Why Changing Your Thinking Doesn’t Work
How many times have you heard this? “Want to change your negative patterns? Change your thinking!”
I disagree. What allows me to make this bold statement, and what is it that we need to change, instead?
The 20+ years of research behind Quanta Change® plus my own 16-year career in guiding people through this process has led me to firmly reject the “change your thinking” paradigm.
You might even have personal experience that confirms my conclusion. Think about some negative feeling you have about yourself, like “I’m not good enough,” or, “I don’t matter.” Have you tried thinking your way out of it? Has that stuck? Or, have you found yourself mired back in that miserable feeling after a day or two? (Or, like many of us, maybe just after a moment, or two?!)
Let’s look at why changing your thinking keeps failing you. Quanta Change is built on a fundamental distinction: it is the behavior of human energy, not human behavior, that generates each moment of your life. In other words, it’s not about what you think or do, it’s about how your energy behaves invisibly, in the background. (You can get a good idea of this invisible work in your life through a scientifically-validated personality test.)
How does your energy decide how to behave, then? It behaves according to how you feel about being human. Your sense of self—your unique way of feeling human—develops from conception until the age of 2 ½. After that point, it is like a battery that your brain uses to generate the moments of your life, without conscious choice or control.
Therefore, thinking merely gives you a way to cope with or control the negative feelings and situations your sense of self generates. That can be effective to a point, but it can take a lot of energy to continuously deal with what the behavior of your energy is dishing out. And eventually, the rational-level control mechanism can become overwhelmed by negative feelings, which gradually rise in intensity over time.
The Quanta Change research recognized that fundamental and lasting change would happen if you could change what was stored in your sense of self—if you could permanently peel away layers of the negative feeling you stored early in life. There are two types of feeling stored in your sense of self:
- Your natural well-being, the core essence of who you are, which is the feeling that you are all good just being yourself
- Your Learned Distress®, the feeling you absorbed early in life that there is something wrong with you being just as you are
The Quanta Change research uncovered a way to unlearn Learned Distress, so that your natural sense of well-being can expand to take its place, and begin to generate moments that feel good without you having to expend Herculean effort. The result is the Quanta Change Process, which unfolds through a repeating cycle of change that peels away layers of Learned Distress. Participants say things like, “I’ve done lots of work on myself, but I actually feel different and better now,” or, “I feel an underlying sense of peace that I’ve never felt before,” or, “I can’t believe how easily I am getting things done now. I feel like a different person.”
The research also identified a way to get a better handle on your Learned Distress, beyond the very basic feeling that there is something wrong with you. The Quanta Change Sensory Quotient® (SQ), a scientifically validated personality tool, gives you a way to find out which one of the six Learned Distress patterns you have. Your SQ will show you both the negative ways you feel about being yourself and the ways you survive with those feelings.
Are you curious to know if your pattern is the Idealist, Perfectionist, Optimist, Caregiver, Defeatist, or Dictator, and how that pattern is generating the negative situations in your life? Follow the link below to get your free SQ report and find out how changing on the feeling level can bring about the shifts you have been seeking.
Sara Avery is the Executive Director of Quanta Change, and she’s been guiding people through this process for the past 16 years. Click to get your free, personalized SQ report and to sign up for a free, 30-minute call with her to understand how your SQ generates the biggest challenge in your life.