I have spent thousands of hours throughout my career talking with people about the difficulties in their lives. I repeatedly see that people want to feel better, but don’t realize that if they keep thinking the same thoughts from the same perspective, they will keep having the same experience. Most people see the source of their angst outside of them. They see the problem being their job, friends, finances, and so on.
It requires strength of character and emotional maturity to recognize that the source of any emotion or state is within.
Your brain is conditioned to look outside for the source of problems as a mechanism of survival. The most powerful thing you can do for yourself is to realize that inner states depend on you. Understanding this concept is crucial because results arise from actions, and actions stem from conditions.
Your inner conditions are what I call your BEAT: your Beliefs, Emotions, Attitudes, and Thoughts. Your BEAT creates your vibe (or consciousness), which creates your experience of life.
If you keep thinking and feeling the way you always have, you will keep having the same experience of life. Changing your thinking and feeling must precede changing what you do.
To change your inner experience (BEAT), you must first believe that it is possible to do so. But on top of belief, you must add awareness, willingness, and consistent practice. That is the key to creating change.
To create consistent change in your life, you need to understand the basic formula for how human beings operate.
There is part of our personality structure that is called the ego. The function and role of the ego are two-fold:
First, the ego supports your executive functioning so that you are capable of getting things done. You go to work or school, take care of your home and pay your bills, and so on. The classic Freudian understanding of the ego refers to the psychological apparatus that mitigates the tension between impulses and values, and societal expectations. In that sense, the ego is a good thing. You want to be able to weigh the pros and cons of storming out of a business meeting because you can’t stand the office politics any longer!
It is this second aspect of the ego that causes difficulty for growth-oriented people. The ego is designed to keep us safe from anything that feels threatening. Anything unknown and beyond the comfort of the familiar is often interpreted as a threat to safety. The ego isn’t intended for happiness but for protection.
We feel comfortable and safe when we are surrounded by what is familiar. People have varying degrees of skill and flexibility when dealing with change and new circumstances. Changing your vibe may not be as easy as it seems.
You may not realize it, but right now, you have the power to create a new direction in life. You have been determining your course all along. Still, instead of creating what you want, you have likely been unconsciously conjuring up stories of unworthiness, stress, and strife that do not lead to the experience you desire.
You are the cause of your life, not your outer circumstances. Never waiver from that belief. You will find life much easier to navigate that way. Know that the only source of your happiness and wellbeing is your vibe or consciousness.
A few years back, I had a coaching client who inherited $250,000 when her parents passed away. My client, Sarah, is a very upbeat, optimistic, “high vibe” person who thoroughly enjoys life. While she is not wealthy, she runs a successful small business and enjoys the fruits of her labor. When Sarah learned about the inheritance, she was elated. She talked effusively about how grateful she was for her parents putting this money aside for her to enjoy.
Sarah’s sister, Maureen, has a different BEAT and vibe. She has always struggled financially, living on public assistance in a tiny, run-down trailer home. Upon hearing the news of the inheritance, her response was markedly different from Sarah’s.
Maureen responded with frustration and anger, wondering why her parents waited so long to provide this money to them. She lamented that she would not give any of it to a financial planner as “they are all crooked thieves” who would take her money. Maureen made no mention of how the inheritance would help improve her living conditions. Her entire perceptual frame, one of difficulty and struggle, perpetuated her money experience, even though she just inherited a quarter of a million dollars!
This story is a perfect example of how the ego operates. We unconsciously transmute our interpretations and perceptions into our belief system, which gives rise to our emotions, attitudes, and thoughts, which translates into our experience of life. We also unconsciously gravitate toward people who think and believe similarly, reinforcing the beliefs we have established.
Rather than being an unconscious participant in your inner dialogue, you can begin focusing your mind and using it in ways that you direct and orchestrate.
Replace lower aspects of your BEAT with what you want to experience. You can create a few visions that you return to over and over again. One of my visions is of my family sitting on the deck of our summer cottage overlooking the St. Lawrence River just before sunset, feeling relaxed and happy. I frequently use that image to reset my state.
Remember, the process of changing your thinking is exhausting. These principles are simple but not easy to practice. It has taken your brain decades to create the neural pathways you have established, and they won’t just transform overnight. It takes energy to think in new ways.
Pay attention to the level of your thinking throughout your day. Notice how you respond to events. Observe the quality of your conversations. Are you taking responsibility or speaking as if you have no control? As you practice rigorous, non-judgmental self-examination, you will notice the perceptual level from which you live and experience life.
Massive overnight transformations in consciousness happen, but they are rare. Most people plod along, changing their inner landscape a little at a time.
Knowing you “should” do certain things or be a certain way does not make it happen. It is not enough to know something; you must demonstrate your knowledge.
There is no limitation on how you can experience life with the vibe you create.
If you spend time with positive, proactive people who are committed to success, it will impact your “success vibe.” If you spend most of your time with people who chronically complain and who have a low vibe toward life, money, and success, it will drag you down.
To change at a deep level, you must desire something different from what you now know that you are willing to commit to a new way of thinking and being.
Change is possible. It is not easy, but with help and support, you are more than capable of raising your vibe and achieving whatever your heart desires. If you knew that you would be successful, what would you try? What more could you accomplish and achieve? Life waiting for you to explore.