Our mind is the most powerful tool we have; it can store either inaccurate conclusions about who we believe we are or assist us in turning our dreams into our reality. Depending on our thoughts we can either use our minds to limit our potential or enhance it.

Many of us can spend little time reflecting on our thought patterns and instead allow our minds to operate from its default programs which can sometimes cause us to store beliefs such as ‘I’m not good enough, I feel like a failure’ and so on.

These thoughts can lead to negative emotional cycles which can cause us to behave in fearful ways which can stop us from stepping out of our comfort zone, going after our dreams or trying something new.

Often, the more we reinforce our negative ‘beliefs’ the truer they become to us. Negative beliefs can form our reality and hold us back from going after what we want and often many of us continue to reinforce these limiting beliefs rather than challenging them.

If you want to break the cycle, below are 4 simple ways to retrain your brain:

  1. Observe

Keep a notepad and observe your thoughts for the day, make a note every time you make a judgement of yourself. What labels have you placed on yourself?  How often do you find your inner critic saying, ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m a failure’ or any other negative judgements?  Make a daily log of your thoughts in your journal or on the notes section of your phone for a week so that you can start to monitor and track your thought patterns.

  1. Challenge Your Beliefs

Often, we can allow ourselves to accept negative beliefs as ‘fact’ when in reality they aren’t, they are just outdated memories of events or experiences that have become deeply ingrained from our habit of reinforcing them.  Our subconscious minds then remind us of them to try and protect us from making the same mistakes to try and keep us ‘safe’. The next time you find your inner dialogue automatically jump into a ‘I am statement’ which isn’t positive; such as ‘I am useless at this task’ ask yourself ‘is this really true?’ is this a fact?’ challenging your thoughts rather than passively accepting them allows you to begin the process of taking your thoughts off autopilot and altering your perception.

  1. Stretch Yourself

Some of our thoughts can be formed from previous negative experiences, if for example you’ve continued to tell yourself that you aren’t an active person, challenge this belief by taking some small action steps to becoming fitter. When you challenge old beliefs with new actions, you automatically counteract your negative chatter, replace outdated beliefs and stretch yourself out of your comfort zone. 

Make a list of some limiting beliefs that you’ve created in a particular area of your life and then pick one belief that you’d like to work on in the coming month. Once you have picked your belief, write down 2 small action steps that you can take to challenge this belief over the course of the next month, if for example you wanted to challenge the belief that ‘you aren’t a fit person’ maybe you could take part in some physical activities that you enjoy, go for a walk on your lunch break or add some form of exercise to your daily routine.

The more often we choose to replace outdated beliefs with positive new experiences, the easier it becomes to break free from them.

  1. Positive Affirmations

Reciting positive affirmations is a great way to aid us in reprogramming our thoughts into more productive behaviours. After you’ve spent some time observing and keeping a log of your thoughts, choose the most common negative belief that you tend to unconsciously affirm to yourself and choose to replace this thought with a more positive one. Doing this on a consistent basis can help you to re-route your thoughts and move closer to your goals.

Some affirmations could include:

  • I believe in myself and my abilities
  • I love and accept myself

  • I play a big role in my own career success

  • I get healthier every day…

Make a list of some of your own affirmations that could support you to reach your goals and consider reciting them in your mind throughout the day. Maybe you can stick them on your mirror or as a reminder to flash up on your phone or calendar throughout the day.

With practice, you can retrain your mind to bust through outdated beliefs, reach your greatest potential and change your life.

What new reality would you like to create?

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