By now you may be thinking, “What is this thing he has with the voice in the head? Can’t he write about something else? Like how to make a bunch of money really quick?”
Don’t worry, it’s just the voice in your head talking, pay it no mind.
I closed last weeks post with the question: Why might it be important to have a sense of detachment from your thoughts?
The short answer is: because we believe the voice in our head and most of the time we do what it tells us to do.Once you have the ability to somewhat objectively be aware of your own thought process, then you may start to have an awareness of habitual patterns of thinking that are self-limiting, self defeating, or self destructive. As long as you believe that you are your thoughts (the voice) then you will not only identify with your thinking, but you may even defend what you believe to be true to point that you may be willing to kill someone who disagrees. This is why the history of our species is one of violence and bloodshed. You may say that it is the nature of mankind to be violent. Perhaps this is true. Nevertheless, because of our capacity to be aware of our thinking and hence, to change it, we can change our nature. As a species, we have yet to develop a deep and lasting connection with who we are beyond who we think we are. (I could wander into a discussion about who we really are, but I won’t.)
Take this example: Say there is a single young man who lives near a wilderness area. Some of his friends like to hike into the wilderness and often invite him to join them. He will politely decline, stating that he has no interest in hiking and has never really hiked. Although he will not say it, he considers hiking into the wilderness a waste of time, and not very safe, as there are wild animals and insects, dangerous terrain, and sometimes even humans, that could jeopardize one’s safety. He is not afraid, per se, but simply does not see it as a practical and worthwhile recreational activity. He feels it is his nature to be more comfortable with staying home reading a good book.
One day the young man meets a young woman he is attracted to. They go out on a date, and she tells him that she likes to hike. The young man withholds from her his feelings about hiking, because he would like to continue to see her and feels that his chances are better if he keeps his mouth shut. However, she immediately suggests that they go hiking together and before he can object, a date is set.
In spite of his indifference to hiking , he goes along to get along. They go on their hike, and after a while come to a pleasant spot in the forest. She pulls a blanket out of her backpack, along with a nice bottle of wine and some crackers and cheese. He is impatient to start back and finish the hike when a book she is reading falls out of her pack, and the young man sees it’s a book that he has read and feels quite passionate about. They spend the next hour picnicking and discussing the book.
At the end of the day, the young man reflects back on his experience and decides that for the most part, he had enjoyed himself and would do it again even though he would rather go to a park than for a hike. At this point, he wonders to himself “Why do I have this dislike for hiking?’
He now has detachment from the thought “I don’t like to hike” and begins to see this statement not as truth, but as a story he has been telling himself for some time, since he has no real experience with hiking. He remembers a time when he asked his father if he could join the Boy Scouts, and was told “I don’t think that it’s safe to be hiking around out there where someone could get hurt or bit by a snake or an animal. Besides, it’s a waste of time when you could be doing your homework or reading a book.”
The young man realizes that his story about not liking hiking was one that he inherited. Therefore, the “voice” he had believed for all these years was not even his own, it was the voice of his father. He adopts a different conversation (the voice) in his mind about hiking, and his “nature” is changed.
Ask yourself this question: How much of what you think most of the time is no more than programming? After all, it’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s what you think about what happens to you that will determine your course of action or inaction. What you think about what happens to you is your interpretation or story. This interpretation is in a large part determined by your past experiences, culture, upbringing, religious beliefs, education, and current peer group.
As a hypnotherapist I help my clients to be aware of and identify stories that they hold as beliefs that are holding them back from what they want to have, be, or do. I help them to see that since these stories are in a sense inventions that are maintained by the “voice”, that they are free any time they choose to invent a new story that is empowering, encouraging, and inspiring. I help them instill these new beliefs using the power of suggestion through hypnosis.
In closing, let me leave you with this: ultimately, whether what you think about yourself is true or not is irrelevant. What matters is: what does your thinking do for you? Move you forward or hold you back? Give you joy or despair? Help you to love or disconnect you from loving? Help you grow or keep you stuck? You have a choice in what to think and believe about anything.
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Ted A. MorenoPersonal/Small Business Coach Certified Hypnotherapist Specializing in Your Success www.TedMoreno.com (626) 826-0612