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Does What We Say Actually Become Our Reality? A Ten Day Challenge.

Does What We Say Actually Become Our Reality? A Ten Day Challenge.

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Does what we say, actually create our reality?

Doesn’t it seem odd that we define ourselves by what is missing instead of what is possible?  We all do it. “I don’t have enough money.” “I don’t have enough time.” “I am not skinny enough.” “I don’t have enough contacts for my business to flourish.”  You name it we have thought it! Every year about this time we begin thinking about the goals and plans that didn’t pan out and of the ones we hope to breathe life into in the New Year.

As I look back over 2016 I realize I have done some amazing thing this past year, including traveling to countries I never thought I would ever touch; zeroing in on writing & photography as something I wish to seriously pursue and gratefully re-finding my health.

But even after doing all that, I feel like there is something lacking! 
Over the past few days I have had a hard look at it, and I have decided it my mental scripts that need a change.Negative Words

The question I focused on was, how do I stop the negative thoughts that always seem to pop-up into my head? In a search for answers I found a beautiful article written by Tony Robbins called Change Your Words, Change Your Life: The Simplest Tool I Know for Immediately Transforming the Quality of Your Life.”   What can I say the guy speaks to me  🙂  But, he often makes me want to grit my teeth and curse … “Dang It Tony Robbins Why You Want to Say That?”

In his article Tony goes on to describe how he noticed that by simply changing his habitual vocabulary that situations and people around him began to change.  He states that most of us only use about 0.5% of the words available to us. For most of us that is about 2000 words; and of those we have 200-300 words that we use habitually

Now just slow down and think about that for a minute.  What words do you use on a regular basis to describe things and situation around you?  “Ah, that guy was such a jerk.” “I am so exhausted, tired, worn out!” “I am too old, too fat, too scared to do that.”   “I hate my life.” “My job sucks!”  “I never have enough money.”  Tony goes on to say that the words/labels we choose to describe our experiences actually have a biochemical effect on us and that “the words we attach to our experience become our experience!” 

That intrigued me. Words and labels are so powerful that they affect us at the cellular level.  This idea was elegantly laid out for me by Ellen Langer a professor of psychology at Harvard University.  For over 30 years Langer has been conducting ingenious experiments that show how small changes in the way we perceive things can dramatically change our lives.

In her ground breaking experiment “Counter-clockwise”, Langer showed that aging is not linked to the actual age of a person, but rather more to their own self-perceptions.  In order to do this she took a group of 80 year old men to a secluded monastery. The researchers decorated the environment to appear as if they were actually living in 1959.  All of theradio & television programs, books and magazines were period correct. Everything supported the idea that these men were living 22 years in the past.

Langer then gave the men a mental prime by first telling them that if they made believe they were the person they were 22 years ago they would start to feel as young as they had then. To help reinforce this concept, each man was then asked to bring a picture of his younger self to the retreat and no mirrors were allowed on the premises.  Next, each man was asked to correct his house mates if they began speaking as if it was not 1959.  The men lived fully immersed in the experience for 1 week.

Thumbs up Old fellar

What Langer found surprised her and her team of researchers. Before and after the experiment the men were given a battery of cognitive and physical tests. After just one week of “living as if” there were dramatic changes in the men. The researcher found that the men stood taller, increasing their physical height. Cognitive function and memory improved.  They became more flexible and there was a significant reduction in the signs of arthritis.  In addition to that, the men’s hearing and vision dramatically improved to the point where some of the men didn’t even need their glasses to read. A few of the less ambulatory gentlemen that arrived at the monastery and who had needed assistance or a cane for walking, were found outside playing football together.

It appeared that those gentlemen who had impersonated their younger selves seemed to have bodies that actually were younger. Langer’s experiment proved that what you perceive to be true, will actually become true for you.

Change your vocabulary change your life! – Tony Robbins

Change your Language, Change your life 10 day challenge

It is ten days before Christmas and I have decided to try my own little experiment; a simple ten day trial to see if I can make a change to my inner voice and if those adjustments will show any changes in my life.

I will be using Tony’s simple plan.  Step one: List at all the negative words you say in a day, week, month.  Step two:  re-frame it to something less negative and say that instead. Step three: notice when you start to say the old script and change it.  For example when someone asks you, how is it going? Instead of respond with “good” try energizing your response.  Maybe say something along the lines of

  • Amazing

  • Spectacular

  • Fantastic

  • 110 %

  • Awesome

  • Extraordinary

Below is list of negative unproductive thoughts I habitually have on a daily, week, monthly basis.  On the left is the phrase I normally say and on the right is going to be my new response.

My old negative scripts to My new scripts.

That pisses me off!  * That is a bit frustrating

I am depressed  *  I feel a little bit down

I hate everyone & everything  * I think I just need a bit of space & time away from everybody to recollect myself

I feel sad  * I feel a little low

That makes me so f’ing mad  * I am a little peeved

I feel frustrated  * I am fascinated by how people respond to things- very interesting!

I am scared  * I am excited by the possibilities

I am nervous  * I am excited. Butterflies mean something amazing is going to happen

I am afraid they won’t like me  * I may learn something incredible about myself today

I can’t  * I can find a way.  (There is always a way)

I have to  * I get to experience this …

I am not important  * I am a valuable member of the team

I am a horrible person  * I am a complex, amazing individual. I am interesting

I hate myself  * I love who I am becoming

I deserve more  * I am grateful for what I have today!

The world is against me  * The universe wants me to grow and succeed.  Life doesn’t happen to me it happen for me

This is so hard  * I am grateful for the challenge, so I can see how strong I really am

This is overwhelming  * I am surrounded by information that will help me grow

I am bad with money  * I am learning how to manage money

This sucks/I Suck  * This is or I am unique, different, and incredible

I hate my life  * This an amazing experience?

Why is this happening to me  * What an incredible opportunity to grow?

I don’t know how  * I look for inspiration & possibilities everywhere

I feel lost  * I am on an adventure,  I am exploring a world of possibilities

White rose with black tar

I thought I might need help with this one so I recruited my youngest daughter Becky to do the experiment with me.  We have agreed to call each other on any word or phrases that were too negative in order to stay on track.  The goal is to go for 10 days.  We are committing to doing this experiment until Dec 25th /2016.  If it shows significant results we will continue for a full month.  If it shows no significant results we don’t have to take it any farther than Christmas day.

That is it! A simple 10 challenge to see if “living as if” will really change my world.  I’d like to invite you to join our challenge.  Take the time to make your own list of negatives you want to change, re-frame them to something a little less negative or dare-say even slightly positive, and then track your progress.  At the end of the ten days we can check in with each other and see if anything has changed.  Let’s see if the stories we tell ourselves, ultimately become our reality.

 

Cowboy boots full of Flowers

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View of Moraine lakes deep blue colour from the rock pile

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