The theory behind CBT is that we have our awareness, which is our conscious brain, and we have our subconscious brain. The subconscious is where we hold the view of our world, how we cope with difficulties, how we process information, how we process feedback from ourselves and others, the opportunities we choose to take (not not take). The list goes on...
Everything we hold in our subconscious is what I call our 'passive truths.' This is because we passively accept these things about ourselves and our world without question. However, these 'truths' can be processed inaccurately. Which means, they need addressing before they become debilitating.
CBT uses tools and strategies which encourage our awareness (conscious brain) to rewire the subconscious brain in order to develop a heightened sense of self-awareness and build healthier coping skills and thought patterns.
Our belief systems can lead to being overly negative which can cause blocks and barriers in our lives. Here are 4 steps you can start using today to change the negative soundtrack in your head:
STEP 1: IDENTIFY THE NEGATIVE THOUGHT
What negative thoughts are on repeat in your head?
"I'm not good enough"
"I'm too old"
"I'm not smart enough"
"I'm not attractive"
Identify the ones that you always revert to which end up holding you back.
STEP 2: REDIRECT YOUR MIND
As soon as a negative thought crosses your mind, interrupt it with this powerful phrase - "I'm not thinking about that because it is not serving me" - to redirect your mind. Negative thoughts will pop up. You can't stop that from happening, but you CAN interrupt them.
STEP 3: REPLACE YOUR NEGATIVE BELIEF
To reprogram new beliefs into your mind, you need to insert a new thought in your brain and consistently come back to it. A helpful way to do this is to SEE it every day. For example, a sticky note on your bathroom mirror or an affirmation you repeat at the start of every day.
Meaningful affirmations you can choose from:
My new chapter is just beginning
The world needs my story
I am allowed to be a work in progress
I am growing every day
I choose to focus on what I can control
STEP 4: ACT LIKE THE PERSON YOU WANT TO BECOME
Tap into this body of research called Behavioural Activation Therapy. It's a simple but profoundly effective therapeutic method. By acting like the person you want to become, no matter how you're feeling right now, it shows your brain that you're taking action. The action provides your brain with evidence that your new belief is true.
So, the next time that negative voice creeps in:
Identify the thought
Interrupt it with "I'm not thinking about that because it does not serve me"
State your new belief
Take action to prove to your brain that you're well on your way to the life you want and deserve.
If you'd like to take a deeper dive into this work with me, download the Rewiring Limiting Beliefs online course where you will receive 4 weeks of focused workbooks, free access to the monthly Q&A with me, and a further reading list.