Everyone knows those thoughts. Thoughts that run through your mind when you want to do something you’ve never done before. Or if you take a step towards achieving something that you really want. And sometimes these thoughts keep bringing you back to the known, the old. Limiting thoughts … the saboteurs of our lives. Fortunately you can develop, and learn how to deal with that cluster of limiting thoughts in a positive way. To do this, there are a number of steps you could make your own.
Who You Are
A first step is about who you are, realizing that you are not just a thought, feeling or experience. That you are much more that. It is because you know that part of yourself that can observe those thoughts and feelings. However, we are often so intensely overwhelmed by our thoughts and feelings, or so intensely absorbed in an experience that the observer part of us disappears completely into the background. The result of living like this for a prolonged time is that often it is accompanied by feelings that you are not really alive, have lost yourself and feelings of depression. A gneral sense that you could actually do or undertake much more than you do, in short feelings that indicate that you are not living and realizing your full potential .
Perception Of Limiting Thoughts, Feelings And Behavior
A second step is about observing. Learn to observe yourself. Observe your thoughts, feelings and behavior. You use your attention for this. Just like you are reading this article with attention now. Some find it difficult to focus attention. It is good to know that giving attention is not accompanied by cramps but (especially in the beginning) with effort.
Watch your breathing… it shows you the way and shows you whether you are making an effort in a relaxed way. In the breathing exercise you learn how to breathe better. You can think of your attention as the beam of light coming from a flashlight. What you learn is that you keep that light beam focused on what is happening in the here and now. In my blog there are exercises (explained in a video) by Charles Tart that can be helpful in learning to observe. You will see that you cannot keep your attention constantly focused. If you notice that, you just observe it and bring your attention back to where you wanted it.
The third step is about having a choice, and learning to actually make that choice. The first choice is to direct the beam of your attention. Do you focus it on what is happening inside you, happening outside in your environment or what you think? The second choice you will have to make is what you are going to do with the information that comes to you through your attention in this way. This too is a process of learning, of development. You learn better and better how you want to deal with all the information that comes your way.
Sometimes you choose to focus and sometimes you choose to lose yourself in your own thoughts or feelings. The point is not that one is better than the other, but that you learn to use the fact that you have a choice. It is often the case that when you experience an emotion that you will notice that you are really in that emotion. If you eg. if you are very angry, it may seem as if you are just angry and nothing else. Learning to observe that emotion without acting on it (i.e. having a choice about it) is something you can learn. It is about observing yourself and choosing what you want to do with it.
Finally, learn to follow your own process. Having a choice can be very scary. After all, you do not know what the outcome will be if you make a choice for something that you have never experienced or done. Teach yourself an attitude that it is fun to experiment with your own choices. This makes the process of change a lot easier. You will find that the more experience you get in observing what is happening. And it also gives more and more satisfaction when you make actual choices.
Do you want to get started with your limiting thoughts and with your sabotages? Then of course you can do that by trying for yourself. But if you want to use some support with that, you can. For this you can request a free introductory meeting with me via the website, call me or e-mail me for an appointment.