Are you a prisoner of your mind? Have you ever realized that your brain is just like a canvas waiting to be painted as you like and with your own self-defined terms and conditions? However, before you start, you need to set your mind free from all your self-limiting beliefs that accumulate over the period of years as a result of adopting what your parents and the society in general have imprinted in your mind. In this blog, you will learn that you have immense potential within you to accomplish anything you desire by trusting your intuition and capabilities.
What Makes You a Prisoner of Your Mind?
You become a prisoner of your mind when you constantly start labeling things around you and try establishing your self-perceived notions whether they are right or wrong. However, all the perceptions you hold about yourself and the world around you and its interpretations about who you are cause you to engage in self-captivating behavior.
The day you realize that all your perceptions including what others think about you are mere illusions created by your mind, you become ready to set your mind free. All these illusions are just stories that your brain creates causing you to develop a defensive mindset in a way that when others criticize you for holding a particular opinion, you feel a need to resent them to convince yourself that what you perceive is absolutely right.
Contrary to that, you like those people who agree with you. However, in reality whatever perceptions you have about yourself and the world in general are just interpretations and they cannot be deemed as right or wrong. The day you set your mind free from such illusions, you begin to unleash your true power and strength and use them to create your own experiences.
This is Who Really Are
You have an innate ability to transform your life by interpreting it in a different way. You have the power to form your personal experiences by changing your beliefs about who you are. Most of your beliefs you hold about yourself are shaped by the society and the way you were brought up by your parents.
When you were just six years old, you were probably made to obey certain rules about what is acceptable and what is not by your parents. When they found you running and screaming wildly, they told you to act in a certain way because according to their experience, society in general does not approve of such behavior.
However, once you are an adult, you can learn to interpret things around you in a different way and change the way you perceive things as to set your mind free from the emotional baggage you have been carrying all your life up until this point. You have to realize that you have an innate power to change your beliefs and the way you interpret things because that is what your whole life is based on.
Your life is nothing but a series of interpretations and the beliefs formed around them. All you have to do is consciously choose those interpretations formed by the world around you that serve your interests and let go of those that do not. Once you unleash your potential as an interpreter and how it could affect your life based on external events you experience one after the other, you can create whatever meaning you desire to.
It is always your choice because a negative interpretation of any event can push you into deep depression and a positive one can give you moments of happiness and well-being. All you are required to do is learn to focus on positive stimuli.
What are you focusing on?
People have the tendency to interpret a similar situation in a different way. To understand this aspect in a better way, you have to be aware of how your brain functions. Your brain receives several bits of information from the external environment around you. It has to filter information so that it can only process what is needed and discard what it deems as irrelevant according to a particular situation or external stimuli.
This filtering system is also referred to as reticular activating system or RAS. Without this system in place, your brain may go bonkers as it will lose its capacity to discard irrelevant information. This is an indication that we all have different RAS systems and they operate differently because what you may find noteworthy in any given situation, someone else may not.
This is also how your beliefs are formed as they grow stronger when reinforced by evidence. The longer an idea stays in your mind, the more reinforcement it gets turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. It could also be related to a negative belief where it gets reinforced every time you come with evidence which supports it. There are two reinforcement principles:
- Your beliefs become so rigid that you subconsciously seek those situations that may further reinforce your belief.
- Your self-proclaimed beliefs strengthen to such an extent that you intuitively deny the contrary.
Eventually, you deliberately look for ways to reinforce your beliefs by searching for evidence that justifies this negative feedback loop. To break free from this negative pattern, you have to become aware of your self-limiting beliefs that make you feel inferior and change them through creation of positive meaning by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
Becoming Aware of What Makes You a Prisoner of Your Mind
The reason why it is so important to become aware of your self-limiting perceptions is because they create an emotional reaction in you. When you are unaware of them, they start controlling you without you realizing what is actually going on. There are two different methods to set yourself free from your limited beliefs:
- Self Enquiry – keep questioning yourself every time you have a feeling that your limited self-beliefs have triggered an emotional reaction in you. Try to introspect and learn if they complement the rules of your life in different areas.
- The Awareness Method – Try to stay in the present moment as much as possible and focus on the thing you are doing at the present moment. It does not have to be anything specific but anything because it can help you become aware of your emotions.
The second method is more powerful because it helps you closely analyze your self-limiting beliefs and the preceding emotions triggered by them. As you are accustomed to operating on an autopilot mode and you largely remain unconscious of your present actions, you fail to pay attention as to what actually causes you to get overwhelmed by emotions.
The only way you can ever possibly resolve this problem is by becoming aware of your present. You may find using this method very difficult in the beginning but the more you practice staying in the present moment, the better you will become in addition to accepting whatever may unfold as a result in terms of negative or positive perception.
