The vast majority of “stuff” going on around you gets filtered out of your conscious awareness by the RAS (reticular activating system) of your brain. The tiny amount of data that does blip on your radar screen becomes immensely important because your brain is wired to always get you more of what you consistently think about. What you focus upon, tends to manifest. This is a basic principle of the law of attraction.
Many law of attraction authorities refer to thoughts as being “things.” What you think, an internal and immaterial process, invariably finds a way of influencing the physical world around you. The quality of your thinking has a direct influence upon the quality of what manifests down the road.
Unfortunately, for most people, their thinking process is largely unconscious. It’s not until you are able to bring a level of conscious awareness to the kind of thoughts you are having, that you will be able to change your thinking and thus change your outcomes. If you continue to run on autopilot, simply reacting in preprogrammed ways (executing strategies and scripts), you will continue to get the same results you are currently getting. Until you can boldly challenge the validity of your assumptions about what things mean and develop multiple options in the way you interact with the world, you will keep having the same kinds of experiences over and over again.
OK, that may be a good thing if you’re currently enjoying a rich and fulfilling life— in that case, keep on keeping on with what you’re doing. It’s obviously working. However, for most of us, there’s at least one of two areas of our lives where the ruts of unconscious/ ingrained habit patterns continually bring pain, stress, and unhappiness.
Q: Is there a way to break free?
A: Yes! Remember what Tony Robbins said? The most influential force in determining the quality of our lives is the quality of the questions we ask ourselves.
For example, if you have a problem (doesn’t matter exactly what it is, just imagine something) you might ask, “What did I do to deserve this?” Or you could ask, “What is great about having this problem?” The structure of language in each of these will send your thought process down completely different avenues. Each thought has a vibration and direction that is either positive or negative and directly contributes to what you experience next. We’ve all experienced how easy it is to allow one little negative early in the morning completely destroy the remainder of one’s day. Likewise, an unexpected positive in the form of a complement can raise our internal vibration several notches to where we’re “walking on sunshine!”
Here’s the point: different types of questions lead to different types of thoughts, which lead to different emotions, that lead to different behaviors, that lead to different outcomes—which begins the cycle all over again.
Here’s just one example…let’s say something happens and you ask yourself: “Why did this happen to me?” A characteristic of your unconscious mind is to find ways of turning your thoughts into reality. So, if you ask it a question, it will dutifully give you an answer, even if it has to make something up. So, you’ll find yourself getting all sort of insightful answers bubble up from within as you mull it over. Things like, “Well, because you’re stupid. Your father always said you’d never make it. And just who do you think you are anyway? You’re not worthy of success. You just faked your way through life thus far and it’s finally catching up with you. Frankly, you’ve already gotten more than you should of because good things don’t happen to losers like you.”
It goes without saying that negative thoughts like these generate negative emotions, which generate negative behaviors. And you’re not left feeling bad because any of answers you get are actually true. You’re left feeling bad because the questions you asked yourself were the wrong questions! For every disempowering question there is always an empowering alternative that can be asked instead.
Again, Tony Robbins points out that,“Successful people ask better questions and as a result get better answers.” Asking yourself the right questions opens you up to the most creative and productive solutions because they are always focused on possibilities.
Here are some empowering questions to routinely ask yourself.They come from Tony Robbins’ book“Awaken the Giant Within.” Tony suggests spending a few minutes each morning reflecting on:
1. What am I happy about in my life now? (use “could” if having trouble.) What COULD you be happy about in life right now if you wanted to? What about that makes me happy? How does that make me feel?
2. What am I excited about in my life right now? What about that makes me excited? How does that make me feel?
3. What am I proud about in my life now? What about that makes me proud? How does that make me feel?
4. What am I grateful about in my life right now? What about that makes me grateful? How does that make me feel?
5. What am I enjoying most in my life right now? What about that do I enjoy? How does that make me feel?
6. Who do I love? Who loves me? What about that makes me loving? How does that make me feel?
These questions are NOT designed to whitewash over whatever is happening in your life. They are intended to shift your thinking to consider choices you have that will lead to you into positive action. Tony mentions that these questions get you to utilize the right hemisphere of the brain (where creativity lives) rather than our linear thinking left hemisphere. So, start to become more consciously aware of the kinds of questions you ask yourself. Catch yourself in the act of posing disempowering questions and simply reword them so that your mindset shifts to a more empowering standpoint.
As a transformational life coach, helping people ask themselves better questions that lead to breaking through their self-imposed limitations and do things they thought were impossible is something that I do on a daily basis.
A great way to get started on moving into the life you really want to have would be for you to contact me for a 45 minute FREE life transformation strategy session.
In this session we will:
- Uncover hidden challenges that may be the cause of chaos, stress and discord in your life.
- Create a crystal clear vision for your “ultimate life” of tremendous success on your terms with ample quality time and energy for all your priorities.
- Leave the session renewed, re-energized, and inspired to transform your life and accomplish all of the things that are really important to you.
Click here to schedule your complimentary session!
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Dr. Steve Stutz, CC is a Life Success Coach, specializing in helping clergy and professional church workers not only survive but to thrive during periods of crisis, transition, and renewal. To receive periodic personal development tips and success mindset articles, please join his e-list by visiting www.forwardpathcoaching.com