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  1. thinking

    To say JUST a thought is probably the biggest undersell going.  Your thoughts are the most powerful influence you will ever encounter and most of your random thoughts tend to be negative and repetitive.

    A thought is the only thing separating you from who you want to be!

    And that's ambiguous because you can change the limitations that are holding you back or you can change the thoughts about who you want to be or in fact who are currently are.

    Your thoughts come in layers.  At the deepest level it is estimated that up to 80% are negative.  These are mainly thoughts that you are not really that aware of, the mental chatter that is constant  and of a subtle drip, drip nature so that you do not consciously listen.  Even at this level where the thoughts do not necessarily intrude into your consciousness you can begin to understand how very powerful your thoughts are. 

    One level up or therabouts and your thoughts are a little more accessible but still pretty subtle and random.  These are the thoughts you use to' big you' up.  Even if you are lacking in self confidence these thoughts bring you some superiority.  My hair is better than hers (even though shes more confident than me), my kids would never do that (even though that family seems more together than mine), I'm more likeable than them(even though they're more popular) etc etc  This type of thought is your defence talk like the corner man in the boxing ring, championing you on as you get pushed back out there to face your world. 

    You're not terribly aware of these thoughts either but when you do catch yourself thinking that way it reinforces any negative feelings you have about yourself and you feel a subtle shame or guilt - but also safe in the knowledge that only you know.

    Other thoughts you are more aware of:-  Making plans for the day, I must do's included.  Frustrating thoughts about being unresourceful and unmotivated.  Pleasant thoughts about a planned day/meeting/event.  Thoughts about what you could wear and the impression you want to make.  These kind of thoughts are  much more in your consciousness and you have more conscious control over them.

    For those who are working on themselves there may also be another layer.  This is the positive thinking, self-affirmation, self talk in the mirror thinking.  It's the  force feeding of thoughts, stuffing in what you think is good for you.  You need to be sure you are giving yourself the correct message and you have to do it regularly.

    Guess which of your thoughts are the most powerful?  And remember we are talking about the most powerful things you will ever encounter.

    You might think it would be the positive thinking affirmations that would be the most powerful would be very convenient and empowering if it were that way.  How fantastic would that be - to be in control of your own thoughts.

    But no, think again.  It is the drip drip 80% negative thought that are the most powerful and influencial.  So to compete with them you would need to  invest 80% of your waken time consciously thinking positive thoughts.

    Positive thinking can't do anything other than help providing you are thinking the right thoughts.  Your unconscious thought have a way of masking what you could be thinking and setting you up with a less ideal alternative.  So t's a good idea to spend a little time relaxing and being aware of your thoughts and your reactions to them. 

    If a thought makes you fell a bit wobbly then sit with it for a while and examine what  the wobbly feeling is about.  There may be something else you need to address first.  Allow your deeper thought room at the surface and see what messages you are getting.  Don't be afraid of your thoughts.

    Determine also to stretch your comfort zone every day by doing something a liitle challenging physically at first if you need to take it slowly then psychologically like smiling at a stranger or saying boo to a goose..  It helps to also influence and expand the comfort zone in your thoughts.

    Next time you think it's JUST a thought, think again.

  2. Hey it's holiday time soon and for most of us the holiday starts when you are planning your destination ... and that often includes flying.  For some the destinations are somewhat limited because of an unrealistic fear. 

    The Fear of Flying!

    family holiday


    Others do it for the boys, or in this case for the family, regretting the decision as soon as it has been firmed up.

    Whilst some are happily counting the days and enjoying buying holiday essentials - like new clothes - the FOFs are reluctantly buying a few things and trying not to be aware of the horror creeping nearer day by day.

    For the FOFs holiday are just no fun.

    FOFs are thinking about the horror of getting there well before you get the chance to be excited about landing and they don't really enjoy the holiday because lurking there in the back of their mind is the fear of coming back.  Not because they don't want to come back of course, they really, really do.  It's the thought of the journey that is filling them with dread.

    It is estimated that at least one in 10 people have a FOF.  How many seats are on a plane.  Just thinking that 10% of those people are grinning and bearing it puts the whole thing into perspective.

    So what can you do about it if you have a fear?

    Firstly let's get real.  You are not fearful of flying.  I imagine that if you suddenly discovered you could fly like a bird you would be ecstatic ok maybe at first a little scared.

    So it's good if you can define precisely what it is that you are frightened of.

    It will be different for everyone.  Fear of flying is a symptom of an underlying anxiety.  So to understand more, what you are anxious about may help you overcome the fear a little.

    For some they are:

    Frightened of being so far away from home
    Frightened of being in shut in
    Frightened of trusting the Captain to be competent
    Frightened of sabotage
    Frightened of being out of control
    Frightened of the plane falling (especially during turbulence)

    There will be others but if you look at the list NONE of the examples are actually a fear of flying.



    So if you can define which is the example that is most scary for you - there may be a number - then at least you can stop saying that you are fearful of flying stop being a FOF and start working on your actual fear.

    Once you are clear about the actual fear and have shed the FOF label then you can beging to work on enjoying your holiday.

    There are a number of ways in which  you can approach this.  here's one:

    world in hands

    I know that the fear can be debilitating and we already know that you are very good at imagining yourself into a future fear.

    Let's see if you can imagine yourself in a situation that you are very comfortable in. Imagine you are in your favourite place and feeling great.  Check that this is how you would like to feel if you were on holiday. 

    When you know how you wish you could feel on holiday start to imagine what it would be like on holiday if you were happy and relaxed, enjoying your break.  Now, you have to put all your emotions into really experiencing it - just like you did when you were a FOF..

    Repeat that process until you are very comfortable with it.

    Now begin to imagine how you would like to feel on the journey to the destination paying particular attention to your identified fear.  Repeat the process as above.

    The more you repeat the process with feeling the more embedded it becomes so that when you finally are ready for your holiday you have more than one choice about how to feel.

    Have a great time

    Let readers know how it worked for you.

    Andrea Lowe Senior Hypnotherapist and Trainer