Many media channels are filling us with bad news these days. While it does help to stay informed, be aware that bad news can trigger the survival brain, cutting you off from higher thinking capacities. In this episode, we look at 5 ways to break yourself free of those kinds of mindsets, so you can access inner wisdom again.
You may be looping in negativity. Just be aware, that’s blocking your ability to create solutions to your present day challenges, and it’s bad for your immune system. Many of these mindset tools only take a few minutes and train your brain to stay in a high performance state no matter what.
1:30 – How we live our lives in “story form” like a fish lives in water
5:30 – A way to hold this world pandemic from a larger philosophical perspective
12:00 – 5 ways to activate your inner heroic nature to help yourself and others grow
19:00 – Proof that you can change your external reality by changing your interpretations
MindStory Inner Coach Book and 2 Neuro-Blueprints (FREE)
TAKING APPLICATIONS NOW TO GET CERTIFIED in the MindStory Method – Build a Career as an Online Coach and Speaker https://mindstoryacademy.com/join-mic-certification
Connect with Carla Rieger:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/carlarieger
Twitter – https://twitter.com/carlarieger
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlarieger/
This is episode 48 –Breaking Free of Negative Mindsets & Finding Peace of Mind Again. There’s a great quote by Florence Scovel Shinn – If you do not run your subconscious mind yourself, someone else will run it for you. I’m Carla Rieger, and you’re listening to the mind story speaker podcast for influencers who transform the lives of others through their expertise.
Most media channels these days are filling our minds with dire news. While it does help to stay informed so you can take appropriate action, be aware that these news items do activate the survival brain trigger cycle in a lot of people, cutting you off from higher thinking capacities. In this episode I want to talk about ways to break yourself free of negative mindsets triggered by outside sources, or from inside you own head. Many of our clients are saying they are catastrophizing and that’s not helping stay in a solutions oriented state of mind, nor is it good for your immune system.
At MindStory Academy we refer to mindsets using the broader definition of MindStories to include the entire operating system behind a mindset, an attitude, a perspective, a way of being. Our research shows that humans live in stories like a fish lives in water. For example, on average, people spend 60% of their waking lives telling stories. Maybe you can relate. You’re talking to your spouse about something that happened that day. You’re sitting around the dinner table talking about something that happened to someone you know. You’re also telling stories to yourself throughout the day and giving meaning to the experiences you have.
If you can relate to that, ask yourself this question: Are you telling stories to yourself and others that are empowering and supportive, or are they disempowering and unsupportive of a way of being that helps you be your best? Most people are telling disempowering stories, and it’s happening subconsciously, below their awareness. Making conscious choices around this habit can entirely change your life for the better and change the life of those you influence, especially in this current world situation.
I’ll use a theater metaphor, because a lot of people can relate to that. You’ve probably acted in a play or a show at some point in your life. Maybe you put on a costume and had a script to learn. In my twenties, I studied acting, playwriting and directing. As an actor, I remember that process of putting on my costume and rehearsing my opening lines, to help me morph into that character.
If you have ever acted in a play, maybe you’ll relate to this phenomenon, too. If the play went on for a while, like over a month, I noticed that the character started to spill over into my regular life. Once I played a character who was stuck in hell during the entire play. It was by Jean-Paul Sartre and it was called No Exit. I noticed that I had a hellish experience in my regular life during that time, feeling stuck and frustrated and in conflict with many people around me. Then, when the play ended, that feeling disappeared.
The next play I was in, I had the role of a fairy godmother in a pantomime. My job was to go around and make everybody’s lives happier with my magic wand. This also spilled over into the rest of my life. I started looking for how I could make other people’s lives better. That change in role, ironically, led me to the career I have today, one in which I want to help make other people’s lives better from the inside out, and through how they influence others and communicate their message.
The truth is, all of us regularly take on characters and follow scripts in our lives, as spouse, parent, child, friend, employee, leader, etc. As the old Shakespeare quotes says, “All the world is a stage, and all the men and women are merely players.”
As I said, the brain organizes itself in story form. There are many components of a MindStory, such as archetypal characters, core beliefs and scripts. An archetype is a term coined by the famous psychoanalyst from the 20th century, Carl Jung. Consider it similar to a software program or an app that you load onto your device. It’s full of instruction sets for implementing specific objectives. And the truth is, you can load or delete these programs, if you know how. In fact, we have choice around all of the smaller components of MindStories too. We aren’t stuck with any of them. The problem comes if you don’t learn this ability to upgrade your MindStories, or you only remove part of a MindStory, which often happens when people only use, say, an affirmation. You might say to yourself “I believe in my ability to succeed”, but you have a whole MindStory keeping you entrenched in a character who’s main objective in life is to not succeed. There are subconscious payoffs for that inner character to not succeed, there’s scripts and plots and intentions all interweaved together that need to be disentangled before that new, more empowering MindStory becomes a reality. Another way of thinking about a process like affirmations, it’s like removing only one line of code in a Malware program. It’s still there, and still going to make you underperform.
