A lot of people decide to go on a diet from time to time but do not always find the right diet plan. Perhaps they want to follow a healthier lifestyle, gain more energy or lose that unwanted body fat or extra pound but get confused about which particular diet to pick because they either have insufficient information or are just overloaded with it.
This might happen to you or me. Perhaps you might become a little bit unconvinced or partly unwilling to subject yourself to any form of restriction or modification to your lifestyle. You might become subconsciously reluctant to give it a try or feel unsure on the amount of benefits versus the drawbacks that come with it.
This is the whole issue of why people don’t find the will to start or keep a diet or any lifestyle change for that matter. It’s because we subconsciously talk ourselves out of it most often based on the negative premise “I can’t do it”, “I know I don’t have the will or stamina so why try?” or “ I don’t know if it will work or what the benefits are so why go for this torture?”.
Negative subconscious beliefs at work
These are usually limiting and self-defeating subconscious beliefs that are spun out by the little Mr. Hyde in us who enjoys sabotaging our every effort to self-improvement.
Although I used the example of dieting above, the problem is applicable in almost all areas of life that require effort and transformation. Procrastination is purely and simply an effect of this.
So, the main problem seems to pivot around two main issues:
- Negative subconscious beliefs which include limiting, self-defeating, pessimistic and fatalist beliefs accompanied by subconscious fears such as fear of failure and fear of rejection.
- Uncertainty of the outcome. When we are not sure about what the results will be, we find it difficult to get engaged in the process. If on the other hand we were certain of the outcome and we could visualize it clearly, then we would be more motivated and hooked in the idea.
The first problem is the most common one and the most persistent since it is deeply rooted and hence very present in the human psyche. The second one on the other hand is very much an offshoot of the first one. It’s a matter of lack of trust which results from these background negative thoughts.
To keep with the dieting terminology, I think that we can start losing weight of these problems and by doing so lose the weight of all other problems that derive from them.
There is one sure way to get there and that is by going for a low-negativity diet.
The low negativity diet
So what is a low-negativity diet? Why not a high-positivity diet you may ask?
Well that’s a good point but I think I have to answer the first question first.
A low-negativity diet is shifting those subconscious negative thought patterns into your consciousness, be aware of them and discard them just as they arise.
Through our day we very often pass on negative remarks and comments to ourselves but these usually go unnoticed since they mostly exist at a subconscious level. Even though we are not conscious of them they play a very big role in shaping our mood, attitude and the level of responsiveness to a given problem. These factors put together strongly determine the success or failure of any given task we endeavor.
These subconscious messages that are played in our heads, therefore, greatly influence our lives. They may disengage us from successfully starting or completing a project. They may make us procrastinate or keep us away from ever trying something out for fear of failure or rejection.
As to the second question, before one can have a more positive attitude to life it is necessary to first redirect the negative subconscious attitude. One can try hard to be positive but if subconsciously your mind is sending you negative messages, having a positive and affirmative thought can only be partially effective and is usually very artificially placed or ‘forced’.
A low-negativity diet is a very good start and can be a big life-changer.
So how can one start a low-negativity diet? And how can one become conscious of these negative sub-conscious thoughts, if they are, well…subconscious?
It’s true that we cannot be aware of the subliminal messages our subconscious mind sends all the time but we can become more conscious and mindful if we expand and direct our awareness to them.
There are some ‘indicators’ or cues which one can pick and use these cues to become aware of our negative undercurrent.
The emotional dashboard
One important cue is emotions. Emotions can be powerful self-management tools if we are able to detect them and redirect them. We have hundreds if not thousands of emotions everyday but we are used to see emotions as a given. We see them as part of just the way things are.
Often instead of consciously working with our emotions we let them override us and take control of our mood. Learning to listen and interact with our emotions can have a profound positive influence in our lives and can be ultimately liberating.
For example, imagine yourself unable to concentrate at a task at hand or unwilling to participate in some event. Perhaps you are finding it hard to start or even finish a particular project you have been dying to tick off from your to-do-list. Think about the particular task or object and start to notice what emotion comes up. Start paying more attention to it and don’t bother if nothing surfaces in the first few times you try. By time the mind will start acknowledging the reality that you can consciously interact with your emotions.
When the emotions start becoming apparent take time to observe their quality. The more you train yourself to do it, the easier and more natural it becomes.
Is it a positive or negative emotion? Where in your body are you feeling it? In your chest, throat, abdomen? Is it a fear, a doubt, an embarrassment?
Is it some fear that is holding you back? If yes what type of fear is it? Is it fear of failing? Fear of making an ass of yourself? Etc. You need to qualify that fear. If it is a negative thought such as “I feel I am not competent for this thing” then take note of it.
The more you notice them, the more they will surface into your consciousness which can then expose themselves as mere irrational fears and emotions. This can be ultimately liberating as it will help you to identify what is going on at a subconscious level and then challenge them on a conscious level.
Indeed sometimes we become immobilized in doing something because of some inner feeling of anxiety or fear but we don’t know what it is. Very often if we consciously identify that fear or emotion, it will disappear as though it has been deflated.
Maintaining the diet
Keeping on a low-negativity diet is training ourselves to identify the mechanisms of our subconscious leanings into our conscious stream. This does not mean that we become our own psychoanalysts. It just means having more awareness and presence of mind in our daily endeavors.
By time we start realizing more of our own symptoms and ailments in our behavior. When things that usually upset us start happening we start seeing them with a fresh outlook.
We debunk those negative underlying reactions as they arise or before they do. In so doing we cut down considerably on the amount of negative self-talk that usually takes place without us noticing.
We start gaining a more realistic perspective on life and hence a more optimistic one. We become active participants in our lives rather than being passive victims of the ebb and flow of our emotions and inner fears.