Engineering Your Own Reflection
Hello there, my friend! How are you? I hope you are treating life well, and I hope that it is reciprocating. I hope you have had the chance to read the first two installments of this blog post. If not, then go back and read up! This article will make no sense without the first two.
Last week, we spoke about intentional and unintentional conditioning. Today, I want to share the simple but necessary steps that you need to take to free yourself from the conditioned beliefs that limit your health and fitness.
Step #1: Create a Crystal Clear Vision of What You DO Want! I have written extensively about this in my past posts because I believe this simple concept to be the MOST profound element of personal change (see my recent post: Goal Setting for Fitness, Parts I & II). The vision that you create will serve as your personal foundation for change. Read the blog post listed to get a greater understanding of what this is. In essence, you are “creating” a mental image of what you want to look like, feel like, be like, and act like. This should include both your physical and mental characteristics and should essentially be a vision of what you keenly desire.
Step #2: Raise Your Level of Awareness When you stood on the scale and saw the number that you did not want to see, your brain began to draw from the default “picture” that has been created from years of conditioning. Phrases such as, “You loser,” “You will never get your goal,” “You Pig,” and other forms of self-slander all stem from the unintentional conditioning that we discussed in last week’s post. Under normal circumstances, you would remain unaware about this self slander and accept it as fact, telling yourself, “Yep, that is just the way it is. My thoughts are correct!” In reality, what you need to do is raise your level of awareness and realize that those thoughts are just that: THOUGHTS. Nothing more! There is no reality attached to them whatsoever. The KEY is to raise your awareness and recognize when these thoughts invade your mind. In essence, you should be able to recognize when you call yourself a “slob,” and then call yourself out on it! This step is absolutely necessary because this is where you begin to build mental mastery. If you are not able to identify your faulty thinking, then you will forever stay in the cycle of ACTING on your default thinking.
Step #3: Challenge & Destroy Now that you are becoming more aware of the negative (unintentional) conditioning that is running rampant in your head, it becomes your responsibility to seek and destroy it! Yes, once you identify a negative thought or a destructive pattern of thinking (e.g., I am out of control, and I cannot change my habits, or any other negative thought), you can then proactively challenge those thoughts with a complete and utter opposite way of thinking. As an example, when you look in the mirror, and you say to yourself, “I am ugly and fat,” you automatically force yourself to say, “I am attractive and heading towards my ultimate goal each and every day.” In this example, you accomplished two things: 1- By stating the opposite thought of which you are used to, you short circuit and challenge the existing belief pattern of “I am ugly and fat.” If you do this repeatedly, you will eventually begin to believe the new thought pattern and replace it as a consequence, and, 2- You offer a logical and rational alternative to your subconscious mind, which, in reality, is altering your default thinking pattern/belief of “I am ugly and fat”. By stating that you are “heading towards your goal each and every day,” you use your conscious mind to influence your subconscious mind. This is USING INTENTIONAL CONDITIONING at a conscious level to override the unintentional conditioning at the subconscious level. In other words, “I am attractive and heading towards my ultimate goal each and every day” is a conscious weapon against your subconscious belief of, “I am ugly and fat.” I hope you are following me!
Step #4: WEAR OUT Your Crystal Clear Vision This one is simple: it simply means that you have to carry your Crystal Clear Vision (CCV) with you at all times. Why? Because you are a human being, and you are subjected to the default unintentional conditioning of your subconscious mind! In other words, it is easy to fall back on phrases, such as “you pig,” “you loser,” and all of the other modes of thinking that you “go to” as a form of default. It is in these moments that you need your CCV to be with you so that you can pull it out and “refresh and remind” your conscious mind with some good old intentional conditioning that YOU are in charge of! For example, if you are feeling guilty about indulging in a soda pop that you were not supposed to, you can pull out your CCV and remember that it is okay that you slipped because you have an overall vision to accomplish!
Step #5: ACT OUT Your Crystal Clear Vision Here is the hardest but most rewarding part. Going back to the soda pop example above, let’s say that you pull out your CCV and fill your mind with GOOD intentional conditioning. While reading your CCV, you are reminded that you are “running everyday for 30 minutes and enjoying the rush of exercise and self mastery.” If you read this in your CCV, go back to business as normal, and DO NOT ACT ON your CCV by taking a run, then steps #1 through #3 are absolutely worthless and a waste of your mental faculties. Remember, your conscious and subconscious minds are not stupid. If you have stated that you are running everyday for 30 minutes and then you don’t follow through, then your brain sounds out the BS alarm and you further reinforce the existing negative beliefs. If it is part of your vision, then you must ACT on it! Conclusion: We started out describing why using the scale to measure your overall health and fitness is a bad idea from a physical stand point. From there, we discussed how to change the inner dialogue of the mind that is set in motion by years of unintentional conditioning. You now are armed with simple facts that can and will change your life IF you APPLY them. The question is this: Are you going to now follow through, my friend? I think you will, knowing in your soul that it is the right thing to do.
Let me know if I can help you in your journey, and remember to enjoy the journey!
Life is good!