Some people believe that life is a simulated reality. Some scientific papers are seeking to prove it. Let’s say that’s true, that life is just a game where we’re here learning certain life lessons in some kind of virtual reality playground. We were also given amnesia when we arrived in the game to give us a kind of “game handicap,” so we would stay focused and learn. If you know the whole thing is just a game, you might not be motivated enough.
If so, then perhaps we can go into the proverbial costume room of this simulated reality and choose a character to play around with. There are literally thousands of characters you could choose. Some people choose the Beggar, others choose the Orphan, or the Victim, or the Lost Girl, or the Hero, or the Guide.
Unconsciously, when I was younger, I latched onto The Orphan, The Victim and The Lost Girl. My parents split up when I was young, and they were both very busy and didn’t have a lot of time for kids. So, I basically raised myself. I remember at 12 years old, if I wanted clothes, I had to make the money doing a paper route and pay for them myself. If I had to go to the dentist, I had to take a 45-minute bus trip there by myself. Other kids didn’t have to do that. Their parents drove them there and bought them clothes! Why didn’t I get that?
When I was older, I saw that circumstance as a gift because I had become much more independent, at a much younger age than most. At the time, however, I thought it meant there was something wrong with me. I was shuffled between neighbor’s homes. Past a certain age, I was left to my own devices. I had no curfew and I just felt like The Orphan, The Lost Girl and The Victim. Another person in the same circumstance might have chosen different archetypal characters to take on. I chose these negative ones mainly due to the meaning I gave that situation.
Any archetype, like that of The Orphan comes loaded with scripts and tends to spawn other disempowering scripts. Scripts are like your core motivation. In the theatre world, directors are always asking their actors to focus on their character’s core motivation in each scene; otherwise, the scene will lose its impact.
The Orphan’s core script is usually, I’m not good enough; otherwise, my parents would be around. That spawned The Lost Girl. Her script was, I’m confused about where to go and what to do. Feeling like a Lost Orphan made me a good target for bullies. That spawned The Victim, whose script was, Why do bad things keep happening to me? One archetype tends to lead to the others and becomes what we call a Mind Virus. Living out these negative archetypes can go on for years for people, as it did for me.
While studying playwriting and acting, I had a transformational idea. It occurred to me that I could change these inner story components. The archetypal character was like my self-image, and the scripts were like instruction sets in a software program. These make up the component parts of a MindStory.
Your most commonly used characters then become your inner committee members. They are like the members of the board on your inner organization. They make decisions on your behalf for good or for bad. Most of this is happening below the threshold of your conscious awareness. But once you become aware of them you can literally fire certain inner committee members and hire better ones…which is what I did.
So, how do you break free from the unsupportive MindStories? I have talked about the Hero’s Journey in other episodes, which is a whole structure of storytelling that myth expert, Joseph Campbell, identified. He researched stories in all cultures, throughout history, and noticed that humans tell the same basic story. The compelling stories that get told over and over again and get passed down through the generations tend to have the same basic story structure. It’s where the hero gets a Call to Action in some aspect of life. They get pulled out of their comfort zone. They have mentors and teachers that help them. They face enemies, challenges and temptations. They get stuck in the “Belly of the Whale” or what we might call “The Winter of Change”. They engage in a final conflict. If they get through that, they return home a better, wiser, and more resilient person ready to help others. We are probably in the Belly of the Whale phase as a planet right now with this covid-19 situation heating up all over the world. But if we activate our inner heroic nature, then it forces us to dig down deep and cultivate the bravery and wisdom that we need to grow. So any Winter of Change or Dark Night of the Soul experience is a hidden gift activating us to be better people, if we choose to go on the journey.
The problem is that sometimes we get stuck. We get stuck in the Belly of the Whale, stuck in the winter of change, stuck in the darkness, in the conflicts, or temptations to distract ourselves rather than face the pain of growth. But if we do, then we get to continue the hero’s journey, and bring back the wisdom to others.
