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Choice Equals Change

 

Introduction

 

Human life consists of a constant succession of choices which are virtually unlimited.  Faced with an unlimited number of choices, most people limit themselves to a finite set of options, mostly those choices residing within one's current comfort zone.  The most common choice is continuity, choosing to continue with whatever activity is presently ongoing. 

 

To switch from doing one activity to another, engaging in something different, requires a decision.   All decisions require support from a person's system of beliefs, what they subconsciously believe is in their best interest and possible to achieve.   Some choices are just out of reach, because the person's subconscious beliefs don't support it.  Without support from one's beliefs,  some choices and some change don't exist. Many people want to change, but they don't change, due to resistance from their own subconscious beliefs. 

 

You don't really have a choice, if your personal beliefs don't support the decision.  Unless your subconscious beliefs support the changes you seek,    you are fighting an uphill battle to get what you consciously think you want, but subconsciously believe you shouldn't have.

 

There is no real choices for change until there is a change in your beliefs necessary support the behaviors necessary to execute the change. Until there is a change in belief, your willpower to enforce your decision to change will eventually lose its power, undone by the resistance thrown up by the beliefs locked away within your subconscious mind.  If you've tried to change before, but couldn't, the reason can be traced to non-supportive, subconscious beliefs resisting the change desired by your conscious mind. 

 

Even if you are motivated by the knowledge that change would be beneficial to you, the subconscious mind has its reasons for overriding them.   You may think you can choose to do anything you want, pick any goal you want to achieve, but if you don't change your beliefs first, your inner resistance will eventually thwart your good intentions.  You will eventually end up back at square one.  The only way to change your life is to start by changing your beliefs, and once your beliefs are supportive, then your chances of change are substantially improved.  As the diagram below illustrates,  your attitudes and values are directly tied to your beliefs.

 

Not every attempt at change produces change.  Most attempts to change the status quo end in failure, because the status quo is ensconced a very satisfying comfort zone.   Your comfort zone was hand picked by you to yield maximum conformance to your beliefs.  You can thrive in your comfort zone, because the environmental conditions are perfect suited to your beliefs of what the ideal life is like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your and other people's observable actions, the behaviors that people can observe, are only the tip of the iceberg.  The more powerful influences on behavior are beliefs, values, and attitudes, which are hidden from view.  If you are intent on changing your own behaviors or that of others, you need to begin with a change in beliefs that are supporting the behaviors you want to change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To help yourself change, you need more than just motivation and compelling reasons, you need a change in your fundamental beliefs regarding your identity, specifically, your abilities and worthiness as a person.   For mainly erroneous reasons, people don't attempt change when they don't believe they are good enough to effect change, either by a lack of ability or lack of worthiness.

 

To change beliefs, you must reprogram any irrational or erroneous subconscious beliefs that have coalesced and gelled there by years of survival experience and operant conditioning learned by experience.

If you attempt to change your behaviors without a corresponding change in your beliefs, you will suffer what psychologists call cognitive dissonance.   Cognitive dissonance is a psychological stressor, occurring when two beliefs or values are in conflict or discordant or when actions don't match with beliefs.  To eliminate the source of stress, you must align beliefs and actions so that they are mutually supporting. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

No matter how you got the beliefs you have, you are stuck with them until you change them.   You are responsible, from here on out,  now that you are aware of their impact on your life.  If a belief isn't working for you, then it needs to be replaced with nurturing beliefs of your choosing.   Take a minute to reflect on your life.  Could you be different, do better, or have more than what you have now?  If so, they you must make new choices, execute changes,  and if you meet resistance, stop can reprogram the old, subconscious beliefs that are holding you back.

 

Seldom do circumstance change magically for the better without some hard changes in beliefs, values, and behaviors for which you are totally responsible and under your control.  If you want to change for the better, you will change faster if you develop supportive believes, especially beliefs in your abilities and worthiness to have what you want.  Likewise, if you have some bad habits that are causing you emotional distress, the only way to permanently change unhealthy behaviors is to break the toxic beliefs that compels you to act in self-defeating ways.

