104: Two Tools For Change
Change is one of the very few constants in life. We all know that change can be hard and even painful. In this episode, Thane Ringler shares his perspective on self-limiting beliefs and how we can overcome them. He gives the two tools necessary in bringing about a powerful change in your life. Once you make that 180 shift in your perception, change will come and a fulfilling life follows suit. Learning the art of gratitude and meditation will help you embrace the gift that is life.
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Two Tools For Change
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The Subject Of Change
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A common dialogue that we often find ourselves in is when we get approached or think about some type of change we’re going to face is, “I can’t change it. Life never goes my way. The deck always seems to be stacked against me. This is how I am. This is how I’m wired. I’ve never been like that.” There are a lot of excuses, a lot of common dialogue that we tell ourselves in our head to keep us from broaching the subject of change. Similarly, when I was growing up, I was not a creative kid. The reason why I wasn’t creative was that it was a self-limiting belief. It was a perception of myself that I created and carried with me throughout my childhood.
This was informed by success on the other side. Using the left side of my brain, the logical side of my brain, I was good at problem-solving and at math. I was a numbers guy. I naturally was gifted in some of those things, I started associating myself as a math guy, a numbers guy. That meant that I would disassociate myself with the creative, artistic, the writing side of the brain. As that perception was carried on overtime, it got reaffirmed and entrenched in my own mind. What Dr. Joe Dispenza says was true to me, he said, “We become addicted to our beliefs. We’re addicted to the emotions of our past. We see our beliefs as truths, not ideas that we can change.”
The other one that I love is by Alan Watson. He said, “You’re under no obligation to be the same person you were five minutes ago.” That’s a quote that triggers some resistance within me when I read still. I know you probably are thinking the same thing. He’s making a great point that we don’t need to be the same person and also, we shouldn’t be the exact same person we were five minutes ago because life is a growth process. Winston Churchill, in that realm of thought, said, “To improve is to change.” To be perfect is to have changed often. I love that as well. The last quote is from John Maynard Keynes and he said, “The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.” That’s especially true within ourselves.
This episode is about the conversation within our own minds and the beliefs we hold about ourselves. That’s where the main focus revolves around for what I’m talking about in this episode. Part of the reason why I love writing blogs so much is that, through the creative process of writing, I am able to bring synthesis to my own thought process on any given subject, especially topics that are important to me. This is why I have committed to doing blogs and releasing blogs on my website, ThaneMarcus.com, twice a month. Every two weeks I launch a new blog. There are a lot of times where I don’t want to, I don’t feel like it, I don’t think I have time to write. Going through the discipline of writing brings such amazing synergy and also connectivity of thought in these different realms that I’m learning about and also in things that I’m interested in getting clarity on.
The Hurdle Of Belief
In the realm of overcoming our own self-imposed limitations, one of the things we all run up against is the hurdle of belief. We struggle to believe that change is possible. We struggle to convince ourselves that we can, in fact, be or act differently, especially based on past results. One of the reasons this happens is due to our consistency bias. One of the great books that unveils this is Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. He has a whole chapter on our bias towards consistency and how we’ll do irrational and illogical things to remain consistent with who we believe and say we are and who others perceive us to be. Changing our perception and our beliefs about ourselves that are often limiting can be a hard thing to do. The path of change is also a long one and I talked about this a little bit in episode 93, and this is why we must commit to the hard work of believing in ourselves, even when there isn’t concrete evidence to base that belief on. This is the belief and our capability, despite the immediate fruit of that belief not being seen, and it’s hard to do when you can’t see it. Over time, that belief can turn into a reality. Understanding the reasons why it will help us commit to holding that belief long enough to see it come to fruition.
The book that was a catalyst for all of this is Dr. Joe Dispenza’s book, You Are the Placebo. In his book, he beautifully breaks down how this process takes place, both physiologically and psychologically. From his work, there was a simple glide path that came from a couple of his chapters, and from this glide path, we can see how changes take place. First is, your thoughts, feelings and actions, which over time, when they’re repeated enough times, they start forming our attitudes. Our attitudes are more of our disposition throughout the day and enough attitudes strung together over enough time start forming our beliefs, our beliefs about ourselves, about the world, about daily life. When you string enough beliefs together over a long enough period of time, that informs and creates your perceptions the way you view the world and yourself. This is true on many fronts. For more, read his book or check out my blog posts.