I remember telling the Director of the play, No Exit, that I wanted to leave the play. I no longer wanted to play a person stuck in hell. Did he have another play coming up where I could play a lighter character? In fact he did. He mounted a comedy pantomime kind of farce, where I got to play a fairy godmother full with wings, getting flown around the stage and everything. That made me realize, maybe I could ask my Inner Director to give me a new role. So the Inner Director is like my higher self, the game maker, rather than the user, or some greater part of the world’s wisdom. So I did it. I tried saying to this Inner Director, “I’d like a better role,” and that’s what I got. So here’s one way to do that in your own life.
So, think of a disempowering archetypal character you live by. Be honest with yourself. No one likes to admit they act like a victim, but many people do. Few people like to see themselves as a Beggar, but they live in a scarcity mindset around money. It’s a shadow, unconscious part in most cases, so sometimes you may need to ask someone close to you, who sees you from the outside.
So once you have it, like in my case The Orphan, find the opposite. To me, that meant The Connector: the person who had friends, family, community and support, who created it and attracted it. Instead of the Lost Girl, I wanted to be a Guide who had clarity of direction and helped others do the same. Instead of the Victim, I wanted to be the Hero of my own life, responsible for my own choices.
These archetypes and scripts became new, supportive MindStories, which acted like the antibodies healing me from the Mind Virus of disempowerment.
Then you want to look at scripts. These empowering archetypal characters had, embedded with them, better core scripts. For example, the Connector script might be, “I am good enough to be supported.” The Guide might have a core script of, “I know the way and I’m here to help others find it, too.” The Hero says, “I rescue myself.”
Many people think, “I have to wait until something outside of me happens to change a self image or archetypal way of being in the world.” Almost always, however, the impetus comes from within. It’s a decision deep within that can happen in an instant. It’s very hard to change the external world, without changing the way you view the world first. The external follows the internal and not the other way around. Most people don’t realize it, or forget it. It’s the exploration, deconstruction and re-construction of the MindStory that causes changes outside. That’s easy to forget even for people who have done years of personal growth work.
The good news is that you’ve already changed your MindStories many times throughout your life. How do I know that? Think of an external event in your life when your self-image seemed to go up or down dramatically. For example, I spoke at a huge international conference when I was 30 and I got a standing ovation. After that, I began to think of myself as a good speaker. Before that, I thought of myself as just an average speaker. Was it the external event or an internal choice? I chose that new self-image. I received a standing ovation a year before but I had interpreted the situation differently. After the first one, I said to myself, “I got that standing ovation because the audience just likes to do that for speakers. It’s not about me and my abilities as a speaker.” The second time was also in front of an audience that often gave standing ovations, but I chose to see myself as a good speaker after that. And of course my skills improved because of my self image. It’s always the meaning you give to those external events and the decisions you make as a result. Since you’ve done this many times before, you can do it again. I’m just helping you do it consciously.
Our research at MindStory Academy shows that the greatest minds and hearts on the planet have a different set of MindStories than the average person. Your results in any endeavor will always match your subconscious MindStories. If life is a game, you have control of the joystick. You can develop a MindStory that supports your vision or one that shackles you to failure. It’s all up to you.
To uncover disempowering Mindstories you need to be totally honest with yourself. You may think you are free of a limiting MindStory when you aren’t. This is another way people get stuck. I had a client who came to me for help to get ready for a high profile speaking engagement. She taught interpersonal communication and had studied personal growth topics for years. I could see that she felt terrified, by her tone of voice, shaking hand, furrowed brow, but she insisted she felt fine.
Finally, a few days before the event she had an emotional breakdown, which led her to open up first to herself and then to me. I helped her see the old scripts and archetypes from her childhood that still influenced her. Even though to the outside world, she seemed successful, on the inside she felt like an imposter. She didn’t feel worthy of the money and status that went with her career, and it all got magnetized during a high profile speaking engagement like that.
The good news was that by accepting those hidden feelings, we could then explore the interpretations driving those feelings. By using her neo-cortex to view a survival brain trigger cycle, she actually started to change the way the neuropathways fired, training her brain to stay in a high performance state in a high stakes situation. The speaking engagement ended up being a huge success, she got a standing ovation and five invitations to speak again. It was a good reminder that no matter how much inner work a person thinks they’ve done, myself included, the old MindStories may still surface. Having tools like the ones we teach at MindStory Academy, or ones you’ve successfully used in the past, are important to keep close at hand. Here’s a few practical tools to help you break free of any limiting mindstories.
