How to Harness the Power of the Mind to Get Results

In my last post, How a change in your beliefs will change your life, we talked about how our thoughts and beliefs shape the person we are, and how the results we experience in the different areas of our lives (whether good, bad or indifferent) are ultimately determined by what we believe to be true about those life areas.

I explained that if you’re not happy with the results in a certain area of your life, you need to change what you really believe about that life area. Today I want to share some ways we can do that.

1.  We need to realize that our beliefs have been programmed in us over time through our life experience to this point. Sources include parents, siblings, peers, friends, etc. Many exist by default rather than by intent or design. That is why I said, last time, that we believe certain things to be true, whether they are true or not. I think it is sometimes helpful (though perhaps painful) to identify the source of the belief we want to change.

Let’s use an example of a woman named Jenny, who decides that she’s tired of living in a relationships roller coaster that has taken her from relationship to relationship over the years with men who can never really commit to her or truly love her.  Using The Belief Matrix that I explained in the last post, she discovers that the actions and attitudes that have brought her to this situation are due to a belief she’s had since childhood that no one will ever really love her for who she is.

2.  In order to change a belief, we need to re-write a new and better one. To do that, we need to know what the truth is, and what we want to be true in our lives, based on the results, actions and attitudes we want.

Jenny can re-write her bad belief based on the truth (for me, taken from Scripture) that God created her, loves her, and has a purpose for her life. Now, if she doesn’t personally believe that, she can re-write a belief that she want to be true…maybe something like: “I love others for who they are, and I am loved by others for who I am.”

3.  Once we re-write a belief, we need to find ways to reinforce it so it becomes true in our lives and impacts our attitudes, actions and results. Three techniques have helped me do that:

  • Affirmations – An affirmation is a declaration that something is true. I like to write an affirmation based on my new belief and recite it several times each day.  Using the example of Jenny, her affirmation could simply be: “I love others for who they are, and I am loved by others for who I am.” My experience has been that over time, as I repeat affirmations each day throughout the day, I come to “own” the affirmation. It is the law of exposure – we are influenced by what we think about, and our thoughts shape who we are as a person. Somehow, through the amazing power of the mind, these affirmations help recreate our beliefs in no time, and help us to stay motivated to make the change we want to make in our lives. Orison Swett Marden said, “He can who thinks he can, and he can’t who thinks he can’t.”
  • Visualization – To visualize something is to see it in vivid detail in your mind’s eye.  Visualization is really the first step toward actualization – making something come true. You might have heard these statements before, which illustrate the point:  “What you see is what you get,” and “Seeing is believing.”  Athletes have harnessed the power of visualization for years – of rehearsing their moves or plays perfectly in their head long before they step on the field or court.  In our example, Jenny would rehearse in her mind the new way she wants to respond to relational situations.
  • Virtualization – To virtualize something is to act like your new belief is true, even if it isn’t yet. The phrase “Fake it till you make it” comes to mind. In Jenny’s situation, she may decide she needs to change how she carries herself around men, some of the people she hangs out with, and the places she goes.  These are just some examples.  But the goal here is to re-orient your life toward the new beliefs, attitudes, and actions you need to employ in order to get the results you want.

All of this is a testimony to the amazing power and potential of the mind to shape our lives.  We are what we think. How has this played out in your life?  And what has been your experience in harnessing the power of the mind to get the results you want in your life?

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