In this modern society, we are all programmed with fixed mental patterns, from birth onwards.

Your nationality, your race, your religion, your environment, your expectations, your family’s economic status. All of these of things are mental patterns, programmed (recorded) into your subconscious mind as you are growing up.

Now these things are here for a reason. Back in the cave man days, these subconscious programs were relied upon to keep you alive. To allow you to gain an unshakeable understanding of, not only the environment you were living in but also the societal structure and any social norms which you had to adhere to, lest you be cast out from the social group!

They may have served a purpose back then but these days they are simply keeping you trapped in the same circumstances while the world moves forward without you!

Analyze how your mind works

Everyone’s mental patterns will, of course, be unique to them as an individual. Therefore, if you ever hope to break free and start creating the life you’ve always wanted, you MUST analyze your own mind and take stock of who you THINK you are versus who you REALLY are and who you WANT to become. Once you’ve done this, you can begin using the reality of these subconscious programs to your benefit.

Begin by looking at the following areas of your life and ask yourself “Is this what I want or Is this what my SUBCONSCIOUS wants?”;

  • Your Relationship(s)
  • Your Friends
  • Your Job/Career
  • Your Mental State
  • Your Feeling Of Deservingness
  • Your Idea Of Whether You Can Succeed In Life

Take a good, hard look at yourself and meditate on the above points, trying to find the root of where they came from and how they got there. Obviously, this will take some time and a lot of self-introspection, which can be uncomfortable for some people. Sometimes facing yourself is the most terrifying thing you can do, because once you know these mental patterns can be changed, you will be forced to take full responsibility for your life’s circumstances. The good and the bad. Everything is the way it is, because of you and what you have manifested or not manifested into your life.

So, take stock of yourself and your thoughts one by one. Begin to build a conscious idea of who your subconscious mind believes you are. Make a list if it helps. It is often quite startling at how different the subconscious mind’s idea of its self-image really is. You may be capable of having a good job, yet it believes you are poor so it manifests either no job, a bad interview or gets you fired soon after you have found one.

The good news is that once you have begun to notice these little mental patterns (programs) and how and why they are created, you will notice (and overcome) more and more of them every day. You have trained your mind to see the lies within it and you will have given your mind the tools to change it.

So don’t be a victim to your thoughts. Don’t be a victim of circumstances. Don’t be a victim of the beliefs of other people! Change your life today!

The ego is formed through our relationships with other people -especially with family members, during the upbringing period.

Through these relationships our self-image and beliefs around the value of the self is formed, and they influence whether how much we feel accepted by others. The acceptance of others, in turn, affects the feeling of belonging and sociability.

Thoughts Determine the Form of Interaction

The question “how I think (or how I feel, how I suppose) about how others see me”, has a particularly revealing and potentially therapeutic character. Throughout our life, we come into contact with other people. To work somewhere, to create friendly or other relationships and generally to organize our life, we have to interact with others.

If every time we come inτο contact with others, our mind plays negative thoughts about the self, then we’ll only see the respective symptoms of fear, anxiety, shame or guilt, which will greatly hinder our socialization at all levels. If a mind has been programmed to believe that on the interaction with others, what others see is the image of a lower, inadequate or troubled person, then develops various adjustment or avoidance mechanisms, to avoid revealing some aspects of the self that have previously assessed as disadvantaged.

Instead, if one mind doesn’t create negative thoughts about oneself, the interactions with others will be easier and won’t involve defensive or other mechanisms.

The Mechanism of Projection

How we think about others see us reveals the content of the mechanism of projection. Projection is essentially the thoughts that a mind project outwards (to others), coloring the world with the colors of the soul. If the self-challenged by thoughts of self-doubt, worthlessness, self-rejection, inferiority and other similar to the above, the impression that others see us as such is formed.

Is that true? How do we know what others see in us?

The answer to this question is very simple. Others see a body. The next question is more critical: what we see in others? Do we see only bodies, or do we see the projections of our minds, ie, judgments, identities, typifications, and roles? When we see other people, do we see bodies or we think we know what “type” the other is, judging by the clothes he wears, his posture, the way he speaks, and other features?

