You may be shocked if I said that you create your own reality or you may be not. But one thing is for sure – the power of our thinking is acknowledged more and more as a major influence to our quality of life.
The most familiar example would be stress. When we are stressed we think and act in a certain way, but also we see the world in a certain way. We become more aware of negative things around us, we start to worry about them and somehow “miraculously” they become a reality.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be in control of this reality? To change what we don’t like and remove the stress? What if we could?
The well-established fields of psychology and neuroscience along with new comers such as NLP and quantum physics all point that there is proof that our thoughts create the reality we experience.
Of course, each field has its own way of explaining this. From the molecular level of biology to the energy vibrations level of physics there is proof that our thoughts can materialise physically.
But perhaps a more simple and easy way to understand this is through the lens of psychology & NLP. Through this lens you can view how we create our reality in four steps:
Step 1 – Experience through our senses
We experience the world through our senses and send some of this data to our brain. Our senses are actually very limited – for example we can’t see ultraviolet light. Therefore we don’t really see everything the world has to offer (i.e. not the absolute reality, but a perceived reality).
Step 2 – Meaning making through conditioning
Out of the 400 billion bits of sensory data received every second (yes, every second!) our brains can only process 2,000 bits of data. I guess this deletion is for our own good – imagine feeling the clothes on your skin all of the time! That would drive us insane!
Apart from deleting information, we are also very good at distorting whatever information is left by categorising it into groups of data and then generalising these groups on to future experiences. For example, if we categorise someone we’ve met as “fun”, then we will assume that they are generally fun all of the time and we will act accordingly.
How we distort and generalise information depends on our conditioning – that is our upbringing, memories and personality; our beliefs, values and expectations.
Step 3 – Emotional state through thinking
After deleting, distorting and generalising we are left with thoughts and these thoughts affect the state we are in. Our emotional state affects us physically and mentally.
For example, when we are angry we can notice that as we think more and more negative thoughts about the person, object or situation that caused the anger our heart rate and breathing speeds up.
“Emotion is the fuel for action.”
Step 4 – Life outcomes through behaviour
Based on what we think and feel we act and our behaviour produces results (both good and bad). It is these results that affect our reality or, if you prefer, our current experience of life.
Now we have come full circle and can see the logic in how we create our own reality. Of course, the information here is overly simplified and there are many books from different fields that describe the process in a lot more detail.
But if there is one sentence you should take away this is the one:
Our conditioning affects our emotional state which in turn influences our behaviour and the outcome of that behaviour.