Mind & Body

Use these tech­niques to re­pro­gram your neu­ral brain cir­cuitry for suc­cess.

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Use these tips to stop the cy­cle of self-sab­o­tage.

It’s valu­able to see your­self through some­one else’s less-crit­i­cal eyes, es­pe­cially in mo­ments of self-doubt.

new year or not, mak­ing a goal and see­ing it through is tricky busi­ness, and in some in­stances, you are your own worst en­emy when it comes to suc­cess.

“When your un­con­scious pat­terns hold you back from hav­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate emo­tional re­sponse, you sab­o­tage your own suc­cess,” says Rock Thomas, mo­ti­va­tional speaker and au­thor of The Power of Your Iden­tity: The Se­cret to Cre­at­ing Last­ing Change (AuthorHouse, 2006). “This leads to a dis­em­pow­ered state and re­sults in a de­ci­sion that does not take you closer to your de­sires or goals.”

Ac­cord­ing to Thomas, suc­cess is an in­side job, and your in­ter­nal di­a­logue has a lot to do with your cir­cum­stances. “Es­sen­tially, thoughts be­come things,” Thomas says. “Most peo­ple think about what they don’t want, and there­fore that’s ex­actly what they at­tract into their lives.”

Don’t de­spair, though — you can re­train your brain for the bet­ter with these tips from Thomas.

De­pro­gram your daily life. Most of the time, you’re re­act­ing to pro­gram­ming from your past when faced with a sit­u­a­tion, so the key to hap­pi­ness is re­jig­ging those poor thoughts into rich thoughts. For ex­am­ple, per­haps peo­ple told you that you were too skinny or too fat as a kid. To­day, in­stead of say­ing “I hate my body,” say “I am grate­ful for my health and am unique just as I am.”

New you re­view. Ask some­one you trust for his or her best mem­ory of you and how that per­son re­mem­bers you at your best. It’s valu­able to see your­self through some­one else’s less­crit­i­cal eyes, es­pe­cially in mo­ments of self-doubt.

Pin­point a pat­tern. Sab­o­tage is usu­ally be­cause of an un­con­scious pat­tern that you de­vel­oped while grow­ing up. Likely some­one hurt you or you had a pro­found ex­pe­ri­ence that now trig­gers you emo­tion­ally. “For in­stance, my brother would not let me ride his mo­tor­cy­cle, yet he taunted me daily that he would,” Thomas says. “Un­til I re­al­ized this pat­tern, I would often refuse the of­fer­ings of oth­ers due to the un­con­scious fear of them not be­ing given.” Pay at­ten­tion to the things you say to your­self. If you hear your­self say­ing some­thing neg­a­tive or self-de­feat­ing, choose in that mo­ment to re­place it with a pos­i­tive thought. Over time, you’ll train your brain to turn neg­a­tives into pos­i­tives au­to­mat­i­cally.

Prac­tice daily med­i­ta­tion. The first step to change is aware­ness, and carv­ing out 10 min­utes each day for med­i­ta­tion is great for slow­ing down your mind’s chat­ter. Once you’re able to fo­cus, the an­swers to your ques­tions and the so­lu­tions to your prob­lems will often come more eas­ily.

Stop blam­ing your par­ents. Likely your par­ents down­loaded their own pro­gram­ming onto you, al­beit un­con­sciously, so blame them all you want for your is­sues, but ul­ti­mately you have to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for your life as it is to­day. Once you’ve claimed own­er­ship, then break the cy­cle so it does not con­tinue with your own chil­dren. “My fa­ther never played ball with me, and it hurt my feel­ings,” Thomas says. “So I de­cided to be­come the coach of my son’s soc­cer team.”

Watch your words. The words that fol­low the phrase “I am …” are pow­er­ful, so avoid say­ing things like “I am a loser” or “I am un­wor­thy.” In­stead, each morn­ing and evening, say things that ex­cite and em­power you ver­sus things that hold you back. “Speak your­self into your po­ten­tial, oth­er­wise you will keep liv­ing a self-ful­fill­ing prophecy that leads to neg­a­tiv­ity,” Thomas says.

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