CHANGE YOUR STORY, CHANGE YOUR LIFE
How many times has your internal narrative held you back from taking decisions, actions, moving forward or grabbing an opportunity? The only one that can limit you is you. You are the only one who has that power over you, no one else has. You are that powerful!
Yet, we keep holding ourselves back by our pattern of thoughts. The first step to reclaim your inner power, is to be aware of your triggers, be aware of your thinking traps, as certain types or patterns of thoughts tend to trap us in anxiety or hold us back from taking actions and moving towards fulfilling our goals or dreams.
IT STARTS WITH BEING SELF-AWARE
The first step is to realize your thinking traps. Do you tend to:
- Catastrophize, it is a disaster, the project will fall apart.
- Blame yourself, it is all my fault.
- Blame others, they did not support me and that's why I failed.
- Mind-reading, they think I am not good enough.
- Focus on the negatives, focusing only on what is not working, ignoring everything else.
- Believe that you are helpless, I can do nothing about it, I am powerless.
The second step is to challenge your patterns of thinking, for example, if you tend to over-generalize - 'I am not good at anything', what you are signaling to your brain is that you are facing a threat, which in turn will activate the amygdala (fight-flight-freeze response) located in your emotional brain (limbic system).
In this instant you need to challenge your thoughts by saying, “that's not true”, and then list the number of things that you are good at. We all have strengths and weakness and it differs from one person to another. By doing that you are involving your rational brain (prefrontal cortex) and your body starts releasing what is called GABA neurotransmitters that calm down your stress hormones. These hormones (cortisol and adrenalin) activated by your emotional brain are participating in the fight-flight-freeze response. By doing that you are breaking your thinking pattern, instead of empowering it.
Different thoughts or experiences create different neuron connections, which brings about different emotions.
Remember, neuroscience shows us that different thoughts or experiences create different neuron connections, which brings about different emotions. By interrupting and challenging your thinking patterns, you are creating new neuron pathways in your brain, weakening and replacing old ways of thinking that do not serve your highest interest anymore, with new ones. With practice, you can transform yourself.
For each thinking trap, there are evidence-based strategies and techniques drawn from positive psychology, neuroscience, cognitive behavioral therapy and others, that you can apply in real-time to interrupt your patterns of thoughts and start building new ones that will empower you to reach your goals and dreams.
SET YOUR INTENTION
Your self-transformation starts with a simple step, put your wellbeing on the top of your to do list. Remember that small steps lead to major changes. It all starts with being self-aware.
Set your intention to be self-aware, as with self-awareness comes responsibility, and with responsibility comes choices that we need to make, do we hold-on the pattern of thoughts that doesn't serve us anymore or do we release them and create new ways of thinking, new story that energizes us and empowers us to move forward and upward in life.
Take a few minutes everyday, press the pause button, sit in a quiet place and allow yourself to reflect on your internal narrative:
- What is the story that you tell yourself usually?
- How does it help you?
- How does it feel living your story?
- What about your story you would like to change?
- What would you observe if you changed your story?
- What is the one thing you can do today to change your story?
If for any reason you feel stuck, reach out to one of our certified coaches that can support you in your journey. As Deepak Chopra once said: “attention energizes, intention transforms”.
Good luck with your journey.
About the Author
As Executive Director of Resilience & Co FZE, Nada El Marji is responsible for setting the company’s overall strategic direction, including planning and defining the strategy, development, and evolution of R&CO’s portfolio of services and programs.
She has more than 20 years of global experience in various industries and technologies.
Given her life and professional experience, she’s particularly passionate about building the resilience of individuals, organizations and communities, enabling them to thrive and not just to survive during VUCA times.
Ms El Marji holds an MBA degree from Leicester University in the UK, she's also a Certified Leadership Coach, Certified Systemic Team Coach and Associate Certified Coach (ACC) by the International Coach Federation (ICF).