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by Catherine Pratt: www.Life-With-Confidence.com Confidence thinking is really the mastery of one's mind. You need to have control over your thoughts and not the other way around. Once you gain this skill, and it really is just a skill you develop, you then not only think positively, you will have an aura of complete confidence and inner peace. It is your thought patterns which have the greatest impact on your life. Think about it. If you think everything in your world is horrible and that there's no hope then how can you possibly change your life for the better? Your negative thoughts now completely control your life. The good news is that you can change this simply by learning a few techniques to gain mastery over your thoughts. You start by paying attention to your thoughts. What is that little voice you have in your head saying to you over and over? Once you start actually hearing these thoughts, you're going to want to know "How do I stop the negative thoughts in my head" and "How do I gain control over how I automatically react to certain situations? You'll discover the answers to these questions in the articles listed below. These are easy to use tips and strategies that will help you change your negative thought patterns into confidence thinking:
Develop Inner Awareness
A huge number of people don’t know who they really are. Yes, they know they work at a certain job and live in a certain community but deep down they have lost the awareness of who they really are, what they’re truly feeling and what their purpose is. Some signs that this may have happened to you is when you start to feel a sense of helplessness or feel that you’re not actually in control of your life. In an attempt to deal with this inner powerlessness, you may also become:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Very goal oriented and determined to accomplish something Attached to obtaining certain things or being around certain people Feel like you’re constantly struggling Try anything and everything to feel like you're in control of your life. Feel that you absolutely need a certain amount of money, or be around particular people or own specific things to be happy; that without them, you have nothing.
These actions stem mainly from feeling that something is missing in your life. You don’t know exactly what “it” is but you just feel that there’s something. You feel unsettled and as you struggle to fill that constant hole within you, you may feel tense, anxious, or stressed. As you continue to remain unaware, you'll mostly likely find that you can’t move forward in your life or feel that you're just going around in circles. Any success that you do achieve won’t bring you the inner happiness you so desperately crave. You may also stay in unsatisfying relationships because you can’t really connect to others and you basically live a one dimensional life never quite understanding why your life has gone the way it has. You just feel that there has to be more to life but you have no idea what or how to find it. By being able to develop inner awareness, you become much more involved with life because you’ll suddenly understand yourself and others with a new and exciting clarity. The stories you tell yourself and others are suddenly no longer necessary. You accept and love reality exactly as it is. You’ll become open and attentive to each moment of your life and you let go of the thoughts and suffering that you’ve held on to from your past. With awareness, the emptiness inside you finally disappears. You fill that hole simply by becoming conscious instead of living your life on auto pilot. You also cease to look for the answers "out there". You allow the real you to emerge and people start to notice a new radiance and calmness about you. You’ll find that you love to share your joy of
life with others and you gain a sense of spiritual power. So how do you develop inner awareness? Question your feelings Whenever you notice that you’re feeling bad which could be things like angry, depressed, bored, resentment, jealousy, or frustrated, question your feelings. For example: • Why am I so angry • Why am I feeling depressed? • Why am I feeling hurt? Remember that people don’t make you feel a certain way (angry for example), they’re just a trigger for your emotions. It’s your reaction that you need to figure out. Those feelings are trying to tell you something. You just need to listen and gain an awareness of what it means. Question your thoughts Become a witness or an observer of yourself. See how your thoughts cause you to react and also act in certain ways. • Are your actions a result of limiting beliefs or just habit? • Are you trying to gain approval or manipulate others? • Why are you doing what you’re doing? What is your true intention behind your actions? • Do you believe that you “have” to do things in a certain way? (example, you have to keep doing this job you dislike in order to pay the rent) • Are you letting thoughts from the past rule your future? • If you were able to let go of one of your beliefs, how different would your life be?
