Thursday, 23 April 2009

Positive Thinking vs Positive Imagining

So often clients say to me that they can't understand why life is not moving in the direction they want it to. I can't tell you how many times I hear the words "I don't get it - I'm such a positive thinker".

My response is always "but are you positive imagining?"

Before I explain why let's look at some facts about the subconscious:

  • It runs your body - all those things that happen without you thinking about it (heart rate, salivation, perspiration, and so on)

  • It makes appropriate changes in your body based on what it perceives as your reality

  • It doesn't know the difference between real and imagined events. Think back to the last time you saw a thriller or a horror movie - do you remember you heart beginning to race, maybe had goose bumps, on the edge of your seat holding your breath as they climbed the stairs to their impending doom. It wasn't happening to you - it wasn't your reality so why was your subconscious making all those changes within your body?
  • It doesn't understand words and so responds to the world using imagery

  • It is driven by emotion.

So it doesn't matter what you are thinking about what you need to be in control of is your imagination.

Whatever you are imagining your subconscious believes to be real and is making the necessary changes in your body for you to be able to function. This is OK as long as you don't spend huge amounts of time involved in 'negativing imagining' (something that you may not even be aware that you are doing).

Now flagging a useful technique

  • When you become aware of a negative thought imagine a big red cross through it and say 'stop' or 'no'
  • Physically push it away and immediately replace it with a positive IMAGE that makes you FEEL good

  • The mind cannot hold two opposing thoughts at the same time (try it for a moment think of something that makes you feel sad and another that makes you feel happy - at the same time - you cannot. You can switch quickly between the two but you cannot think about them both at the same time). So all the time you are focusing on the positive image you can no longer focus on the negative one.

  • It does take practise - your subconscious will be comfortable with what you are currently doing. Although the more you make the effort to cross out the negative images and replace with the positive ones that makes you FEEL good the easier it will become.

By doing this you will ensure that your subconscious isn't needlessly getting you ready for an emergency state. Instead ensuring that all body functions are working normally.

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  1. That is wonderful! Thank you for that lesson. I know I need to do this more. I am going to make it a goal for this upcoming week.

    It makes me think of affirmations. When I was a kid, I was two years behind in math, I HATED math! I started doing positive affirmations at night telling myself that I liked, even loved, math. I started waking up by myself at 6:00 in the morning before my parents were up to do my math assignment for the day. I jumped two years ahead in math that year and got completely caught up.

  2. Wow Julie that is amazing! You are right it is similar to affirmations. Unfortunately, without the understanding that one has to imagine positively whilst doing the positive affirmations they don't work. Someone could so easily be repeating or writing down positive affirmations but all the while imagining the exact opposite of what they are wanting to achieve. You however were so very obviously imagining yourself loving maths. So powerful for you to have learnt that once you put your positive imagining to work you can achieve anything :-)