This is two of a six-part series on zoning in on where you’re at on your experience radar. How does it translate into your life – all aspects; lifestyle, career, finances, goals, play, adventures, people you meet, and how you’re living your life, every day.
We all have these stories about ourselves that we can’t quite quit. It’s like a bad habit. In fact, it is a habit. It’s a pattern that we’ve learned and adopted and honed as our own. It’s a state of mind that we’ve latched onto. It’s our home base. Our comfort, go to pattern of being.
If the story that you’re telling yourself was read to a young child at bedtime, would they be so terrified that they’d pull a blanket over their head in sheer terror? If yes, then you’ve got to let go of that story that you keep telling yourself. It’s definitely not serving you. At all.
These are the stories that are holding you back from living your life, and what could, if the pattern changed, be a happy or happier life for yourself.
Most of us, not all, like to beat ourselves up with thoughts of negativity and self-fulfilling prophecies of doom and gloom. Why? Because your thoughts lead into action. If you believe, or keep telling yourself that you’re afraid, or can’t do something, or have limiting beliefs, guess what, you will. Whatever you feed, grows. If you feed negative thoughts, then your negative thoughts will take over. If you feed fear, your fear will grow.
So, what do you do about this? You need to focus and work on (it takes persistent work) creating a more positive story for yourself. A story that puts you smack dab in the middle of it all. The hero or heroine, the champion, the main character, the lead, the principal lead, the director and star, you get where I’m going with this?
Cognitively you also need to practice writing down and saying it repeatedly until it forms a pattern in your brain how your new optimistic story is going to be told. Ask yourself; “Why is so easy for me to fall prey to my negative self-talk, and so difficult to shift to a new uplifting story?”
A part of your brain is still wired from prehistoric times when you needed to protect yourself – fiercely. Animals wanted to eat you. When they saw a bush rustling there was probably a lion behind it. Now it’s most likely the wind blowing. Hence, you tend to blow so many life experiences because of fear.
You actually need to catch yourself when you’re in a negative spin and yell; “STOP!!! ENOUGH” This will trigger you to clear your brain deck (if that’s even possible) to bring in positive thoughts. It’s not easy. Ok, and yes, cliché as this sounds – nothing worthwhile is rarely easy. It does take effort. It’s really up to you and how willing you are to WANT to shift your state of mind.
How you get there is to break patterns that do not serve you. You do that by taking small steps every single day to move you on a new path. The only way to adopt new strategies and patterns is to take action. Try things. Experience more. Trust that you will become more and more comfortable with the outcome as you become better at taking action.
One way to take action is by using the tool WOOP. WOOP was created by Psychologist, Gabriele Oettingen, the author of the book: ‘Rethinking Positive Thinking.’ Twenty years of research in the science of human motivation revealed a new way to approach how to think and take action.
WOOP is: Wish, Outcome, Obstacles, Plans
In a nutshell and yet I encourage you to dive into her strategy in detail. She also has a free app called: Woop (of course)
The idea is to write down the following:
- WISH: What do you want to create in your life?
- OUTCOME: What’s the best-case scenario of achieving that?
- OBSTACLES: What will get in your way? How will you get in your own way?
- PLANS: What will you do about those obstacles when they arise?
The premise is that we tend to stop what we’re doing when we find obstacles. We get discouraged. And without a plan of action, we tend to give up. There’s more to it than that and absolutely worth experiencing if you find yourself wondering why you keep holding yourself back.
When you find it difficult to start anything, it’s going to be difficult for you to action. The idea is for you to start anyway. Don’t get wrapped up in the HOW, start with WHY and take actionable steps every day to experience more.
I leave you with this until next week when we dive into Part 3 of Are You Experienced. Perhaps for some reason you’re finding that you’re still struggling to take action – let’s pinpoint as to why that is.
Part 3 – If I Only had The Nerve