You might have found over this week and also in the past, that when you have tried to set aims for your life, whether they be aims to overcome your present situation, aims for being a parent, aims for your life or aims for the kind of person you aspire to be, you have these little voices of objection or self-doubt that keep popping up.
These voices seem so loud and believable that they often stop you right in your tracks and prevent you from making any changes to your life. These little voices are your memes. The habitual thinking from your mind that has become the physical connections in your brain, limiting you from doing anything differently from the way it usually is.
In today’s lesson we are going to discuss some of these memes and I will show you how to think about them differently and learn how you can banish them for good, freeing you up to continue along your path towards your aims that you’ve set over the last few days.
The Top Five memes to overcome when setting your goals.
1. I don’t know what I want
Sometimes we find that we don’t really know what we want and what aims we might like to set. Perhaps this is because you have been so used to thinking about what’s wrong and what you are missing out on, that you don’t know what you would wish for if you could wish for anything. Or, which I find is the case for me, there just seems to be so many options to choose from that there are almost too many options and it becomes overwhelming. When in this state, it can almost be easier to do nothing, so we don’t set our aims and continue living our lives in the same way.
How to overcome this meme:
Start by contemplating the experience you would like to have. Rather than getting caught up in how this will effect your whole life and the repercussions of your aims, just think about what you might like to experience in the area of your life that you are thinking about. Once you have set the goal, you resource how to get to it (step 4 of TRACK process – choices), create the plan of getting to the goal (step 5 of TRACK process – Know your plan) and then travel along your path towards your plan. You might find that you don’t want the aim anymore, or you may like to change it. This is totally okay.
Remember that the purpose of goals is to set life in motion. By setting a goal in the first place and travelling towards it you experience life and receive learnings from these experiences. You may receive new information from your experiences that lead you to setting different aims or finding that you don’t really want the one that you originally set. This is totally okay, and in fact is a healthy and exciting part of being alive in this world. If you don’t know what you want, don’t over-analyse or put pressure on yourself to ‘get it [your aim] right’. Just contemplate something that you may like to experience and start from there. You can always change it as you proceed.
2. The ‘I can’t’ mentality
Often we have been so heavily conditioned to believe that we can’t do something that you struggle to even contemplate being able to do something. Thoughts like ‘I couldn’t possibly do that’, or ‘that’s too hard’, ‘I’ve never done anything like that before’, and ‘it’s not possible’ or even ‘I can’t be happy because I don’t know how’ all fall under this category making you believe that your aims cannot be reached.
How to overcome this meme:
Ignore these statements and start planning how to do it anyway. Sometimes these ‘I can’t’ statements are simply because we are doing something new and may just lack the information on how to reach this aim. In the final two steps of the TRACK process you will learn how to search for the ‘how to’ part of achieving your aims and then create plans for achieving these aims. Whenever you notice these statements popping up and trying to stop your progress, acknowledge them (accept the reality that they are here and are merely incorrect conditioning that has occurred in your brain, taught from the ignorant minds of others) and then push them to the side and proceed with the rest of the process. When you try anyway, you may just be surprised by your new capabilities. Ever heard the saying, ‘knowledge is power’? Knowledge and application of knowledge is how you can turn an ‘I can’t’ into a ‘well, would you look at what I just did’.
Sometimes the ‘I can’ts’ are simply because you haven’t yet learn how you can yet.
3. I’m scared of what I can be (fear of success)
You often hear this from people who have made some major changes in their lives or are making major changes to their thinking process and trying to achieve major goals in their lives. This is essentially what you are doing in this program, and have been doing over this week. You are setting some big goals here and this can start you thinking about what that may mean for you and that makes you scared and uncomfortable. This is probably because you don’t know yourself as anybody other than who you currently are. Perhaps you have never been any other way but someone who is sad, melancholy or who feels bad about themselves and their lives and you just don’t know how to deal with the possibility of all this happiness.
How to overcome this meme:
Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed with the end result of you being happy. Understand that what you are doing will be gradual. Because of your present mindset, you won’t all of a sudden become that happy, deliriously excited person that you may be aiming for be straight away. The process between where you are at now and where you will go will be progressive and you will be ready for that by the time it comes around. As you reach each milestone that you will create, you will increase your confidence and you will also keep using the TRACK process to keep abreast of the thinking that pops up along the way.
