I’ve got other topics I want to write about, but I’m on a personal development kick lately, so here’s one more in what has turned into a little series.
As part of my work with LifeSuccess Coach Dan LeFave, I’m writing out twelve affirmations every day. Within the structure of Bob Proctor’s mental cybernetics model, the main point of affirmations is to replace the old programming you’ve got in your head that causes you to underperform, underachieve, and otherwise fail to get the results in your life you’re looking for with new positive, constructive, and far more useful statements.
We all know that one guy who’s always surrounded by attractive, beautiful women, but despite the fact that he may be straight, single, attractive, and actively searching for a relationship, he inevitably finds a way to shoot himself in the foot. According to the material I’m studying now, this is because he’s got a deeply embedded subconscious idea that says “I’m not attractive to women”. Bob Proctor calls this a “paradigm”, and the paradigm acts like a kind of thermostat for your actions.
For example, if the paradigm believes that you can’t get a girl, when you get close to a woman for that purpose, it will activate and manifest in your behaviour in a few ways: running late for the date, spilling food on her dress, a careless statement that turns her off; erectile dysfunction, suddenly spastic colon. etc.. Whatever it takes to get you back under its control, the paradigm will do it.
Now, if you’re aware of this at the time it’s happening, you can override your thermostat and get busy, but most of the time, you have no idea it’s kicking in. It’s only afterwards you look back and wonder how you screwed up again.
And when you ask yourself that question, the paradigm usually provides the answer for you in a way that reinforces itself: because you suck at dating, you’re unattractive to women, you’ll never find anyone, etc. etc..
A paradigm is a set of habits and ideas that you accumulate in your subconscious over time, and it controls your actions. Most professional coaches have a version of the following, which the LifeSuccess coaching school of thought calls the “Law of Opposites”:
1. Write out the negative thought that you’ve got about yourself. Ideally, you should do this when you’re feeling really shitty about that part of yourself, because the feeling is at its most visceral and writing it out will serve the additional purpose of venting out the crap. And you should be as specific as possible, so don’t just write “I’m so unhappy”, say the actual reason: “I’m so unhappy because I never have any money” or “I’m sad because I can never find anyone” or “I hate the house I live in”, etc.
2. Take a second sheet of paper and put it beside the negative thoughts. Now, write out the DIAMETRICAL OPPOSITE to those statements. Again, be as precise as possible. “I’m so happy and grateful now that money flows into my life”, “I’m happy because the woman/man of my dreams is on her/his way”.
It’s gonna feel like you’re bullshitting yourself the first few times you do this, but it’s okay: these are the intentions that will become realities as you go. They don’t have to feel real now to become real later.
3. Now, take the first sheet and dispose of it in a particularly creative way that symbolizes the purging of old beliefs.
In other words, KILL IT WITH FIRE!
4. Each day for two months, re-write the positive statements you made from the negative ones. Take ten minutes out of your day to do this, ideally when you wake up or just before you to go to bed. Don’t overthink it, don’t resist, don’t worry about what people will think of your weird new hobby: just set aside the time and get it done. If you’re feeling really good that morning or evening, write the whole list out twice or three times.
Step 4 is the biggie: these are the replacement parts for the crappy ones you just symbolically removed from your subconscious. Burning the bad list doesn’t magically “fix” you: a paradigm is a set of habitual thoughts about yourself, so you’ve got to replace them with positive and diametrically opposite thoughts.
The only way you do that is to drill the affirmations into your subconscious through repetition, and your paradigm will start registering the new idea, and your actions will also start to change. When your actions change, your results – money, relationships, health – will change.
Here’s an important note that most articles like this forget to mention. At first, your results will be mixed, because you’ll have both sets of ideas – “I’m broke all the time”, “I’m ugly to women” versus “I have money flowing in”, “I’m an attractive man” – in the paradigm at the same time. It’s important not to get demoralized in these early steps and recognize what’s happening when you fall off the wagon again: you’re still learning to get it right.
Keep repeating Step Four as often as you can until you really start to believe it, and before too long, it’ll take. Repeat it even when you don’t believe it to be true, especially when you don’t. The subconscious is not going to care how you feel about the words you’re writing at the moment and has no control over what it takes in: it’ll absorb it. Then things will change.
Think this is BS? Consider for a moment the dark side of the reality of subconscious programming from the standpoint of psychotherapy. Counsellors and therapists know that subconscious ideas about the self deeply impact self image, and they spend hours treating patients whose self images are so negative, they manifest everything from eating disorders to severe depression and violence.
And if you’ve got a serious mental illness based in some past trauma or that’s causing you to be reallydestructive now, you should always see a therapist first. Mental illness is no joke, and there are people who care who will help you.
However, if you’re not in an acute situation, coaching gives you the tools to create your own new thoughts about yourself that may not yet be rooted in experience, but will be once you start living them out. The experiences follow from your actions, and your actions, conscious and unconscious, stem from your mindset. Your paradigm controls your mindset, and your paradigm is shaped by new conscious habits you create consciously.
Do the above exercise for yourself, whether life is treating you well, if things are shitty, or anywhere in between. Then repeat Step Four for two months, and see what changes.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR WORDSLINGERS, INKLINGS, AND WORDSMITHS: As writers, our great advantage within the Law of Attraction is to take our natural talent for translating mental images into real-life words, and apply it towards accurate, clear, and inspired affirmations to imprint into the subconscious via repetition.
Artists think in images more than individuals in any other profession, and images are the fuel behind the Law of Attraction. Thus, my theory is that, because of the writing component of these practices alone, creative writers are among the most powerful creators of real-life when they apply this to the Law of Attraction.
So, if we really are such demigods, why do we get Writer’s Block? I’ll talk more about that on Peevish Penman shortly. Stay tuned!