3 Powerful Steps to Pervasive Positive ThoughtBy
The following article is a guest post from Bejamin Langley. Benjamin has been studying meditation, self hypnosis, energy work, and personal development for over 15 years. Right now he is offering a free video which explains how you can use a simple meditation technique to reduce your stress by 90% or more in 1 minute or less. You can get it at http://peacefulprosperity.com/
It has been a staple of personal development since there has been such a thing as personal development.
It or some variation of it is always an important part of the toolbox of any good coach or trainer.
You have to think positive!
It is classic advice. And although it might become tiresome from repetition, it is still very valuable.
Why would anyone want to think positive in the first place?
When you really get positive thinking, you are going to get more of what you want more quickly, you are going to feel great, and the people around you will absolutely love you for it.
So why isn’t everybody doing it?
It is very easy to get confused. Much teaching around positive thought is actually training people to smear a thin veil of positive thought over a heap of un-handled frustration, stress, and anxiety.
Not to mention the fact that most of us ‘feel better’ thinking negatively than we do positively. At first glance this doesn’t make a lot of sense, but if you look around and give it some thought, it will become obvious. The media tends to cater to negative stories. Why? They are more popular. More people want to judge, condemn, and feel bad about the rest of the world than feel good about themselves and their life.
There is good news, though. If you are reading this, you are probably more interested in expanding and deepening your own positive thought. And if this is the case, you will get there… it is just a matter of time and persistence.
So if you are truly one of the few who wants to think positively at a deep level…
How do you learn to do it?
The answer is simple… but not necessarily easy.
You have to accept yourself completely.
The general process for complete self acceptance is 3 steps:
- Relaxation: Learn to practice deep physical relaxation regularly. You can use self hypnosis, meditation, progressive relaxation, or any number of other methods for this.
- Focus: Once you are physically relaxed, you can direct your awareness to the challenging emotions that arise. Notice where you are judging yourself or someone else, and do your best to just hold your awareness on it. You will find that just the focusing on it will reduce the driven or automatic nature of the judgment. This doesn’t mean you don’t still learn your lesson from mistakes… it only means that you pay attention to the tendency arising within yourself.
- Acceptance: Now that you are physically relaxed and paying attention to the things you typically cling to or resist, do your best to completely let go of any tension within yourself. If this is difficult, always return to physical relaxation and work from there. Let go of the impetus to judge. Let go of the assumption that you are right. Forgive yourself. Forgive everyone else.
One important challenge that will likely come up several times, is the old habitual desire to condemn others (in thought or action), the desire to consider yourself ‘right’ or better than other people, and the desire to feel as if you have been wronged by others or the world.
Keep returning to the practice and eventually this will subside.
But how will this practice lead us to really experience positive thought?
To really experience the benefits of positive thought, the deeper layers of your mind must engage in positive thought. If there is positive on the surface and negative beneath, you will just be conflicted. You will tend to feel frustrated and stressed, and the actions you manage to take will be less effective.
Following the three step process gets to the habits where they begin. And as you make acceptance your new habit, you will find that you feel better to begin with… and if there is a particular goal you are hoping to achieve, both focusing on it and thinking positively about it will become very easy.
Again, you have to accept your negative emotions. Acknowledge them. Begin to let them go.
Before we close, I would like to give you one more powerful process.
While we work to build the deep inner acceptance that allows true positive thinking (which can take some time… I’m still working on it), it helps to have something that can work right now.
To this end, redirection is a very useful skill to learn.
What is redirection?
Redirection is the recognition and acceptance of where you are now so you can move to where you want to go.
- Notice whatever challenge is coming up for you right now (negative emotions, judgments, self condemnation, etc.). Do your best to relax around it. Relax into it. Begin to accept it. If you have to, think about something else entirely for a few moments, then return to the relaxation and acceptance.
- Now that you have created a space of acceptance, begin to fill yourself with positive thoughts around your desired goal. Imagine it vividly. See what you will see when you have achieved it. Hear what you will hear. Feel what you will feel.
- Now that you are super-charged with positive thought about the goal, take at least one step toward the goal immediately.
Keep in mind, neither of these processes ever deny negative feelings or negative thoughts. It is critical that the negative (or dark) aspects of your thoughts and feelings are accepted in order to transform them. Once they are accepted, you can then move your mind in the positive direction you desire.
Saying “I feel great,” to yourself or others, when you clearly do not… is a lie… plain and simple. This creates a division in yourself which will be reflected in the outside world. This inner lie not only feels terrible, it will tend to rob you of any influence as it drives others away.
When you accept yourself, though, you then free up all wasted energy to use in the creation of the life you want.
You accept yourself.
You accept others.
Others will tend to accept you.
Summing it up…
As is said in Zen traditions… “You must empty your cup!”
Only then can you fill yourself with wisdom.
The wisdom of positive thought is profound, but you must accept where you are now before you can get there.