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Lesson 15 of 24
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Opening Your Mind

Trevor November 19, 2020

Automatic Thoughts

Our mind can sometimes give us something which is called automatic thoughts. These type of thoughts ‘pop up’ or ‘flash’ in our mind without having any logic attached to them. There are quite a few and below we have compiled a list of the most common types. Remember these thoughts are your mind trying to protect you and keep you safe. We just need to become aware of the thought, make logical sense of it, deal with it accordingly and move on from it.

Dr Happy have a great resource for the full Automatic Thoughts list – Click Here

  • Should’s, Musts & Oughts – The unnecessary and unrealistic pressures we put on ourselves.
  • Catastrophizing – When you take a small scale problem and turn it into a large scale event in your life.
  • Magnification – Blowing things out of proportion.
  • Personalisation – Blaming yourself for situations that occur which are not your fault.
  • Assuming/Mind Reading – Making a decision with little or no evidence to back it up.
  • Jumping to Conclusions/Fortune Telling – Drawing conclusions on the basis of just one of many events in a situation.

 This wellcast clip shows you all about “AT’s” in a funny and concise way – 

For a while now, I’ve wanted to teach things that I have learned in my life. Photography, Mindfulness along with more. I hoped that it might impact and benefit people in the same way it has for me. Due to stress, anxiety, overthinking and worry towards this, I missed out and turned down a lot of opportunities which presented themselves to me. I knew what I wanted to do it, but I chose to remain in ”my comfort zone” because of FEAR.

Becoming self employed and meeting like minded people in different business groups, made me realise that this type of thinking is very common and perfectly normal. From what I have learned, progressing in life is just about learning and building your awareness, so we can move forward towards whatever we want with a productive mindset. This reminds me of a speech by Jim Carey the comedian.

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’ Your job is not to know how it is going to happen for you, but to open the door in your head and when that corresponding door then opens in real life, just walk through it. And don’t worry if you miss your chance, because doors keep opening and opening. Life doesn’t happen to you; it happens for you. I’m making a conscious decision to perceive challenges in life as something beneficial, so I can deal with them in the most productive way’’ Jim Carey

Check out After Skool’s video on Jim Carrey’s full speech –

What is The Law of Attraction?

The Law Of Attraction is an amazing tool that you can use in parallel with what we have just spoked about. We are only going to touch briefly on it during this course.

The Law of Attraction is the ability to attract into your life, whatever you choose to focus your attention on. It is said to use the power of your mind, to translate whatever is in your thoughts and then materialise them into reality. In basic terms, it means that your thoughts can turn into things.

‘’If you can see it in your mind, you will hold it in your hand’’ – Bob Proctor

Jeremy Bennett’s video on the law of attraction is a short, simple and insightful view on the topic –  

Positive and Negative Thought Patterns

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What is a thought pattern?

A thought pattern is defined as a habit of thinking in a particular way, using certain assumptions or perceptions. It is how we think on a consistent basis. We have discussed in previous lessons that our thought patterns can actually rewire our brain.

Example 1 – What could have happened without mindful awareness? – Negative thought pattern

  1. So, I had an idea. I wanted to show people how to do mindful photography because I know how much it benefits me. This made me feel good because I know it will help people.
  2. I then immediately had thoughts of all the work it would take me to do it and I’m already busy, so I start feeling nervous and stressed by the idea.
  3. These feelings, then caused me to take little or no action on the idea, because I want to avoid that feeling again.
  4. The lack of action caused me to have more negative thoughts. Why would people listen to me? Who do I think I am?
  5. This caused me to feel disappointed and anxious which made me feel negative towards the whole idea.
  6. I finally decide not to do it, and I go on with my life and never interact with any of you amazing people.

‘’ Nervousness and Excitement cause pretty much the same feelings to happen in your body. It’s just how you perceive the situation to be. Nervousness is thought of as a negative experience and Excitement is though of as a positive experience’’

Example 2 – What did happen? – Positive thought pattern from Mindful Photography Practice.

  1. So, I had an idea. I wanted to show people how to do mindful photography because I know how much it benefits me. This made me feel good because I know it will help people.
  2. I then immediately had the same thoughts of all the work it would take me to do it. I decide to acknowledge these thoughts and make them logical. They may be the truth and I won’t judge them but, 1/ Nobody is putting a time limit on this for me and its is not a race. 2/ It is something I would like to experience and enjoy fully while I’m doing it. 3/ When I think logically, I realise I don’t want to rush it, because I would like this to be great.
  3. I choose instead to be positive and move ahead with optimism and excitement to take action on the idea.
  4. Now these feelings cause me to make more time for creating. The actions I was taking were making me feel happy and excited because I was seeing progress.
  5. The reaction to me creating this course, is for you to be doing it right now.
  6. The positive reactions I have gotten, give me new positive thoughts and ideas. These make me even more excited for future projects.
  7. Thank you all very much. I’m hugely grateful to each and every one of you. 

Can you see the difference? All that changed was acknowledging a negative thought, making logical sense of it, then working towards a better feeling with more positive and productive thoughts.

If I keep giving myself those type of thoughts, my Subconscious Mind must take it all in and accept it. This allows me to have some control over how I am feeling.

You have the choice of what you leave in through the door of your mind.

Jim Rohn another famous motivational speaker said it best…….

‘’Every day, stand guard at the door of your mind’’ Jim Rohn

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Fear and stressful situations are going to happen. The aim is not to suppress negative thoughts, feelings or worries. We are only human. We are just learning and aiming to change our attitude, perception and responses to any of the challenges we may encounter in our lives.

I choose to live by this expression as much as possible and I also forgive myself for times I may take a miss step.

‘’Respond and Don’t React’’

When you react you are giving your power away. When you respond you are keeping your power. The more we all practice this, the better the results will get! 

Remember if your thoughts slip, then don’t be hard on yourself. Every day is a new beginning and a chance to start again.

The tool below can be used at any time to change your perception. Spend time writing and then rewriting to rationalise. See if there is a logical solution to your problem.

  1. Take out a biro and 2 pieces of paper, which you are going to write on.
  2. On the first piece of paper. Write down in as much detail as possible something that is causing stress, fear or anxiety in your life at this moment. Elaborate on how you think and feel towards it.
  3. Now spend a few moments thinking about this from a new perspective or a different point of view. Try to rationalise and only use logic this time around. Relate what you have written to ”the automatic thoughts” section.
  4. When the time is right. Take the second piece of paper. Write down exactly how you would like this situation to be. Elaborate on how you would really like to think and feel towards it.
  5. This is your new perception of the situation. You now have different thoughts and feeling towards it, which means you will be able to act much differently in the situation also.
  6. Take that first piece of paper that you had and destroy it. You can either burn it or tear it up and throw it away.    

While you are destroying it, I would like you to close your eyes and take a few breathes. Ask yourself if this old perception was benefiting you in any way and if you really need it anymore? If the answer is no, then it is time to let it go. As you destroy it, visually see yourself leaving go of this old perception and everything that came along with it. Say goodbye to the old and welcome the new. Now see yourself opening yourself up to your new perception and everything which comes along with it. Now open you eyes again.

”Welcome to your new world and your new way of thinking.”

Hey there, were excited to have you here

Join a positive social media space & focus on your happiness through photography!

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