Criticism Creates Problems

People who suffer the most from fear of criticism are those who judge others. Someone who is not judging and classifying people into categories (“he is so…, the other is…”), he is not too much concerned of how others see him.

This is the true meaning of the saying “do not judge and you will not be judged.” It’s not that you will be judged by others, but will be judged by your own mind that it will judge you as it judges others. It’s like turning your weapon against you. One to be released of thoughts about oneself and how he is perceived by others, one must understand that he can interact with others without being “armed”. Only when one is free from the belief that says that to be okay you have to be careful and defended, then he’ll start to move freely in the world without being concerned about thoughts of himself.

Related: Know Thyself: A Perspective of How You and Others See Yourself

The Solution is Awareness

So, if problems in our interaction with others arose, let’s ask ourselves honestly and answer the question: how I think about how others see me? What I think that they think when they see me (either for the first time less familiar persons or for the umpteenth time more familiar persons). And, also, how I see others? Do I “decorate” them with names, descriptions and identities, or do I see bodies that function? Whatever the answers, we must recognize them as products of the programmed mind and not as objective or invariant truths.

The instrument that will allow us to observe our mind as it will be activated at the time of our interaction with others, is awareness.

Watch: Increase Your Conscious Awareness

This article was originally published in aytepignosi.com and translated by Visual Meditation.

Did you know that the words literally change your brain?

Words are powerful. So much that a single word can cause irreparable damage. On the other hand, words can heal wounds from decades before. What we speak can work both sides of the coin, you see, and so words should never be dished out haphazardly. We underestimate the power of words, really we do.

Honestly, it goes a little deeper than that. Words can, over time, make a physical change as well. Words can change your brain, changing physical regions of the mind and widening pathways of information! Bet you didn’t know that, now did you?

So there are positive words and negative words, each with a monumental power to change your entire life. Whether you fail epically or succeed in the same manner is all up to which words you choose to say. Let’s talk about these opposite influences for a moment, shall we.

First, let’s talk about positive words

It’s not always easy to be positive or think positive, but when you do, you may notice how different you feel afterwards? You might feel energized, hopeful and even more sociable toward others. Even when the situation isn’t savory, being positive can help keep your focus on a logical solution. Being positive actually looks beyond the present situation even when life isn’t going so well and it helps you look at the bigger picture.

Words of this nature help to breed respect, active listening and problem solving, all of which are imperative to making proper decisions. Positive words can increase cognitive reasoning and areas in the frontal lobe can become stronger. Positive words are also responsible for activating motivational regions of the brain. See, there are many changes which occur according to what you say.

Negative words change your brain too

Unfortunately, the world is more familiar with negative words. Stress from day to day life causes us to sometimes lose sight of the end goal and we bend to our weaknesses. We are changed by these negative emotions in ways we could never imagine. Like positive words, negative statements have the power to alter our physical mind.

Words spoken in a negative manner block neurochemicals which normally provide stress management. For instance, the amygdala (the fear center), has an increase in activity due to an increase in these stress hormones. These hormones block the reasoning process which usually keeps us functioning normally.

In the book, Words can change your Brain, by Andrew Newburg M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman one sentence says it all.

A single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.

Now that you have an idea how words can change your brain, let’s use our positive thinking to look at that big picture I spoke of earlier. Words not only cause transformations; they cause permanent changes which leave deep imprints on the brain’s structures -these imprints can widen the neural pathways.

Neural pathways are where our thoughts travel. If you want to understand what these pathways are, then picture highways, roads or dirt paths. Since we know that neuroplasticity allows changes in the brain according to life experiences, neural pathways can absorb the same changes and form according to the imprint. So that leads back to repetition. Anything done over and over will surely have a lasting effect on the human mind.

Aristotle says,

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

I could say so much more, but I think you’ve got the picture. You must pay attention to what you say because your words determine everything you will ever experience. Yes, it depends on you! Choose your words carefully and create thought habits that will prove beneficial for your brain. After all, we are what we say we are.

References:

We live in a society that pressures us to think positive every time. In fact, even articles on this website talk about the importance of positive thinking.

