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One of the exercises I run in my workshops is a muscle test. I get participants to say something they know for themselves to be true, such as my name is Sarah Brown. And we test their muscles to see how strong they are.
Then I ask them to say a lie, such as my name is Benjamin Spark. When we test their muscles, there is noticeable weakness that is immediately apparent to them and to the rest of the people in the room.
We cannot lie to ourselves. Our bodies know it. And when we try, we are weakened.
When you think about it, that probably makes sense. Right?
But let’s take it a step further. I then have individuals “test” thoughts like I can do something versus I can’t do something. They notice weakness with the “I can’t” statements. Then we do the testing with other “positive” statements versus “negative” statements. Muscles are always weaker in the presence of the “negative” thoughts.
Are we lying to ourselves with the “I can’t” and negative statements?
I don’t know for sure, but maybe.
What I do know for sure is that there are only 3 things we can control: our behavior, our thoughts, and the images we hold in our mind. If our thoughts have that much power, then it is in our best interest to make sure the thoughts in our minds are strengthening us rather than weakening us.
How do you do this? By first becoming aware of what you are thinking. We all have a constant dialog going on in our minds whether we realize it or not. The more we become aware of what that dialog is, the more we can consciously shift it.
So, try this exercise. Try setting an alarm or alert on your phone to go off every hour or so. Write down what you were thinking right when that alarm went off. Was it positive or negative? Strengthening or weakening?
Now how can you consciously shift it to something more positive or empowering?
A lot of this dialog is mere habit, and we can create new habits if we become aware and consciously make the shift.
Here’s to new thinking!
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