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Thought Rehearsal: Reinstall Your Personal Programming

We human beings are in many ways self-programmed…

The way in which you run through and perceive your life depends heavily on the programs you yourself have installed.  You already know  that your environment and circumstances cause the neurons in your brain to organize in a particular pattern, which results in changes to your emotional state and to the chemical state of your body.  What you may not realize is that by rehearsing the memory of that experience, you program yourself to be predisposed to that state.

Stacking the Deck – Will You Stack it FOR or AGAINST Yourself?

Here’s how it works.  Emotions help us to remember experiences – we remember how it felt, and we tend particularly to remember things that evoke a strong emotional response.  In neurological terms, the brain records our chemical state at that time.

Let’s say that you have a particularly upsetting experience- maybe being fired from a job, maybe a fight with someone close to you.  Afterward, you rehearse that experience over and over in your mind.  What your mind remembers at that point is not an objective record of what happened, but a mosaic of all of the most powerfully unpleasant stimuli which have been chemically seared into your memory.

You quickly recreate in your body the same emotional-chemical state that the experience itself created.  You become saturated with fear and anger.  This is nothing more than prolonged stimulation of the fight or flight response.  And maybe this incident continues to bother you, and you periodically relive it for years on end.  And maybe it feeds into a whole chain of similar incidents you have lined up already, all gnawing at your sense of self-worth, feeding that fight-or-flight response.  Talk about shell-shock!

Your body can’t tell the difference between real and remembered experience, so as far as it’s concerned, it is living in the past.  If rehearsed long enough, these feelings become so engrained that you cannot think them away, and even during pleasant experiences, your own chemical ground state is stacked against you.  Everything you perceive is then seen through this emotional-chemical haze.  You become addicted to the chemicals associated with your current feeling state, and subconsciously resistant to changing them.

Mental Rehearsal – A Key to Setting Things Right

Fortunately, mental rehearsal cuts both ways.  If it controls you, you can get into big trouble.  But once you wake up to it, it becomes one of the most powerful tools you have for changing your own life.  We’ve touched on this before, when I mentioned Tibetan “Highest Yoga Tantra.”  Human beings are remarkable for the ability we have to create our own stimulus, to visualize events and states of being more vivid than our surroundings.  That means we don’t have to passively wait for events to change our thinking- we can get started on changing our neural processes and chemical environment right now.  It is this, in turn, that allows us to respond effectively when good things do manifest in our lives.  The more you refine your “programming” through mental rehearsal, the more you line up all the neurons on your side and the better you will execute the “program” in real-life situations.

The Catch – You Have to BELIEVE

But there’s a catch: you have to believe it, not just as a possibility, but as something that both can and will happen.  You see, we believe in the bad stuff.  We devote ourselves to accumulating evidence for the bad stuff.  It’s easy to believe that we’ll crash and burn.  It’s much more difficult to really believe that we’re going to succeed, and to accumulate evidence in our own favour.  We tend to self-program to build the case for the prosecution, and it takes willpower and attention to build the case for our own success.

As we rehearse the states and situations that we want for ourselves, we are actually changing not just our brains, but our bodies.  Research using brain scans to record these changes is now beginning, and we know that the body can be changed by thinking.  In one experiment, a group was told to think about a certain exercise for a given amount of time every day, and another group to actually do the exercise.  The group that thought about it actually showed significant muscle development compared with the control group.  Your body will begin to feel different, and as you continue to rehearse, the state of being you visualize will slowly move into the realm of nondeclarative memory, that is, the point of unconscious competence.  At that point, you will have changed what it is to be you!

Think about the qualities that define your ideal self.  Think of a role model whom you would want to emulate, and imagine what it would be like to be them.  At this stage, you are imagining what real contentment and happiness with your life feels like, and you are placing yourself in the middle of it.  You are practicing being happy, and re-wiring your brain to think about happiness differently.  By thinking about being happy, you generate the emotions associated with it, which in turn produce physical and chemical changes.  You have gone from thinking about happiness to doing happiness to being happy, and that is an incredible shift!

Next, take some of those qualities you listed.  Read about them, about people who exhibited them.  Think about some of the difficult situations in your life and how those people would react differently to them.  We have to consciously re-program our responses.

