“If you are going to go out and rock this planet, you better make sure you’re rocking it on the inside, because if not, you’re going to get tripped up again, and again, and again.” ~Matt Church
Before I knew how to Repattern, I didn’t know how to feel genuinely confident and wasn’t fully aware of the dangers of positive thinking…
… and that was true despite decades of therapies, positive thinking, meditating… (if you haven’t heard my story yet, here’s a video slice of me doing one of my talks).
To be frank, most of the time, I was trying to fake it. But faking it, only got me so far.
Sure I might have looked okay on the outside… (actually come to think of it, don’t most people?)… but on the inside I was a hot mess!
And as Matt Church says… if you’re not rocking it on the inside, you’ll be knocked down again and again and again, and that is precisely what was happening to me.
Of course this was all before I learned about patterns.
You see, there’s a reason that you might not feel a strong sense of personal empowerment right now… and let me be the first to say, it is not your fault!
It started a long time ago, in a land far away, when Rene Descartes declared, “I think, therefore I am!”
And we believed him.
Based in this belief, it stands to reason that that if you don’t like something that you are doing, thinking or feeling, the best way to change it is to change your thoughts.
What followed were all of our popular mindset techniques such as positive thinking, law of attraction, affirmations, reframing our beliefs, and so on.
Today, I want to address why this advice sucks! Sorry to be so blunt, but frankly if all of this mindset activity actually worked we’d all be rich, healthy, happy and beyond stress considering how much we all do of it.
You see, turns out, Rene had it all wrong!
It turns out … (and you’re going to want to read the next sentence twice)…
… that brain scanners can see the decision you are about to make before you know you are going to make that decision.
Did you catch that?
The action that you just took, i.e. reading this blog, was not decided by you. It was a decision made by a pattern that already exists in you.
Take a look at this (watch from 9:10 to 11:27):
Haha… there’s a mind-bend…
… how can you be responsible for having your hand in the cookie jar, when you didn’t choose to put your hand in the cookie jar?
But that question aside, this new understanding of our brain works makes mindset techniques a BIG problem!
What problems does mindset create?
Well, here’s but a short list.
The Dangers of Positive Thinking
Problem #1. Mindset doesn’t change the underlying pattern. Add all the positive thinking, visioning, affirmations you want -- the originating pattern still exists in you.
Therefore, the best you can do when working with mindset techniques is move from one pattern to another. This might have you taking a new action temporarily but those limited beliefs, behaviours, actions, they are never really gone and so… SLAM! As soon as you let your guard down, there’s that limiting belief again!
The solution: Instead of working on mindset techniques, begin by removing the pattern that is bringing the limited belief or the ineffective action. The solution is one of subtraction, not addition.
Problem #2: Mindset is steeped in the understanding that there is something wrong with you. Mindset is about changing your underlying beliefs, behaviours and actions in efforts to correct what is perceived broken.
In reality there is nothing wrong with you.
Consider that everything you do is the result of a pattern or, to put this another way, all you are is a collection of patterns, some of which are working to get you to your goals and some of which aren’t.
If something isn’t working there is nothing to change; instead all you have to do is reach into the box and remove it.
The solution: If something isn’t working in your life, it is simply an indication that you are running an unworkable pattern, removing that pattern makes room for a new one that effortlessly takes you to your goal.
Problem #3. The conscious mind thinks it knows what will make you happy.
The problem with our mind is it thinks in dichotomy -- meaning, it thinks that the opposite of what isn’t working, is the solution.
If we are angry, then gratitude is the way to go. If we are sad, happy is the answer. If we are stressed, we should strive to feel peaceful.
As I write this, T. Harv Eker comes to mind. T. Harv Eker is the money guru who created the Secrets of the Millionaire mind program, a program that relies heavily on mindset techniques.
I’m certain that T. Harv did a LOT of affirmations as he travelled his journey from rags to riches.
Is he happy?
Rumor has it, he is far from it. Although he is now a millionaire, he is miserable.
The result of positive mindset techniques is much like trying to play a piano concerto using only the keys on the right hand side of center. You can create a song, but it won’t be very good.
The solution: Trust that the subconscious is a much better judge than the conscious mind because it takes a much more holistic perspective. When we get out of our own way (by deconstructing the pattern) the subconscious is able to take us in directions that we may not know we need to go, but that bring us ultimately to exactly where we need to be.
Problem #4. Mindset takes a lot of effort. Applying mindset techniques is much like the cat waiting outside the mouse hole to pounce. No doubt can be allowed to sneak by, no negative thought can enter the space.
This high level of diligence, makes for a great deal of anxiety, not to mention self-blame. If something bad happens, it must be your fault.
It gets pretty stressful, when we try to live stress free.
The solution: Put all the mindset activity on hold for a little while and work with patterns instead. After all, according to the law of holes, when you find yourself in a hold the first thing to do is STOP digging.
Now that you know what doesn’t work, it’s time to get to what does work.
Until next time,