“Nothing changes until your thinking changes”
”You can do anything you think you can. This knowledge is literally the gift of the gods, for through it you can solve every human problem. It should make of you an incurable optimist. It is the open door.” –Robert Collier
So many of us hide behind our excuses. We find reasons to put things off, to not follow through, to avoid failure at all costs. We are unhappy in our lives and feel ‘stuck,’ as if nothing we can do could makes any difference. If you are one of these people and you really want to make dramatic changes in your life, listen closely.
What Can I Do to Change My Thinking?
Your brain may be the largest obstacle to your success. Have you ever heard a prize-winning athlete say before a race “I just hope I come in second.” The chances are high that you haven’t. Athletes make a choice; they train hard and have the firm belief that THEY are the champions. Otherwise why bother putting in so many hours of hard practice, why bother spending time honing and refining their skills in order to compete amongst the best of the best? Why get out of bed on a wintry morning to do a thankless five mile warm-up run through sleet and snow?
Being a winner starts in your brain. I want you to sit back, close your eyes and picture the you that you want to become. Really make the colors bright and vivid, notice the clothes you are wearing, the environment around you. Take note of how this successful you feels and thinks. Make the image so crisp and clear that you can almost taste it.
Many athletes use the same technique, called ‘visualization’ to practice the ‘perfect game,’ months and months before they even set foot on the pitch for the big match. The more you practice this technique, the more aligned your subconscious will become to helping you in your efforts to improve yourself.
If you want to lose weight, but have the image of yourself at a greater weight stuck in your head then your natural subconscious responses will move you towards that image. Similarly, if you have a vivid picture of yourself at your ideal weight and keep spending a short time each day visualizing achieving your target, noticing the new foods that you slowly allow yourself to enjoy in order to achieve that goal your brain will naturally begin to accept this alternative image as part of your identity. Once your brain accepts this part of your identity half the battle is already won! Your subconscious will begin to steer you towards your goal, you will start desiring healthier food options and eating less. This will happen with very little effort on your part, unlike all the previous attempts where it was a ‘battle of wills’ to eat healthier foods and you felt deprived constantly.
The reason for this is that once you believe in your mind that something is possible, once that alternative becomes part of your reality and identity, your brain will naturally allow your body to achieve it’s potential.
What If I Cant Change My Thinking?
Nothing is impossible unless your brain tells you it is. At one point, scientists believed that running the ‘three minute mile’ was impossible. They wondered if the human body could cope with traveling under its own power as such a speed, or if it would cause severe bodily damage. For years, not one person reached that goal, despite several attempts. Sure enough, eventually one man achieved it and as soon as other runners heard that it was, in fact, possible, guess what? Pretty quickly there were wide reports of many other runners also completing a mile run in under three minutes. This scenario seems too implausible to be believed, but it clearly shows that unless our brains believe that we can succeed at something, they will hold us back from achieving it, even if we have the skills to perform such a feat.
So remember: what you decide is possible is the only limit to what is actually possible.
If you need more guidance, please look at one of our other blogs Having the Mindset of a Champion.