Let go: Relax and stop struggling, stop trying so hard, stop trying to manipulate things
to go your way, just stop doing and let yourself just “be”. Accept things as they are. You need to find that gentle flow of life and go with it not against the current. This doesn’t mean that you stop taking responsibility for your life. It’s more guiding your life in the direction you want instead of trying to force it. Another part of letting go is releasing all your beliefs that people or things “should” behave in certain ways. “She should appreciate what I’ve done for her”, “he should give me a gift”. Let go of all the “should’s” in your life. Practice inspiration It’s important to keep reading books and utilize other ideas that not only inspire you but motivate and teach you new ideas and concepts. You may also want to try things like meditation, prayers or any other relaxing exercise. Also, try to find a friend or a group that you can learn from but also lean on for support when you’re first learning to change your thinking. Monitor your actions Pay attention to where you’re spending your time. Are you caught up in doing “busy” work or distractions like tv, movies, socializing in an attempt to relieve those unsettled feelings you have. The feelings won’t go away until you deal with them. Also, do you have a general direction you're heading? Do you have a specific goal? It’s more do you know what direction you want to go? Do you have a vision of what you want to do with your life? This doesn’t even need to be exact as it could be simply that you know you want to explore certain things more, that you want to buy a house, or that you have a list of places you want to visit. It’s understanding what excites you about life and knowing
what your values are. By having this direction, you cease to drift through life. You instead start to guide yourself in the direction you need to go. Along with monitoring your actions comes listening to your inner voice. Listen when it tells you you're getting distracted and going down the wrong path. It will tell you but you have to be willing to listen. Summary - Develop Inner Awareness: There is this mistaken belief that if you get more money or a better career or better friends, then you will be able to do more of what you want to do which is supposed to finally lead you to happiness. The truth is that the required steps are in the wrong order this way. If you develop inner awareness of who you are, why you act the way you do and know what you really want, you'll discover the meaning of being content and happy. You’ll also be able to accomplish what you need to do in order to achieve what you desire. You’ll just naturally start to focus on goals and actions that are the most fulfilling for you and others. You’ll also discover that you’re able to connect with people on a much deeper level than you ever could before. Your whole life will suddenly look and feel completely different and all you’ve done is develop inner awareness
Changing Core Beliefs
Changing core beliefs can sound like a daunting task if it's a way of thinking that you've had for a long time. But it isn't really. Here are 5 strategies on how to change your old core beliefs:
Make Sure You Have the Right: One Sometimes, the core belief you think you have isn't really the one that's causing the problems. For example, you might think you're a really positive person but in reality what you're saying to yourself and those around you could be quite negative. One way to really determine what your true core belief is to notice what you say to yourself during times of great stress. Do you say, "See, I'm unlovable", or "See, I can't do this". That's the core belief you need to change. Also, look at the world around you. What is happening? Are there any patterns you see? For example:
Do all your relationships fail? Are you in constant debt? Do people never have time for you? Once you see the pattern, then ask yourself what you think about that issue. Maybe, "Money is a struggle", "I'm not good with people" or "I'm not important". Listen to yourself. Once you figure it out, then turn it around. Ask yourself: What do I want? What would I have to believe in order to have this? Next, you're going to re-program yourself. 2. Awareness Once you've completed Step 1, then awareness is the next step to changing core beliefs. Simply observe how you behave and you'll soon see the results that you're creating for yourself. Changing those old patterns becomes much easier when you see it's been due to how you were thinking, reacting, and behaving. Sometimes, just the sudden understanding of why you react the way you do, is enough to let go of old thought processes.
If simply being aware of what your core belief is isn't enough then whenever you have the thought say, "Cancel" to yourself. Cancel that thought. It's no longer true for you. As soon as you think that thought, release it, and think of your new belief. It could be something like, "I am capable of doing anything I put my mind to." It's a matter of being aware of when you have your old thought and replacing it with your new one. If you can, also be aware of what triggers your old thought. Remember, these old beliefs were originally created to keep you safe. You no longer need them to do that for you. One other thing to remember is that nothing has any meaning until you give it a meaning. You are the only one who gives meaning to anything and everything in your life. You have the power to put a new meaning on some aspect of your life. This will change your life because you're seeing it in a completely new way. 3. Use a Mirror If you have a core belief like "I'm unlovable" or "I don't deserve anything" then a very effective way of working on re-programming this core belief is to use a mirror. Look at yourself in the mirror and say something like, "I am lovable, I am completely and wonderfully lovable." Smile at yourself while you're saying it. If you feel like you don't deserve money, you could try writing yourself a cheque and hand it to yourself in the mirror. At first, you may not even be able to look at yourself in the eye and it may feel really, really uncomfortable. Keep trying. Every time you do it, it will get easier and each time, your subconscious begins to believe it a little bit more. For some people, changing core beliefs like this happens quickly and for others, sometimes it can take a few months. It does work though. One other mirror affirmation to try is what a man called Emile Coue suggests. Emile Coue stated back in the early 1900's that if you looked in a mirror, three times a day, and said to yourself three times, "Every day, and in every way, I am getting better and better", that your life would dramatically change for the better. As he says, "Our subconscious is entirely reprogrammable by this simple positive sentence." It puts your imagination into gear and it starts your subconscious believing that things really will go better and then because you have this belief, your life just naturally does get better and better. There's numerous testimonials that it does