I left the previous chapter with the following question: If we change the way we view our past, will that interrupt preconditioning, and therefore change our fate in the future? I believe that the answer to this is yes. Most of our lives we are on autopilot, and once we change the autopilots destination, we can head to where we want to go automatically, without having to think about it. But of cause, how do we do this?
Humour me by undergoing a 24 to 48 hour experiment. It goes like this:
Pick an aspect of your life that you don’t like or would like to improve on. This can be to do with your job, finding a partner, making friends, finding a house, getting to better health, being more positive and so forth. Make it a biggy!
Secondly, each time you realise that you are thinking about your topic, be aware of your negative questions surrounding it. Don’t worry so much about the answers, instead focus on the questions which put yourself down. For instance ‘aren’t you too fat to wear that’, ‘isn’t she too hot for you to talk to’, ‘surely you don’t deserve _______’ and so forth.
If you do this and nothing else I believe that I will make my point. You will see that your psyche is putting itself down to justify its reasoning that you are not worthy of the topic you selected. The reason you believe this is based on a past experience or multiple thereof. But why just lay witness to this, why not take steps to stop it? Try this…
Each time you catch yourself asking a negative question, I want you to call yourself on it. Take your mind aside and say ‘what the f%&K!’ and don’t pull any punches. Don’t be angry at yourself, if anything, just laugh at the fact that you have found a preconditioned question that is limiting your life. And now you have found it, you can change it. That’s right! You can now change your question to something positive. Change ‘your too fat’ to ‘your beautiful’ or ‘I don’t have a hope’ to ‘I can do this’ and so on and so forth. If you keep self-aware and constantly recondition your questions by doing this, eventually it will become natural. Though don’t think it’s that easy. You not only have to create a new question and reinforce it over 48 hours, you also have to believe what you say as well.
I understand that step 3 for some people may be a little too much positivity. I get it, I once thought the same. That was until I realised that I was putting myself down all the time and enforcing my depression and anxiety. I mean seriously, what the hell! Why would we do this to ourselves? Why would we ask such demoralizing questions that limit our own life? And why would we do this daily?
Some people think that this is just calling ourselves on our truths, and that this type of thinking is stopping us from being cocky. That is a very interesting argument though it is outright crap. If you chose any of the topics I listed above, there is nothing wrong with having some confidence in yourself within these areas. And if you do find yourself asking negative questions then you are so far away from cocky you may as well be beating yourself over the head with a stick.
Okay, if we are doing negative questions then maybe we’re not physically hurting ourselves, though emotionally we are setting up limitations. Before we even apply for a job we can be telling ourselves that we won’t get it. By doing this we restrict our confidence, get nervous and maybe we don’t even apply for the position. We do this because we figure what’s the point? We have been beaten before the race even started.
The greatest wars are in our mind, not on the battlefield.
So yes! I have stepped out of my comfortable realm of philosophy and suggested some positive life changes. But what is the point of talking if we are not learning, and what is learning without acting, and what is acting without failing and learning even more. Philosophy is just as much about challenging the mind as it is about thinking about stuff… So at least give it crack. Have a go and pay attention to how your mind works this week, I am sure you will find the results fascinating if nothing else… Good Luck…