Over the last 5 years I’ve made some radical improvements in my life. I’ve reached my financial goals, found an amazing life partner, built confidence, and become much happier.
How did I do all this?
I read a lot of books and experimented with over a dozen different techniques to change my life.
And today I’m sharing with you the 7 most effective tools and how I use them:
An affirmation is a statement about you that you say to yourself. For example, “I am very patient.” Write out your affirmations and say them every day with feeling and belief, otherwise it won’t be effective. When you practice this, your affirmations start to become deeply embedded in your subconscious mind. Do it for a couple of weeks and you’ll see how effective it can be.
Most people leave the vast power of their imagination largely untapped. Our imagination is what allows us to create what we want in our life. Here’s how I use visualization.
Imagine yourself in a particular situation and what you want your ideal performance or behavior to be like in that situation. It might be at your job, at a party, or anywhere. Now imagine yourself doing, saying, and acting exactly how you want to. Imagine it in vivid detail, noting what you see, hear, and feel.
Visualization works because it tricks your brain into already having had the experience that you want to have. This creates past experiences as if you’ve actually had them, making it easier to do these things in real life.
Even though journaling isn’t a sexy idea, when used properly it can be extremely effective. Here are two powerful ways that I journal.
The first way is by stream of consciousness. You can write candidly about any issue, problem, or situation. Assuming that you keep your journal hidden and private, no one is going to judge you. Unlike talking to even the most trusted friend, your journal is a safe space to say anything. It will greatly increase your awareness.
The second and more effective way to write in your journal, is to ask yourself specific, guided questions. It’s the questions we ask ourselves that determine our future. For example, if you want to be successful but lack confidence or doubt yourself, ask yourself, “What are 5 reasons that I’m going to be successful?”
Don’t be turned off by the term “prayer” — it’s spiritual, not religious.
An affirmative prayer is believing that what you want to happen has already occurred. I like to do my affirmative prayers like this.
“Thank you Universe for having already given me an amazing week at work, a ton of joy in my relationship, and happiness every day this week.”
Not only am I believing that what I want has already happened, but I’m expressing gratitude for it (see about gratitude below).
Overcoming Limiting Beliefs
The trickiest thing about limiting beliefs is finding them. As entrepreneur Dane Maxwell has shown, you find a limiting belief by first asking yourself 3 questions.
What do I want to accomplish?
Why haven’t I accomplished it yet?
What beliefs are stopping me?
Write down your answers. Now you’re ready to “undo” these beliefs. The way to do this is to answer Byron Katie’s four questions from what she calls “The Work”:
1. Is this belief true?
2. Can I absolutely know that it is true?
3. How do I feel when I believe this thought?
4. What would my life be like if I couldn’t believe this thought?
There are numerous different types of meditation and ways to practice it. The best way to start is by learning about zazen (Zen meditation), which is basically counting your breaths as you inhale and exhale. If you spend only 5 minutes meditating every day, you will greatly increase your awareness.
As Michael Beckwith says, when we practice gratitude we train our minds to look for what we have to be happy and thankful for, rather than what to complain about. This is the most powerful tool for when you’re in a bad mood or just feeling unhappy.
The best way to practice gratitude is to start a gratitude journal and simply list all of the things you’re grateful for, every day. I started with listing just 5 or 10 things that I was grateful for, and it took me some serious thinking to come up with the list. Now I can list 50 or 100 things that I’m grateful for! It has completely transformed my life.
Tom Casano is the founder of lifecoachspotter.com. Get answers to common questions like What is a life coach? and How do I find a life coach? Learn about how a life coach can transform your life in just a few months.