You have been—and are still being—conditioned. You have beliefs and behaviors that have been installed in, like an operating system. Much of your conditioning can be likened to a virus in your operating system. Here are a few examples external and internal forces condition your beliefs and behaviors:
- The Media: You have been carefully conditioned to pay attention to the news. Even though very little has anything to do with you, it’s mostly negative, and there is almost nothing you can do about the events of the day, except for what is inside your control. Instead of calling yourself a “news junkie” and allowing the media to condition your thoughts and infecting you with disempowering beliefs, condition yourself to put what’s important to you and your success first. Have you noticed that no amount of paying attention to the news changes any of the events being reported? Have you noticed how few impact your life?
- Social Media: Did you get a like or a comment? Are you anxiously awaiting attention as a form of validation that you are noticed and that you belong? The platforms, all of them, every single one, are designed to condition you to act like a laboratory rat, pushing the button to receive a tiny dopamine treat. Are you any less if no one comments or likes what you shared? Is your post worthless if few people respond? You have been conditioned to be a product, but you could condition yourself to use the platforms instead of being used by them.
- Your Society and Culture: Much of what you think and believe has been instilled by society and culture, starting with your parents, your teachers, and your preacher. All of them conditioned you in a way to keep you safe from harm, mostly through insisting you conform to cultural norms. There isn’t much in the way of cultural norms designed to help you become the best version of yourself or insisting that you dream big and take even bigger actions, something you are going to have to condition yourself to do. Most of your conditioning has limited you instead of removing any limits you perceived, something that unintentionally makes people less safe and less satisfied with their lives.
- Politicians: With the help of the media and social media, you are being conditioned by people who feed you fear as a path to power. You are being conditioned to believe that people who don’t share your exact beliefs are your enemy. In a Post Truth world, there are only dominant narratives and counter-narratives, as we are going through a phase where we no longer care about the truth. Of the 7,499,999,999 other people on the planet, none of them is exactly like you. There are no “others” because all there is is others. You can condition yourself to ignore anything designed to divide you from others and to believe that there is no perspective other than the dominant narrative of one tribe.
It’s bad enough that these external forces come with a great deal more negative and limiting beliefs than positive and empowering ideas and actions. But because this is true, they all conspire to make you an accomplice in conditioning negative patterns.
- Your Self-Talk: All the external forces condition you, and then you condition yourself. No one spends more time talking to you than you do, even if the voices you hear are an echo of all of history, including your personal history. You may or may not have noticed that a lot of what you say to yourself isn’t very helpful or empowering. Research shows that something close to eighty-percent of your thoughts are negative, a byproduct of the brain’s desire to keep you from dying or being harmed. You can recondition yourself by changing what you say to yourself, improving your positive thoughts, and swapping out your inner critic for an inner coach, like Cus D’Amato or Jim Rohn, someone who would insist on you turning in your best performance.
- Your Habits: You condition your habits, and then your habits condition you. Your subconscious mind has much more control over what you do day to day. Conditioned behaviors are difficult to unwind once they are successfully burned in, even if it wasn’t your intention to create negative behavioral patterns. You can condition new habits to replace old, poor, unintentional habits, including your self-talk, but it takes conscious effort and an effective strategy.
There is not only every reason to be aware of what is conditioning you and the filters you might put in place to keep out that which is harmful to your health, wealth, and happiness, even if you are now one of the primary sources of poison and pollution. Recondition yourself by consuming and digesting only that which will improve and strengthen you. Eliminating negativity will help you develop an immunity to the forces that would make you less than what you really are.
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Filed under: Mindset