Are you aware that your brain is actually a complex, powerful, computer? If you have a familiarity with computer programming, this may set off some sparks for you. If you don’t, that’s no problem.
You see, your brain, and more specifically, your subconscious mind, takes in whatever you feed it (your thoughts), and then without question, returns the result to you. If this were an actual computer program, it would be very simple. Remember the old saying, “garbage in, garbage out”? No calculations are done on your input. It is instead accepted as truth and returned right back to you.
For example, what if your input is “I will never lose weight. I will always be overweight.” Your subconscious mind will accept these thoughts, agree with you completely, and graciously help you to find any and all evidence in your life to support them. It will help you focus on how hard it is to get to the grocery store with the number of hours you work, how you don’t have any time to spare to take a 30 minute walk each day, and how everyone else eats processed food, so why shouldn’t you?
What if, just for the heck of it, you tried inputting this instead: “I love the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables. My body is slender and fit.” Your subconscious mind will also take this input (it does not know the difference between true and false, it accepts all input), and it will be happy to help you to support these thoughts in your life.
It will find the evidence for you that: the grocery store is on the way home if I take this street instead of the usual one, I’m really not interested in watching that show tonight, I’d rather take a walk instead, and look at how the others around me is asking what I are doing differently, they say that I seem so much happier!
How Can You Reprogram Your Powerful Brain?
So, how do you go about inputting new, positive information into your amazing, personal, computer? One way is with affirmations. Affirmations are statements that are spoken, written, or thought repeatedly. In a previous article, I wrote about how to uncover the unconscious negative beliefs that are holding you back from achieving your goal weight. You would use the same technique when inputting new, positive beliefs into your mind.
Try this now: take out your notebook, journal, piece of paper, or a napkin. Write down a positive thought that you would like to turn into a belief in your life. For example, start with something simple, like “I can lose weight”. Write this out 10 times. While you were writing it, did you believe it? Probably not, unless of course you already hold this belief, then you would write something else. Next, write your affirmation again 10 times, however each time your write it, also write down the first thought that pops into your head, your immediate response. Here’s an example of what your’s might look like:
- I can lose weight/there’s no way, I’ve tried too many times
- I can lose weight/it’s too hard
- I can lose weight!/I don’t want to starve myself
- I can lose weight/whatever!
- I can lose weight/don’t think so
- I can lose weight/get off my back!!
- I can lose weight/why should I?
- I can lose weight!!/give me a break!
- I can lose weight/have to see about that
- I can lose weight/I get too hungry
See how this works? You might be amazed at what you uncover. You may find a lot of anger, hurt, perhaps shame, embarrassment, and fear. Whatever you find, these thoughts are your unconscious responses to the changes that you are trying to effect in your life.
So what if you have been toiling away in the gym but underneath, your subconscious mind is fighting you with all its might? It believes that exercise is a waste of time, that it’s better to stay home and sleep, and that this is a phase, it’s only temporary. Look at the power that these thoughts hold in your life, and you are not even aware of them!
Action Step: Write One Affirmation per Day
Start now by making a commitment to yourself to write one affirmation a day, followed by your immediate, unconscious response. Write your affirmation 10 times, or more if you will. The more you do this, the quicker you can uncover those beliefs and negative thoughts that are wielding the power in your life, while at the same time, imprinting new, positive beliefs.
What you are accomplishing by writing down your negative responses is to bring them into the light, into your consciousness. Once you are consciously aware of them, then you can work to change them. Until you know what they are though, you will continue to be affected by them in your actions, in your life. You will end up taking those negative beliefs and making positive affirmations out of them, to uncover more negatives.
As you can see, this process can be applied to any area of your life: money, relationships, work, home, anything. Our focus in this topic is weight loss, but there is no reason that you cannot go for it and begin to make changes in other areas of your life.
I must give credit to one of my favorite teachers/authors, Louise L. Hay. Most of her work is centered on affirmations. I would recommend anything that she has written or recorded. I don’t even remember how I first came to know of her, but it was in the early 90’s. She is a wonderful, empathic author.
Wanna Learn Even More?
If you would like to learn more about the power of the mind, I highly recommend Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. This was the first personal growth/improvement books that I can remember reading (update 4/14/07: my mom informed me that I started reading self-improvement books when I was 10, beginning with her books “I’m OK, You’re OK” by Thomas A. Harris, then Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Magic of Believing”, Wayne Dyer’s “Your Erroneous Zones” and “Pulling Your Own Strings”, and Psycho-Cybernetics when in my teens), back when I was in high school.
It’s a Process…
This book was only the first of many more in the area of self-discovery, personal development, and spiritual growth books that I’ve read as I’m continually inspired by the possibilities of the human potential – all you need to do is get out of your own way and weed out those unconscious, sabotaging thoughts and beliefs.
And believe me, negative beliefs about yourself and the world at large can definitely sabotage your healthy weight loss and fitness regime!
Psycho-Cybernetics is a powerful, timeless classic about the subconscious mind. Below are the both the new version that contains the original, with the addition of the current writings by Dan S. Kennedy, as well as the original, which I have read and own.