LY 48: I Used to Feel Happier...
For these next couple of episodes, I wanted to take some time to address your guys’ questions and some common situations that you guys email me about.
Some of you, including one of my most recent clients, has mentioned feeling something along the lines of, “I used to feel happier. I don’t know what’s wrong, but I want to fix it.”
My Client, Sam
For my client, he noticed that a couple of years ago, when he got his first job, the job was challenging and he made mistakes, but he was able to still go to work every day feeling excited about all that he was learning. He didn’t really dwell on his mistakes and actually welcomed in criticism from his boss because it meant that he was learning.
However today, he noticed that he just doesn’t feel happy about himself in general. His relationships have been suffering because he’s been much more afraid to make mistakes, so emotionally, he’s been very closed off. He’s afraid to share things about himself as he might get criticism, which he has a much harder time bouncing back from now.
Personal growth is something that is very important for him and he’s frustrated by how little he’s growing these days because of his fear of making mistakes.
For the past months, he’s been learning more about personal development. He’s been reading articles online, reading books by Brene Brown on vulnerability, and making conscious changes in his life, like journaling, daily meditation, working out, even changing his diet. And although it helps him feel better, it’s only momentarily and before long, he finds himself not doing any of those things and feeling bad about himself.
So if you are feeling something similar, I have a few steps for you to follow:
Step 1: Celebrate your awareness.
The first step in feeling better about yourself is looking for reasons to feel better. It’s a change in perspective. So instead of focusing your energy on how unhappy you are, you can shift your energy to focusing on how aware you are of your own feelings. You cannot change something if you’re not aware of it, so this is already a big step. You would be surprised by how many people are unhappy but have no awareness of it (maybe you can even think of a few people you know).
Step 2: Understand why you don’t feel happy.
Conscious vs. Subconscious mind
If you have been trying a bunch of conscious changes like my client has and you’re not seeing bigger or faster progress (compared to other people), you’re probably finding it really easy to get down on yourself. Your internal dialogue might sound like, “What the hell is wrong with me? Why isn’t this working? Nothing’s changing. I still feel like shit.” And if this is the case for you (which is it for almost everyone), this tells you that there’s something deeper going on. It means there are subconscious patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting that are perpetuating the “I don’t feel good” patterns of thinking.
Until you pinpoint and understand the root subconscious pattern creating all these not-happy feelings, you’ll feel like you keep taking 3 steps forward and 10 steps back.
Internal Changes vs. External Changes
It’s common for us all to think that we need our external environment or situation to change before we can feel better. But this way of thinking is our tricky ego/mind’s way of keeping us playing out our subconscious “I don’t feel good” patterns. “I don’t feel good” is something that has been practiced over and over and over again (I’m guessing you didn’t just start not feeling good about yourself yesterday) and therefore stored as an automatic pattern of thinking in your subconscious mind. It’s become a part of your self identity. And the ego’s job is to protect your self identity. Your ego will do everything in its power to prove and perpetuate those thought patterns in order to maintain your self identity.
You might find that you’ve been waiting and waiting for your external environment to change so you can feel better, but whatever is happening in your life keeps happening because it’s a part of your self identity. It’s things that the ego can use to continue proving to yourself that you are “someone who does not feel good.” These outside things will not change until you transform your subconscious patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting and your self identity to become "someone who feels good.”
Using externals as clues to the internal
Alright so hopefully I’ve made a good case for why it’s your internal environment that needs to change for your external environment to change. Now the next question of course, is how to change the subconscious internals then?
One of the ways you can pinpoint what exactly is going on in your subconscious mind is to find patterns in your life. So here’s an exercise that I teach my clients:
Make a list of all the situations going on in your life that make you feel not-good.
Take each item in the list and write down all of the thoughts you have around that situation. These thoughts are triggering that not-so-good feeling.
See if you can find a pattern or a common theme that ties all or most of that situations together. That’s the subconscious pattern that is maintaining his “I am someone who does not feel good” self identity.
Step 3: Practice your new identity.
Embrace challenges as opportunities to practice
Once you’ve pinpointed that, you can use every opportunity in life to practice transforming that pattern. For example, if the pattern is “I do not deserve love unless I am good,” every time you don’t feel good, you can ask yourself how it’s related to this subconscious pattern.
Then put a hand on your heart, take a deep breath, and tell yourself the opposite until you feel that it’s true (e.g. “I deserve love because I AM a good person” or “I deserve love because there are parts of me I believe are good.”)
Remember, that if you use conscious methods of transforming your subconscious mind, it’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of repetition. You’re going to start training yourself to pay attention to when you’re not feeling good and celebrating the fact that you get another opportunity to practice this new belief and new I-feel-good identity.
Challenges that come up in life no longer feel like roadblocks - they become true opportunities for growth.
Rapid Transformational Therapy jumpstarts the transformation.
Shameless plug here, but only because it’s worked huge wonders in my own life and in the life of all of my clients. Another, faster, more profound way to get a bigger jumpstart in understanding and transforming your subconscious mind is Rapid Transformational Therapy.
RTT is a specific form of hypnotherapy that I am trained in. The purpose is to relax the ego and conscious mind from overthinking enough that we can actually start understanding what’s going on in the subconscious mind and then transform those patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting. This is not the only way to transform the subconscious mind, but like I said, it’s the one that I love the most.
If you’d like to learn more about it, I encourage you to check out the RTT FAQ Sheet below where I answer all of the most common questions about RTT, including how it works, what a session is like (including a recording of an actual session), and what it will help you achieve.
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