One example that comes to mind is in golf. In golf, it’s fascinating to see these things play out in a moment to moment basis if my thoughts, feelings, and actions as they approach a shot are based on past or recent history. Let’s say I hit a bad shot. Let’s say I made a double bogey on the last hole, which is not a good score if you’re not into golf. Coming into the next hole, I’m going to have most likely, unless I intentionally choose differently by default, I will have negative thoughts and feelings at that moment that are based on the actions that happened, the recent history. What that will do if I allow that to maintain, will start creating an attitude of negativity, an attitude that is beating myself up about the bad shots that I’ve hit? If this attitude is maintained over a long period of time, the belief will be that I can’t make a good score, I can’t play golf well. Over time, my perception of myself as a golfer is skewed in the negative.
The Power Of Emotion
The point in this example is that without intention, we will choose an easier path. We will default to the path of negativity, of thinking lesser of our abilities because it’s easier. It is an easier path to think less of your capacity and your capabilities. In order to choose a harder path and to overcome some of these self-limiting beliefs, we have to first understand the path, thoughts, feelings, and actions, which then spill over and create attitudes, which then create your beliefs, which then create your perceptions. The key piece of the puzzle that must be incorporated to facilitate that powerful change is emotion. Emotion is a thing that’s often overlooked or not thought about in the process of change. Going back to the golf example, one thing that I’ve found a lot of times, especially in a tournament, in my first professional tournament overseas in South Korea, I remember I was the first person hitting the tee shot on the first day off number ten. I was nervous. I get up there, my mind is racing, and I’m not connected to the club. I’m not in a great place to hit a golf shot.Without intention, we will choose the easier path. We will default to the path of negativity. Click To Tweet
I ended up hitting a horrible tee shot. It’s about 30 to 40 yards right of where I wanted to hit it. It goes out of bounds, which means I get the pleasure and privilege of re-hitting that tee shot. Granted, it’s after a stroke penalty, I’m hitting my third shot from the tee box. I was frustrated and furious at myself that I went onto stripe the next tee shot perfectly down the middle, hit a great wedge, and ended up making about a six-foot putt for bogey, to save my bogey after hitting that horrible shot. What’s fascinating about that, and a lot of examples that I’ve experienced in golf and in life, the reason why I was able to come back and hit the shots as accurately as possible, after making a horrible mistake, my emotion was amplified in disgust over that horrible shot. That emotion, fueled with the belief that I’m much better than that shot, fueled the next three shots that were exactly what I wanted to hit. It shows the power of emotion, even when it’s attached from a negative outcome, we can use that emotion to attach it to something positive and produce the results that we want.
The way from possibility to probability is by understanding the process, which is the path we talked about, then attaching the emotion, which is the key piece of the puzzle, and then committing to it for a long enough time to see it come to fruition. Dr. Joe Dispenza said, “When you change a belief, you have to start by first accepting that it’s possible. Change your level of energy with the heightened emotion and finally allow your biology to reorganize itself.” This happens physiologically as he points out in the book. It isn’t just a psychological function, it’s also within your body, which shows the power of it.
To make it a little bit more practical. The first part of this has all been about understanding how it happens, what the process is, what the path is, and then understanding the key element, which is adding emotion. The emotion that fuels the belief creates the result. If we can put the emotion to the belief that overcomes our self-limiting doubts or fears or anxieties, over enough time, we will see the results we want to see. How do we get there? There are two quick tools that I want to share that you can use that will have the largest positive impact on you changing the attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions about yourself that are keeping you from doing what you want to do in life or even from fulfilling your full potential. These are simple but powerful because the most powerful things in life are always the simplest.
Gratitude And Meditation
The first tool is gratitude. Gratitude and appreciation are powerful stimulants for helping us embrace the elevated emotions of love, joy, peace, presence, inspiration, empowerment. It’s an appreciation for what we’ve been given in life and it teaches us to embody that emotion. It’s a practice that embodies emotion in a positive way within our bodies and our minds, and it’s easy to do. There is so much in your life that you can be grateful for. It truly is an endless list. We have to take the time and intention into practicing it by actively and intentionally thinking about it. The second tool, which is equally as simple, is meditation. Meditation is a tool that enables us to better tap into that subconscious mind, that unconscious part of our mind that controls over 95% of our daily lives, as they estimate. This tool raises your awareness past the immediate stimuli in life that fill up our conscious thoughts and it moves us into the more important processing of the subconscious where our beliefs and perceptions lie, they reside in our subconscious.
