Seven Steps to Change your Default Thinking Patterns

Whether you drive on the left or on the right, changing your thinking is difficult.
It must be very frightening for foreign drivers who are used to driving on the right hand side of the road coming to places such as New Zealand and having to adjust to driving on the left hand side.
 
I remember following your typical white tourism camper van once, and as it came up to a roundabout it turned right instead of left. I wondered where on earth it was going as I met it on the other side of the intersection.
 
When you have driven on one side of the road, all your life, it becomes a deeply ingrained thinking habit. So deep that it takes moment by moment concentration and effort to make sure you don’t revert to old patterns.
When you are
trying to change
a thinking habit,
or a behaviour,
it is just like learning to drive
on the other side of the road.
 
Addicts find it incredibly difficult to change because they need to oppose every pull of thinking and feeling that would have them slip back into the old rut.
 
It is not just those with addiction issues that find it difficult to change, we all do.
 
Often we don’t change because it’s too difficult, too much effort required.
 
We won’t try to change until we are fully convinced that the current pattern of thinking and behaving is dangerous. Even then it is just so easy to slip across the median line and into real danger.
 

Seven Steps in Changing your Default Thinking Patterns.  

  1. Pray. Ask God for the help you need to change. Ask for an awareness of when you are slipping back into the old habits. Ask for help to Lasso those Varmint Thoughts.
  1. Identify the Dangers. Be very clear of the dangers of continuing in this pattern of thinking and behaving. If you always do what you have always done you will always get what you have always got. Write out the consequences for you, and others, if you keep on doing what you have always done.
  1. Have a Compelling Vision. What do hope you will achieve through a new way of thinking and behaving. What are you desiring for in the change? Does it excite you?
  1. Create cognitive reminders. It might be a notebook of new thinking habits, verses of scripture, encouragement journal, a scrapbook journal of pictures of the potential new you.
  1. Oppose your old thought patterns with new insights. Your old thinking patterns and self talk are ‘stinky thinky’ and need to be replaced with new thoughts and phrases. e.g. ‘My past does not define me, it is the decisions I make today that define me’
  1. Oppose your feelings. Feelings are often repeating echoes of past experiences and don’t truly represent current reality. We need at times to discount our feelings before they discount us.

    In order to oppose the influence and direction of one’s old feelings, a rational mind first needs a very good reason. Without truth to reassure, change isn’t possible. D. Riddell 

  1. Get a coach. I don’t think anybody likes to corrected or challenged, especially by backseat drivers! So often though, we need others beside us reminding us to keep on the right side. It maybe a friend, a family member or a counsellor. Someone who can give encouragement and praise sprinkled lightly with correction and warning.
People change when they
hurt enough that they have to,
learn enough that they want to,
or receive enough that they are able to.
John Maxwell
Questions to consider
  • Where do you seriously need to change thinking and behaving tracks?
  • What qualities are needed in people who can coach you into change?
Barry Pearman
Visentico / Sento via Compfight cc

pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28 Seven Steps to Change your Default Thinking Patterns

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