Don’t get me wrong, positive thinking is great and can lead to a happier and more fulfilled life, but what about those pesky negative emotions that tend to come up from time to time?

Do we squash and ignore them with positive thinking? Do we feel guilty and ashamed for thinking negative?

If you resonated with those questions, chances are you are not alone.

Today, we are often made to feel guilty or “less than” if we are experiencing or entertaining negative thoughts.

Even in the spiritual community our negative thoughts can be chalked up to our ego, which can simply be released with a couple of conscious breaths….right?

Well, I am here to tell you that doesn’t always work.

Anger, pain and negative thinking are all necessary and important emotions that need to be valued and sometimes, need more attention than just a few deep breaths (although those can always help).

Anger, pain and negative thinking help us to express who we are and allow us to actually have a healthier state of mind. (I’ll explain more on this later.)

In fact, one of my favourite quotes by Anita Moorjani goes-

“It is more important to be yourself than it is to be positive.”

Many researchers believe that negative thinking is a sign of a healthier mind, as it is the way the body protects itself and alerts us to the fact that something is wrong.

Often when we feel anger, or depressed, it is our body’s way of letting us know that something is not right and something needs to be fixed.

Often when negative emotions are suppressed and covered with a smile, we create more resistance and push our negative emotions deeper within our body.

In time, this causes more stress, more anxiety and prolonged feelings of depression.

While you never want negative emotions to float around all the time, when they do come up it is really important to acknowledge and love them for what they are.

It is also really important to listen to them and try to understand what your mind, body and soul may be trying to communicate to you.

In fact, think of all your emotions as the way that your entire being communicates with you. Think of your emotions as your compass for how to navigate through this life and make changes or adjustments.

Often when we feel anger or other negative emotions, it is usually because on a deeper level we are feeling pain.

It is easier to feel anger and other surface emotions instead of pain, which is why we sometimes journey into those emotions and stay there.

Only until the pain is truly released can we be free of the anger and negative thinking.

Watch: Manage Your Anger

And we can only do this when we learn how to feel ok with our anger and other negative emotions.

You can achieve this by-

  1. Not being afraid of your negative thoughts and understanding that the Universe is not going to punish you for having them.
  2. Using negative thoughts as a reminder or sign that something is not right with your body, mind or soul and that something may need to be addressed.
  3. Accepting your negative emotions and allowing yourself to feel them without shame or guilt.
  4. Understanding that your negative emotions are not about you or other people, and is instead tied to a situation.
  5. Owning your negative thoughts, but then also owning the fact that you need to do something about them.

Wallowing in your own negativity is ok for a short period, but if you don’t start to shift the energy and work on healing yourself, it is just going to lead you to feeling more miserable.

One of the most powerful ways you can cut through your anger and negativity is to sit in it and allow yourself to really, really feel it with no resistance.

When you do this, you give yourself the opportunity to identify where it is coming from and how you can go about making some changes.

Another effective tool is to ask yourself- What I feeling hurt about? As often under negative emotions there is always some type of pain.

And finally, the golden rule for dealing with negativity is asking yourself-

“If I loved myself what would I do in this situation?”

This post was originally published at foreverconscious.com

By Tanaaz

Motivation can be hard to come by, especially in the face of challenges or difficult work.

When you’re thinking about implementing that new idea, or starting that new company or beginning that new regimen — this is the new year, after all — it’s easy to talk yourself into procrastinating. Or worse, avoiding your goal altogether.

Thoughts are powerful, and negative thoughts can prevent you from achieving your goals. The flip side is that positive thoughts can be just as powerful. The next time you feel unmotivated, use any of these 50 positive thoughts to reenergize yourself. Really: They work!

1. I can do anything. It’s a simple phrase, but it helps to remind yourself — you really can do anything you set your mind to.

2. This is why I can. Instead of giving yourself reasons why you can’t do something, give yourself reasons why you can.

3. I deserve more. You deserve a better life — whether that means a better job, a healthier body or more money. Work for it.

4. It’s never too late. No matter how old you are or how many opportunities you’ve passed up before, it’s never too late to make a decision and get a fresh start.

5. There will always be challenges. No matter what you do in life, there will always be challenges — don’t let one set get the better of you.

