Let’s play a game. We call it ‘First Thoughts.’ Finish the following sentences with the first thought that comes into your head:
The South African government is very good at …
Taxi drivers are…
The Bible is…
Are you surprised by what came out? How did those beliefs get in your head? You certainly weren’t born with them.
Science shows us that there are two ways that beliefs are formed in the subconscious. The most common method is that our thoughts accumulate to become beliefs. It is important to note that it is not that ‘things that other people say to us’ that become our beliefs. No, rather it is what we say to ourselves (our own self talk) that become our default thinking patterns.
Self talk is our thoughts. Did you know that we speak to ourselves 65 000 times a day?! Does it matter what we say to ourselves? If any of the teaching about the R.A.S. and conflicting ideas is true, of course it does!
Think about an area in your life that you feel stuck in, e.g. losing weight. What do you think about yourself in this area most of the time (e.g. when you catch sight of yourself in the mirror, at moments of exercise etc. etc.) Most likely it is not positive or encouraging, but tends towards a negative self-image, filled with sarcasm and belittling towards ourselves. And this is our default thinking – the most dominant pattern of thought that comes out automatically when we receive information through our senses related to this area. How, then, can we act any differently than what we have programmed ourselves to be?
Read on to learn more about the self talk cycle and how to start re-programming our self image.
Before you leave, though, there is another way that beliefs are formed in our subconscious, through sanctioning. This is a less common method that occurs when a thought immediately takes on the subconscious level because we sanction, or agree, with it. This happens depending on many factors, such as our emotional state, our recent thinking or the perceived authority of the person giving us the thought, but ultimately we have to agree with the idea wholeheartedly for it to become our new ‘truth.’