While I was on my way to Cabo San Lucas last week, Tropical Storm Blanca (formerly a category 5 hurricane) was battering the peninsula just as my plane was landing. Needless to say, it proved to be quite an exciting ride!
The next morning the waves at the beach were large, at least 15 feet in height. At the resort the undertow was regularly so strong it was never advisable to swim in the ocean. And, it was especially true on that day! Regardless of the various warnings littering the beach, about mid afternoon, I spotted a single surfer attempting to take advantage of the unusually large swells.
As waves do, they relentlessly came in one right after the other. They pummeled the surfer with a brutal rhythm as he frantically paddled to get beyond the wave break so he could turn his board around and ride them in. Each time he made a little progress, another wave would come along and push him right back where he had been before. It was an exercise in futility as he quickly began to tire and lose hope in getting beyond their white foamy crests into the vast blue beyond.
Expanding my perspective, I noticed that the waves were much smaller and farther apart about 100 yards away where the beach jutted slightly into the ocean. If he simply had paddled from his location perpendicular to the big waves coming in, he might have had a chance. But, the man never took into account the context of his situation, nor all the factors impeding his success. He kept doing the same thing, over and over, expecting to power though to get what he wanted.
Quite often in life, we are so determined to have what we want that we neglect to realize how the context of our situation influences the outcome. Just as the waves kept back the surfer from his goal, our subconscious mind often holds us back without us even realizing. We expect to be able to power through the patterns of our thinking, such as scarcity mindsets, and limiting beliefs. In reality however, we can only consciously overpower our subconscious minds when we bring awareness to the thoughts holding us back, and reframe them the very moment the thoughts are “spoken” by our minds.
On the beach, a crowd gathered to watch the exhausted surfer and eventually he gave up and coasted into shore. As he looked back at the ocean, you could almost see him recognize what he could have done differently if he had been more aware of all the factors at play. But alas, it was too late to change his outcome.
With the subconscious mind, it’s never too late to change the outcome, but it does require vigilant work in the moment. The second a negative or limiting thought appears in your mind, reframe it immediately. Continue even when you think you have fixed the thought pattern — continue the positive thought process until you see your results improve.
What element in your life are you constantly attempting to improve, but keep seeing the same results? What thoughts are holding you back from the experience you desire? What’s one clue, or symbol to yourself to remember to reframe as soon as the thoughts appear?
“One of the few things you have control over is perspective. You may not have control over your situation, but you definitely have a choice in how you view it.” ― Chris Pine