Almost all of what we demonstrate starts with a thought. But just because you have a thought doesn’t necessarily mean it is true. Most thoughts are just old circuits in your brain that have become hardwired by your repetitive volition. Thus, you have to ask yourself, “Is this thought true, or is it just what I think and believe while I am feeling this way? If I act on this impulse, will it lead me to the same result in my life?” The truth is, these are echoes from your past that are connected to strong feelings, which activate old circuits in your brain and cause you to react in predictable ways.
To help you recognize your own unique set of self-limiting thoughts, you may find the following examples helpful.
Examples of limiting automatic thoughts (your daily, unconscious mental rehearsal):
I’ll never get a new job.
No one ever listens to me.
He always makes me feel angry.
Everyone uses me.
I want to call it quits.
Today is a bad day for me, so why bother trying to change it.
It’s her fault that my life is this way.
I’m really not that smart.
I honestly can’t change. Maybe it would be better to start another time.
I don’t feel like it.
My life sucks.
I hate my situation with ________.
I’ll never make a difference. I can’t.
________ does not like me.
I have to work harder than most people.
It’s my genetics. I am just like my mother.
Habitual Thoughts, Habitual Actions
Just as with habitual thoughts, habitual actions also make up your own unique undesirable states of mind. You start off with good intentions, and then you find yourself sitting on the couch eating potato chips with the remote control in one hand and a cigarette in the other. However, just a few hours before, you proclaimed that you were going to get in shape and stop all self-destructive behaviors.
Most unconscious actions are taken to emotionally reinforce the personality and fulfill an addiction, in order to feel more of the same way. For example, people who feel guilty on a daily basis will have to perform certain actions to fulfill their emotional destiny. Most certainly, they will get in trouble in life to feel more guilt. Many unconscious actions match and thus satisfy who we are emotionally.
On the other hand, many people demonstrate certain habits in order to temporarily make the feeling they have memorized go away. They look for instant gratification from something outside of them to momentarily free them from their pain and emptiness. Being addicted to computer games, drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, or shopping is used to resolve one’s inner pain and emptiness.
Your addictions create your habits. Since nothing that exists outside of you could ever resolve your emptiness on a permanent basis, invariably you will have to do more of the same activity over again. After the thrill or the rush wears off a few hours later, you will have to return to the same addictive tendency again, but do it longer. However, when you unmemorize the negative emotion of your personality, you eliminate the destructive unconscious behavior.
Identifying and Recognizing Patterns
Identify an unwanted emotion. How do you habitually act when you are feeling this way? You may recognize your own patterns among the examples below, but be sure to add those behaviors that are specific to you. Now, write down the unique ways you behave when you feel that emotion.
Examples of limiting actions/behaviors (your daily, unconscious physical rehearsal):
Feeling sorry for yourself by sitting alone
Eating away depression
Calling someone to complain about how you feel
Playing obsessively on the computer
Picking a fight with someone you love
Drinking too much and making a fool out of yourself
Shopping and spending more than you have
Gossiping or spreading rumors
Lying about yourself
Throwing a temper tantrum
Treating fellow employees with disrespect
Flirting with other people when you are married
Yelling at everyone
Gambling too much
Trying to be the center of attention
Sleeping in every day
Talking too much about the past
If you are having difficulty coming up with answers, ask yourself what you think about during various situations in your life, and inwardly “watch” how you think and respond. You can also inwardly “look through the eyes” of other people. How would they say they see you? How do you act?
Reminding: Recall the Aspects of the Old Self You No Longer Want to Be
Your goal is “to become familiar with” how you think and act when this specific emotion is driving you. It is to remind you how you no longer want to be, and how you were making yourself so unhappy. This step helps you become aware of how you unconsciously behave and what you say to yourself while you’re thinking and feeling, feeling and thinking, so that you have more conscious control in your waking day.
Doing this step is a work in progress. In other words, if you sit down every day for a week to focus on this, you will probably find that you continue to modify and refine your list. That’s good.
When you do this step, you enter the operating system of the “computer” programs in the subconscious mind and bring them out into the spotlight for your review. You ultimately want to become so familiar with these cognitions that you inhibit them from firing in the first place. You will prune away the synaptic connections that made up the old self. And if everywhere a neurological connection is formed constitutes a memory, then you are in fact dismantling the memory of the old you.
When your habitual, automatic thoughts and reactions are completely familiar to you, they will never slip by unnoticed or unrecognized. And you will be able to anticipate them before they are initiated. This is when you are free.
In this step, remember: awareness is your goal.
