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Mindset Matters

August 9, 2017

We all have a story. Each one is utterly unique. The story we tell the world is often not the one we tell ourselves. We tell a would-be suitor, for instance that we like long walks on the beach and candlelight dinners; when in fact, we are telling ourselves what a phony we are because we actually like to sit on our couch with a tub of Ben & Jerry's binge watching The Gilmore Girls.


The fact is, we probably want to be that person who takes moonlit walks and eats caviar over candles, but the experiences we've had in our lives has contributed to a subconscious edict that we must follow; that of couch potato.


Let me point out something very significant. Your subconscious does not have a truth filter. Let's say for instance that when you were young, you were told you were fat. If you were told this before the age of 6, this became a part of your subconscious pretty much automatically whether it was true or not; even if it was teasing. If it was reinforced to you by others calling you chubby or that you have so much baby fat, it became a strong fact of "who you are". Therefore, throughout the rest of your life, your subconscious has been directing your conscious to apply thoughts and behaviors in accordance with the "fact" that you are fat. 


This subconscious mindset (one of millions) has been your self defeating habit for years. You want to lose weight. You want to exercise. You want to eat healthy. You want to have portion control. Somehow, you have never been able to stick to anything. This is because your subconscious is sabotaging any effort you make by quietly telling your conscious that you are fat and to reinforce that "fact".




The good news is that we can change those limiting mindsets. We can turn them around. It requires both commitment and consistency. It takes anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks to change a habit. It also takes mindfulness. You have to be aware when self-defeating thoughts crop up. We don't have direct access to our subconscious, so you have to consciously think positive thoughts and back them up with positive actions.


Every day, and as many times as you think to do it, but at least once in the morning and once in the evening, tell yourself that you are a happy, healthy, beautiful human being who nourishes and nurtures their body. When negative thoughts creep in to tell you that is a lie, turn it around.


If the thought crops up that dieting is hard, turn it into "Dieting has been hard until now". When you realize the story you've told yourself for years is just words, and not a true represenation, you can turn any negative thought around.




We've all had experiences in our lives both negative as well as positive. What we take away from these experiences is a story. These stories are interwoven into our overall life story and become part of the permanent record. That doesn't have to be the case.


Think back to a time when you were in a great deal of physical pain. Perhaps it was a broken bone, or giving birth. You remember that moment clearly, but do you actually feel the pain now? No, of course not. You have a memory of the pain, but you cannot feel that pain now (as long as you are healed at this point).


Our physical bodies know not to hold onto pain, however our subconscious mind does not. Our bodies release the pain as we heal, but our mind keeps going back to the pain of past experiences over and over again through memory. We continue to feel the heartbreak and the bitterness. We don't have to. There is no reason to continue to feel these things or have the negative thoughts and behaviors associated with them.




Until we rewrite the stories in our mind, our subconscious will hold onto the mindsets that are keeping us in pain, or keeping us from moving forward. These neural paths can be overwritten. You can create a new story starting today. 


It's not enough to tell yourself that you are a healthy eater. That is a huge part of it, but your subconscious will continue to regurgitate its old standards until you reinforce the affirmations with action. Don't go starting a strict diet by any means just yet. Your subconscious will absolutely rebel. Throw a piece of fruit or have an extra veggie or two throughout the day and be mindful of how healthy you are because of it. Park a little farther from the entrance to a store and be mindful of the extra exercise you are giving your body.


Reinforcing your new mindset will cause new neural pathways to develop and as they get stronger, the old ones will fade away from disuse.


You really can do this. Everyone has the ability to change their life with a bit of mindfulness and consistent positive reinforcement and self talk. Commit to it, and you will be amazed at how your life changes in just a few weeks! 



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