Pause. Rewind. Delete.
Feeling stuck? I was too. But I stepped out of it. And you can too. The first step is pretty simple. So why not take it? I desired change. My first step was the realization that needed to start inside of me, instead of outside by hoping others would create the change I desired. My big realization and the secret to getting unstuck was acknowledging that I, like you, am a marketing genius. I was a genius at convincing my brain that life was hard, I wasn’t capable, and I wasn't enough.
The life changing “ah-ha” for me was learning that our brains are wired in such a way that they believe what we tell them. I was only creating marketing messages to my brain around lack, low self worth, being not good enough, and fear. My messages were full of negative language. My brain was buying it all just like someone hooked on a constant spin of late night infomercials. And so my life was continuing on that trajectory.
Most of us, for many years, have been flooding our brains with negative marketing about who we are, our capability, our physical image, our outlook for the future and about what horrible things might happen. We are buying the negative messages and myths that have been shared with us, consciously and unconsciously. We sprinkle powerfully negative words into our everyday vocabulary without regard for the imprinting they cause on our brain and our subconscious thinking. I hear people use phrases in casual conversation everyday such as, “Oh that just kills me” or “I hate that” or “I’m such an idiot” or “I’m so stupid”.
I hear people vent about their workday, spinning long tales of negative happenings and using depreciative language to depict themselves and others - “I’m such a sucker”, “My boss is so stupid” or “I hate my job” or “I’ll never get out of this”. They flood their brain with negative stories and words about their lot in life. They stay stuck in places where they are clearly unhappy because they are selling themselves a product of hopelessness. And then these same people wonder why they can’t quite move forward!
I used to do that as well.
Your brain hears everything you say. It feels all the negative thoughts and ideas you project. And your brain locks onto those messages and registers them as truth. Unchecked, the negative marketing messages you send to your brain become an obsessive mental loop that replays automatically. In other words, just like consistent practice can improve your golf swing, consistently repeating your negative thoughts or messages improves your brain's ability to default to that message as truth in every situation.
If you are in the habit of calling yourself stupid or an idiot, your brain will begin to believe you are not capable of very much. You will begin to limit positive risk-taking, choices and opportunities based on your belief that you just aren’t capable. And guess what? Others around you will begin to believe it too. The way you show up in the world becomes cloudy and draining to yourself and others. You get fatigued, depressed and unable to make positive change. You become a victim of your own marketing.
Why? Why stay there when it is a choice? If your brain will believe negative marketing, guess what! The converse is also true. It will lock onto positive messaging. Then you have the ability to do what I did several years ago and simply change the messaging and begin to live in the way you most desire – joy and abundance, peace and balance. It is not hard to do, but it requires self-awareness, intention and practice.
Step One: Self-awareness. Become the advertising watchdog for yourself. Notice what words you use in your thoughts and in your conversations with others. Spend a day or even a few hours counting how many times you think negative thoughts or use dark words.
Step Two: Notice positivity. Begin looking for positive circumstances and evidence of the good, the beautiful and the perfect about yourself and others. Intentionally interject positive comments or thoughts. Notice flowers blooming along the walkway or a pleasant gesture by a co-worker and express your gratitude. Notice how nicely your hairstyle came out this morning and compliment yourself. Notice someone’s new shirt or great colored scarf and mention it. Take an extra minute to really thank the person bagging your groceries. All of this floods your brain with dopamine and creates a really wonderful foundation for joy.
Step Three: Turn around. When you do hear yourself projecting negative or fearful messages, simply reactivate your thinking by saying, “Pause, Rewind, Delete.” and clear that message from your brain. Don’t feel bad or wonder why you can’t be better at positivity because – well – that just isn’t the point of this. Simply “Pause. Rewind. Delete.” and clear it out.
When I became aware of my negative messaging and started this process for myself, I used the “Pause. Rewind. Delete.” strategy no less than 30-40 times per day. That is how much I was projecting negative messages onto myself and into the world. I really had my brain trained quite well to believe I was incapable and kind of irrelevant in the world. Now I depend on “Pause. Rewind. Delete.” maybe once per week when I’m feeling particularly vulnerable and at risk for sinking back into old messaging and belief systems.
So why not give it a try! What do you have to lose? There is no financial cost to this practice and believe me you will begin to feel differently. Movement will happen in your life in whatever way is perfect for you.
And by the way…you are amazing! Have a great day!