Beliefs control actions. Actions control reality. If you want to change your future, you need to know how to control your beliefs about your future. Relax. It’s not as hard as it sounds.
You might believe you exist in a time and place, that right now your life is confined to the house you’re in or to the job you’re working in, to your relationship or to any other external matter.
Truth is, the deeper aspect of your reality occurs within. Your existence resides in your mind, in your beliefs, in your deeper spiritual plane And if you want to control your future, you need to control your beliefs.
Are Negative Beliefs Holding You Back?
When you have negative beliefs about yourself you will prevent yourself from succeeding.
Let me give an example.
One of my good friends is a network administrator. Sitting in his leather office chair at work, his fingers drumming like a cricket’s legs on the keyboard, he sighs. “I’m sick of this. Wish I could escape. Go off somewhere. Maybe camping with my dad like old times.” He taps his foot against the chair impatiently.
According to the Chartered Institute of Personal Development, one in five people are so dissatisfied of their jobs that they are thinking of leaving even though they have no other job offer to go to.
“Right now I don’t care if I take a pay cut,” my friend tells me. “I’m so unhappy here. And the stress is affecting my health. Now I’ve got diabetes.”
He answers a phone call. There’s a muffled angry voice on the other side. He hangs up. I give him a minute before asking why he hasn’t left his job yet. “Probably wouldn’t find another job quick enough. Have to pay mortgage. You know: life,” he says. I point out that he could look for another job before leaving his current one. He just shrugs.
Too many people feel the same way: trapped in a job they don’t like but feeling unable to leave. What keeps them there? Money problems, maybe. Being too attached to their current job? Possibly. Or it could be that deep down they just don’t believe that they could ever find a job that pays well enough while also giving them the lifestyle they deserve.
I know the feeling. When I used to work for a share dealing company I made money, but I was never happy. When I told my boss I was going to quit my job I had sweat dripping down my forehead. My heart beat like a kettle drum in my ears. Wasn’t easy. But I did believe that it would be possible for me to succeed doing a job I genuinely enjoyed.
That belief was what got me through.
Your Beliefs Control Your Actions. So If You Want To Change Your Actions, You Have To Change Your Beliefs
Actions always stem from beliefs. If you believe you have to struggle in order to make money, then you will struggle. It’s a self-fulfilling belief. You won’t ever change your action unless you change your beliefs first.
But if that’s the case, if beliefs cause action, how do you change your beliefs so you act in a more positive way?
Beliefs are illusive, difficult to target, difficult to change. But thanks to science we know that beliefs are created through emotions, and we can change those emotions.
As Mary C Lania, Ph.D says ,”Emotions are a powerful attention directing system—an amplification device—in our brain. They are responsible for creating the visceral responses regarded as feelings, that in turn are transformed into thoughts and the formation of beliefs to help us make sense of what we experience at the moment and to use for future reference. Even the most simple beliefs have emotional memory at their core.”
So now you know how to control your beliefs: by controlling your emotions. And there is a fantastic way to control your emotions: emotional memory technique.
I mastered the art of emotional memory technique when I was studying drama at Oxford. “Every feeling you’ve ever felt resides in your mind, waiting to be accessed,’ my teacher said. “The way to access those feelings is through emotional memory technique”.
Emotional memory technique is a tool that all method actors use when performing. They use the technique to create the real emotions that they need for their scenes.
Now obviously we don’t have “scenes.” Our scenes are our lives. They’re real, not some story. But even so, we can use emotional memory technique to create positive emotions, and those positive emotions will in turn create positive beliefs, and those positive beliefs will yield positive actions.
So, you now know how to control your beliefs: by controlling your emotions. But, er, how do you control your emotions?
So how do you control your emotions using emotional memory technique? Just as Eddie Redmayne does.
To start with spend five minute with your eyes closed meditating on breathing. Feel that calm and peacefulness. Let thoughts slip from your mind like leaves on a tree in autumn.
Now choose one positive emotion, a positive emotion that will bring positive belief that in turn will bring positive actions. For my friend, I asked him to imagine what it felt like when he was camping with his dad, those times when he said he “felt so free.” He brought the memories to mind.
So, bring your own memory to mind. Next, focus on the different senses associated with that memory: the images, colours, sounds, and other sensations.
Soon you will find that part of your memory creates a powerful emotion. For my friend, it was the sight of his dad gazing out over a ravine while running his fingers along a map. When he came across that memory his entire face lit up with joy.
Keep focusing on that positive memory. Meditate on it (using Samatha meditation) for ten minutes. This will make you feel amazing. Right now I’m meditating on one time I was doing yoga atop King Arthur’s Hill in Edinburgh during a theatre tour. That memory brings so much positivity I feel electric. Your memory will bring similar results.
As scientific research has shown, this positive emotion will bring positive beliefs, and those positive beliefs will bring positive actions.
And that is the best way how to control your beliefs about your future. Simply pick a belief you need to change, choose a positive memory which will bring a related positive belief, and meditate on the memory. Goodbye bad beliefs. Hello good ones.
Be sure to read my guide to changing your beliefs about yourself.
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