Many people aren’t aware of how important their own repetitive thoughts are, even though they may have heard quotes such as “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” (Attributed to Henry Ford) or “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (King James Version, Book of Proverbs, The Bible).

I like the model of the mind being like a computer: from infancy, programs are imprinted and downloaded from a variety of sources. These sources are usually familiar and have influence over us, such as parents and other family members or caregivers, social icons, media, peers, etc. You might imagine that this is the “feed” that is coming into our mind and laying down impressions, beliefs and attitudes as we grow and develop.

Some of these programs are helpful. Think about the habits we learn regarding how to care for ourselves, for example, or how to behave in certain situations. Others address how we feel about ourselves and our environment, including the relationships in our life. Some of these programs may be useful at the time of input but don’t necessarily apply later in life, and yet, just like a default program they continue to operate. At some point they can become limiting or even destructive.

Perhaps you have found yourself thinking or saying some of these unhelpful ideas. You might tell yourself, “I can’t do this or that.”, “I always fail.”, “Nobody likes me.”, “I’m really anxious and worried.”, or other negative statements. You may even recognize yourself repeating things you were told, like, “You’ll never amount to anything.” Or, “You never do anything right.”

You may have tried to talk yourself out of these thoughts and attitudes but find that they continue to play, not just in your mind, but in your life. Well, the reason for this is that they are self-sustaining: through the power of repetition, these beliefs became entrenched in your mind. Specifically, they are maintained in the part of your mind that defies logic, your subconscious mind.

This is the part of your mind that does not have the discerning power to separate helpful thoughts and feelings from unhelpful ones. It simply responds to whatever it is fed. There is a wonderful Native American story that demonstrates how this works:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

But what if you aren’t consciously feeding the wolves? What if this negative self talk is just automatically happening, seemingly without your choice? What to do? Is it possible to alter these deeply-running mental programs to get what you really want in life, whether that is a healthier body, wonderful relationships, or more success and enjoyment of life in general?

The answer: Yes. You can do this. The secret lies in updating that limiting self talk. It starts with identifying and assessing which of these programs are holding you back, preventing you from achieving your goals. Once you have done this (I recommend you write them down...all the thoughts and beliefs that really aren’t serving you well), you can systematically begin to supplant them with powerful, uplifting thoughts and feelings – those ideas that support you and motivate you.

It is through the action of repetition that people become stuck and repetition, repeated exposure, is the same avenue for salvation and growth. Principles of neuroplasticity dictate that the neurons in our brain and nervous system that fire together, wire together, creating pathways that become entrenched. You can choose which pathways strengthen and which recede, simply through repetition.

When I teach this system to my clients and show them how to use a simple self-hypnosis technique to embed their new, helpful self talk, amazing things begin to happen. They quickly feel a rising sense of hope that lifts them above any heavy or chaotic atmosphere, and an activation of motivation that generates action. It’s one thing to think about what we want, it’s another thing when we take steps toward what we want! The ensuing momentum helps generate even more movement toward achieving a desired outcome. It can almost feel like positive change is occurring naturally.

Hypnosis is the perfect modality for letting go of unhelpful self talk and implementing the thoughts and emotions that will help you make wonderful changes. I am specifically trained to assist you in creating the life experience you want and I believe in your ability to make that happen. What are you waiting for?!