I tried something last week, and it didn’t work.
For the last couple of months, I have been waking up at 5:00 am. It’s been glorious, and I imagined being able to leverage the end of Daylight Savings Time to my advantage to accomplish even more before the kids wake up.
My bright idea was that I would wake up at the same time that my body was conditioned to rising. You know, like my 3-year-old who can’t read a clock but wakes up every morning at exactly the same time no matter the season.
I was sure I would be able to do the same. It would be easy! My 5:00 am wake up time would now effortlessly become 4:00 am. I wouldn’t have to do anything differently. Right?
I could not fool myself into thinking it was the same while the clock read something new.
Because I am a person who wakes up at 5:00 am. I hadn’t fully committed to making the change to being a person who wakes up at 4:00 am. I was counting on “tricking” myself into getting the results instead of becoming the person who has the results. I hadn’t created a compelling reason for doing it, nor did I create a strategy for making it a permanent change.
I see it happen with many of my clients, too. They want a new result but are still holding on to their old thoughts while hoping they can fool themselves long enough to get it.
So how do you go about believing something new?
You literally have to practice thinking a thought over and over until you eventually believe it.
Yes, it’s exactly like brainwashing yourself. But it is no different than the collective brainwashing we do in the spring when we all decide to move our clock ahead and an hour mysteriously disappears.
In this case, you won’t have the benefit of everyone believing the same thing at the same time. You will have to do this on your own.
New thoughts become new beliefs
- Decide what YOU want to believe.
- Create the sentence in your mind.
- Accept it as true.
- Practice and repeat.
Decide what you want to believe.
What do you want to believe? Not what your husband or friends want you to believe. This isn’t something that you can just go along with. Do you know what you currently believe? When is the last time you looked at your beliefs carefully? Your current thoughts need to be evaluated if you want to change what you believe. This is especially true when you are changing thoughts and beliefs about yourself. There are no rules about what you can believe.
Create the sentence in your mind.
Often clients will ask me what they should believe. That isn’t something I can decide for you. This is your life. You need to take ownership of it, and it begins in your mind. This sentence can be anything you want, but don’t make it so long it becomes difficult to remember. Play around with the language and words that create the emotion you want to have until you find something that “feels” right to you.
Accept it as true.
Truths are choices. If you want to disbelieve something, you have to recognize that you have accepted something as true and decide to change your mind about it on purpose. What we believe and focus our mind on is a choice.
Practice and repeat.
Commit it to memory. Write it down. Say it out loud. Imagine and visualize yourself believing what you have to believe in order to get the result you want to get. Think about what you will be thinking and feeling and doing. If it is difficult you can even imagine yourself as a character you are studying to act as in an upcoming production. What does that character (you with this new belief) do, feel, and think? Step into this new character.
How long does this process take? The better question is how long can you believe it. Depending on how actively you practice, this can take several weeks or even months.
Sometimes you will want to believe something new, but because you have believed the opposite for so long it will seem out of reach. Allow it to feel impossible and awkward, but commit to it, and go to work practicing it.
When you change a belief, it will be uncomfortable. Do it anyway.
As you think differently, your brain will resist and cause you to feel dread and anxiety. That’s exactly what is supposed to happen. Don’t worry. Just know that your brain is trying to make sense of new thinking that seemingly poses a threat to the status quo. Your brain will always choose old thoughts over new ones.
You will have to keep pushing and moving towards the discomfort you feel.
Is it too late for me to become a person who wakes up at 4:00 am? No, it’s never too late. And it’s never too late for you to change the beliefs you have about yourself, your life, your relationships, and your future.
If you keep your current beliefs you will keep your current results. New results require new beliefs. The future is yours to create.
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