A change of circumstances does not bring about an improved life experience. We can change jobs or relationships, but we bring ourselves with us, and soon the new situation will feel and play out just like the old one did.
Without changing our mood and inner conversations, our actions will not produce the desired changes and results. The outer world is a reflection of the inner.
One of the best tools that I’ve discovered for changing ourselves is to change our inner conversations.
Negative Patterns Keep Us Stuck
Our inner conversations reflect our mood - how we feel about everything. They also keep us stuck - by reinforcing and recreating our beliefs. Like a train on tracks, we can’t change the direction we’re going in.
Our inner conversations reflect our mood - how we feel about everything.
Photo by Craig Sunter.
Notice what inner conversations play out in your mind as you meet your friends or loved ones. What are you expecting of them? How do you predict they will act? How do you act in their presence?
It really has nothing to do with any of us or our relationship - we all are playing out our beliefs and expectations about others.
Let’s say I wanted a new job. the old one pays too little, puts too much pressure and causes stress, the boss and colleagues are not so nice etc. So I change my job, in hopes that the new one will be better. And it is, for a while. But within days or weeks I start feeling the same about my job. Did I stumble upon another bad work place? Did I meet negative people? Am I being punished for bad karma?
So often we bring the old stuff into the new experience - be it a new job or a relationship - just to see it turn out just like the old one did. We recreate our past.
Similar situations draw out form us similar reactions. Despite our best efforts or promises to ourselves to change. We react the same. We repeat our past mistakes. Thus our life can end up being the same day relived many times over.
Unless we change. So, how can we break the pattern and stop recreating the past?
Theory is worthless. Only application and results can ‘prove’ anything. Therefore, let’s dive in.
How to Change Our Inner Conversations
Since inner conversations reflect our mood - our personality and state of being - we gotta first change our mood. Then we can create a new conversation that reflects our desired state of being - who we want to be and how we want to feel.
1. Pick a subject.
Pick a subject without much emotional attachments and negative baggage. Something easy. The idea is to practice first with an easy subject, notice results and build both skill and confidence in the process.
- How the day goes
- How you feel waking up
- An upcoming event
- Relationships with friends
2. Choose a new mood.
Conversations and actions follow from our moods. Therefore, we begin with a mood - how we would like to feel in a situation. Start with a general and good feeling. Feel it fully, as true for you, as existing now. Stay with that feeling, practice it until it feels natural and easy to hold. Add some more specifics, details, if you feel like it.
- A good day - how would you feel after a good day?
- Wake up energized, lighthearted, happy. How would that feel? Viscerally, in your body?
- Positive expectations about an upcoming event.
- A pleasant, interesting, stimulating conversation with somebody. How would it feel to be interested, excited, understood, clear-minded and witty?
3. Create a new conversation.
Create a new conversation that implies the new mood. A conversation you’d have after the fact. You had a good day and now you’re telling your friends or loved ones all about it. Or simply saying ‘thank you ‘to the Universe works fine too.
Feel it! Feel, as in, experience the new mood as real, it happened, it’s a done deal.
Keep it simple and short. So you can quickly get into and practice any time and place throughout the day to recall the new and improved mood. Now, the key point is in practicing with feelings - that is where the creative power lies. The conversation is just a focusing mechanism. Strong feelings and emotions can rewrite neural pathways in the brain to create new patterns. Strong feelings tell our brain that ‘this matters and this is real’.
I like to play ‘good day’ conversations - “Thank you for the day. It was a success!” - as it assumes that everything that matters to me went well during the day. It creates and overarching feeling and sensation of well-being.
Photo by Valery Kenski.
When/where/how should I practice my new inner conversations?
At first - when you have the time and energy to practice the new mood. For me it’s mostly evenings when I meditate. But morning are also a good choice - as our minds are still fresh and it is easier to set a new mood for the day.
When the new mood is familiar enough, start practicing several times per day. Then, have these new and improved conversations play in your mind throughout the day. Keep them short and focused, with less details and more feelings.
When they come naturally, with changed feelings - when they become your ‘default’ conversation on that subject - you have successfully created a new thought pattern. The idea is to completely replace the old mood and conversations.
As you practice your new mood and inner conversations, you will notice that you feel happier, lighter, freer and have more energy.
How soon can you expect changes? A couple of days, if you practice regularly and with feelings.
You will also notice more your negative inner conversation. You may be shocked to notice how bad/negative your ‘default’ mood is about some subjects. It takes some guts to become aware of one’s true feelings, emotions and beliefs.
In any case, set yourself up for a win by picking an easy subject to focus upon. Make sure you feel the desired changes as real and practice regularly.
Let me know how it worked for you - in comments below or send me an e-mail.