March 28, 2016
5 Ideas, 3 Questions, and an Action
Imagine if we heard the same song ten times a day for five years straight. It would get stuck in our head, right? We would surely find ourselves absentmindedly humming its melody and mumbling its lyrics throughout the day—for sure. Even if we were sick of hearing it and humming it, it would still pop up in our head all by itself, right?
That’s because the mind is like that. When it hears the same thing over and over again it develops a comfort around it—it keeps it close to the surface for easy reference and recall. With music this is called repetunitis, melodymania, and earworms.
That said, the same holds true for the internal messages that we repeat to ourselves day after day. These messages matter. That is because what we think about most becomes dominant and our dominant messages become our focus, and our focus informs our beliefs, and our beliefs become the glasses through which we experience the world…and our experience is our reality. Literally.
So, to whittle it down to its core: Our dominant messages become our reality. If we think about something enough, we begin to look for it. And when we look for something long enough we, generally, find it.
So, what can be done to work with this process? Developing a strengths mindset starts with the core messages that we repeat to ourselves throughout the day. And, as always, becoming aware of something is always the first step. A micro-action that can be implemented right here and right now is checking in with ourselves and asking, “How am I doing in my life?” The first thought will be a good indicator of what our dominant messages sound like. Positive? Negative? Neither?
What are my dominant messages about myself, my life, and the world?
Where did my dominant messages come from?
Am I willing to take conscious action to shift these messages?
Desired Result: Change one self-limiting belief
Concrete Action: Create a self-liberating belief
If our dominant messages become our focus, our beliefs, and our worldview, why not condition one of those messages to create a worldview that invites greatness? It’s pretty simple: The next time you catch yourself saying something like “I don’t do well in social situations” or “I am always overreacting” or “No one cares” write it down on a piece of paper and determine its opposite. For the examples above, it would look like this “I can handle myself in any social situation” and “I am always relaxed and calm” and “I matter, I add value to the world”. Now, write that phrase on a note card, take a picture of it with your phone, and put that image as your screensaver. This way, every time you unlock your phone, you will be forced to see this message. If you really want to supercharge your process, make it a practice to quietly say this message to yourself each time you use your phone. Then, importantly, look for evidence of its truth in your life. That is, begin living in expectation of no longer begin shy or unpredictable or taken for granted. The force of repeatedly seeing the same message allows it to become your reality.
Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.
Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com
His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.
Connect with him:
Facebook: Zachary Carlsen