Habits that Ruin Lives and Turn You into a Mind Prisoner
Before you delve deep within yourself to explore your core beliefs, you must become aware of certain factors that always hold you back in life. It is very important for you to increase your awareness about these aspects to be able to explore your deep-rooted beliefs. They are as following:
Blame – When you hold others responsible for your lack of success or not being able to achieve what you have always been planning to, you refuse to accept the fact that whoever you are or whatever you have become until this point, it is all because of the personal choices you made in the past. To avoid attracting and creating more problems and drama in your life, you must stop blaming others and take responsibility for all your actions.
Law of Attraction – Before you expect good results or things to happen in your life, you must first plant the seed of success. Law of attraction simply does not work if you keep thinking about achieving something; you have to engage in continuous personal development before the Universe starts fulfilling your desires.
Responsibility for Yourself VS Others – The only person you are responsible for is you. It means that you are also supposed to be in control of your emotions regardless of what others think about you or tell you that you are not worthy in some way. You are not responsible for taking responsibility of their emotions, what they think, believe or do. Even if someone insults you, it is his problem not yours and all you need to do is allow him to deal with it on his own instead of reacting violently because you are responsible for managing your own emotions.
Self Esteem VS Self Confidence – There is a big difference between self-esteem and self-confidence. Your confidence is your ability to perform a particular act in a consistent way. You can be confident in some areas of your life but not all of them and it is completely natural because that is how all the humans are in general.
However, your self-esteem is absolutely not determined by achieving external glorifications like accumulating academic laurels or securing a high status in society in terms of increasing your capacity to make more money because as a human, you are naturally worthy of being accepted and valued for who you are.
All the worldly achievements are temporary sources of enhancing our sense of self-worth because there is always someone who is better in terms of good looks, health, social status and intelligence. It is similar to accepting and valuing a new born baby who does not have any external source of validation, yet he is still adored for his charming presence.
Comparisons – Making comparisons also hold you back because it plants seeds of competition in you. You do not have to compare yourself with others and accept yourself for who you are. It is an energy draining process and has to be swept under the carpet if you are serious about setting yourself free from your mind-made prison.
Time to Question Things that Make You a Mind Prisoner
If you really want to improve yourself and avoid becoming a prisoner of your mind; you must avoid seeking external sources of validation and start exploring your inner-being. Start assessing your genuine state of being by questioning and answering the following aspects associated with your life:
- Inner Peace
Just ask yourself how you see all these aspects in your life. What is your own definition of them and how you can use them to change your self-limiting beliefs and improve the quality of your life? Identify all the challenges and limitations that may come with deep self-exploration and be dead honest with all your assessments.
Going Your Own Way
At this point, you are ready to take off as you have already identified your self-limiting and deep-rooted beliefs. As you start your journey to further explore your inner-being, you must not make haste or start big by juggling too many balls at the same time. You need to realize that this is simply not a New Year’s resolution where you always initiate the process with enthusiasm only to find yourself rolling back within the first month.
Start slowly but be consistent at what you do and try to build momentum from there on. Making progress gradually is better because if you try to start big, you will soon get overwhelmed and your chances of relapsing will be imminent. As you take the first stride, always remember that the journey of self-exploration should be based on your own personal experiences rather than relying on what and how others have been experiencing their life.
You are not responsible for what they have been experiencing as they are creating their own meaning. What you are solely responsible for is crafting your own way as you go along and learn your lessons in your own unique way.
Trust your intuition and never underestimate your capabilities. Just love the person you are because nobody can ever love you the way you do. Realize the fact that your mind is your canvas and it is entirely up to you what you decide to create out of it. If you want to establish a strong inner-connection with yourself, the following three step process can really help you:
- The first step involves increasing your self-awareness by identifying things that are presently working in your life and those that are not.
- The second step consists of discovering or rediscovering your passion; something you enjoy doing the most. You may have to go back to your childhood to identify it.
- The third step is actually about practically doing it as a way to connect with your inner-being in an intuitive way.
Where do you go from here?
Your life is like a canvas and it depends on you how you want to paint it. However, your happiness, peace and success depend on how you build your basic practices around the routines you follow and stick with them religiously. Even the most successful people in the world like Warren Buffet stick to the basics very consistently and keep improving as the results show up.
Stop taking life seriously as it is supposed to be a playful journey where you should allow yourself to experience all the moments as they unfold even if some of them involve making a complete fool out of yourself. If you want to learn more about how you can avoid becoming a prisoner of your mind, please read our blog ‘rewire the unconscious mind to live your dream life.’