Shifting Gears

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Published: 03rd April 2015
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HOW TO REVERSE NEGATIVE BELIEFS

Until the negative conditioning is reversed, the ability to persist until a goal is achieved can become problematic. When we are about to pursue a goal or objective, negative conditioning generally manifests as self- doubt or self-limiting beliefs. The belief that we are incapable or that we will fail. The belief that others will laugh at us or even consider our idea ludicrous.
The fact is that despite their conditioning, even successful people experience some degree of these emotions before they undertake an enormous goal. The advantage they have however is that their confident conditioning allows them to push past the anxiety and worry and focus only on the favourable outcome that they expect.
Negative conditioning has a less apparent but lethal side effect. Despite having achieved success, people who have not fundamentally addressed their negative conditioning and their feelings of inadequacy or low self-worth can sabotage their success; often times without even being aware of their damaging actions.
A deep rooted belief that they are undeserving of success will often demonstrate itself in the fear of losing it all and as this becomes a strongly held fear in their subconscious, they begin to display actions that is in line with their expectations.
They begin to undermine themselves though destructive behaviour such as extravagant lifestyles, alcohol and drug abuse, neglecting their businesses, until their fear eventually becomes a reality and they lose everything. Their fear now a reality now further reinforces what they always subconsciously fear and believed, even though such fear was unfounded and such belief untrue.
The good news is that reverse negative beliefs and conditioning is not as difficult or impossible as we may think. Due to the “neuroplasticity” of the brain, such beliefs can be unlearned in the same way that they were learned. It was previously thought that thinking and physical habits were permanently hardwired and once formed where virtually impossible to break.
However, neuroplasticity of the brain proposes that the human brain can be rewired to adopt a new belief or habit to replace the old thinking pattern and bad habits. By consistently holding a new belief or performing a new action, new neural pathways are physically created in the brain and the more such thought is held, or action performed, the more hardwired the pathway becomes until it eventually becomes a new habit. Therefore the mechanism of neuroplasticity can be directly applied to our beliefs and we can use it to replace old, limiting beliefs about ourselves and our abilities with more positive and empowering beliefs.
We can positively condition ourselves in the following ways:
 Focus on your accomplishments: Whenever feelings of self doubt arise, think of past circumstances when you were successful and how you exceeded your own expectations. Remember the emotions you felt as a result of your achievements. Focus on those emotions and let them be your anchor. If you had been successful in the past, you can replicate it in the future. Past successes or failures will only repeat themselves in our future endeavours if we believe they will and if we allow them to.

 Learn from your failures: successfully unlearning negative conditioning requires changing how we think of failures. Thinking of past failures as barometers of our future potential will keep us stuck in a vicious cycle of inaction and fear. However, by repositioning our views of failures as learning experiences, not only do we build strength of character but we become better prepared us for our next attempt. Instead of self doubt, we begin to develop self respect and a healthier self image. Learn from the experience and determine what needs to be done differently next time. Then apply what you have learnt the next time around.
Before changing your negative conditioning about a situation in your life, ask yourself the following and answer honestly –
- What excuses are you using currently to justify the current state of your life, the frustrating situation at work, not following through your goals, your financial situation?
- Is your goal to change your situation really a strong desire or just a wish?
- Have you taken responsibility for your situation?
- Will keeping on making excuses reverse or change the situation?
- It possible that others have had a similar experience and thrived despite the challenges?
- Have you really, really thought of every feasible solution? What can you do differently?
- What will your life be like in 5 years if you don’t follow through on your goals?
- Can you afford to pay the price of your laxity in 5 years?
Ask yourself the hard questions and as the true nature of your underlying beliefs begins to emerge, you will begin to appreciate the amazing potential you have been supressing for so long.

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