You might be surprised to learn that the biggest obstacle to your personal freedom is right between your ears. A negative mindset is the biggest block to freedom.
There are so many parts of your life you cannot control, from the need to earn a living to finding true love. But you can control your mindset, your thoughts, and how you act in the world. So how can you overcome your psychological blocks and open your mind to achieve greater freedom?
1. Change the record Everyone has a constant inner monologue; what psychologists call self-talk. And most of the time, yours is probably set to negative. Any messages you get in childhood about being bad, hopeless or selfish or stupid all get absorbed in your malleable child’s brain and resurface in adulthood as your Inner Critic.
The good news is that you can reprogram your Inner Critic and turn it into an Inner Coach.
Make a list of all the negative things your Inner Critic says. Be alert for phrases that start ‘you always or ‘you never.’ Watch out for ‘shoulds’ too. Then take each negative message and turn into a positive one.
Change your self-talk broken record to a new track full of encouragement and positivity.
2. Change your expectations Studies have shown that the most significant contributors to success or failure are your expectations. Happy people expect things to go well and mistakes or problems do not crush them, they see them only as temporary setbacks. Conversely, if the expectation is to fail any issue will confirm the expectations, and you won’t try again.
Expecting things to work out is not wishful thinking; it is choosing to be positive no matter what the circumstances.
3. Change your focus Modern society trains us to be dissatisfied with what we have now and constantly strive for bigger, better and shiner. You can choose to step outside of this and be grateful for what you have right now.
Developing a habit of gratitude frees you from this pressure and affects the structure of your brain. Studies show that the more you feel grateful, the more resilient you become in the face of life’s ups and downs. You feel happier with what you have and more open to receiving. Even better, you rewire the neural pathways in your brain so that your mindset defaults to positivity. You start to see the good things before you notice the bad. Over time, you perceive life as positive, and your expectations change. You free yourself from the burden of negativity!
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