Change can happen

In Coaching, Counselling and Personal Development, Mind and Movement by Catherine PlanoLeave a Comment

Why not let go of your negative habits and embrace your positive beliefs that reside within you? You have the power to rewire your brain, you know. Simply by changing the way you think, you can change the way you act and feel.


The habits that run in our lives

We so often find ourselves repeating patterns over and over again – whether they appear in a different year, different time, different job or a different relationship, the same patterns or outcomes occur over and over. Most of us think that bad habits are smoking, biting nails or eating unhealthily – we look at the physical actions. The ones that are hard to recognise are the ones that have been running in our lives for a very long time. Some examples are:

  • Running late for work or meetings
  • Thinking negatively or focusing on negative
  • Gossiping
  • Seeking attention
  • Resisting change
  • Making rash decisions
  • Being defensive
  • Not finishing what you started
  • Not asking for help its needed
  • Holding on to things that no longer serve you
  • Spending time with people who make you unhappy.

One of my habits came to light just in the last six months or so, when my partner in a very frustrated tone said, “Catherine, you make it so hard for me to help you because you won’t accept my help or let me do things for you.” I sat and thought for a moment and then the penny dropped. It was like I was getting a replay of my life. Why do I find it so hard to ask for help?

There have been so many times in my life when I’ve needed help. When I was struggling, a single mother, working full time and managing all the responsibilities that come with caring for a child on your own, I never asked for help even though I knew I needed it. I had this belief that if I were to ask for help, it would be a sign of weakness. This is why I had not allowed a partner to help me financially, emotionally, or in any other way until now. It is only now, in letting go of that belief, and allowing support, that I can look at asking for help as a sign of strength, not as weakness.

Watching our thought packages go by

Change can happen in an instant, once we become aware of it and change our thinking. The first step is self-awareness – paying attention to what you are focusing on throughout your day, each day. This will create awareness – work out whether your thoughts are positive or negative, motivating or sabotaging. Without self-awareness and without being present or being conscious of our thoughts, we cannot possibly create the changes that are necessary to correct our outdated habits and beliefs, which are the foundation of our thoughts and feelings. These are the programs that run our lives. Whether these programs are serving us, or sabotaging us, they dominate areas in our lives such as our self-esteem, relationships, careers or health.

Of course you cannot stop your thoughts. In fact, sometimes the more you try to stop thinking certain thoughts, the more you think about them. For example, if I were to say to you, ‘Don’t think of a polar bear’ you will naturally think of a polar bear. But rather than resist your thoughts, let them come. Observe them. Choose the ones that you are going to let pass through you (without paying attention to them) and let in the ones you want.

Be conscious or present regularly, so as to build on the positive thoughts, to manifest them into reality. The best way to understand this is to imagine a conveyor belt sitting above your head. It runs 24 hours, 7 days a week, and on that conveyor belt sits the thoughts (packages) that continuously pass through. Sometimes, one of those packages may fall off the conveyor belt and, depending on how this thought is making me feel, I place it right back on that conveyor belt to move it right along.

Be the observer

Here’s an example: You are driving in your car, looking at the picturesque scenery around you, with pleasant music playing in the background. Then all of a sudden you catch yourself thinking about something from your past, and the more you think about it, the more you get worked up about it. This is the exact moment where you have a choice to stop it. You have a 60-second window to put that thought right back on the conveyor belt before your feelings take over. Once you have completed that task, all you have to do is turn your focus on to something that makes you happy to shift that feeling away.

Being the observer, and watching all of your thought habits (packages) go by will take a little practice, just like anything that you do. You need to keep at it until it becomes a habit.

Exactly the same process works for happy thoughts that make us feel great! If for example, I am cooking, listening to one of my favourite CD’s, ‘Le Fil’ by Camille and all of a sudden a thought pops into my mind of being in the South of France with my aunties making ‘soup a pistou’. This is a thought I want to hang on to. So I turn the music up and let my memories and my imagination take over. I know the longer I hang on to this thought, the more I fill up with heightened emotions of joy. And right there, I have made a conscious choice to take that thought (package) off the conveyor belt and give it more attention.

And then, I can reflect upon it and see how and why I might be able to manifest it into my reality.

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