In an earlier post, I spoke about the need for purposefully reviewing whether the results you derived were congruent with the actions you had taken. In the same post, I harped on conditioning being one of the ways to harmonize behaviour with results and mentioned two primary forms – thought conditioning (popularly called affirmations) and behavioural conditioning. In a subsequent post, I explained how behavioural conditioning can be used to form new habits or substitute old behaviour.
Nevertheless, I still maintain that optimal results can be derived by using both thought conditioning and behavioural conditioning concomitantly. There are several occasions, as many people have ruefully discovered, where affirmations do not always work. In the near future, I intend to provide greater insights on affirmations and thought conditioning.
Notwithstanding situations where affirmations fail, there is no doubt that concomitant conditioning of both thought and behaviour can give the best results. Here is how –
Identify the problem belief
If you have set yourself a goal, what belief stops you from taking action today? To condition your behaviour, you need to set the ball rolling. That means you need to take the first step right now! Identify what is stopping you from taking that first step. This is your problem belief. For example, if you believe that you will never find the time for physical exercise, that’s the belief you need to create an affirmation for. Turn this belief on its head and affirm “I easily find the time that I need to exercise”. Soon, you will take the first step and both behaviour and thought conditioning will work in harmony. As you progress towards your goals, identify other beliefs, if any that thwart you and work on them in the same fashion.
Imprint upon the subconscious
One of the reasons positive affirmations don’t work is that they target the conscious level of your mind, but not the unconscious. A technique like Nirmiti Nidra helps you to access the subconscious (or unconscious) and leave your imprint thereon. Find a way to easily and effortlessly access your subconscious mind. You will find several articles on the internet that talk about how it takes years of meditation to achieve this, but you will discover for yourself that it isn’t all that difficult. Your subconscious mind is always accessible to you, once you know the way to open the door. Affirmations imprinted on the subconscious will aid your behavioural conditioning.
Be rooted in the present
Both action (behavioral conditioning) and affirmation (thought conditioning) has to be in the present – in the here and now. You can create hope by wishing that someday life will change, and the result of that affirmation would be – hope. You do not wish to manifest hope, you wish to manifest results. So take action right now and your affirmations should also be unwaveringly verbalized in the present tense. “I am” and not “I will be”.
When you have intended to achieve a set of results, and your behaviour and actions are congruent with those results, you should also visualize the outcome in the now. Feel right now how you would feel when those results are achieved, plan right now how you would celebrate your success, observe right now what is happening around you when you have achieved those results. Creative visualization can be particularly effective with a technique like Nirmiti Nidra, especially when it is concomitant with accessing your subconscious mind.
We are what we repeatedly do. And what we repeatedly do creates neural pathways. We create a new pathway each time we experience something different. Neurons are nerve cells that transmit nerve signals to and from the brain. The pathway along which information travels through the neurons (nerve cells) of the brain is a neural pathway. But the pathway that is created from a new experience is comparatively weak. Neural pathways are responsible for the way we act differently around different people and how we react to different stimuli on a day to day basis. So once you embark on a new set of actions, repetition by way of both thought and action is the way to create a new strong pathway. By repeatedly doing new things, you create strong new pathways.
Affirmations are powerful, but you have to consistently use them. We train our minds through repetition. Yet, if one were to only affirm, nothing would get created. So take action now. Do not procrastinate. One small step at a time will take you one step closer to your goal and the results that you wanted. They work beautifully together. Merely having an intention is not going to result in the manifestation of your results. You actually have to work towards it. The most powerful way to create positive changes is through action together with the right affirmations working in synchronicity (a concept created by psychiatrist Carl Jung).
The author, Rajesh Seshadri, is an internationally recognized Certified Leadership Coach, Certified Success Coach and Certified Life Coach. He is also a NLP Master Practitioner, facilitator and therapist. The basket of therapies is holistic and integrative adopting techniques from Psychotherapy, NLP, Silva, Gestalt, Hypnosis and Silva UltraMind. Additionally, he is a seasoned corporate professional who continues to serve as a whole-time Director and Board Member. You can contact him here.