One of my favorite quotes that I had been talking a lot about, Winston Marcella said, “The difference between noise and music is that noise is two sounds that are not related to each other, whereas music is two sounds that are related to each other.” The beautiful thing about that quote in that picture is the only way we can hear the music in life is if we eliminate the noise first. Life is filled with so much noise. The noise is endless. The way we silence the noise so that we can hear the music is through meditation, which is a quieting of your mind to tap into that subconscious mind. What do these two things look like? I’ll give you some examples of my own practice in both of these, first, gratitude. Gratitude can be simple. One of my favorite forms of practicing gratitude is simply having it be a part of my morning journaling routine. A lot of times in the morning, part of my routine is I’ll have a journaling practice where I write down three things, one would be the truth. I read my Bible every morning, spend some time with Jesus. Writing some bullets from the truth that I learned to ingrain it more in my mind and solidify the learning.
The second is gratitude. I then write down 3 to 4 things that I’m grateful for. Try to be different every day. The third part of that journaling practice is to write out my important tasks for the day. That’s a great morning journaling routine. Having gratitude be a part of your journaling routine is easy, and it’s a great way to practice what you preach. The second is to live more slowly or intentionally. It’s being grateful for that delicious lunch you’re about to eat or being grateful that you have a telephone that you can talk to your parents, who live half a country away. Being grateful that you own a vehicle and are able to travel all over the city you live in anytime you want or being grateful that you have health enough to function as a normal human being, which a lot of people don’t have. I could go on things that we’re grateful for. Living intentionally and being grateful at the moment when you’re participating in these things is a great way to incorporate it.
The last is seeing with childlike eyes of wonder. Having those eyes that children have that sees the beauty in the trees or the sunset, all those things that can allow us to live with a grateful heart. For meditation, what I use as a tool for a long time was Headspace. Headspace is a great tool to practice mindfulness meditation. They give you some tools to process quiet and stillness in your mind. We get better at this with practice, it does take practice to sit in quiet and stillness with your mind, but it is one of the most powerful places we can be. In my morning time, I incorporate meditation to that time as well when I’m sitting, quieting my mind, quieting my heart, allowing God to bring what he will to my mind and in my heart at that moment through the spirit.
The other one I love is floating. If you’ve never heard of floating, you should check it out, it’s amazing. If you’re in a major city, you probably will have a place to go. It’s a 60-minute floating experience where you’re floating in Epsom salt water. You’re without gravity and it’s a sensory deprivation tank, it’s pitch black with no noise, you can’t see anything, you can’t hear anything, and you’re floating. You’re deprived of your senses. You’re able to sit with your mind for 60 minutes. I can’t think of any space in life where I can force myself to be with no other stimulus other than my mind. It’s a beautiful practice. I do that at least once a month. Some other ways are breathing practices. There are some great tools out there and you can also Google breathing practices, and that’s a great way to meditate by focusing on your breath and it’s turning your mind off. Having space of quiet, having space where you’re not thinking, having space where the mind isn’t on its constant churn, it’s a great way to practice it simply. These are some practical suggestions.Gratitude and appreciation are powerful stimulants for helping us embrace the elevated emotions of love, joy, peace, and empowerment. Click To Tweet
I want you to understand the process in which the thoughts, feelings, and actions over time spill over into attitudes. When enough attitudes are maintained for a long enough time, it starts creating your beliefs. When you string enough beliefs together, that’s going to be the perception that you carry your worldview, your perspective, your perception of the world and yourself. The way we change this is by understanding the path and attaching the emotion and then we practice it with commitment over enough time to see the fruit of it. The ways we can practice it are two tools, which is gratitude and meditation. They’re simple, but they are extremely powerful. It’s something that we all need to hear, myself included. I would love it if you guys started practicing it with me. These are the things that will help us as up and comers lean into our full potential.
One last note, I have a newsletter that you can subscribe to. If you want to get my blogs, the blog posts I write and post, if you want to get them sent to your mailbox, you can insert your email address and subscribe to my website, ThaneMarcus.com. It will be at the bottom or you can click on the blog and there you can subscribe. The other one, I have a newsletter that will contain the content of the month. It will contain the things that I’m learning, consuming, reading, listening to, talking about in a condensed form for you to also consume. If you want to learn some things that I’m learning, it’s a great way to stay involved. Go to ThaneMarcus.com to get subscribed to that. I hope this was helpful for you and I hope it empowers you to live with intention in the tension. That’s what we’re here to do as we strive to be up and comers in this world. This practice of overcoming the self and beliefs will allow you and help you to be the change that you wish to see in the world. Until next time, I hope you have an up and coming week.
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- Episode 93 – Change: How to Consistently Make Positive Change
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