6. There’s no “perfect” time. If you’re waiting for the perfect moment, forget about it — there’s no such thing.

7. There’s no perfect plan. There are some definite flaws in your plan — but there are in every plan.

8. Everybody starts somewhere. Nobody is born successful. Everyone starts somewhere, and usually from the bottom.

9. One step at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once. Reduce it to baby steps.

10. It can only get better. If it’s hard at first, it can only get easier.

11. Failure is temporary. If you fail, you’re in good company — most successes come only after several rounds of failure.

12. Mistakes are learning opportunities. If you mess up, you can only become better for it.

13. Today is all I can control. Forget about what you did yesterday. Today is what matters.

14. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Nothing worth doing is easy.

15. “Someday” is today. If you’re like most people, you use the word “someday” to describe your goals and desires. Make today that someday.

16. Negative thoughts can’t stop me. Your negative thoughts are just thoughts — nothing more.

17. I’ve done harder things. Think back to a time when you succeeded against the odds.

18. Everything has to be earned. You can’t get anything in this life unless you work hard for it.

19. Action is a better regret than inaction. Making the wrong decision is always preferable to regretting never having done anything at all.

20. I don’t need anyone’s permission. If people think you’re crazy, so be it.

21. I’m in control of my own destiny. You can decide whom you want to become.

22. There is no pass or fail. Nobody is grading you. You can’t objectively “fail” at life unless you never try anything.

23. Boring decisions get boring results. Make an exciting decision.

24. The risk is worth it. Know that risks are real, but the potential benefits are worth them.

25. Discipline feels better than regret. Discipline is hard, but it’s easier to deal with than regret.

26. Many good ideas seem crazy or impossible at first. Yours is no different.

27. I’ve got support. Friends, family, colleagues — even if they think you’re crazy, you can always find support in networking groups, support groups and other community resources.

28. Experience is always valuable. Even if your mission doesn’t turn out the way you’d expected, you’ll walk away with experience.

29. Hard work is its own reward. You’ll feel good just for making the attempt.

30. Every day counts. Today, tomorrow and the next day are all steps toward your end goal.

31. What I see matters more than what others see. Forget about what others think — prioritize what you think.

32. There is no problem that can’t be overcome. Everything can be solved or worked around.

33. Ordinary actions make an ordinary life. Nobody wants to be ordinary. Don’t let yourself be.

34. Everything can be improved. Even if you start out rough, you can always make improvements to your approach.

35. I can learn whatever I need to know. Free resources are plentiful.

36. I can master whatever I need to do. Practice can make you good at anything.

37. Willpower is all in my head. You can have all the willpower you want — you just have to want it.

38. I know what I want. Know what your end goals are, and visualize them.

39. Feelings are the product of thoughts. If you’re scared or unsure, know that these are feelings generated by your thoughts; then you can control them.

40. Trying and failing is better than doing nothing. This is universally true.

41. I am whomever I want to be. There’s nothing stopping you from being whom you want to be.

42. I can’t win unless I try. Effort is the only way to get results.

43. My life is a product of my decisions. Make the ones that matter.

44. I’m better than I was yesterday. You’re older, wiser and more experienced than you’ve ever been before.

45. Nothing great happens overnight. Work and patience are your friends.

46. Once I get started, it will be easier. You’ll feel more motivated once you get rolling.

47. I’ll reward myself when I’m done. Even small rewards can be great motivators.

48. I’m doing this for more than just me. Maybe it’s for your family or community — whatever “it” is, external motivation can be powerful.

49. There are always more chances. If you screw up, you can always try again.

50. If nothing else, this will make for a good story. You’ll walk away with great memories and interesting anecdotes.

The power of positive thinking isn’t just an adage — it’s scientifically proven that positive thoughts (and the elimination of negative self-talk) can improve your mood, feelings, and performance. These thoughts should get you started doing whatever it is you need motivation to do. The rest is up to you.

This article was originally published at entrepreneur.com.

About the author

Jayson DeMers is founder and CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based SEO agency. He also started Crackerize.com, a lyrics-humor website. He’s the author of the ebook, “The Definitive Guide to Marketing Your Business Online.”