In order to accomplish what we want in our lives, we first have to believe we can do it. All our results start with our beliefs.
The trouble is that our brains are programmed to notice the negative and they use that information to define our present and create our future. In order to get different results than the ones we've always gotten, we need to interrupt our brain's "prediction machinery" and think new thoughts.
So how do we do this?
In this episode I'll give you three keys to believing new things about yourself, your abilities, and your life.
1. Give yourself permission to think new things. Even without evidence.
2. Practice thinking new thoughts on purpose.
3. Experience the results of your belief ahead of time.
The truth is you get to believe whatever you want about yourself and choosing your thoughts on purpose is a skill you can apply over and over again to create the life you want...and that, my friends, is 100% awesome!
Give Yourself Permission to Think New Things
For many of us, we can find it difficult to believe new things. We think we need evidence to believe things about ourselves, but we don't. In fact if we wait for evidence we will wait forever because the brain is only worried about providing evidence of thoughts it already believes.
When you find it difficult to believe new things, try going on a "thought fast." You don’t have to give up the old belief forever if you don’t want to, but could you just go on a "thought fast" and give up thinking the old thought for a certain period of time. Could you not think the old thought and let yourself think the new one for 30 days? And when the thought comes up, you just remind yourself, "Oh yea, I’m not thinking that. I’m fasting. For 30 days I’m giving myself permission to think something else."
Practice the New Thought
You have to practice thoughts just like you practice anything else—the piano, Italian, pull-ups, driving a car, tying your shoes, making pie. The first time you do something new it takes all your brain power. It takes all your concentration and you do it badly.
Thinking new thoughts is no different. The first time you do it, it takes all your brain power, it takes all your concentration, and you might do it badly. But the more you practice the more natural and comfortable the new belief will become.
Experience Your Results Ahead of Time
So one of the most amazing things about the brain is that it can’t tell the difference between real and imagined experiences.
When we have a thought it produces a feeling. If we have a thought about a real experience we have a feeling. If we have a thought about an imagined experience we have a feeling. The brain doesn't differentiate between the two experiences.
So one thing that can help us believe new thoughts is to tap into the feelings we will have when we get the result we want. And we can experience them whenever we want. Even more importantly, the more we feel those feelings the more it reinforces the new belief.
More Help to Retell Your Story
As you go to believe new thoughts, you can ask yourself these questions:
Mentioned on the podcast:
“If you don’t feel good when you think about your goal, you’re unlikely to achieve it. Even if you do, you won’t sustain the results long term. This is because if you feel pessimistic about your goals, it means you don’t believe you can do it. And our brain always sets out to seek or create evidence for what we believe.”