A 6-Step Process to Transform Toxic Beliefs
“EVERY THOUGHT WE THINK, EVERY BELIEF WE HOLD, EVERY INTERPRETATION WE MAKE OF WHAT WE PERCEIVE, LEADS TO EVERY EMOTION AND ACTION WE TAKE.” HENRY GRAYSON, PHD.
So many clients that come to me have paid little attention to clearing away the clouds that dim their inner radiance – the toxic thoughts, stories, words, and perceptions.
Right now, in this moment, you are everything that you need to be and so much more than you can imagine. Unfortunately, our thoughts and perceptions often keep us from seeing this truth.
We become what we believe. In this blog I will introduce a series of powerful mind-shifts that have the potential to truly change your life if you allow them to.
IDENTIFY HARMFUL THOUGHTS
We may repeat words like love and peace as a mantra during our morning meditation, but if the mantras that we repeat all day long goes something like: “I’m not worthy, I’m not loveable, I’m not capable, Nobody sees me…,“ then these are the thoughts that affect your being most deeply at the end of the day. What are your daily mantras? Examine your thoughts and acknowledge the role they are playing in how you show up for your life.
RE-STORYING FOR PERSONAL POWER
So many of us are living as though we are our stories. Stories are a means to organize and interpret our experience but when we cling too tightly to our stories we are kept from relating in an innocent and pure way with life. Of course we all have our stories and they become the intricate patchwork through which our spirit is woven. However, we are not our stories. Think about the tragic stories that we’ve heard of actors becoming their role and then experiencing severe mental illness. An actor can play his role so convincingly but if he ever begins to believe that he is his role and no longer sees the space between the two than dysfunction and despair can result, especially if the role is one of darkness.
The same is true for us. If we identify too closely with the tragic stories of our lives, then we stay locked inside of them. But the one thing that is guaranteed in life is change. We are dynamic individuals and our stories of yesterday, are not our stories of today. Unfortunately, many people pull meaning from their stories and allow that meaning to define them throughout the course of their lives, never taking the time to question whether it’s an outdated belief.
What stories do you continue to live inside of? These could be stories around financial and career success, family, self worth, relationships, and your body.
A SIX-STEP PROCESS TO TRANSFORM NEGATIVE THOUGHTS, BELIEFS AND STORIES:
1) Get curious.
2) Write down in the exact words that capture how the limiting story, belief, or thought exists in your mind
3) Next write down what the opposite story, belief, or thought would be.
4) Identify and write down or visualize evidence to support this more positive and empowering story. When we open our minds to new possibilities, we can always find external events that reinforce this alternate reality.
5) Which story do you want to believe? We are constantly deciding how we are framing and relating to the experiences of our lives. Make the conscious choice. Do you choose to cling to the belief that keeps you locked inside of a dim, small, negative story or the belief that empowers you and anchors you into the experience of love, joy, and gratitude?
6) Take an action step to anchor in your new belief, thought, story, or mantra.
Delight in the Here and Now – With Acceptance
Another pattern of relating to life that triggers an ongoing stress response is when we argue with reality or judge the present moment as wrong. I shouldn’t be eating this, He should have done this, I shouldn’t have said that, etc, etc, etc. When we allow ourselves to get carried away in the daydream of our thoughts, we can find fault with the way that life is naturally unfolding.
When your thoughts begin to creep in, making the present moment wrong, relax into breath. Drop into the beauty and magic of the here and now. Feel the flow and be open to having the gifts of every situation be revealed to you in their own time.
Return to Breath and Gratitude
The above process helps the mind to unleash from sticky stories, but the simple practice of breath and gratitude is the perfect way to counter negative or limiting thoughts and beliefs in the present moment whenever they may arise. When you start to get wrapped up in your negative stories, beliefs, and thoughts, come back to the breath. Breathe deeply, creating the space for compassion and possibility. Surrender to the present moment and trust in the mystery and perfection of its unfolding. Practice gratitude for your here and now. Anytime you start to get stuck in addictive and sticky thought patterns about how things should be rather than how they are, or anytime you start to attack your body or yourself, redirect your thoughts instead to something small that you can be grateful for in this moment. There is always something to be grateful for. Even the most challenging moments of our lives are opportunities to deepen into the human experience and to find the depths of our strength and courage.