everyone would wish for these things”… because I live in this world. I know that at least 90% of us would actually wish to be rich, fit and happy, if we thought it would come true. Some of us may have wished for it, even if we didn’t think it would come true.
I can believe all I want that I’ll be a famous musician someday. I can repeat it to myself, I can wear it like a badge. But if I never pick up an instrument and learn to play it, the chances of me becoming a famous musician is slim to none.
If you’ve watched or read The Secret,then you’ll see the evidence that indeed people had thoughts, and they realized them. So why does it work for some and not others?
The single thought is the seed. From there it needs to be nurtured and attended with choosing actions that will move you toward realization of your dream. I propose an edit to Mr. Hill’s quote, “What the mind can conceive and believe it will achieve, through nurturing the thoughts of success AND by choosing the correct actions.”
Let me share an example…
I was sitting in the living room half working on edits to my next book and half participating in the conversation. With me, was my son, a couple of his friends, along with his fiancée and her 11-year-old niece. We’ll refer to the niece as Chloe for the sake of anonymity.
The conversation turned to Chloe completing her reading assignment for the evening.
And like many 11 year-olds, finishing homework was not her highest priority.
I smiled to myself as the ‘do your homework bartering dance’ began. The negotiations concluded with an agreement that Chloe would do her homework because it was important and she’d earn a reward.
The unspoken thoughts of Chloe’s were written all over her face. In her eyes, as clear as fresh water, I could see, “Sure, I’ll look at the book and pretend to read, I may even turn the page occasionally to add some believability to my playacting. Though, I will be listening to the conversation instead, because it’s much more interesting than any book.”
I must admit, I was enjoying watching her charade. Her eyebrow would rise when she thought something was not 100% true and the corners of her mouth twitched when she knew the “adults” were talking in code. What made me laugh right out loud though was her resounding gasp when the conversation took a sharp turn and the law of attraction and thoughts determining our destinies became the new topic.
The adults were a little surprised when she excitedly asked, “So if I think and believe I’ll be an astronaut, I’ll be one?” My son replied, “absolutely”. With that Chloe slammed her book closed and said as a matter of fact, “then I don’t need to do this.”
Without missing a beat my son chuckled and said, “your thoughts will only become reality IF you take the actions that go with them. If you want to be an astronaut, believe you will be an astronaut and then ask yourself, what would I need to learn or do to be one. Then focus your thoughts on doing that.”
The types of things an astronaut may need to know and do, started to be listed, such as, math, physics, reading and understanding what was read, health and fitness. The conversation on actions was cut short when Chloe announced it was time for her to read. She opened her book, ignored the conversations around her and with willingness, determination and eagerness for her future, read not only her assigned chapter but then next four as well.
Well, that’s all well and good for Chloe, but how does it apply to me, you ask. I’ll tell you. The single thought you have CAN change your life, if you use it as the seed for decisions and actions and nurture it. This is where using the power of both your conscious and unconscious mind comes into play. Once you’ve consciously chosen a thought or goal to focus upon, there are some specific actions you can take to grasp control of your subconscious mind and actually realize your dreams.
Because our subconscious mind is hyper-intelligent beyond our conscious mind and is responsible for creating and defining who we are today. The problem is most of us don’t know how to access and control it. Instead, we allow it to run on ‘auto-pilot’, allowing it to control us and operate sub-optimally.
What if I told you that we could hack our own minds and optimize the way our subconscious operates? I’m going to share with you a few simple techniques that you can use to tap into the infinite potential of your subconscious mind to realize your dreams. The underlying foundation is that we want to remind both our conscious and unconscious mind of our priority, keep it “top of mind” literally, so that all decisions we make and actions we take are aligned with our dream.
Step One: Set a new goal. Pick 10 positive thoughts on achieving that goal.
Identify your thoughts and assess the layers underlying the thought. Whether we want to admit it or not, one thought may be grouped with many layers of other thoughts. One may think “I can make a success of my new business,” but the thoughts layered below may be: “Why would someone pay me to do this?” “Who am I to tell people what to do?” “My time isn’t worth $200 an hour”, and so on. If you are adding layers of negative, even if you’re not consciously focused on them, they will negate the conscious thought of “I can make a success of my new business”.
Multiple studies have proven time and time again, the energy projected from subconscious as well as conscious thoughts will be responded to accordingly. So look for these saboteurs and throw up a wall of protection and repel their negativity.
Step Two: Create a vision board.
- A Vision Board, is a board, be it a poster, a cork board, or whatever, where you have photos of your desires, positive words that would lead you to your goal.
The subconscious mind only understands two languages: images and emotions. As you visualize yourself realizing your dreams, actual pictures will come to mind. With these in mind, find actual photos or images and paste them to your board. You’ll want to include words, so that your conscious mind engages as well. This will serve as a visual reminder to our conscious and unconscious mind to make decisions aligned with achieving this goal.
