Unlearning negative thinking can be thought of as unraveling a tightly bound rope and pulling apart each thread in order to “un-create” the old and re-create something new.
It calls for challenging your current beliefs and outlooks on life to see if they really resonate with you or if they’re just a loop playing from an experience or person from your past that no longer serves you in empowering ways.
When we grow up, until about age seven, we’re constantly absorbing data about the world around us, from what we should think and believe to how we must act in order to fit in with and be accepted by those around us. It’s a crucial point in our lives when our mental conditioning is in progress.
Sometimes we unwittingly pick up beliefs or condition ourselves to believe something that later in life causes us much pain and suffering.
If we repeatedly saw suffering or complaining in our immediate environment, we will adopt that thought pattern as our own, since at that ripe young age, our minds do not yet have the capacity to discern the data as truth or illusion. We just take it ALL in as truth because we trust the source from which it comes.
As we get older and start to develop our sense of discernment, we start to feel that inner disharmony between what we want to think and believe and what we’re actually believing. It can be tricky to know where it originates without deep introspection but we all have experienced that confusion and have asked ourselves, “why am I like this?” especially when we wish to be something different.
That’s when we must look at those thinking patterns that have had unwanted effects on us and dig a little deeper in our minds to see how we became conditioned to believe them in the first place.
Here are some guidelines to help you determine the “seed” of your thought pattern from which it all began. Ask yourself these simple questions below. It’s important to know that since we’re communicating with our subconscious minds in this process, the answers will be much simpler and child-like with elementary-level vocabulary. In this process, we will basically go back in time, asking that 0 to 7-year-old part of our brain, “what happened?”
So, when you have a thought that you want to eliminate from your thinking, start to ask yourself questions like:
- Who have I heard this from before?
Many times, it’s our own parents and family members who condition our thinking the most. Don’t blame them though; they’re in the same loop and learned it from their parents and family too. Forgive them for that which they do not know and move forward knowing you are now breaking this pattern and creating a better belief for yourself.
- When was the first time I remember picking up this belief?
Emotional experiences are the quickest ways our subconscious minds buy into a belief. What kind of emotional experiences have you lived through to trigger such a response? Can you remember experiencing something and declaring to yourself you would never do it again? Briefly revisit the past event with the sole intent of recognizing the origin of your belief and forgiving all involved. It is unnecessary to stay in the emotion. Simply see it for the belief it is and allow the clarity of your adult perspective to provide a new, more empowering belief, as a loving parent would do for their misguided child.
These two questions alone have the ability to point you in the right direction. The next question will have you seeing this belief from a new point of view that the child version of you had not considered.
- What have I learned from having this belief?
There is a reason and a benefit for every belief and every experience we have in our lives. They are all here to help us grow and evolve into more of our Truest Selves. Has the belief taught you to be more aware of the world or caring towards yourself? Has it shown you a way you no longer wish to live, allowing you to use your power of choice to choose a new belief you actually want to live by? Has the belief shown you how much pain your parents were in and can you have compassion for them, seeing as how they didn’t understand? Whatever the lesson learned, once you see how it has helped you become a better version of yourself, you can let it go and choose a better belief.
- Choosing a Better Belief
You may already know the new belief you wish to have instead of the limiting one. It’s usually something you already wish to be, something that lights your heart up. If you are unsure of a new belief to condition yourself for, a general rule of thumb is to start with the opposing belief. It feels like a breath of fresh air. If for instance, your belief is “I am not good enough” and your past situation has shown you that, you must remember before that person or experience exposed you to the limitation you knew you were TOTALLY good enough! Right? From there, the illusion of the limited belief practically crumbles, and the un-conditioning begins. Choose to see the truth in any given situation and the illusion will be unable to survive.
With this brief introduction to leaving your negative thinking behind, you will certainly begin to dislodge old programming and empower yourself with new thoughts that serve your highest good.
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*Previously published on October 19, 2018.
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