You will be gradually retraining your mind to think in alignment with thoughts that create your feelings. Don’t get scared about how you will feel when you achieve your aims because you will be progressively changing your thoughts, which will progressively change your feelings too. Also remember that you are always setting aims consciously and deliberately, so if you find that you are on your way towards something that you’ve decided doesn’t really align with your bigger picture aims anymore, then you can always change your mind. Just make sure that you change these aims and re-test why you want this new aim, so that you aren’t just going back to what is safe.
4. I don’t deserve to be happy
This meme would have been set up long ago and can be difficult to overcome. You may logically know that you do deserve to be happy, but there is something that keeps bringing in this self-doubt that stops you from doing the things required to bring you happiness. Sometimes it’s even subliminal that you do this, meaning that you aren’t even aware that you are stopping yourself, however you keep experiencing behaviour that seems to self-sabotage your attempts to create a happy life for yourself (for example, falling into aggressive relationships again and again, or finding conflict with others when you aimed for them to be harmonious and for you to be calm).
We have learnt that there is no such thing as self-sabotage. You are always working in your best interests 100% of the time. If you are doing things to sabotage your progress towards changing, especially when logically you know not to do these things, then know that there is a deep seated belief in your mind that is serving your interests. It doesn’t matter to your mind if this belief is not in alignment with reality, this is the priority belief that gets activated whenever you try to do something new or different that threatens this stronger belief. For example, if you were in an abusive relationship there is a reason why you are this reason is serving you. There is a payoff for it. Even though your mind’s logic may say to you that you shouldn’t be in this relationship, a priority belief is saying ‘you have to stay in this relationship’ and this belief is protecting your self-worth somehow. It could be ‘my kids need a father’, ‘no one else would love me’, ‘I couldn’t live without his financial support’, ‘I don’t know how to have a healthy relationship, so I’ll just stick with what I know’. Any of these beliefs might be strong enough to influence someone staying in a relationship over leaving or changing the treatment received even though logic says otherwise.
How to overcome this meme:
It can be difficult to overcome subconscious beliefs that seem to be sabotaging your efforts to change, however at the end of this lesson I am going to show you exactly how you can do this by setting affirmations. Some people roll their eyes when affirmations are mentioned, however when you understand the science behind why it works and learn exactly how to do it, then you may just change your mind. When setting your aims, it’s really important to set affirmations too, so that you can start to deal with all these little voices that tell you things like you don’t deserve to be happy.
5. I’m not strong enough or smart enough to change
We could believe that we lack some sort of quality that is required to change. ‘I didn’t have much education, so I don’t know how to learn’, ‘I am a weak person and have never been strong, so I won’t be strong enough to do what I need to do’ or even ‘My whole family has had depression and it has been handed down to me’. These beliefs can all limit our ability to move forward and achieve what we want in life.
How to overcome this meme:
Whatever quality you believe you lack, can be learnt. Whatever you believe you have been handed down genetically can be changed. Every single brain in every single person’s head has the capability of changing it’s structure. In fact it is doing this all the time. When you embrace the scientific evidence that tells you that with repetition and consistency you can retrain your brain to do anything, then you hold the power to retrain yourself to hold these qualities that you believe you lack or learn a different way to think and behave.
Think about it for a moment. Doctors have told cancer patients to say their goodbyes to their loved ones and then have made full recoveries because they have taught their brains to heal. People have taught themselves to walk when others have said it would never be possible. Homeless people have become millionaires by learning how to be rich and applying this information. Other people have overcome depression and gone onto lives with immense fulfillment (I include myself here). If you want inspiration into the possibilities of what you can do with what you have been given (In your case, perhaps the beliefs about being weak or stupid)? Go and visit this You Tube video of Nick Vujicic – the man with no arms and no legs who has overcome massive adversities to go onto be happier than most of us will ever be in our whole lifetime with arms and legs.
The point is that you can teach your brain to do anything that you desire. Just because you currently lack some sort of ability, this is not excuse to stop. As you will learn in the coming weeks, seek out those who have achieved what you want and have overcome the challenges that you presently have, learn from them and apply it to your life in order to achieve your aims. This approach is so empowering, I’m getting excited just writing this information.