Now take one of the emotions associated with a negative event you have memorized.  Observe how it feels in your body.  Observe where that feeling is, its texture.  Observe what it does to your breathing, your posture.  Be with it and do not run away from it.  Then observe how that feeling causes you to think, what your attitude is, what that feeling does to you.  You have now brought it to the level where you can consciously deal with it, and there are a few ways to do that, which we will touch on in later posts.

For now, understand the power that comes with being able to control who you are and what influences you take in.  Consciously arresting negative rehearsal and instituting positive rehearsal can be a dramatic first step in creating the new you.

For a more detailed breakdown of how to use mental rehearsal to your advantage, I highly recommend Dr. Joe Dispenza’s book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself.  You can watch Dr. Joe give you an introduction right here:

Dynamics of Creating the “New You”

Well, I wrote the header for this post and then realized what most people in our society would equate with a “new you” is something you can accomplish by a visit to the hairdresser or buying some new clothes!  As you might imagine, I have something a little more profound in mind and I’m sure you do too or else you wouldn’t be on this blog!  You’d be off reading Cosmo or Glamor or something like that 😉  You can either read the post or turn up your speakers…

NOTE: this post contains instructions on how to modify your emotional / psychological state.  Do not attempt to use these instructions unless you are emotionally / psychologically stable and are NOT currently under the care of a mental health professional.  If in doubt, contact a mental health professional.  

                              TO LISTEN TO THIS POST, CLICK HERE

Why Create the New You?

As it is right now, you’re continually recreating yourself anyway, moment by moment, biologically and neurologically, with every thought and feeling you have.  It’s just that, at the moment, you may well be stuck recreating yourself by copying the “you” that exists now – so all you ever get is a “new you” that’s a copy of the old you – in other words, you’re getting re-creation without transformation.  What you really want, though, is to create a new YOU that is continually transforming and moving forward so that you can experience vastly better results in all areas of your life!

Ask yourself this: “What emotional elements are holding me back?  What circumstances or people in my life right now that are making me feel unhappy?”  Then realize that your default setting up till now has likely been to try to change those circumstances or people, falsely believing that doing so was the magic key that would make you happier.  And then you went and changed some of those external circumstances, yet ended up creating the same results again… all because you did not change yourself first on the biological /neurological level.  That’s the iron law of change: it works from the inside out.  Experience in the business world proves this – if someone’s mindset is not right, it doesn’t matter how good their system is or how much great advice they get – nothing will work well for them.  Whereas, if their mindset is right, those external factors hardly matter because they’ll succeed no matter what they try.

What’s Stopping You?

Whenever you try to change your life, you run into your own personality, which is what we call “the false self”.  In other words, you run into all your fears, doubts, self-limiting beliefs, all the programming that’s been running your life for years and that’s given you the results you’re getting now.  What this means in terms of how your brain works is this: you’ve been conditioned to think and interpret reality in certain ways.  In other words, you’ve been programmed with belief systems that you use automatically to make sense out of your world.  Now please understand, some of these belief systems are very subtle, yet may control significant portions of your behavior.  Because of these belief systems, you think in certain ways as if on autopilot.  Your brain then manufactures chemicals to create a feeling state equivalent to your thinking.  Over time, your mind-body organism actually becomes physically and emotionally addicted to that feeling state.  Then you begin to believe that outside circumstances are creating that feeling state when, in reality, it’s largely the reverse – that feeling state works in a number of ways to make sure that you have external circumstances to match itself.  In other words, you’re creating your world from the inside out, not the other way around, as our Newtonian upbringing has taught us.

Hence, until you change your feeling state, your outside world cannot change much at all!  This is a case of simple neuro-chemical addiction on the one hand, and quantum biology on the other.  So creating the new YOU is necessarily about changing your brain chemistry, your neuro-functioning and therefore your energy patterns (because all thoughts and feeling states broadcast an energy signature).  This is what it means to change your vibration and that equates to a radical change in how good you feel.

Three Good Reasons to Remake Your Personality

As human beings, we seem to need an awfully compelling reason to get off our butts and change our lives.  Much of the time, unfortunately, we wait until the pain of our present approach to life becomes acute.  Now I’m assuming you’ve been there before (I certainly have!) and that you’d prefer to be a bit more proactive this time around!  So, to help motivate yourself, consider three powerful reasons to start remaking your life today:

  1. To get better results in various areas of your life, such as your career and finances, your health, your relationships, etc.
  2. So you can stop reacting continually to external circumstances (a classic symptom of neurosis) and regain your inner emotional freedom, and
  3. So you can feel better and be much happier!