Here’s a fun story that exemplifies the power of the image.
Back in the 70s my father wanted a Cadillac. He went to the local dealers and got a photo of a Cadillac Seville from one of their brochures. The photo he got was indeed a Cadillac Seville, and it was a frosty champagne pink.
My Dad hated pink. He was from the old school of “pink is just for women”. He wouldn’t wear pink or even dry with a pink towel. He was afraid it would attack his manhood.
That said, some years later, my mom was greeted with a surprise. My father had gone into the local Cadillac store and had paid cash for a brand new Cadillac Seville. A brand new champagne pink Cadillac Seville.
When asked what made him choose this color, he replied that he didn’t know, he just kept getting drawn to it and knew it was the one to have.
I am positive that if the photo he got originally had a blue, black or silver Cadillac the color he chose would have been different.
Step Three: Use the power of self-talk
Create a daily affirmation that supports you in achieving the goal. Write it down, and post it on the bathroom mirror, so that you can read and review it while you’re brushing your teeth.
Record it and listen, say it out loud. This will anchor the thought by using multiple senses, so that the feeling and thoughts remain in the forefront of both your conscious and unconscious mind, framing every decision you make.
Step Four: Consciously make decisions based on the dream.
Every decision you make is either toward your goal or away from it. This requires you to be aware of the decisions you’re making. When choosing, if you ask yourself, does this move me toward my goal? The answer will be obvious.
Example: I was speaking with a friend whose daughter is getting married in a month. We were out to eat, and she made a “sensible” choice, in spite of all the delicious options available. When I asked about it, she said, “It’s easy, I want to look good for my daughter’s wedding”. This thought is at the forefront of her mind any time a calorie is put in front of her.
To recap, you’re going to have your thought, assess it for underlying saboteurs, create a vision board, create and recite your affirmation, and make choices based on your vision. Easy-peasy, right? Of course.
AND just in case you live in the real world and are faced with distractions, temptations, and obsessive thoughts, I invite you to use my secret weapon, “Pattern Interrupts” to get back on track.
Pattern interrupts are used to momentarily confuse the brain and force it off the track of the thought it was on. This momentary confusion forces the brain to stop and evaluate what is really going on. As your brain says, “Hey Wait a Minute”, you now have both the conscious and subconscious control of where you take your thoughts.
A few of my favorite pattern interrupts are:
- The Mental Protect, Deflect & Reject (PDR) Shield
I have what I call my PDR Shields. These shields Protect, Deflect and Reject harmful thoughts of your own or others. I created an image in my mind of a shield and when something negative or hurtful is said to me, subconsciously (from practice) and consciously, I envision myself lifting the shield and blocking the negativity.
- Rubbing your Ear
When you touch your earlobe it’s a unique stimulus that releases calming chemicals that relaxes your breathing, calms your thoughts and relieves stress symptoms. These chemicals are a key part of being able to reprogram your brain. The psychology and science behind breathing and then rubbing your earlobe does three very specific physical things:
- Your heartbeat will slow down and it creates a very calm reaction.
- It allows you to stop and breathe in deeply, just for one split second and it gets you to think more clearly and it calms the mind.
- It creates a unique chemical that’s common when reprogramming your physical brain.
- Tighten then Relax
The tighten relax method is a physical method used to influence or trick the mind. When we are stressed, we tighten our muscles, typically shoulder or neck, but not limited to these areas.
When one tightens a muscle on purpose, the mind feels validated. When you purposefully relax, the mind having been validated now believes that the stressor has gone, and it can now begin to relax. (Please note, the relaxation is not instant. It may take a bit to make the impact you desire.)
Some Tighten – Release Methods
- Curling Toes
Sitting or standing, just curl your toes, hold it for a moment and then relax them.
- Pinching Fingers together
Pinch one of your fingers slightly against your thumb for a moment then relax it.
- Stress Ball Squeeze
Holding a stress ball and squeezing it helps with the thoughts, stress and focus.
Now you’ve been empowered to take that single thought and make lasting change. You’ll consciously set your goal, identify 10 positive thoughts on achieving that goal, create visual and verbal reminders of your goal, make conscious choices supporting the goal. I’ve even given you a few strategies for negating the negative thoughts through pattern interrupts. The key is action.
If you’d love to learn more about how thoughts become things, check out the new documentary, “How Thoughts Become Things”.
Want to learn more about MASTERING your Emotional Power?
Come over to www.DrKarenPerkins.com/thoughts and get a Complementary copy of Emotional Power and learn the logic behind emotions and the emotions behind thoughts so that you can propel yourself to that better life you know is out there waiting for you