Redirecting: Play the Change Game
Here’s what happens when you use the tools of redirecting: You prevent yourself from behaving unconsciously. You stop yourself from activating your old programs, and you biologically change, causing unfiring and unwiring of nerve cells. Similarly, you stop the same genes from being signaled in the same ways.
If you’ve struggled with the idea of surrendering control, this step allows you to more consciously and judiciously take back the reins in order to break the habit of being yourself. When you become masterful at being able to redirect yourself, you’re building a solid foundation on which to create your new-and-improved self.
During your meditations this week, take some of the situations you came up with in the step just before, and as you picture them or observe yourself in your mind, tell yourself (out loud), “Change!” It’s simple:
Imagine a situation where you are thinking and feeling in an unconscious way.
. . . Say “Change!”
Become aware of a scenario (with a person, for example, or a thing) where you could easily fall into an old behavior pattern.
. . . Say “Change!”
Picture yourself in an event in your life where there is a good reason to fall from your ideal.
. . . Say “Change!”
The Loudest Voice in Your Head
After you remind yourself to stay conscious throughout your day, you can now use a tool to change right in the moment. Whenever you catch yourself in real life thinking a limiting thought or engaging in a limiting action or behavior, just say “Change!” out loud. Over time, your own voice will become the new voice in your head—and the loudest one. It will become the voice of redirection.
As you repeatedly interrupt the old program, your efforts will begin to further weaken the connections between those neural networks that make up your personality. By the principle of Hebbian learning, you will unhook the circuits connected to the old self during your daily life. At the same time, you are no longer epigenetically signaling the same genes in the same ways. This is another step so that you will become more conscious. It is developing “conscious control” of yourself.
When you can stop a knee-jerk emotional reaction to some thing or person in your life, you are choosing to save yourself from returning to the old you that thinks and acts in such limited ways. By the same idea, as you gain conscious control over your thoughts that may be initiated from some stray memory or association connected with some environmental cue, you will move away from the predictable destiny in which you think the same thoughts and perform the same actions, which will create the same reality. It is a reminder placed by you in your own mind.
Catch Yourself Before “Going Unconscious”
As you run through a series of situations in your mind’s eye in which you stop yourself from being the old self (emotionally), your repeated exposure to the same stimuli (mentally) will, over time, weaken your emotional response to that condition. And as you consistently present yourself to the same motives of the old identity and notice how you automatically responded, you will become conscious enough in your life that you catch yourself from going unconscious.
Thus, your thought about a person who makes you angry or your interaction with the ex-boyfriend can no longer tug on you because you’ve mindfully stopped yourself enough times. As you break the addiction to the emotion, there can be no autonomic response. It is your conscious awareness in this step that then frees you from the associated emotion or thought process in your daily life. Most of the time, these reflexive reactions go by unchecked by you because you are too busy “being” the old you.
It is important that you rationalize beyond the barometer of your feelings to understand that these survival emotions are affecting your cells in adverse ways by pushing the same genetic buttons and breaking down your body. It raises the question: “Is this feeling, behavior, or attitude loving to myself?”
After I say “Change,” I like to say, “This is not loving to me! The rewards of being healthy, happy, and free are so much more important than being stuck in the same self-destructive pattern. I don’t want to emotionally signal the same genes in the same way and affect my body so adversely. Nothing is worth it.”
Throughout your day, as limiting thoughts and feelings come up, observe yourself and automatically say “Change!” out loud; or hear this—instead of the old voice(s)—as the loudest voice in your head. When that happens, you will be ready for the creation process.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hay House Inc. www.hayhouse.com.
©2012 by Joe Dispenza. All Rights Reserved.
Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One
by Joe Dispenza.
You are not doomed by your genes and hardwired to be a certain way for the rest of your life. A new science is emerging that empowers all human beings to create the reality they choose. In Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, renowned author, speaker, researcher, and chiropractor Dr. Joe Dispenza combines the fields of quantum physics, neuroscience, brain chemistry, biology, and genetics to show you what is truly possible. Once you break the habit of being yourself and truly change your mind, your life will never be the same!
About the Author
Joe Dispenza, D.C., the author of Evolve Your Brain, studied biochemistry at Rutgers University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in neuroscience. He has a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, and received postgraduate training and continuing education in neurology, neuroscience, brain function and chemistry, cellular biology, memory formation, and aging and longevity. One of the scientists, researchers, and teachers featured in the award-winning film What the BLEEP Do We Know!?, Dr. Joe has taught thousands how to reprogram their thinking through scientifically proven neurophysiological principles. Visit his website at drjoedispenza.com