Hate Your Job? How to Get Positive Again
A positive attitude is something that goes deeper than putting on a smile and surface cheer. An attitude is a pattern of feelings that, like all feelings, stems from your subconscious mind. We know that feelings, emotions, and thoughts are all tools that our subconscious mind uses to influence our actions and behaviors, so it is easy to see now that attitude, or your “state of mind” shapes your actions. Your actions then create similar feelings in the people you come in contact with. Negative attitudes promote fear and a narrowing of focus and the mind, while positive attitudes create feelings of happiness and comfort.
To put it simply, your attitude creates the way you feel about people and situations. Your actions are a result of your attitude, which in turn creates a reaction from others. If you have a positive, joyful attitude and you’ll have positive, joyful results. If you put out a bad, negative attitude then you’ve failed before you begin.
In order to understand how our thoughts and our actions are connected, we need to look a little closer at how our mind works. Generally speaking, you can think of your mind as having two separate parts, the Conscious mind and the Subconscious mind. Each part has a unique job to do, and how they work together may surprise you.
The Conscious Mind
You can think of your conscious mind as a small data collector. Your conscious mind is in charge of taking in all the information about everything around you and sending that information off to your subconscious mind. That’s it. That is its job. It does not influence behaviors or emotions, and it is not capable of changing your self-talk on its own.
Your conscious mind communicates with Logic, and Reason, and Rational Thinking. It works in Facts and Figures. It is designed to use your senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing to determine where you are and what is going on around you. It is not very good at getting you to change your habits, or at influencing your emotions. It just doesn’t know how.
This is why we keep doing things that we know aren’t good for us. This is why no matter how hard we try to apply reason to our emotional states they still get the better of us. Which brings us to the other part of the mind.
The Subconscious Mind
The subconscious mind is immense, and it is in charge of everything that you do not have conscious control over. It determines your heart rate, your blood pressure, and how many times a minute you blink. It works in imagination and governs your moods, habits, behaviors, and your self-talk.
Your subconscious mind has the very important job of keeping you alive and safe. It uses its ability to influence your thoughts and behaviors to do just that. Think about a time when you felt nervous or afraid. Your subconscious mind was responding to your environment in a way that made you want to avoid that situation. This is one of the ways that your subconscious mind protects you.
Because of the very important role your very powerful subconscious mind plays, it tends to override anything external, including your own conscious mind. What this means is that unless your subconscious mind agrees with the advice your friends are giving you, or the reasonable and logical idea from your conscious mind, it is going to ignore it.
About That Self Talk
There is a continuous conversation going on in everyone's head, all the time. A lot of energy, time and attention goes into maintaining these conversations, and their emotional impact on us is as real as anything else we might experience.
All throughout our day there is a continuous stream of self talk going on inside our minds. These thoughts, feelings, and ideas are there to influence how we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us. It is that voice in our heads that tells us what we think about ourselves. Sometimes it is good and supportive, but all too often it is negative and limiting.
Because self-talk comes from the subconscious mind, it is almost impossible to argue with. Rational thinking and logic is no match for the imagination and the subconscious mind, and the self-talk prevails. You can think of it like hearing something from a source you trust. It just so happens that you are the smartest person you know, and you believe everything you say!
Self-talk tends to have a “snowball effect”. Each time you hear the same thing you believe it with more conviction and determination. For example, if you hear something once from a coworker, you might be skeptical, until you hear it from someone at the store, and then again on the radio. The more often you hear something, the more believable it becomes. So, the more often you tell yourself something, the more you believe it. You begin to accept it as fact.
The intensity of the effects of our self-talk increases when we consider the effect emotions have on believing our self-talk. When something you think causes you to feel emotions, more energy is attached to the thoughts. When emotional energy is attached to thoughts it gives them even more validity and power, making them even more effective at influencing our behaviors.
Where do negative attitudes come from?
Negative attitudes are created, in part, by thinking negative thoughts over and over until they become accepted as reality by your subconscious mind. You may not even realize you have a negative attitude because as a part of your subconscious, it is just how things are. As we learned above, by accepting those negative thoughts and suggestions, you have created an expectation of negative things, and your actions, behaviors, and habits will all be working to bring you those negative things.
Then it becomes a vicious cycle of reinforcement. You feel negatively, and get negative feedback from your world, and that reinforces your negative beliefs, and strengthens your negative expectations, and you get more negative in return.
The Power of Negative Self-talk
We can be really critical of ourselves at times. We may be telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough, we aren’t strong enough, or even that we do not deserve something. Sometimes we can put down the way we look and act, and still other times we may just put ourselves down by saying that we are stupid, slow, impatient, unlovable, and worse.
We hear these statements as facts. Remember that we believe everything that we tell ourselves. And since we believe that these ugly statements are true, we subconsciously shape our behaviors to validate these negative thoughts. We become what we say to ourselves.