 

If you are suffering recurring bouts of emotional distress, from living in a situation that doesn't seem to want to go away by itself, you can get healing by changing your thoughts which cause your emotions.  If you probe even further, you will likely find there are some specific erroneous beliefs that are holding you prisoner of your circumstances and resisting your attempt to change.    If you continue to suffer emotional distress long enough, without hope for relief, feeling helpless and hopeless, your condition could worsen and decline into depression, a severe mental health malady. 

 

The root cause of most depressions are the toxic beliefs that one is helpless to change their circumstances,  and thus, their situation is hopeless, wherein they are destined to remain in a permanent unhappy state forever.   The remedy to most of your psychological problems lies not in changing the physical world, but instead, the cure depends on fixing erroneous and irrational beliefs within your psychological world.   The most common irrational belief is that you are not good enough to be who you are.  This handbook is dedicated to showing you how to believe in yourself again, and once you regain your self-confidence, you will be freed to make new choices and to pursue new goals to better your life.

 

Everyone is good enough to be who their are.  Your challenge is to become good enough to become who you want to be.  By believing you can change for the better, you can set goals and choose to pursue them, eventually approaching the person you have the potential to become.   There is no reason you can't become the person you might have been.

 

You are already good enough to be the person you are.

C. W. Sooter

Thoughts are Causal

 

Your thoughts have power, and you need to manage them with care.  They lead directly to your feelings and behaviors that directly influence your outcomes.   You can trace everything you have or don't have directly to your thoughts.  "If you think you can, you can; if you think you can't, you can't."[1]  Behind your thoughts are your beliefs, values, and attitudes.  So, you may not be able to directly change your thoughts until you go to the source, your beliefs.    However, by consciously changing your thoughts, with new self-talk you can control, you can simultaneously change both your past beliefs and influence your future choices.   If you repeat an affirmation (a positive statement in support of a goal) long enough, you will begin to believe it to be true.  If you believe a belief, you will have supportive thoughts regarding a contemplated goal, and thoughts are causal.  If you failed to follow through on a rational, compelling thought about taking action to support a goal, you would trigger feelings of cognitive dissonance, an energy source spurring the change you seek.

 

Beliefs are like assumptions and opinions, sometimes they aren't correct.  "It usually isn't what you don't know that gets you into trouble but what you assume to be true that isn't so."[2]  Here is an example of an assumed opinion without merit, likely to bring discredit to anyone who believes it to be true and acts on it: "I believe in Karma.  Karma means I can do bad things to people all day long, and I can assume they deserve it."

 

The more you can control your thinking, regardless of external events, the better you can control how feel about yourself (self-esteem).  You can only control your inputs in life, what you do and how well you do them.  So, when you shift your self-awareness to your intentions, what you can control, you make better choices about what you choose to do and how you choose to do them.  In focusing on and controlling your inputs, you gain power over our own life.  If you work hard to achieve your inputs, you will have done all you can to ensure your outputs will be successful.  By shifting your awareness away from uncontrollable outputs to your controllable inputs, or whatever it is you do control, you can take satisfaction in having succeeded in achieving your intentions even though you might not get the outputs you desired.  Not getting your desired outputs doesn't mean you failed, it means that your inputs didn't produce the outputs you desired.  If you take time to find out why, you can reset your inputs and try again.

 

With intentions, you are no longer focusing on what you can't control, which are the outcomes, and instead, you are focusing on the impact your inputs are having in the external world.  Too often people link their self-esteem to their successes in the external world, which they can't control, thus leaving their self-esteem to the vagaries of nature. So, to build self-esteem, shift your awareness from outputs to inputs, from what you can't control to what you can control.  With this simple shift in awareness in how you measure your ability and worthiness, you can immediately begin to raise your confidence and self-concept.  If you do what you can, you are a success.

 

Input control leads to higher productivity, and higher productivity leads to higher self-esteem    The easiest part of this cyclical loop is to work on whatever you can control.   The better you can manage your inputs, the work you can do, the more productive your life and the higher your self-esteem.[3] Just the act of achieving your potential makes you successful in life.

 


[1] Unknown Source

[2] Unknown Source

[3] Kyrum Smith, The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time & Life Management

 

 

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Website last updated on 9/1/16
Copyright 2005 Charles W. Sooter.  All rights reserved.