I was on a call this morning with a friend of mine who was telling me about her girlfriend who recently went through a breakup. She is doing what a lot of women do... she's having a hard time moving on, she's driving by his house, she's telling herself really shitty stories, and then she's behaving in a way which is less than desirable which catapults herself into a shame spiral!
As she was talking to me, I mentioned that, at the end of the day, the person in pain needs to be willing to do two things:
Be open to trying something different — listen to podcasts, read a book, take a course, go to therapy...
Invest in themselves — spend the time, money, and energy to learn and grow
My friend is a wise woman and has tried to help her girlfriend though it through her own lived experience and the tools and reduces that have been helpful in her own journey... sharing awareness practices, breath work, cold plunging, building a tolerance of witnessing her thoughts, books, therapists, etc. but nothing has shifted her friend's behavior... Why?
Well, it's because our beliefs form our thoughts and our thoughts influence our behavior and our behavior determines our habits. Everything — and I mean EVERYTHING — stems from our belief system. There's a great interview by Bruce Liption where he talks about this but I want to call out this section in particular:
Here is the problem: The subconscious programs do not necessarily reflect or support my own wishes or my desires for health, happiness, and love. These things may not be in those programs I downloaded from other people. Then you say, “Okay, I’m not going to default to those programs. I’m just going to operate my life with my conscious mind.”
That is a wonderful intention. Scientific assessments reveal that the wishes, desires, and aspirations of our creative conscious minds only control cognitive behavior about 5% of the time. Subconscious programs are in control 95% of our lives. Why should that be? The answer goes back to, “Hey, Craig, what are you doing on Sunday?” That means your conscious, creative mind is now going inward looking for some answer in thought. At the same time, because it is going inward, it is not paying attention to what is going on to the outside. That is when the autopilot subconscious kicks in and controls our behavior.
Of the downloaded behaviors acquired before age 7, the vast majority—70% or more—are programs of limitation, disempowerment, and self-sabotage. These programs were acquired from other people, not from ourselves. Again, being subconscious, these programs are occurring without conscious recognition and awareness. Therefore, though we have the perception in our mind that we are controlling our lives with our wishes and desires, the truth is far from that. Since thought causes 95% of our cognitive behavior to be controlled by the subconscious—ie, below conscious—mind’s “invisible” behaviors, we struggle to manifest our conscious mind’s wishes and desires.
Why is this important? Because without the tools and modalities that allow us to access and reprogram the subconscious mind like PSYCH-K, EMDR, NLP, or Hypnotherapy, we will continue to behave in ways that we know we shouldn't.
Queue the shame spiral!
I believe the best way to stop self-sabotaging behavior and to create more peace is to create more helpful and supportive beliefs in your subconscious mind — my favorite tool is obviously PSYCH-K., but there are other amazing resources that can help too!
The Life Coach School Podcast is another great resource because she talks about the importance of our thoughts and our beliefs. Here are few good episodes:
If you're aware that your behavior isn't getting you the outcome you desire, or if you are behaving in a way that you don't want to, PSYCH-K can support you in creating motivation by establishing a new pattern of thinking that influences behavior that make it easier to achieve your goals and desires.
It would be a lot easier for her friend if she believed that she can witness her thoughts and behaviors with compassion and curiosity rather than throw herself into self-pity and shame, wouldn't it?
If you would like to create helpful and supportive beliefs, you can book a discovery call or PSYCH-K session here.