Stop Self-Sabotage before it Stops you: Two-Steps to Taking back Control of your Mind.
If we want to be able to control our life and create the best possible story for ourselves, we have to control our own minds first. We have to cultivate a place of peace within our own mind, and from there, nurture a sense of positive development down to the very core of our being.
One of the most common things we do, that keep us low and away from our ideal life – and unfortunately, but honestly, one of the hardest things to overcome in life – is the mastery and peaceful control of our own mind.
Why I’m writing this…
I’m not sure if I’m the only one that does this, or if anyone else ever finds themselves getting mad or upset over the thoughts in their head. Are there ever any thoughts going on up there, that you feel you can’t control? Does it ever happen to you, to find your thoughts stuck on like auto-pilot-destruct or something?
I swear, I’m not insane… (or clinically, anyways) – but really...
Let me tell you that, so often, I find myself following thoughts in my head and uncontrollably creating scenarios, or conversations of potential outcomes, that in real life, I would absolutely hate to have happen.
I really don’t know if I’m the crazy one – or if other people truly do suffer from this, too.
What I’m talking about is when we play out situations that could happen – having, doing or saying things that we would never actually want to attract into our life.
Whether these situations are in our day-to-day life, our job, our relationships, a situation of failure or loss – or how we would react if something dreadful happened to us. We just create awful scenarios in our head, and then we’re left upset because we end up believing it might actually happen.
Does this happen to you?
...Cause this shit used to (and sometimes, still does) happen to me so frequently. I went months and months feeling like I was gonna have a psychotic breakdown because I couldn't control what my mind was thinking. And after about a year of being in a really dark place, I decided I should do some research for myself, and to find out what the hell was going on inside my head.
To my delight, I actually found out quite a few things about what was happening...
First, and foremost:
I wasn’t actually insane… (which is still easily debatable, but let's go with that for the sake of argument)
It wasn’t even a serious condition… Actually, it's just a simple problem most of us have called ‘self-sabotaging’.
Could you imagine my surprise when I found out I wasn’t mentally ill, and actually, just a victim of a really bad habit?
And even more to my surprise, this 'problem' could easily, with time and effort, be understood and overcome.
What is Self-Sabotage?
Self-sabotage, in the easiest explanation I could come up with, is our mind’s (negative) way of falling back into old patterns of thought and behavior, re-living traumatic events; and creating vicious loops of old mind-experiences – just out of pure habit.
Why, on Earth, would my mind do that?
Well, the answer to that question is easy... It doesn’t really know otherwise.
The mind is a computer.
The mind works on what it knows. It’s like a computer. It functions and creates new data out of information/experiences we feed it, and it creates loops of that information for future use.
The mind registers every single interaction and detail of our surroundings, at every single second of the day, since the day we were born. Within that, we have what is called the mind and its fundamental structures. The way it works (as a computer) is simple:
Your conscious mind is the keyboard and monitor. Data is input on the keyboard and the results are perceived on the screen. Information is registered via some external (or even, internal) stimulus from your environment, and the results are then stored into your consciousness.
Your subconscious is like the RAM in your computer, the place where all programs and data that are currently in use are kept, so they can easily be accessed by the computer processor.
Your unconscious mind is like the hard drive. It’s the long-term storage place for all your memories and ‘programs’ that have been installed since, pretty much, your birth.
The conscious mind perceives and communicates all of this external data, and the new found information goes directly to the subconscious. Older memories get stored in the deeper unconscious mind, through purposeful repression, or simply lack of use (or, in other words: memory-fading). And overall, it’s the sub and unconscious that make up the biggest parts of our mind.
What does this have to do with Self-Sabotage?
Basically, it’s our subconscious and unconscious mind that are bringing these thoughts to the attention of our conscious mind.
When they happen to be negative thoughts about our life (relationships, careers, happiness, addictions, whatever) – it’s probably because they were based on traumatic memories that we’ve intentionally repressed, that are now deeply engraved in the roots of our (hard drive, aka the) mind. This is what makes up our limited belief system and the vast majority of our prominent, negative thought patterns.
Since the conscious mind perceives the communications from the deeper minds, these thoughts (we feel like we can’t control) play on and on in our head – because the base of our mind is running on what (programs/data) it knows.
‘We’, which is generally determined as the conscious mind, just listen to these old thought patterns, even though we know it’s no longer updated (to what we are/want in life), and it only happens because we don’t know how to fix it (or in other words, override it).
We fall into a downwards spiral of negative thinking, creating more false experiences for our mind to store as data – and so it reinforces this vicious cycle, and the sum of all this makes us feel helpless or, even worse, insane.
So this is the part where I really started digging.
Cause, you know, I don’t wanna be a victim of my past programming. I don’t want to live my past over and over again. I would hate to feel damned to the traumatic experiences of my life. And most importantly, I don’t want to be a victim of my own mind.
