By Mark Spencer, ITA Certified New Code and Classic Code NLP Trainer and Change Agent
The question of whether we have a destiny for some may be rooted in a belief system that has some sort of religious foundation. Interestingly, people from many walks of life and religious or non-religious beginnings have a sense of destiny, so regardless of anyone’s religious reasoning’s for this, I am steering quite clear of that minefield and focusing on the thoughts that many or some have, visions, hopes, dreams about who and what we may become individually. Even more importantly, can we direct or re-kindle the destiny that you had or want?
It would seem that these are planted somehow in our being, right from when we were very young, and in many cases – defy upbringing, context, exposure and the like; just a series of thoughts that may or may not be your destiny. We have taken on so much with our unconscious uptake of everything going on around us. This article will not deeply explore answering the question of whether we do have destinies or not, but by discussing it, you may be able to decide for yourself if the thought patterns match yours also. I propose that our destiny is tied up with and continually shaped by our completely personal and unique internal dialog – what we keep saying to ourselves, our stream of consciousness.
Quoting Bob Dylan….. from a 60 minutes interview… originally aired Dec. 5, 2004, answering what does the word “destiny” mean to you (Bob Dylan)?
“It’s a feeling you have that you know something about yourself – nobody else does – the picture you have in your mind of what you’re about will come true,” says Dylan. “It’s kind of a thing you kind of have to keep to your own self, because it’s a fragile feeling. And if you put it out there, somebody’ll kill it. So, it’s best to keep that all inside.”
The question is, what are you telling yourself all the time? What questions keep coming up and which answers are being offered (internally) all the time? What dialog goes on, passing comment about people, possibilities, things you have not done, things you need to do, words said to you moments ago or ages ago? All of these various dialogs are continuing to shape who you are, ultimately shaping your destiny.
you’ve got no idea what it’s like being me
Have you ever heard someone say – you’ve got no idea what it’s like being me! They are often inadvertently referring to their life which may have many external queues to knowing what is going on, but two items that are very hidden to most are their Internal Dialog and what we are experiencing in the physical area of pain, discomfort or any other measure of how our physical body is. This can explain why two people experiencing the same event, when recalling and recounting the event can describe and experience such different meaning from the same event.
Our conscious state includes our internal dialog. Conscious states “are directly experienced only by single individuals” (Gerald Edelman, 1994) and consciousness is an “entirely private, first-person phenomenon” (Damasio, 1999).
If you are feeling bad at any time and you don’t know why, it can be because you are thinking negative or unhelpful thoughts. If you are feeling good and you are not sure why (physical world and circumstances does not match), you will have most likely been thinking positive and helpful thoughts. Your internal dialog goes on and on, day in day out. It is part of what makes you, you. Our internal dialog (self talk) is what will make things in our life possible or not, usually more influential than the circumstances around us.
How can you change your internal dialog?
How can you affect your consciousness? How can you change your internal dialog, your self-talk? Here is a process that is simple to follow, but can be both quite revealing and life changing.
- Notice what is happening, listen to your internal dialog for a while…
You will need to be mindful for a while, so as you go through your day, take note of the internal dialog or self-talk that you have going on in your head.
- Write some of these down on paper.
Obviously, you will not have enough paper and time to write them all, but for it to be useful, make sure it is personal and safe, so you are honest with the most profound things you find. By seeing the actual words and phrases you are using, you will be able to objectively evaluate them and consider how real or absurd these are.
- Evaluate the words and phrases.
After some time (hours or at the end of the day), evaluate the phrases or the gist of what you are saying as being:
Depleting, Depressing, Down on yourself
Helpful, Keeping you safe, Observations
Uplifting, Life giving
- Substitute the undesirable Words and Phrases to suit your own outcome choices. You can choose to turn negative thoughts into positive ones, or into neutral / curious reflections, or get your neutral factual thoughts and get them to help you make the outcomes you want. Here are some examples.
Look at that person doing x; I know I can’t do that. Look at that person doing x; I wonder if I want to do that because I should be able to do anything. Wow, look at that person doing x! I can see myself doing that and I know I can do it. Failed again, you will never do this. Curious, another way this doesn’t work. There has to be a way, it is great to know that I have found so many ways to attempt this task and getting closer to a result. Failed again, you are dreaming. I have many successes in my life, I am not a failure. I will success because of who I am.
Be aware that there may be nested phrases or beliefs, that may need to be addressed during this process, and some of the self-defeating phrases may feel like rust attached to your being, but beneath them is a clean soul waiting to be freed.
So, if you notice that you are still sabotaging yourself, you may have phrases like “this process is crap, you’re kidding yourself, you have never done this mind stuff” which isn’t in line with the overall outcome which was to overcome this and everything working against you. See Did You Build Your Own Identity? where Sonya asks – How many times have we taken what other people have said about us as if it were true? In our hierarchy of beliefs, we may even place another person’s silly or half-true comment as holding more credibility that our own thoughts.
Out of Sight
We have at least one, maybe two groups of quails living around our house. when we go out near them, we don’t even know they are there sometimes, but when they notice us they hide, under bushes, in the mulch, out of our sight for a brief period of time, until it is safe. Watch for any of your Internal Dialog that goes ‘underground’, hiding from the part of you that wants to evaluate it. This process will only work as well as you allow the complete dialog to be evaluated and challenged.
- Continual reinforcement
For the phrases that mean a lot to your personal outcomes, post them around you where you can see them or have some way of reminding you of them; it will change what you believe about this phrase or possibility. Your internal dialog will now start saying, repeating and enforcing these phrases and these will change what is possible in your life.
- Not you again….
This process may have to be repeated if certain longstanding unhelpful comments, beliefs or phases keep coming up. A few iterations may reveal the nested culprit of most of your thoughts and you can take this one one too. Man, they’re only thoughts.
Now, with this process done, the clutter of your mind out of the way, you might be able to hear and pursue your destiny. For some this is easy, for others try to do this whole process while you are away from family or friends, on vacation or without too many responsibilities if possible. You’ll be surprised what will turn up once the wellspring of your mind has been uncluttered.
You can leave comments for how this has worked for you….