How to Create Your New Personality

There are lots of ways to uninstall old programming and install newer and better “software” into your brain and your life.  We don’t have time to talk about them all and certainly not in detail.  So today I just want to share one simple and very powerful concept with you.  It’s a concept that’s been tested and proven for millennia.  It has been used worldwide, including as the first step behind what the Tibetans call “Highest Yoga Tantra”, the most advanced and powerful spiritual practice in Tibetan Buddhism.  In that spiritual world, it’s called the “generation stage” of Tantra (as opposed to the “completion stage that comes later) and it works like this: even though you may be a spiritual mess, you train yourself to visualize that you are no longer your messy mortal personality and you stop identifying yourself so closely with it.  Instead you train yourself to see yourself as a Buddha, with the body, mind and circumstances of a fully enlightened being.  The Tibetan tantric method for accomplishing this is very complex, yet when you strip away all the massive sophistication of it, it call comes down to one really simple principle – develop an idealized version of yourself and how you think, feel and act if you were free of whatever is now holding you back.  In other words, you ACT THE PART!

And you can use this method of “acting the part” to make a significant difference in the results you get in any area of your life, simply by using the massive transformational power of acting!  Here’s how:

  1. Do a meditation session where you focus on your breath and slowly let go of your thoughts.  This helps access the subconscious mind.
  2. Then vividly imagine the traits of the person you want to be – how does this ideal you think, feel and act in particular situations?
  3. Then continue the meditation to imagine you already are this person – see this ideal you moving throughout the events of your day and watch how he or she reacts to the various events of your day.
  4. Once you get up from your meditation, you want to see yourself as this New You and act the part.
  5. Try this for a few days and spend time at the end of each day evaluation how it went.

At the outset, you’ll probably quite like this approach – it’s probably something you haven’t tried before.  Of course, as with any life-transforming training, please realize you WILL hit a wall at some point.  All you have to know in advance is that it’s okay to hit a wall!!  It’s just temporary, as long as you keep going.  Naturally, this is where a lot of people stop using whatever method they’re trying, whether it’s this one, or EFT or whatever else.  So for them, the wall is where they stop and they stop because they’re fickle and unteachable.  That doesn’t have to be you.

So what is the “wall”, exactly?  It’s resistance from your old self, who wants to return to its comfort zone and who is fighting your good intentions with its own neuro-chemical weapons.  In other words, your “new you” will automatically move toward certain feeling states, but your preconditioned mind-body organism is still serving up the same neuro-chemical cocktail that produced your old feeling states.  So, for example, you may want to feel more confident in social situations, but your body is still producing chemicals associated with feelings of shyness and inferiority.  As long as you persist in “acting the part”, though, your subconscious will eventually get the message and change your brain chemistry to match your new thoughts and feelings.

You’ll also discover underlying belief systems that don’t support the new you.  You can dissect those old beliefs logically to show yourself just how unreasonable they are and to demonstrate how they no longer serve you.  Then formulate the new belief verbally and in writing.

Following this method, you’ll get stronger each day.  You’ll see that the old you, your old personality, was not really YOU at all – it was just a collection of unexamined assumptions, emotional conditioning, long-held beliefs that conditioned how you thought, felt and acted and hence dictated your results in life.  Now you can change all that 🙂

~Dr. Symeon Rodger

Why You MUST Think About What You DON’T Want

Please forgive my silence this week – I’ve been on the road all week and the victim of a very poor internet connection at my hotel.

And I won’t even go into the flat tire that happened while I was on my way to catch a train yesterday… (made it with10 minutes to spare 😉

Rest of the trip was great, though!

Today I’d like to address a ‘mindset debate’ that can have a huge impact on your life, and here it is…

You know all those Law of Attraction (LOA) programs that insist you should never think about what you don’t want because thinking about it will produce those unwanted results in your life?

If you’ve been trying to use the LOA at all, you’ve probably puzzled about this very question. Should you think about what you don’t want as a motivator, to light a fire under your butt, or is it just too risky?