work. Give it a try, it's easy to do and the words are easy to remember. The added benefit of doing this is it'll put you in a good mood. 4. Learn From Others Discover who you know with the core belief you want and then hang out with them. How do they think? What do they tell themselves? What do they believe? You can then say the same things to yourself. For example, if you want to have a healthy relationship, you need to believe what will get you that. "My relationships are healthy and based upon mutual respect." Think exactly like the person who already has that. The goal isn't to just copy them or pretend to be that person, it's more about learning from the experts, listening to new ideas, seeing new ways of thinking and then working to incorporate those ideas into your own beliefs. You'll still be you but you will have grown your mind to include this new thought process. If you don't know anyone then find a book (could be self help or an autobiography or even just one with strong characters) or a movie or tv show or an online forum, anywhere, where the thought process you want is discussed or used. 5. Keep Doing It Until You've Got a New Core Belief At first when you're working on changing core beliefs, you may find it hard to believe your new thought. You might say to yourself, "I'm so very lovable" but that voice in the back of your head keeps saying, "Yeah, right". Remember that it's your past experiences which have provided you with this core belief. Many times, it was created in order to keep you safe and to protect yourself from more pain and suffering. Know that this isn't true. You're safe without that old thought. It doesn't serve you anymore and you can change it. Here's another suggestion from Tony Robbins, "All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs. So how do we change? The most effective way is to get your brain to associate massive pain to the old belief. You must feel deep in your gut that not only has this belief cost you pain
in the past, but it's costing you in the present and, ultimately, can only bring you pain in the future. Then you must associate tremendous pleasure to the idea of adopting a new, empowering belief." Keep working on changing those old, outdated beliefs. It might happen within days or it might take months. No matter how long it takes, you're worth it and you're worth taking the time and effort to create the new core belief which will allow you to reach your goals.
How To Change Your Thoughts
Whenever my dog, Barney, comes into the house after having been for a ride in the car, he runs to the pen we have set up for him by the back door. It’s not something we intentionally trained him to do. The habit came simply because my husband tended to put him in his pen whenever they came in. After doing it a few times, Barney just figures that’s what you do when you come inside after a car ride. It’s the same with your thinking. You get into the habit of thinking a certain way and then you’ll rarely question it after that. This is especially true when you were growing up. You developed habits that just made things easier for you. You probably didn’t even think about them. That’s just the way it was and that’s what you did. Just like Barney thinks he has to go into his pen, you do things automatically as well. For example, when you were a kid, you may have been told not to “talk back” and to just keep quiet about things that were bothering you. These are habits that might have worked to keep you safe and out of trouble when you were young. Now, that you're grown up, you may be finding that these previous strategies are actually causing you problems. In a relationship, not communicating isn't going to work as your partner can’t read your mind. What works when you're a child may not work when you become an adult. When, you decide you need to change your thoughts, your brain may at first feel that it's not a safe thing to do. Lots of practice and years of experience says it’s not. Also, you don’t know how or when to question the thought. It’s a truth for you. The trick is to look at your results and see if your thoughts are the cause.
A few tips to help you with learning to change your thoughts: 1) Be Open: Be willing to question your thinking and ask yourself if there are thoughts that are hindering you. As you are now in a different phase of your life, different strategies may be needed. One technique to try is whenever you feel anxious or upset when dealing with someone, ask yourself why you're feeling those emotions. Or ask yourself why you reacted a certain way. If your answer is because you want people to like you or to approve of you, then you need to keep questioning yourself as to why you feel you need to do that. Why do you doubt yourself? Why do you think they won't like you if you simply be yourself? You may discover that an event from your childhood has made you think that you need to respond to certain situations in a particular way. It may have been a good strategy when you were little but if it's not working for you now, then you need to change it. 2) Be Aware: Don’t just automatically respond the same way you always do. attention to how you react and what actions you use to solve certain issues. should be able to see where how your behavior is creating the results that get. If you don’t like the results then you your thoughts might benefit from a minor adjustments. Often just becoming aware of what you’ve been doing change your habit. Pay You you few will
Ask Yourself Why It helps if you ask yourself every once in awhile, why are you doing the things you are? - Is it because that’s the way you’ve always done them? - Is it because you’re responding on automatic pilot? - Is it to get a certain response from others? 3) Be Gentle With Yourself (Patient): When learning to change your thoughts, it’s going to take time and practice. It’s not going to be something that you can change overnight. Being aware is definitely the first step and at first you might have to keep reminding yourself but after awhile, it will become your new habit and you won't have to think about it anymore. Summary on How To Change Your Thoughts: If there are areas in your life that just aren't working whether it's with friends, work, or personal relationships, then this might be a clue that you need to change certain thought patterns. Just telling yourself to think differently may not always work. You need to be aware of what, when, and why you usually tell yourself certain things. Once you know that, you can make the conscious effort to change it. It can be hard to change something that’s been a part of you for a long time so be gentle on yourself. Building new habits takes time. It will also take a few times before your brain realizes, yes, it’s safe to do it this new way too. But by being aware of your thoughts, your results, and also by asking yourself "why" can lead you to changing those thoughts that no longer serve you. This is definitely a worthwhile exercise as you'll be amazed at the difference you can make in your relationships simply by changing your thoughts.
