What is Mental Programming and How Can You Use it to Change Your Life for the Better Forever?
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Life Strategies Coach
Shad Helmstetter, the author of What Do You Say When You Talk to Yourself? wrote, "You will become what you think about most; your success or failure in anything, large or small, will depend on your programming -- what you accept from others, and what you say when you talk to yourself."
Think about it. What is it you are saying to yourself all the time, especially when you aren't paying close attention? Do you think that you aren't good enough? Do you doubt yourself? Do you worry a lot? Do you hate some aspect of your life, but you don't change it because you don't believe you can?
Your thoughts come from and reside in your mind which is the subject of many studies. To help with understanding the human mind, some use the analogy of a computer to explain how it works.
Think of the brain as computer hardware.
The mind is composed of two parts: the conscious and subconscious. The subconscious is also often referred to as the "unconscious." Those two terms are used interchangeably.
Your mind which controls your thoughts, actions and beliefs can be thought of as the software. It is the input.
Your mind--as opposed to the physical brain is the "software" that controls everything you think. Everything. Consider that the programming of your mind began the moment you were born. Everything you saw, heard or felt since that time has been taken in and accepted as "truth."
Your subconscious mind accepts what it is told. It doesn't question. It's like an audio tape that is turned on and records every sound, both the intentional and unintentional. It will record your voice, but if there is background noise, it will record that, too.
The person you are now is a result of years of programming.
You may have developed some bad habits that you picked up as a child. Maybe you developed a phobia such as a fear of the dark or spiders (just as a few possible examples) because of a traumatic childhood experience. You may not even remember the incident consciously. But the fear drives your behavior today. You avoid dark rooms. You freak out when you see a spider--even a small one.
These feelings are the result of something you have experienced at some time during your life. And the experience is ingrained into the way you live now.
But you can change your behavior, thoughts or beliefs if you choose to.
Dr. Helmstetter is also the author of The Power of Neuroplasticity.
He believes that every thought results in rewiring in the brain. And rewiring the brain with new thoughts create changes in your life. He believes that "What we believe determines our attitudes, affects our feelings, directs our behavior and determines our success or failure."
Helmstetter argues that it is evident that we can change our thoughts and behavior by rewiring our brain. This rewiring or changing connections is known as Neuroplasticity. MedicineNet defines neuroplasticity as "the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or changes in their environment. Studies have shown that connections in the brain can be changed. And the change in thoughts can result in a change of habits, thoughts, and feelings."
The key to successful mental programming is managing your thoughts and beliefs!
If you want to create a change in your life, then you need to believe in yourself. You need to believe in your ability to change and to succeed in making the change you want. It is essential that you be fully committed to making the change.
The following is the pattern of mental programming identified by Helmstetter:
The mental programming creates belief.
These beliefs then create our attitudes.
Our attitudes then create feelings.
Our feelings then determine our actions.
And finally, our actions create results.
You are the critical component in the process of mental programming. If you are not committed or do not believe in it, then it is unlikely that it will be successful.
Author and spiritual teacher, Mike Dooley, has written a book entitled, Thoughts Become Things. In his book, Mike shares how he changed his entire life after realizing that he had the power to create his own experiences with his thoughts.
To create a new mental program, you need to identify the change you need to make and choose the method to reprogram your brain. This could be coaching, self-hypnosis, the use of visualization, or affirmations.
You can use this technique to make any change in your life that you want. People who have succeeded in various ways in life have done this either consciously or unconsciously.
Do you feel stressed out and overwhelmed? One step you can take to get your stress under control is to take charge in one area of your life at a time. Don't try to change everything at once. That will only lead to feeling more overwhelmed!
But do try to figure out where you need the most relief, and go from there. Start with believing that you can make the change you want. Then start changing the way you think about the change. From there, let your feelings reflect your thoughts. Ultimately, your actions will begin to reflect your beliefs.
Some people will throw their hands up in despair and say, "I can never change. I have always been like this."
And if that is your attitude you are right. You can never change because that is what you believe.
In my coaching practice, I often have to help my clients see that they can make a change--even a dramatic change--in their lives by believing that it is possible. You must start with a positive attitude. And you must be willing to be patient. You can't change a lifetime of behaviors in one day or one week or even one month. It takes time and diligence.
When I undertook the practice of changing my thoughts to change my life, I was skeptical at first. It is hard to believe that something as simple as changing an idea can make such a powerful difference. But it can.
On numerous occasions since starting this practice, I have undertaken to make a change in my life that I previously thought impossible.
For example, I wanted to become a National Board Certified Teacher more than anything back in the mid-to-late 1990s. I followed the progress of the program from its beginning. I yearned to achieve that distinction, but I wasn't sure I could do it. There were so many things standing in my way. Could I ever afford the $2600 fee? Would I be successful? Was I good enough?
With a little encouragement from my husband, I realized that I could do it. As soon as I made that decision, I miraculously made it into a cohort. I not only got support from a group of like-minded achievers, but the entire fee was paid for me. The perceived obstacle of the cost fell completely away as did others. And two years later, I received my National Board for Professional Teachers Certificate. It was a dream come true.
A few years later, using the same thought process, I undertook my doctoral program. I finished the program in record time and owed nothing when it was complete.
And later, I used the same process while running for President of the Virginia Education Association. I had a mantra that I repeated daily. I stayed hyper-focused on my goal. And in 2008, I won that election with 53% of the statewide vote.
I am not unique in any way. I have learned the techniques that are at the disposal of everyone. I just use them.
And today, I use them in creating my coaching practice, helping others discover and uncover their dreams. I am adamant about this one thing. If I can do it, anyone can.
So, what change do you want to make in your life that you have been telling yourself is impossible? Are you ready to at least give thinking about it differently? That's where you need to start.
So what are you waiting for?
Until next time.
Here is the schedule:
During this presentation, I will talk about the 10 things you MUST take into consideration if you are thinking about changing your job or career in the next year.
I will also be offering a $100 OFF my Premium Group Coaching Program, so if you have been on the fence about investing in the program, now is a time to take advantage of this opportunity to save.
If you have questions, please let me know.
I hope you will plan to attend!