The Secret of Lasting Personal Change
By Dr Jill Ammon-Wexler
Why do so many of us end up frustrated when we try to improve our personal reality? Why do diets end up in gained weight? Why do some people fail again and again at business? Why do others get into one bad relationship after another — in spite of their deep desire for a "good" relationship?
Obviously no one "wishes" to fail in their personal or business life. Yet this is an all-too-common problem. Let's face it! We all want (and deserve) to have a pleasant and comfortable lifestyle. We want and deserve success! We want and deserve a sense of security! We want and deserve a good relationship with both ourselves and others. Good grief — most of us just want to be happy!
The Basic Rule of Lasting Personal Change
Trying to change the external conditions of your life can pose a considerable challenge. The basic rule of personal change is this: Your efforts will always fail (or will only be temporary) unless they are accompanied by a change of your thoughts and beliefs. It all starts in your mind. Period!
For example: Consider trying to lose weight by going on a 'diet,' without first dealing with why you are overweight. We all know the final outcome of such a battle - failure! There are no exceptions to this rule. To change your external conditions, you must first change your internal reality.
Ask yourself: What's happening in your mind to make your business efforts end in failure? Or your relationships collapse? Or your waistline to continuously expand? Unless you uncover and deal with the source, all your efforts will only be a band-aid over an open wound.
This rule applies to anything you want to change in your life: From a fear of flying - to chronic underachievement and failure - to a lack of motivation - to low energy - to monetary lack, etc.
How We Create Our Personal Reality
The old saying 'you become what you think' is more than just a saying. It is now solidly backed by years of sophisticated brain research. Picture a foot path through a meadow: Frequent use creates a well-defined pathway. But if the path isn't used, it eventually disappears.
By its very nature, your mind is a creature of habit. Just like a path through a meadow — the neural pathways in your brain are worn in (strengthened) by frequent use. But unused neural pathways, on the other hand, will slowly disappear. So ... if you give frequent attention to negative thoughts and conditions, guess wht will happen. They will grow stronger and more defined. If you focus on the bright side of life, on the other hand, your "positive" neural pathways will gain strength and definition. It really IS this simple.
What you focus on will grow! Your thoughts actually create your external reality, because they determine how you will respond to what happens to you! And your responses, in turn, directly determine your personal reality.
How Your Mind Works
Your conscious and subconscious minds are a team. They work together to create your mental reality. No one consciously chooses to think negatively. Most of our ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) rise up automatically out of our subconscious minds.
Picture your subconscious mind as a garden. Your habitual thoughts and beliefs are seeds. The subconscious mind does not question the seeds planted in it. It simply provides the soil in which they flourish and grow. Your conscious mind, on the other hand, is the wise gardener. It chooses and plants healthy seeds, and removes the weeds that have grown in your mental garden.
It's important to remember that the subconscious mind does NOT rationally analyze the seeds planted in its soil. It just works 24-hours a day to grow what has been planted in it. Your subconscious mind will manifest failure, sickness, depression and misfortune just as easily as it will manifest success, abundance, and happiness.
Four ANT-Stomping Steps
If you have not achieved the happiness and success you deserve in your life, you probably have some ANTs running around your subconscious mind. ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) can undo our most determined efforts to create a healthy, happy, successful, prosperous life. They are the enemy of anyone desiring lasting personal change. Here are five steps you can take to stomp out your ANTs:
- First, build your awareness of what those ANTs are all about. What messages are they marching through your subconscious mind?
- Second, once you become aware of an ANT, drag it out into the sunlight of your conscious mind. Ask yourself: Is it providing a message about something you should change? Or is it just spouting "old stuff" from age five that's no longer really true?
- Third, create an anchor to either make the indicated change, or stomp that ANT. An anchor is a signal to yourself that will become automatic, once established. For example, you could promise yourself to snap your fingers every time an ANT tries to undo your efforts to improve your life. Come up with your own anchor.
- Fourth, remember that your mind can only hold one thought at a time. Focus your conscious thoughts on what you want. Do not focus on worry or limitation. Remember: What you focus on will grow! Because of that, worry is actually negative goal setting.
- Fifth, most of all, just hang in there! Personal change and growth happens one day at a time. Just continue to re-dedicate yourself to creating the life you desire...and deserve! Now that you realize that worry is powerful negative goal setting, do you understand why you always get what you are worried about?