The idea is that if you think positive thoughts you can create a positive life; but where exactly do our thoughts come from?
Our brains are incredibly efficient and work hard to input all of the information we receive. Every time we experience a situation our brains will crunch data and create strong neurological patterns between events to make it easier to recall in the future. For example, if as a child you were bitten by a dog your brain will associate dogs with pain. Chances are when you see dogs in the future your brain will associate them with pain and cause a response of fear and panic.
This occurs through a process called neurological pattern matching. The neurons that fire when you see a dog and the neurons that fire during an experience of pain will wire together and the result is a subconscious pattern associating dogs with pain. This is an efficient process that has assisted in our survival for over 100,000 years.
However, in some cases the patterns we create in our lives are inaccurate or no longer valid. Using the example of being bitten by a dog as a child we can agree that not all dogs will bite and the fear of them might no longer be valid as we become adults. In cases like this it’s important for us to work toward removing this limiting belief and forming a new belief that is in alignment with who we are as an adult.
Other examples of limiting beliefs might be fear or public speaking, shyness or even a feeling of unworthiness. Once we have determined what exactly our limiting beliefs are we can use the following steps to work toward removing them and creating new beliefs that serve our desires.
Step 1: The first step to removing a limiting belief is becoming aware of when we have been triggered by one. We usually experience this by a racing heart, sweating hands and a tightness in parts of our body. When we have determined the trigger of our limiting belief we can move on to step 2.
Step 2: The next step in removing a limiting belief is to create a mind-body connection. We can start by conducting a mindfulness scan from the top of our head down to our toes. To achieve this we will put our attention on every part of our body from the top of our head down to our jaw, our neck, our chest, stomach and so on all the way down to our toes finding all of the areas we’re holding tension. After we’ve gotten down to our toes we will tense up these areas as much as we can then release them, consciously allowing ourselves to relax.
Step 3: The final step is to repeat supporting statements to ourselves that supports our new belief. They could be, “most dogs are safe,” “I am safe and ok,” “everything is fine” and so on. These statements should support the new belief and be spoken out loud if possible.
As we practice this technique more and more we can strengthen our new belief and create a new association for the triggers than may have stimulated the old limiting belief. In time our brain will create a new neurological pattern that supports the belief we desire.
By Ricky Goodall, Meditation Instructor & Certified Nutrition Coach