This was Marie’s question too, and here’s what she wrote:

“How does your program mesh with the Law of Attraction teachings? In particular I am talking about focusing on what you don’t want. You mentioned in your book that you must have sufficient revulsion to a situation in order to change it. Yet my law of attraction coaches tell me that is resistance and focusing on a “don’t want,” which I will get more of. Yet I make choices all the time to notice an environment or situation is something I don’t want and I move away from it. I get opportunities and people coming my way all the time and I say no to them because they feel like a waste of time and energy. I was unable to vibe my way out of my job until I stopped focussing on the positive aspects of it and realized it was really draining me. So my question to you is how do you reconcile these two concepts?”

In response to Marie’s EXCELLENT question, here’s my answer…

There’s a nasty psychological tendency we humans have that makes it imperative for us to think about what we don’t want in order to break free from it…

And that psychological tendency is our nearly infinite ability to become perversely comfortable with the most monumentally uncomfortable situations. Witness the prison inmate who’s terrified of freedom and would prefer to remain behind bars, despite the violence, ugliness and restrictions of that life.

We may be shocked by the inmate’s refusal of the freedom we all enjoy, but we then turn around and do the very same thing in our own lives. That is, we continually recreate patterns of failure because, no matter how much they hurt, we’re as comfortable with them as with a well-worn shoe.

So I’m here to tell you the plain and simple truth – unless you get rid of that feeling of comfort with your lousy finances, your empty relationships or your dismal health, you will NEVER take the action you need to transform the situation.

You won’t change your current situation until you despise it. And for all those who think that anything other than an unending feeling of sweetness and light is bound to wreck your life, I have news for you…

…all Authentic Ancient Traditions have thousands of years of data to say you’re wrong. The recent New Age tendency to go into a cold sweat at the mere mention of emotions like anger is wrong. Ironically, that knee jerk response is perilously close to the very attitudes that led to our mind-body split in the Western world in the first place.

One of the most recent Orthodox Christian holy men went so far as to say that there’s no progress in spiritual life until hatred [for the inner obstacles to that life] reaches its maximum. And millennia of data are there to support his assertion.

Likewise, in any area of your life that you want to transform, you must pick yourself up by the scruff of the neck and shake yourself until you recognize just how much you detest where you are.

You may remember my talking about Napoleon Hill’s statement that you’ll never get what you want until you work yourself into a white heat of desire for it. The opposite is equally true….

…You’ll never get out of what you don’t want until you hate it with all your heart.

Now notice something very important: the quality of thought that goes into obsessively dwelling on what you don’t want is totally different from the quality of thought that goes into despising what you don’t want. Read that sentence again and think about it.

In the first instance, which is what most people do and what causes them to re-create the same destructive patterns in their lives over and over again, the predominant emotion is fear. Fear is a victim’s emotion. It disempowers you, makes your feel defenceless and helpless.

When you despise your situation, on the other hand, the situation is very different. The emotion of despising is the emotion of the predator, not the prey, so you no longer feel helpless, defenceless or disempowered. Instead, you have the initiative.

In other words, so called negative emotions are not entirely negative at all. Yes, they can become very destructive to ourselves and others if and only if we use them inappropriately, but they’re not inherently bad.

And if we don’t leverage the ‘negative’ emotion of hatred to break through our perverse sense of comfort with misery, we’ll stay in misery forever.

I know for a fact that lots of people failed to progress in this or that area of their lives until they detested where they were. And, as far as I can see, this has also been true for Marie.

This approach has the added advantage of keeping the horror of where you’re at very fresh in your mind and of helping you to understand your current reality better.

It also sets in motion the psychological law of contrast – the greater the difference you can see in your mind between your current reality and where you want to be, the greater and more decisive will be your efforts to move toward the latter.

So don’t be a victim of the LOA ‘dogmatists’ who are telling you that any thought of what you don’t want is dangerous. Just the opposite is true.

You’re entirely responsible for the quality of your thoughts, so start now to put some high quality “hate” onto what you don’t want. Just make sure that before you start to do this, however, you also know precisely what you would love to see. And spend at least twice as much time visualizing your desires as you do on your current, lousy situation.

And many thanks again to Marie for this very timely question!

– Dr. Symeon Rodger