The Power of Affirmations
As you can see from the examples above, there are quite a few memes that can pop up when we attempt to set new aims for our lives. From the information that you have learnt about the human brain, you also know that these memes can be changed with repetition and consistent exposure to new information, the same way they were set up in the first place. This whole program has been written with this intent – changing how you think about the challenges of your life and how you view your self-worth.
This is because your brain sees this new aim as a threat to what you currently know, that is what is currently set up in your brain, so it tries to reset your life back into alignment with those hard wired physical neural connections (which is essentially what your beliefs are). It will often do this subtly and subconsciously, sometimes without you even being aware of it, so what you need to do is to counteract that by consciously feeding your brain new information that will eventually grow new connections in the brain and become unconscious habits.
Affirmations are a very powerful for achieving this. In fact this can be a very empowering way for quickly recreating new pathways of thinking.
Watch the video below where gymnast, Rebecca has to train her brain to learn a new gymnastic move for Olympic competition. You will see how professional sportspeople just like Rebecca are using visualisation and this concept of repetition to the brain, to grow these new neural connections. By watching this video you will get a visual conception of what I’m talking about here, so you can see for yourself just how powerful affirmations can be for your life.
Every single time you stop those old thoughts and replace them with your new affirmation, you are strengthening the new connections in your brain (your new belief – the affirmation) and you are weakening the old limiting thinking. The more you think about your new belief, the more evidence you find of this belief being true in your life, which further strengthens your beliefs.
Over time, as you continue to consciously feed your brain this new information and start to believe it by seeing evidence of it being true, the old limiting beliefs literally die off in the brain, as they have become the goat track and this new, more empowering way of thinking has become the superhighway.
This is why affirmations are so powerful. You are literally changing the connections in the brain that are currently causing you to feel the way that you do.
When you do this, take notice of how you FEEL. This is really important. When you first say your affirmation, you probably won’t feel it at all. In fact it will probably feel like a lie. That’s okay. Say it again, and again, each time taking notice of how you FEEL. Also take notice of any images, memories or comments that come up after you say it, so just pause after you say your affirmation and wait for these feelings, images, thoughts etc that come up.
When you do notice them, simply acknowledge that they are there without judgement and say your affirmation again looking at yourself right in the eyes, right into your soul.
For example, sometimes I find myself slipping back into getting annoyed at the kids and the challenges that they give me, so I’ve been working with the affirmation ‘I am calm and patient with my kids’. When I said this affirmation to myself for the first time, my immediate response in my mind was, ‘No you’re not. You’re always yelling at them.’ I simply ignored this mental objection and said it again. This time I had a memory come up of my father, followed very closely with the mental comment of ‘You have his temper. You’re never going to be patient’. I then said my affirmation again and then again. Each time I said it and did not give any energy to the objections or images or feelings that arose, I started to feel this statement with more conviction.
As you continue to do these affirmations over several days, weeks and months, you find it easier and easier for this level of conviction to increase and often you will start to feel excited by the affirmation, or start to have thoughts and images about what this statement will mean. This is because you are starting to believe in this affirmation. It is starting to form in your brain as a new neural connection and the more you affirm this statement the stronger this connection will be.
For example, another one of my affirmations of late has been ‘I have a million dollar business’. At first there were the usual statements ‘no you don’t’, and ‘how are you going to do that’. However after a while, I started to feel excited about this prospect. As I said the affirmation, images started to come into my mind of talking at a convention overseas or buying clothes that I want with the money I’ll have from my business. Instead of my mind visualising what I lacked and these comments coming up in my mind about how I couldn’t get that aim, it started to imagine what it would be like to have that goal and then the feelings started to come of what it would be like to have that goal or believe in that affirmation. The believe-ability factor started to emerge with this repetition and consistency of the affirmation.
This will happen naturally as you start doing mirror affirmations too. It is fascinating to observe what thoughts and images pop up when you start saying your affirmations. When you have all this self-doubt, objections, memories from the past etc look at them with interest, because these are all the things that your brain has linked to keeping you stuck where you’ve been. These are all the memes that are coming to the surface, trying to lure you back into your limiting habitual thinking.
Affirmations are powerful. It changes the physical structure of your brain and stops that habitual limiting thinking that is holding you back from having the life that you desire. In tomorrow’s lesson you are going to learn how to create your own affirmations, as well as create a document that lists all of your aims that you are presently going to be working towards.
I can’t wait to show you how to do this!!!