An important step in forming your new, more empowering MindStory is to realize what your beliefs are and to question those that no longer serve a purpose. Otherwise, beliefs left unchallenged will continue to limit you. To that end, answer the following questions to the best of your ability. What is a goal or vision you’d like to achieve? It could be a financial, life success, health, relationship or career goal. Just pick one specific one for the sake of this mental activity. E.g. Bring in 3 new coaching clients over the next month, or produce a new zoom webinar, or set up a home gym. What is one disempowering story in the way to achieving this? Most of us talk ourselves out of our successes before the day even begins. We tend to focus on the negative. Is that true for you? Think back to this morning? What happened when you first woke up? Did you worry or doubt or regret? If so, how did that voice sound? Start to examine this voice from a neutral place like you were a curious scientist, rather than getting pulled into the drama of the voice. These voices are unique to every individual, but below are some of the ones that we frequently hear from clients when they start thinking about achieving a goal. See if you identify with any of them.
It’s hard to make money, especially these days
I don’t know where to begin
It just seems too hard
I’ll do it later when I have a few free moments
I can’t make money doing what I love.
I’m not good enough; I don’t have what it takes.
I’m not smart enough; other people are smarter than me.
I’ve got children, you don’t understand.
I’ve got problems, you don’t understand.
I’m too young.
I’m too old.
I don’t have enough time.
I’m unworthy of success.
I just don’t get the lucky breaks in life that others get.
I’m just not meant to make any money.
I guess I’m destined for a life of struggle.
This situation is going to get worse
People won’t think what I offer is of any value to them
I’m not experienced enough
I’m not organized enough
Now just pick one for now. Assuming you were to hold onto this limiting story for the next five years, how would it limit your future? How would it affect the quality of your life and relationships? How would it impact your finances? Now, how can you start the day with a new MindStory? For example, the minute you start hearing the old, familiar voice of negativity you could have a memorized phrase such as, I’m so happy and grateful for the support I’m going to get today, Another day where I’m moving closer towards my big vision. What an amazing opportunity to step up and contribute to helping others and making the world a better place.
You can also simply do a turnaround on them. You may not believe them at first, but after a while you could hypnotize yourself into believing them, through repetition. Remember, it’s just a game. For example,
It’s easy to make money, especially these days because of what I offer
I can easily figure out where to begin
It seems doable
I’ll do it first thing
I can make money doing what I love.
I’m good enough; I totally have what it takes.
I’m smart enough;
Even though I’ve got children, I can still make this work.
Even though I’ve got problems, I can still get this happening.
I’m the perfect age
I have enough time.
I’m worthy of success.
I often get lucky breaks in life
I’m meant to make any money.
I’m destined for a life of success.
This situation is going to get better
People will think what I offer is of great value to them
I’ve got enough experience now
I’m organized enough now
I’m enough now
One of the most powerful tools is to ask yourself “What difficult things have I accomplished before?” I remember back to when I wrote my first novel. I remember getting my first batch of books from the printers and this overwhelming feeling of accomplishment that I had at the time. As soon as I tapped into the empowering mindstory, it’s like it loaded the software in my own biocomputer to keep moving forward with my present day book writing goal. Acknowledging your own successes helps you build belief in your ability to achieve important goals. Belief is the engine of manifestation.
Your answers to these questions are starting to build your new MindStory at the neural network level of your brain. Imagine those new neural networks of empowering MindStories forming and building strength. Remember to do one of these the next time you catch yourself looping, like first thing in the morning. The more you do it, the better you get.
This podcast episode, by the way, is based on Chapter 7 of our new book, MindStory Inner Coach. If you’d like more tools like this, for a limited time we’re offering this book for free on our website: MindStoryAcademy.com. You’ll also see the free book link in the show notes. Along with the book, you also get two short guided audios that are called neuro-blueprints. They are form of mental rehearsal that opens up communication between your conscious and subconscious mind to deepen these kind of core belief and interpretation changes that run our lives. One is called how to end self sabotage, it’s one you would use at night. The other is called your hero’s journey, which is about reframing the challenges of your life in terms of a mythic adventure and how those challenges have forged you in the fire of wisdom to now help others. Sometimes that’s hard to see until you do a process like this. And this is a version you would do in the morning. These take chapters 2 and 10 of the book to a much deeper level. All together, the audios and the book come to $94 but you can get them free right now.
Also, we’re looking for more speakers and coaches who want to learn to use the MindStory Method. If you’re interested check out our certification tab at MindstoryAcademy.com. It’s where we train you how to make extra income or even your next million working online, from the comfort of your own home, living from anywhere making a huge difference while making a great living speaking, teaching and coaching others to become masters of their own mind…one of the most important skills you can learn in this day and age.
So that’s it for today…I hope that was helpful. Until we talk again, stay safe, do this work on breaking free of negative mindsets. You can make a choice at any moment to find peace of mind again. Until next time, I’m Carla Rieger, thanks for listening.