I found inspiration for this article from Joe Dispenza’s amazing book Evolve your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind (Health Communications, Inc. Florida, USA. 2007) in his exploration of the Four Pillars of Healing. One of these pillars discusses how we can reinvent who we are by “rethinking” or seeing and experiencing ourselves in another way. It really makes an inspiring read – and I love reading such things because it re-affirms my belief that we have the power to change who we are by the power of our thinking.
Re-thinking forms part of effective hypnotherapy. As hypnotherapists we help clients to see other potential solutions to their current issues, and assist them in exploring how their thoughts have influenced what they are experiencing now. For many this is not only insightful, but empowering – if we think a certain way which causes us pain or suffering, then we can re-think a new way so that we can achieve happiness and contentment. The power is ours.
According to Dispenza, time spent in reflection and contemplation is important to this process. For me, as a hypnotherapist, encouraging clients to reflect on their thoughts and how these thoughts influence their quality of life is the only way to demonstrate to a client that they can make real change in their life – if they change their thinking.
Spend a few moments now reflecting on areas of your life which you believe need to change for the better. When you have done this – identify a dominant thought in this area. For example, if you believe your love life needs its very own defibrillator, then it is likely dominant thoughts in this area of your life are negative – such as “I will always be alone”, “no one wants me”, “I don’t deserve to be loved”, etc.
Now, still in this state of reflection, let’s try to rethink a new you in a new situation which brings you happiness. Identify one specific area of your life, and then identify what you do in that area of your life which causes you unhappiness or dissatisfaction. Have you identified an area? Great – now ask yourself the following question:
- What type of person would do that?
This question is confronting for many people as it requires you to be honest with yourself. For example, let’s say you have a tendency to be unfaithful to your partners, ask yourself openly and honestly: “what type of person am I that I would do this to someone I love or am in a relationship with?”
Reflect on your answer. What type of person are you? Don’t diminish it. Be honest. In regards to the example, one such person may say: “I am a love machine” – this person sees what they do as a joke, or not serious enough, and as such will never change because they don’t believe what they are doing is wrong or hurtful. There is no judgement here. But for the person that is serious in answering this question, he or she may say: “I am dishonest and selfish, and use others to meet my own sexual needs.”
When you have identified what type of person you are in this area of your life. Let’s move to the next step.
- Do I want to be this type of person?
Well… do you? Some people are happy being selfish, users, liars, crooks, etc. They sleep like babies at night, and enjoy each day… they may cause other people around them to be miserable, but that’s not their concern. We have a special name for such people.
For those that no longer want to be that type of person, this question is what will move them from who they are – to who they want to be. Yes, it might be nice to be a different person – but do you want to stop being who you are right now? Think about it. Maybe you like having a doting partner to come home to after you spend “fun times” with your girlfriends/boyfriends on the side.
You don’t have to change. It just means nothing in your life will change without external influence, such as your partner leaving you. That’s fine. You will be like the majority of people on the planet. But if you are ready to stop being that type of person, then you can move to the next step of rethinking yourself as a new person.
- Who would you be if you weren’t a _____________?
Refer this question back to the previous one. If you identify yourself as being the type of person that is selfish, ask yourself: “who would I be if I wasn’t so selfish?” You may be a devoted husband/wife, a hard-working employee, an understanding neighbour, a great friend… can you see other possibilities of who you could be?
We don’t have to be one type of person. And if we are that type of person, we can change. Nothing has to stay that same. We can change and move forward. Even if people want to keep us in a “role play” scenario, we can opt to remove ourselves from their control drama and begin to live a new life.
- Spend a few minutes re-thinking you as this new person. You may want to reflect on the following points as you do this:
- What would this person be doing in their relationships with others?
- What would this person we wearing?
- How would this person act around others?
- What would this person be thinking about on a regular basis?
- How would this person speak?
- What would this person spend their free time doing?
Really “live” the experience. Think about you as this brand new person. Imagine you filling the role of being a good spouse, partner, friend, neighbour, employer, employee, etc. Really explore each facet of this new experience. How does it feel? Don’t worry about imagining how others would react to you, instead focus your energy only on you for this experience.
For example, say you would like to be a better friend and more considerate of others. Imagine yourself touching base with friends on a regular basis, and devoting time and energy listening to them, supporting them, or just being there for them. How do you feel in this moment? What thoughts are taking form in your mind as a result of this rethinking of you? Now, let’s move to the last step.
- Take action.
Don’t wait until the “right” time – take action. Real change takes action. We cannot “will” into reality something from a sofa eating potato chips – we have all tried that at one stage of our life and failed miserably. When we get up and get out, we make it happen in life. Life has a magical way of giving to us exactly what we put in. If we put nothing into our life – then we shouldn’t expect our cup of life to be full to the brim.
If we would like to be a good student – then we need to incorporate what we need to do in order to be a good student. Reflect on the rethinking you did. If being a good student means being on time, then set your alarm clock 30 minutes earlier… if being a good student means studying regularly, then devote two hours a day for revision… do something today to reinforce in your mind the new you.
Are you ready to be a new person? Yes? Great! Then begin re-thinking yourself today… and don’t forget to take action now!