Experience More of Your Life's Possibilities
Your brain can, so can you!
(Balance Magazine – Fall 2009 Publication)
Consider your response to these two questions: "What do I really want to experience or achieve in my personal or business life, but haven't?" And, "What do I want protect or expand on that I value, or what do I want to change, right now?"
When you asked yourself these questions and then found your mind racing with various reasons of why not – no time, no support, no money – that would be normal. Although these excuses may not be the real reason, but it's certainly normal to think they are.
For the moment, set aside those normal reasons of no time, support or money for not moving forward with what you want. Let's look below the surface reasons to flush out a potential underlying reason that could delay or stop you from moving forward with what you want by exploring this question: What is your self-belief about what you can or cannot experience or achieve?
Check it out: Think of something you specifically want to be or do, write it below and then respond to: "Do I believe I can accomplish that?" Using a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your response?
A rating of five and below indicates, "I'm not sure – to – no way I can do that!" A rating of six and above indicates, "I think I can – to – of course I can!"
Regardless of what you want to achieve – from easily attainable, to a stretch or what looks to be a pipe dream – your life situation, age, race, and/or gender most often is not the roadblock to your success. If you don't believe you can... that's your real success blocker.
Your potential is much greater than you realize. If your beliefs of what you can, or cannot do, are cast in stone…science has news for you.
The science community provides abundant data and proof of our human capabilities. Neuroscientists, who study the systems and function of the brain, have proven that our brains have the ability to change, learn, relearn, and recover from brain disease and injuries. This ability of our brain to interact in dynamically changing way with our personal experience is called neuroplasticity.
The plasticity of our brain gives us extraordinary capabilities. Work with patients has resulted in artificial limbs that move with thought and hearing and eyesight regained because of newly formed neural paths, recovery of stroke patients, learning disorders eliminated in children and adults, cognitive skills improved, the effects of old age impeded, memories sharpened and much more.
Your mental capacity for learning, adapting and growing is astonishingly large. The science community has proven that, yes, you can learn new tricks!
So, here's the good news: You're already wired for success. On a gut level, can't you just feel it? You know you're designed to succeed, to experience more of life's possibilities. It's like jumping off a scooter knowing you're now ready to go full throttle in a Porsche.
So if your strategy for success has been thinking and hoping, it's time to shift into gear, take action and experience your fullest potential where you are now and where you want to be.
Changing your thoughts change your world
No surprise, yet amazing how easily we forget the powerful effect that our thoughts have on our lives. They help you protect what you cherish and facilitate changing what you don't. So it's important, when thinking of anything you want to accomplish, to be aware of, "What do I think about my ability to succeed? And, with this specific business or personal opportunity, what are my dominating thoughts? Negative or positive?"
What you think of yourself and others can either prevent you or enable you to more easily achieve what you want. So it's very wise indeed to transform disabling thoughts into enabling, and you can do that with a simple technique called reframing.
Reframing is a highly effective mental exercise that asks you to first be aware of any disabling negative thought. Then by looking at your present perspective, your frame, consider putting that thought or what is being said or done inside a different frame with the intention to see and describe it differently. Caveat: To be able to reframe and change your perspective you may need to challenge old thoughts or beliefs!
Your intention and practice of reframing provides additional personal and professional value. It helps you achieve and maintain emotional and mental well being. Why? When you choose to reframe a negative thought, you have exercised your power to change:
- An obstacle into an opportunity
- A false self-belief of limitations to possibilities
- A personal insult into "Wow, are they having a bad day!"
- A possible pipedream into "It's possible"
- A misunderstanding into understanding
- A mountain of a problem to a mole hill
- And, much more.
A colleague who has a particularly challenging family situation has learned the value of reframing her negative thoughts to positive thoughts (well at least to neutral). When my colleague is hurt by what her sister says or does she remembers, "It's not me she's upset with, it's her stressful situation at work. And fortunately, it's a temporary situation." She has learned to reframe her thoughts to prevent the mole hill from becoming a potential mountain of unnecessary family conflict!
Reframing? Should be easy.
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. As an example, two people looking at the same painting can have two totally different perspectives of what the painter intended. And, it's easy to have a lively conversation with the intention to understand the other's perspective.
You might think that reframing a negative thought is as easy as seeing two perspectives of a painting. Not always true! We often are overly fond of our thoughts and beliefs and become a bit stubborn about replacing them with other thoughts or beliefs, even when it is to our distinct advantage. Odd how that works, isn't it?
Reframing what prevents.
Using the below "Preventer reframe to Enabler" list and quick exercise, answer these questions to expose and reframe any restricting beliefs or thoughts that could prevent you from achieving your next most important goal or objective.
- "What do I want to experience or achieve, but haven't?"
- "Which preventer thoughts do I need to reframe?"
- "What enabler thoughts and actions would help me achieve what I want?"
How do you know when you have really reframed a preventer thought into an enabler thought? You will feel it.
Any fear or doubts that have stopped or delayed you from achieving what you want will be replaced with enthusiasm for possibilities – you'll be like a positive-charged magnet attracting what you envision for yourself. With powerful feelings like these, you can't help but experience more of your life's possibilities!
Arlene Johnson is founder and president of Sinequanon Group, Inc., a global consultancy specializing in executive leadership and change performance. Johnson is author of the new book SUCCESSMAPPING® Achieve What You Want . . .Right Now! (Emerald Book Company/2009). For more information, please visit www.successmapping.com or email Johnson at email@example.com.