TURNING YOUR NEGATIVES INTO YOUR POSITIVES
Our thoughts become our reality. This is because the human brain is designed to meet expectations, whether our own or other peoples’.
So, not only is it true to say that we learn from our experiences, but also that our experiences are shaped by what we have learnt.
NEGATIVE BELIEFS CAN BECOME OUR REALITY…
Schoolteacher, Jane Elliott, from Iowa discovered all this in a startling experiment which she conducted with her sixth graders. One day, as part of a lesson on discrimination, she told the class that people with blue eyes were not as bright as those with brown. It was not long before the brown-eyed children were asserting their superiority. And it was not long before the brightest girl in the class, who happened to have blue eyes, began stumbling over the text she was reading aloud, and was then unable to do her multiplication. All it took was a few hours, for the fabricated myth to become the childrens’ reality.
THOUGHTLESS COMMENTS THAT CAN SHAPE YOUR LIFE…
Gone uncorrected, how much damage would this have done in those childrens’ lives? Closer to home, are there things that you were told in your childhood – thoughtless opinions from unwise adults – which still shape your life today? Perhaps you were told you were bad at something and, taking that to heart, you realise that it’s a belief you still hold today.
The power of negative comments was shown by a study from Harvard University. It was shown that if someone is told they couldn’t do something by one person, it would take 17 other people to tell them they could before they believed it.
Imagine the thoughts in your own head. We all know what it’s like when they just go round and round, repeating the same thing over and over. How many times a day can we tell ourselves the same thing? If it’s negative, it’s going to create a negative belief and soon, a negative reality.
BUT NEUROSCIENCE HAS SHOWN THAT POSITIVE THINKING WORKS…
Our thoughts, and the emotions attached to them, create neural pathways in our brain. The more those pathways are used, the more established they become. Stop using that pathway, and it begins to fade until gradually you lose the ability to access it all.
RE-SHAPING OUR REALITY…
In the past, it was thought that the brain stopped adapting as we aged. Neuroscientists have now discovered that in fact the brain keeps learning throughout life. This is great news because it means that if we start consciously focusing on new positive thoughts, we will begin to create new neural pathways to create new, positive habits, and so a new positive reality.
To begin with, you don’t even have to believe the positive thoughts, pretending will be enough. But being as thorough and consistent as you can be is important. This simply means that when you notice an old negative thought, replace it with the new positive one, and allow yourself to dwell on it for a while. Like being at the gym, regular practise produces results. This doesn’t mean that you need to suppress the negative thought or feeling, just that you switch your focus onto the positive.
Emmet Fox, author and lecturer, suggested in his leaflet “The Seven-Day Mental Diet” that if we spend only a week focusing on positive thoughts, our brain patterns, our habits, the way we relate to the world, and our reality will already be much transformed.
To find out how you could benefit from counselling or life coaching with Sarah, please contact her.