This is where the conscious mind must take the role of authority. This is the absolute process of consciously overriding our old thoughts, with new, intentional thinking.
This is where ‘I’ come(s) into play. Because - as you may, or may not, know – the conscious mind is generally what we perceive to be our main mind.
(Just a heads up that if you don’t resonate with what I’m about to say, I may appear devastatingly insane to you.)
It’s that little voice in the mind, that ‘I’ control(s) – the one that consciously speaks/communicates with the other parts of the mind, through deliberate (and intended) thought.
The intentional dialogue we have, that allows us to think and focus our attention on things.
THIS ONE'S ON YOU.
So this is where we stop being the victim of our past. Where we choose to no longer fall into the suffering of our own mind; when we begin to consciously create the new programs for our mind; Consciously Feeding our mind New (and Positive) Information.
‘Okay, but how do we do that?’
You’re right… A huge part of the reason why we might be stuck in our heads, so often playing shitty situations over and over again, and being left feeling down and in the dumps – is cause no one knows, or cares to reveal, how we can stop ourselves from self-sabotaging, and how we’re supposed to ‘override’ our current state with ‘new information’.
And if you’re anything like me, you’re probably also thinking ‘what the f*ck does any of this even mean, anyway?’… Right?
Okay, so this is how it works. It’s a very simple two-step process (hahaha, broken down into a million other micro-steps) that will take you from your negative state, where your mind is unconsciously creating un-ideal scenarios - to a conscious (more aware) positive flux.
STOP YOUR MIND IN ITS TRACKS.
And I know (from experience) that this is way f*ckin harder than I’m making it out to be. Just know that it’s okay to fall into it, unconsciously, sometimes - because no one is perfect, and most of us are stuck in this cycle, anyway.
But when you realize that it’s happening, that your mind is going back into that negative state, and you’re creating un-ideal scenarios in your head – just try to stop yourself there.
Keep stopping yourself there, until it’s easier to make the distinction between your conscious thoughts and unconscious patterns.
This part is going to demand you to relentlessly monitor what goes through your mind. You’re going to have to become (and stay) aware of whatever you let wander in your head, and most importantly, you’re going to have to learn the difference between the thoughts you are (unconsciously) having, and the thoughts you (consciously) want to have.
When you start noticing the thoughts you’re making an effort to think vs. the recycled feelings/ideas that are just coming to you (meaning same old thoughts from your past, that are always coming back) – it is then that you will finally be able tell the difference – and inhibit the thoughts that don’t serve you (anymore).
Obviously inhibiting is the second step of this process.
It’s tuning out and restraining the stimuli that are irrelevant to our ideal life, to activate an opposing stream of thought, replacing the cycle with a new and positive momentum.
The best piece of advice I could give, regarding this topic is to keep replacing those negative visualizations with positive, happy and ideal scenarios. Do this until you feel better and you’ve overcome the mind’s urge to be negative.
IMAGINE THE BEST CASE SCENARIO.
This is where it really gets hard – especially going against the current flow of our negativity; where we have to put even more focus, more effort and more attention – towards, not only stopping the current scenarios playing in our head but replacing them with the situations/conversations that we would actually want to have.
And I admit, I’ve been lazy during this process... I’ve gotten to the point of stopping myself from thinking those negative thoughts, but I never got around to actually replacing them and overriding them with double the positive thoughts. I’ve excused myself, saying “okay, I won’t think like this anymore”, and I’ve succeeded – “but I don’t have to do the ‘visualizing a better situation’ thing”.
You have to.
Because if you don’t, your cellular memory, or just your memory in general, is storing those negative thoughts – but it’s not storing any positive ones. So, of course, these negative patterns are gonna keep coming back, because your mind doesn’t have anything better to work with.
LET'S TRY IT TOGETHER!
Let’s make it a common goal and a collective priority – to stop the mind in its tracks of self-sabotage, and reprogram our thoughts towards positive and ideal thinking.
Of course, it’s going to be a tricky and long process – but what’s better? To suffer the pain of conscious discipline? Or to suffer the pain of unconscious insanity?
You deserve a happy life. And even more than that, you deserve peace of mind. The only thing that could potentially stop you from achieving what you want in life is your own unconsciousness. Bring light to your darkness, and watch how quickly it all turns around for you.
You, now, have everything it takes to take back control of your mind. Remember that it's an ongoing process, that you have to do it for yourself, and that no one can do it for you.
Don’t feed your unconscious fire.
Break the cycle by bringing awareness to your current state. Be kind to your mind. Positivity begets more positivity, while negativity kindles more negativity. Realize that you are not a victim of your mind and even more, you are not a victim of your own self-sabotaging.
You can do it.
You can consciously choose what goes through your mind.