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Freedom to Choose

When we have freedom, we feel good.  Freedom means something different for everyone- financial freedom, freedom from health conditions, freedom to manage your own time, freedom from addictions or freedom from relationships that no longer serve us.  Whatever it is, we all want to feel like we are free.  What most people don't realize is we do have more freedom than we know and that is the freedom to choose what we think.  What we think has so much power over every area of our life.  In many respects what we think determines how we feel and ultimately what we believe not only about ourselves but also about others and the world.  At the basis of our life our thoughts are very strong predictors in how far we go and what we achieve in our lives.  

When we can see our negative or fearful thoughts for what they really are - old patterning and old tapes that play over and over in our heads and control every situation we encounter we can begin to deconstruct our core beliefs and change them.  Changing our core beliefs takes time, effort and practice - it is unlearning all our unhealthy habitual thoughts and replacing them with thoughts that are more true to what is happening in our lives today.  So much of our thinking stems from our past, not only past traumas but also past conditioning from caregivers and even as far back as our ancestors.  Much of this has nothing to do with our lives today but we stay stuck in these old patterns and beliefs and they keep us stagnant in our life.  Getting unstuck means changing our beliefs and moving into the truth.  Nothing bad is really ever happening in the present moment and if it is we are busy dealing with it instead of thinking about it.  Moving into a place of reality helps us to see a bright future and have faith in ourselves and the world.  Reality is pure and clear, not cluttered with old worn out and outdated beliefs. Norman Vincent Peale said "Change your thoughts and you change your world."  Your thoughts are really that powerful!  So in order to free yourself from everything that is holding you back you must change your thinking.  Recognize the patterns and take steps to change them to what is real.  The truth is we are all worthy and we are all in this together trying to make life better, happier and more peaceful.  

We all have freedom to change our thinking.  It doesn't matter who you are or what you have experienced in your life you can change how you think, the brain is malleable and that is a very good thing.  We can change how it processes information and how it sees the world.  Here are the 3 most important steps to changing old habitual beliefs and negative thoughts.

1.  Decide you want to make a change and you are going to pay attention to your thoughts.  

2.  Recognize when you are in an old pattern or when you are stuck and see if you can see what thoughts are running through your mind.  See if you can challenge the thought to see if it is really true.  Do you know for a fact this thought is true?  Clue:  Most of the time the answer to this question is no, but you will need to see for yourself.  

3.  Change the thought to something that is more helpful to your goal.  Example- I can't start dating until I lose 20 pounds or I can't get a new job until I pay off more debt.  Whatever the belief that is keeping you from doing something you really want to do needs to change to reflect the truth.  I am sure there is someone out there that would love me for who I am right now.  I don't need to change before I start dating.  I will always have debt so why not look for a new job now.  I don't have to accept a new job unless it is something that will be a better fit for what I want to do.  

This helps you to give more space to your life and open up options.  This is freedom!

4.  Practice, Practice and more practice.  Old beliefs and patterns crop up in all areas of life, they are always there waiting for an opportunity to serve up some past belief into something you want to do now.  Practice recognizing, practice changing and practice new beliefs - over and over again.  Truly the only way to make change stick is to keep practicing.

Changing our thoughts and beliefs is most likely a life long process so its best to just get comfortable with the steps you need to take and just keep working them.  Getting out of the comfort zone is the goal to living a joyful and fulfilling life.  Dreams are possible so try to stay rooted in today and see how beautiful today is and how bright the future looks from a place of true freedom.