Self

How To Update Your Brain's 'Settings' — For A Happy And Secure Future

Photo: Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock.com 
Confident, happy woman smiles toward viewer.

Ready to elevate your process for making a change? Ready to activate the transformational tools of imagination, daydreaming and reimagining?

Most self-help books suggest we can change behavior in 21 days. Spiritual writings suggest 40 days.

But they forget to mention "flip-flopping" time. That's when you start on days 1 and 2 with new behavior, but then on day 3, you are back in your old behavior and old negative self-talk.

Frequently, we spend the first five-eight days flip-flopping and then give up. And when you revert to your old behavior, you tend to beat yourself up.

Of course, the icing on the cake is when you talk to others about your failed experience and you get the sage comment: As Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem at the same level at which it was created."

Of course, if Einstein said it, then it must be profound ... but what does it mean?

How to check your mental 'settings'

We have to go to our settings (also known as our minds!) and activate additional apps and tools — much like we do with our cell phones.

The good news is that there's no need to go out and purchase or subscribe to activate new settings and access new tools.

You already have access to the settings for daydreaming, imagination and reimagining — and they come with a lifetime warranty.

RELATED: Yes, A Person Can Change — But Only Under This One Condition

1. Activate your tools

You might have received praise for using these tools or you might have been chastised. Whatever happened, the lifetime warranty is still good.

Let’s look at ways to activate these tools and move to a different level.

Daydreaming allows you to time travel with no limits, and explore new possibilities.

Imagination and reimagining allow you to boldly wander around in a wonderland experiencing limitless new ideas, choices, and options. No worry, fear, or logic allowed. It sounds too simplistic? Unrealistic? That might be because it's unfamiliar to you.

Now, let’s see how moving to a different level will impact the changes you are reimagining for yourself. 

RELATED: 3 Mind Hacks That Will Get You Everything You Want In Life

Activate "reimagining"

Activating the reimagining level is the first step to moving to a different level than the one you have been experiencing through flip-flopping and negative self-talk. It's the place you feel stuck.

At a new level, you see new possibilities. You see a new vision for yourself. You create new self-talk so you hear a new message.

You start to feel like you have a cheering squad of one. It’s like cleaning out your purse, letting go of things that no longer serve you. 

When you're through it, you find that you now have a new view and new ways to support yourself. You have lightened your load.

Now that you have decided to activate a different level, let’s download and delete some old self-talk from the old level and provide more space for new possibilities and new ideas — imagination, daydreaming, and reimagining.

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RELATED: 10 Ways To Let Go Of The Toxic Story You Believe About Yourself

Practical steps for activating reimagining

The following routine can help you begin to move a problem to a different level and find a resolution. Start by grabbing writing paper and a pen.

Locate a space to sit in silence and feel safe from interruptions and a sheet of paper for noting your responses to the following questions. Leave plenty of writing space for your answers later!

Nothing is more frustrating when have decided to make a change, than not having guidelines, and directions or having to search around to find the information. The last thing we need is an excuse to put it off for another day.

So, let's create guidelines and directions as we refine our process for change.

Start by writing down the following questions: 

  1. What do I look, sound or feel like as my reimagined self? 
  2. What am I thinking and doing — what is my self-talk to my reimagined self?
  3. What self-talk will I stop saying, stop thinking, and stop affirming to my reimagined self?
  4. What phrase or word will I use to support/affirm my reimagined self? Example: I am worthy and valuable now.

Your answers will come later and are your foundation for consistency through change. You will be referring to this sheet often as you take steps to reinforce their messages. Now is the time to use your guidelines to help you move to that next level — reinforcement. 

RELATED: How To Use Positive Affirmations To Finally Find Happiness (That Lasts)

Activate Reinforcement

The work of reinforcement begins by taking three deep breaths. If you feel yourself beginning to fall back into that habit of flip-flopping, remind yourself of the word or words you wrote down to support or affirm your reimagined self (from question No. 4 above). 

Each day, you can repeat to yourself at least 12 times the simple statement, "I am grateful for (fill in the blank)." Feel free to include your reimagined self during your expressions of gratitude.

Then, take the following steps over the ensuing three days. 

Steps for Day 1

  • Breathe in and exhale slowly five times or until you feel relaxed.
  • Recite twice — I am relaxed, open, and available to hear, feel, see and sense now.
  • Read question No. 1 from your sheet twice.
  • While sitting in silence, write your answer to question No. 1. Use whatever words come to mind to describe your answer: sounds, feelings, images, etc.
  • Repeat the process for all four questions on your sheet. 
  • When you've finished writing your answers, thank yourself for moving to another level as you seek to change.

Steps for Day 2

  • Breathe in and exhale slowly five times or until you feel relaxed.
  • Recite twice — I am relaxed, open, and available to hear, feel, see and sense now.
  • Review all four questions and your responses. 

Steps for Day 3

  • Breathe in and exhale slowly five times or until you feel relaxed.
  • Recite twice — I am relaxed, open, and available to hear, feel, see and sense now.
  • Review all four questions and your responses.
  • Record yourself reading your questions and your responses. Your smartphone's voice recorder is a good tool to use for this.
  • If needed, take a short break to clear your mind.
  • Review your reflections from Days 1-3. Take notes about any specific actions that come to mind — it is important to suspend your critical eye during this activity.

Steps for Days 4-6

  • Listen to your recorded responses from Day 3.
  • Take notes about actions that come to mind for you to do.
  • On Day 6, make a plan to complete one of the actions you identified on Days 4 and 5. (Example: I want to keep my memory and brain functions engaged.)
  • Complete this action.

Support yourself through change

Make a commitment to try to complete at least three of your action ideas by the end of a new month. Remind yourself regularly of your original vision for your reimagined self — especially the word or phrase you choose to affirm your reimagined self.

Congratulations! You have moved to a different level. You have reimagined yourself.

You have created a structure of support for your reimagined self. You have completed actions as your reimagined self. Enjoy your trip to the other side of change!

RELATED: People Are Only Capable Of True Change If They Make This Choice

Ruth Littlejohn, MS, M.Ed, is a life and spiritual coach and an ordained minister for the Centers for Spiritual Living.

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