Paradigm, self-image, and the map of reality! How do we do these things? This is where we left off the previous episode.

“Realizing that our actions, feelings, and behavior are the result of our own images and beliefs gives us the level that psychology has always needed for changing personality.”

– Maxwell Maltz

We have started the process of being us ever since were very little, completely unaware of what we were really doing. We have created and organized a paradigm, or a map of reality in a way that gave us the greatest amount of safety, both physical and emotional, while we grew up.

What is a paradigm, though?

A paradigm is just a set of habits and rules. A bunch of ideas, we collect from our environment and form with them a map of reality. So, our paradigm is our map of reality. It is like our main app, our main operational system. We can call it: the old life program.

We have created this program, which is our current way of thinking and acting, our way of perceiving other people, the world, and ourselves in the exact way we needed to create it, so we feel safe during our childhood. If our environment was less than safe, from an emotional and physical perspective, our paradigm, most likely, even today, automatically creates many results we don’t like.

So, you can understand it was impossible for you to believe something your parents, or caregivers, and all sorts of authority figures didn’t want you to believe as you grew up. Why?

That would not have been safe for you.

And, if our caregivers were narrow-minded, fearful, or have had unconscious unexamined emotional issues themselves, it is not safe for us, as kids,  to believe something they don’t want us to believe while growing up among them.

Thus, we unconsciously and automatically create the paradigm, our own map of reality, in a way that conforms with what our caregivers want us to believe. Obviously, and, I hope you remember the good old brain, it doesn’t feel safe for us to create it any other way.

Therefore, we start to filter our reality, by deleting, distorting and generalizing everything, so whatever is left, is aligned with our caregiver’s (and our familiar environment) beliefs, because this is the only way we can feel safe to grow.

We all do this!

The challenge is, we have been doing it on automatic, unaware of what we are doing! We didn’t even know we were creating a life program, a paradigm, but, we did it, anyway. It kept us reasonably safe during childhood. It may have worked well inside our family environment, school, etc. However, once we have left that familiar environment, it started to create various challenging situations for us.

Why?

Because the rest of the world is not like our family and our familiar environment!

The useful strategies we may have created while growing up, today, are creating problems outside and inside our familiar environment. They don’t serve us any longer even though, not being aware of this entire process, we insist with using the same old life program.

Thus, we may spiral in negative emotional experiences. Even today.

And, there’s more!

We associate the paradigm, which is our current way of thinking and acting, with safety. Remember that old brain, huh? So, as grown-ups, we consciously want to change, but, deep inside us, we may not feel safe to do it. That is why most people, myself included a while ago, don’t change.

It’s the self-image, contained by our paradigm, created long ago, that will bring you back to fat, or broke, or homeless, or mad, or angry, or left behind, or whatever. You may not even know how your self-image got there, or what generated it, that’s how old it is. It is ferocious. It will bring you back to match its image no matter what you do.

That self-image is YOU, today!

Maybe using all your bits of intelligence and innate genius just to mess your vision up, and not even knowing you are doing it.

This is called self-sabotage.

It is happening, even if we don’t consciously notice it, while we are focusing our attention:

  • On what we don’t want.
  • Or, on what we are worried about.
  • On what we are afraid of.
  • Or, on what we want to avoid.

It’s all the same thing, really we match our current self-image.

And, now, the excellent news!

Focusing our attention means thinking. Thinking means what we perceive to be real for us. Thus, whatever appears to be real for us, it is so because we believe it. It is, after all, what we perceive after we have filtered out what we have originally received. Therefore, whatever is left matches our old life program: our current paradigm. Meaning, the reality we perceive.

Now, when we begin to wonder and start to pay attention, we realize that we can perceive only that which we focus upon. Meaning what we are thinking about. That means that we literally create whatever happens to us, by focusing our physical mind, therefore our perception in certain ways.

Whatever happens to us, comes from us.

Life is not just happening!

Even though that may be how it feels sometimes.

“Life happens just!”

Jim Rohn, one of my many teachers said it once. As we already saw, the truth is that we are doing many things within us, mostly being unaware of what we are doing, that generates the results we’re getting in our day-to-day life. When we see how we’re doing it, we begin to see other options that we didn’t notice before!

Here is how you do it:

You’re receiving a constant stream of sensory stimuli. This is how you get your vision from your higher mind. You filter it. With what’s left, you make a constant stream of internal representations. These are your thoughts. They could be internal pictures, internal sounds, internal dialog, and so on.

Therefore, your thoughts occur one after another, all day long, in sequences called thinking strategies.

For your entire life.