Silencing the Negative Inner Voice
Here are the 5 tips to stop the negative inner voice in its tracks: 1. Think of something else — think of something that makes you happy or that you really appreciate. Life is too short not to appreciate the good things in life. 2. Silver Linings — try to think of whether any good things will come out of the situation. Usually most negative situations provide an awesome opportunity to grow in some way. 3. Why? - think about why you are really replaying the conversation over and over. - Is it really because you want some justification for your anger? - Do you really want an apology from the other person? - Do you want to hear from others that you’re right and the other person is wrong? Figuring out the real reason you’re so mad will help you to see the whole situation in a different light. It’s much easier to let go of that negative inner voice conversation when you understand why it is that you are so angry. 4. Lessons? - Are there any lessons you’ve learnt in this situation? Did you learn how it feels when you’re not appreciated or when you’re taken advantage of? Could be a valuable lesson on how not to treat others. Did you learn how to handle the situation better in the future? 5. Karma? - Have you treated someone else the way you were just treated? Is the universe trying to tell you something? Just by thinking about the situation in a slightly different way, can be enough to get you off the raging conversation trap. Raging conversations are simply a waste of energy. They get us nowhere and they are emotionally draining. By thinking of the situation in a different way instead of just “raging” we can learn from the situation and move on rather than getting stuck in a negative energy rut.
Life Change - 6 Reasons Why We're Afraid to Change
The key to change… – is to let go of fear - Rosanne Cash The thought of making a life change can be so intimidating that even though you want to be the master of your own destiny you'll end up doing nothing or settling for less than you deserve simply because you are so afraid of that change. Here’s the 6 main reasons you can end up paralysed with fear and what you can do about them:
1. Fear of the Unknown: We’ve all heard of the old proverb, “The Devil you know is better
than the one you don’t”. This great fear of the unknown causes people not to take chances and to stay in situations where they’re not very happy. As soon as people think about change they start playing the “what if?” game. • What if I make a mistake? • What if it’s worse than what I have now? • What if I fail? You tell yourself the “grass is greener” and bury any thoughts of changing your situation for the better. You think you should stay where you are, just in case. You don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future so you can’t tell for sure what the consequences of your actions will be. You do know what you have now and you tell yourself that if you think about it, it’s really not that bad. Right? The fear of the unknown is what stops most people from ever making positive changes in their lives. If you let it, your imagination can dream up a never ending supply of terrible things that could happen. But let’s think about it. You have the ability to imagine the absolute worst thing that could happen so that means you also have the skill to use your energy to imagine the absolute best thing that could happen. It’s a matter of focus. Why do you waste so much time imagining the worst when there’s just as much of a chance of the best outcome happening? In Susan Jeffers book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, she says that whatever option you choose will provide you with new opportunities and surprises that you may never have imagined happening. “I can’t lose – regardless of the outcome of the decision I make. The world is a place for opportunity, and I look forward to the opportunities for learning and growing that either pathway gives me.” - Susan Jeffers. As she says, there is no wrong decision, there’s just different opportunities. It makes it far easier to face the unknown if you think of all your options as exciting and worthwhile. You just need to decide which one you want to do right now. There is no wrong choice. Doesn't that make you feel better when you think of it that way? 2. Doubt Yourself: When you are contemplating making a life change you will usually begin to doubt whether you are up for the challenge. Things can also seem a lot bigger and harder than they really are. The task seems overwhelming when we look at it in the big picture. We’ll ask ourselves, “who do we think we are thinking we can do that?” “I can’t do that. That’s too much.” If you want to achieve great things or even just achieve inner peace, sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and try something totally new. At least you will have tried. You will not have to live with the regret that you’ll never know what you could have been if you’d been able to just take that one step forwards. Also, you will learn so much by trying different things. Even if you only end up learning that you don’t like it, you have learnt more about yourself and where you want to go in your life. You will have new knowledge with which to use as stepping stones for the future. Usually afterwards as well, we realize, “it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as we thought it would be.” You have also increased your self confidence in having another situation under your belt that you were able to handle successfully. 3. Isolate Yourself and Agonize Over Decisions: Sometimes when you are going through challenging times you tend to feel isolated like you are the only person in the world going through
