You have the power to create the story you want to live. Whether you are an individual, an entire society, or something inbetween, your story is a lived and told narrative that informs you and others of something about who you are and are not. You are the one who writes, tells and lives that story.
Here is what you need to know: A story begins with the taking in of energy as stimuli and it results in some form of energy output that stimulates something else. The process of how this happens is the realm of complex neuroscience. Keeping things simple, it is basically about a feedback loop involving how you think, feel and behave. This is something you have in your power to manage.
The feedback loop works something like this: Thoughts trigger feelings and behaviors, feelings produce more thoughts and behaviors, and behaviors stimulate feelings and thoughts. You can manage the flow by intervening at any point, anywhere, and at any time in this loop.
When you focus or expend energy by engaging in a thought, feeling or behavior, you often grow that same energy proportionally or even exponentially. When you disrupt the flow of energy at any point in the cycle of thought, feeling, and behavior, you can shift the direction of the energy flow. Thus you can reinforce a feedback loop and perpetuate more of a story, or you can create a disruption in the loop that shifts and changes the story.
Here is what to do with this information: Ask yourself to be mindful of these questions throughout each and every day: What am I thinking? How am I feeling? What are my behaviors? Am I satisfied with these things and want more, or do I want something to change?
When your thinking, feeling and behavior are not what you want, then by all means intervene! Pay close attention to what you are doing that actually fuels the undesired state or result, and then change up this pattern. You can interrupt the negative feedback loop at the level of thought, feeling or action. This requires a bit of mindful observation and a willingness to do things differently in the moment.
When your thinking, feeling and behavior are exactly what you want, then create more of the same! Take note of all you are thinking, feeling and doing that is creating and building on this desirable state and do more of the same. Next, create opportunities for similar thoughts, feelings and actions to occur more regularly throughout each and every moment of your day.
Remember that you have the power to manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. These are simply energies that fuel or feed on one another. They occur in feedback loops creating stories that may or may not be what you desire. You can support, reinforce or interrupt any feedback loop. This lets you shape your thoughts, feelings and actions in such a way as to deliver the story you want! What is required is that you practice being more fully conscious and aware of each moment. This provides you the opportunity to intervene in the feedback cycle at the earliest opportunity.
Mindfulness is a great way to practice managing yourself and your story. With practice you all at once become the thinker, feeler, doer, and observer. This provides you the power to get into a wiser relationship to what is happening in each present moment. As you then intervene in the thought, feeling, behavior feedback loop, you then make choices around how your story will be lived and told.
Dr. Cindy Hardwick is a Coaching and Consulting Psychologist with nearly four decades of experience. She specializes in wellbeing for holistically informed healthcare professionals, executives, and entrepreneurs. Learn more on her website: CynthiaHardwick.com. To contact her directly, please click here.
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