So, you are thinking in all the six thinking modalities we have discussed at the end of the previous chapter. The thinking modalities generate three important aspects of your life:

  1. Your emotions and your internal states, meaning how you feel.
  2. All your behavior, meaning how you act.
  3. The people and the situations you feel attracted to, or attract into your life. That’s it.

Let’s look deeper into each of these 3 aspects:

1. Your emotions and your internal states

Your thinking modalities, which simply said are your thoughts, generate your emotions and all your other internal states. For example:

  • motivation,
  • satisfaction,
  • curiosity,
  • happiness,
  • sadness,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • confusion,
  • clarity,
  • excitement,
  • fear,
  • and any other emotions and internal states.

All these are directly generated by the internal representations you make. In other words:

By thinking in all the six thinking modalities.

When you begin to wonder about yourself and start to pay attention to what you are thinking, saying, doing, to the stuff that you have and to the circumstances you often find yourself in, in other words, your results, you will find out that everything is in perfect alignment with the internal representations you make about everything, first.

Let’s say you discover what internal representations lead to anxiety. When you find out how you are creating anxiety, and you don’t want it, you will decide not to do it anymore. In other words, you decide not to make those internal representations any more. To do this you have to be aware of the internal representations you make. Once it becomes a conscious process, it becomes a conscious intention.

Therefore, a choice.

Let’s say you discover what internal representations lead to feeling happy. Obviously, if you like being happy like I do, you will make more of them.

Like I do.

Being aware of how you “do” happiness, it becomes a choice, and you can do more of it. Once your thinking modalities become conscious intentional processes, rather than just happening automatically, you can literally do anything you truly want to do. Literally!

As you can see we are not mentioning any circumstances in here because they are not relevant. Circumstances don’t matter.

“Only your state of Spirit matters!”

sais Bashar, channeled by Darryl Anka. That is, what you do inside by the thinking-feeling game, becomes materialized as your day to day circumstances and results.

2. Your Behaviour

The second thing our internal representations generate is our behavior. Again, internal representations mean thoughts.

While we are acting, or decide not to take any action, we have preceded our actions, or the decision of not acting, by certain thoughts. Or, internal representations.

Each time we get motivated to act, it’s because we have made certain internal representations, which are certain thoughts, inside our physical mind. That has created our motivation to act, and then to act. If we are postponing our actions for later times, which is called procrastination, we are doing it because of the internal representations (the thoughts) we make.

Anything we decide to do or don’t do, our entire daily act is generated by the internal representations we are making. The sates we are in, all our emotions, and all our behaviors, spring from all the internal representations (all the thoughts) we make.

3. The people and the situations you feel attracted to, or attract into your life

The third aspect of our life generated by the internal representations  (the thoughts we make) are all the people and all the circumstances we feel attracted to or attract into our life. All the people we choose to befriend, to become involved with in some way or another are selected by us as a result of the way we think.

You are thinking, right now!

Right now, in this very instant, you are making internal representations. Right now you have certain feelings. You already have certain types of behaviors, resourceful or not. You do have certain friends and acquaintances, and, you put yourself in certain situations every day, pleasant or not.

All this is generated automatically…

… by how you perceive reality.

Becoming aware of how you think, you generate resourceful internal states. Thus, you generate resourceful emotions, with which you generate resourceful behaviors. Finally, you expand your own version (map) of reality. Therefore, your perception.

So, while being consciously aware of your thinking, you’ll have the right attitude toward the people and the situations who are, then, aligned with your new understanding. You will attract and feel attracted to what you chose consciously and intentionally. No more automatic unconscious, unexamined internal representations, which were leading you to dis-empowering emotions and internal states.

In other words, no more toxic-negative people around you. No more perplexed or unpleasant circumstances, since being consciously aware of your internal representations and processes, you don’t attract them anymore. Also, you don’t feel attracted to this kind of stuff anymore. You can do only what you are intentionally and consciously interested in.

I’ve demonstrated to you as It was demonstrated to me a while ago:

You truly have the power over yourself.

The secret, the true power, as I have said a few times, is in mastering the mechanics of your internal unseen processes. Study, repeat the paragraphs you love; practice makes permanent.

Right now, reading these words, with the thinking-feeling game intentionally and deliberately played every day, you will alter your self-image. You will shift your paradigm. You will redraw your map of reality.

Right now, you are overwriting your old life program.

Make sense?

In the coming episode, we’ll go deeper into the most important, the true fundament of human life: Beliefs!

Until then, be well.

You can find all the episodes of the “Think Zing!” series hosted at The Zingnificent Show.

Sandi Dragoi

Informal Educator, Author of "Think Zing! How to be YOU!", "Transformation Inside-Out" online course, and other self-awareness courses and books. The Host of The Zingnificent Show, Speaker & Personal Instructor. Above everything, Dad, in Love! ❤️

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