The effect that negative self-talk has on a person is very similar to how affirmations are used to instill positive thoughts. Consistently repeating an idea tells the subconscious mind that you are trying to establish a new behavior. The subconscious mind accepts these thoughts and words as truth and then acts on them, making those negative thoughts a reality.
Create a Positive Attitude
In order to have a new attitude, you have to change your subconscious thinking. There are a few ways that you can do that. The first way is to intercepet every negative thought you have and consciously replace them with a positive thought. This is very effective, because it replaces your old way of thinking with something better.
Your subconscious mind has a lot to do controlling every part of your body and keeping you safe. It likes to keep things fairly simple, so it will hold on to a habit, a thought, or a behavior forever, until it is replaced with something better. Then, once the mind accepts the new, better way of doing things, it keeps that new thought, habit, or behavior forever.
This can be difficult, because it means that you have to first be consciously aware that you are thinking negatively, then you have to interrupt that thinking and identify it as something unwanted, and then you have to replace it with the positive thinking you want instead. And you have to do this consistently land frequently enough so that your subconscious accepts the change and alters your reality.
A negative attitude probably did not just creep up and take over while you were sleeping. It probably took years of negative thinking and reinforcement to become a part of your reality. Likewise, it may take years of reframing your negative thoughts and behaviors, once you have identified them all, to change your thinking. You can’t just stop being negative. You have to replace those negative thoughts with positive ones.
There are some people that would say, “But negative situations are a reality. They just show up in everyday life.”
And I respectfully reply, “You are absolutely Wrong.”
Situations are a reality, yes. They do show up everyday in all kinds of ways, yes. But it is your attitude that attaches a positive or negative feeling to that situation. We have all heard the saying about the optimist and the pessimist, that one of them sees a glass as half full, while the other sees a glass half empty. This is a literal demonstration of how your attitude influences how you feel about a situation.
It’s time for you to realize that you are in control of how you think and feel. Once you take control of your attitude and your state of mind, you take control of your experience, and your life changes!
Getting Positive - The Role of Hypnosis
The great thing about using hypnosis to create change is how quickly it works. Hypnosis allows you to work directly in the subconscious mind, where all those thoughts and emotions and habits and behaviors originate from, using the same language that the subconscious speaks.
Here is an example of what that looks like. Imagine that you need to load and run your dishwasher in your kitchen, but in order for it to work properly, it has to be loaded in a very specific pattern, in a very specific order. Now, imagine that you are standing in your driveway, and you have to load your dishwasher from where you are standing.
You obviously cannot load it yourself, so you need to send someone else in to do it, by giving them very specific and detailed instructions. Except they have never seen a dishwasher, and they only speak Portuguese.
This is what it is like to try to use your conscious mind to create changes in your subconscious. They do not speak the same language, and even if they did, they wouldn’t know what the other was talking about. Yes, eventually the dishwasher would get loaded correctly and run, but a lot of time and frustration would have been used in the process, when it would have been easier just to go into the kitchen yourself and load the dang machine.
A skilled and properly trained hypnotist can help you to access your subconscious mind and replace the negative thoughts and patterns with positive ones. The change is instant, and becomes permanent with some easy and effortless reinforcement.
What You Can Do Right Now
You have the ability to change what you are saying to yourself and about yourself by using your subconscious mind to your advantage. The first and probably easiest way is by using positive affirmations as a self-hypnosis suggestion.
Sit in a comfortable position where it is safe to close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths to calm your body, and begin to visualize your desired outcome. Maybe you would like to be calmer or more focused. Maybe you would like to be more patient with your kids, or more assertive at work. Whatever you want to see happen, picture it in your mind as if it is already happening. Imagine yourself in that situation reacting exactly how you would like yourself to be.
With that desired outcome in your mind, repeat this phrase ten times.
“Every day, in every way, I am better and better.”
The combination of imagining the desired outcome, your focus on success, imagining the emotions that come with the success, and the positive phrasing creates a very powerful suggestion that will give you positive results almost immediately.
Another technique allows you to separate yourself from the negative thoughts. Sit in your safe and comfortable position again, and take a few deep breaths. Begin by focusing on your breathing, letting it become rhythmic and steady. Square Breathing works great for this.
Once you are in a good and steady rhythm, shift your focus to the thoughts in your mind. Imagine that each of your thoughts is a leaf floating down a stream. You can notice each thought as it floats by, but allow it to move along, even becoming fainter as it moves farther away. By putting some space between you and your thoughts, their level of importance decreases, and you will no longer feel pressured, pushed, or overwhelmed by them.
Hypnosis allows you to resolve the cause of the negative thinking without having to relive any trauma. Your subconscious mind is using these patterns of thinking to protect you, and it just doesn’t know that there is a better way. By using positive suggestions in hypnosis it is possible to heal wounds from the past and replace the negative thinking with a more positive and supportive dialogue.∎
Karen Gray is a Certified Hypnotist, a Registered Nurse, and the Director of Green Mountain Hypnosis. For more information on how you can use hypnosis to change your life, contact Karen at email@example.com, or call (802) 566-0464.