this decision. You feel you need outside reassurance that you’re doing the right thing. You’ll ask everyone for their opinion so that you don’t have to take responsibility for making the decision. I can tell you from personal experience that the absolute hardest part of making a huge decision is during the time when I’m agonizing over it. I will make myself sick with worry and wondering if it’s the “right” thing to do. I’ll be on the fence for such a long time sometimes deciding to make that big leap of faith and other times telling myself to “be sensible” and to work with what I have. I slowly drive myself and everyone around me completely insane. But the moment that I finally take the step that makes my decision official, I’ll suddenly feel like a huge weight has been lifted from me. I’ll then feel quite liberated and excited about my choice. It’s the agonizing part that can stop you in your tracks though. It’s the hardest part of making a big decision. It’s much easier if you can make the decision and then move forwards as soon as you can. 4. Forget That You Always Have Options: Sometimes when you’re trying to make a big decision, you think you only have one choice if you don’t want to accept the current situation. For example, you can stay in a job you hate or you can quit and be unemployed. And if you’re like me you’ll add things like “unemployed and starving to death and I'll never be able to find another job.” I’ll mentally paint myself into a corner (motivated by fear or uncertainty) and feel there is no way out. I’ll feel like I have to stay in the situation because there is no other option. The truth is there is always another option. Sometimes it can take a little brainstorming to come up with a list of possible solutions but rarely are you truly ever without any choices. 5. Focus on the External World: Another problem people face when contemplating change is that we tend to focus on external things to define our identity and worth (what kind of job we do, what kind of possessions we have, how much we make). We put an emotional weight on stuff like this. If we don’t have the latest t.v. system, we feel like a failure. We can’t take the risk of losing all our possessions. It’s who we are. People always ask us, "what do you do?". When we answer, our job is a huge part of our identity. A much more important thing we should focus on is the value of all the relationships we have and how we can help others - it's really a wonderful symbiotic relationship. When you help someone (and see their appreciation or know that you are helping them) you feel good yourself - and it's a more genuine feeling of contentment than buying the latest gadget. It provides us with a much greater sense of self worth. Also, being able to live the life you truly want if far more important than feeling trapped in a job you hate because you have to pay the credit cards for all the stuff you’ve bought. I think I can also guarantee, before we take our final sleep (which I'm sure will be when we're 105) we will be thinking about the people that have touched our lives, and not the corner office we had, nor the car we drove. 6. Handcuff Yourself to Stuff: Along with focusing on the external world comes the fact that we cling to certain possessions, statuses, and perks we’ve been given along the way as some sort of safety net. People will "handcuff" themselves to jobs they hate with thoughts like “I'll stay until I use up all my vacation days" or "I’ll stay until I’ve got my pension". It’s the “I’ll stay until…” mentality. There's a lot of people who won't leave a job because of the promises of holidays, pension and severance pay. “If I leave I won’t get 3 weeks of vacation anymore.” Think about it. When you’re 80 years old, are you going to be happy that you wasted your life for a few weeks of vacation? Also, it’s limiting thoughts like these that keep us trapped in situations we don’t want to be in. Turn it around and if something like vacation really is important to you, you can bring it up in any interviews you go to. At least you won’t be letting a crutch stop you from facing the fear of change. It’s far better to keep the big picture in mind of what do you really want out of life? You need to keep moving towards that and not getting caught in the mental safety nets along the way. 7: You Don't Have To Settle For Whatever Happens The worst part about being afraid of change is that you can end up settling for whatever happens. It seems less scary that way. The truth is that this is a far more frightening way to live because you don’t have the feeling of being in control of what happens to you and you live in fear of what might happen. Having the confidence to take action in the face of fear not only provides you with a sense of control, ultimately it will also provide you with a life full of purpose and joy. And isn’t that really what we’re all trying to achieve?
You will never Mike Murdock
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?