By guest author Dr. Sean SullivanHow do you build your life?
You wake up, you eat breakfast, follow several hygiene rituals and then you start your day. You go to work or study; you take care of your kids or work on a passion project; you go from one project to the next one all day long. Are you making steps to build the life YOU desire every minute of your day?
Surprising as it may seem, each action during the day (regardless of how big or small it is) shapes your future and your life story. Every day we live according to our “Internal Blueprint”. That’s the term I’ve come to use to discuss the story we each maintain to account for our lives. Our Internal Blueprint is also a way of imagining what we would like to see our lives become.
As a psychologist, I learn all about each of my patient’s unique “Internal Blueprint.” I spend hours with patients unraveling how particular aspects of an Internal Blueprint came to guide their lives. When I’m writing, I often focus on how you can come to know your Internal Blueprint on your own.
I’ve discovered that it comes as a surprise to a lot of people that you actually can listen in on, and learn to “see,” your thoughts. These are powerful tools that psychologists have been learning to harness for a long time now. We’ve discovered that mastering these types of skills gives you a lot more influence over your experience of life.
For example, when you learn to hear and see your thoughts, you come to see that many of your thoughts repeat over and over–often on autopilot. Observing your patterns of thoughts over a period of time begins to reveal the outlines of your Internal Blueprint.
Learn to hear your Inner Dialogue
A first step to observing your thoughts is recognizing that you maintain an ongoing “inner dialogue.” Yep, we all talk to ourselves pretty much non-stop. We jump from one topic to another and back again, often without even noticing.
Regardless of whether you notice, your internal dialogue chugs along all day, every day. Then, instead of taking a break when you go to sleep, your inner conversation chugs along right through much of the night.
It’s just the way our brains operate.
Because your thoughts occur while you are awake and while you are asleep, I like to call our daytime inner dialogue our “Waking Dreams.” I like that name because it captures the idea that you can in fact come to “hear” and “see” your inner dialogue, just as you naturally can hear and see your sleeping dreams.
Once you learn a few techniques, and then practice them, most people I work with are able to hear and see their inner dialogue unfolding. When you do so for a while you’ll begin to see the outlines of your Internal Blueprint. Once you can do that it becomes a whole lot easier to shape your Internal Blueprint in ways you consciously desire.
How to use your Internal Blueprint
Think of your Internal Blueprint as being like a sketch of your life’s master plan. Each of our life plans is girded by a whole bunch of rules of living that we’ve stitched together over the course of our lives. Your rules are important because they exert real influence on the way you experience your life.
So, knowing your rules can often reveal the root of a frustration, or the reason for a particular emotion you may be feeling in any given moment. Once you can hear and see your inner dialogue, and so come to learn some of the major rules that you live by, you can often trace a current problem back to the rule that produced the problem in the first place.
By seeing your own rules, you’ll come to see that depending on the situation you are confronted with a particular rule may either increase the frustration in your inner world or soothe your inner experience. All that is just a way of describing why knowing the foundational rules of your own Internal Blueprint is extremely helpful if you want to address thought patterns, or cycles of your internal dialogue, that disturb you.
Even better, once you know how to access your Internal Blueprint you can begin to create your life with far increased precision and intention.
It takes some time and practice to master your inner world. Change doesn’t happen overnight. But particularly right now, the world needs us all to be accessing the best of ourselves. I truly believe that if we can all get a bit better at knowing ourselves, and then learn how to make the internal changes we aspire to live by, the results will be extraordinary.
Start seeing and hearing your Inner World
In support of this wish, I recorded an 11-minute exercise to give you an example of how you can learn to listen in on your own inner dialogue. It’s a great starting place for getting actual experience in hearing and seeing your inner world. Repeating this exercise each day for a couple weeks is a good way to begin to see your Waking Dreams and the outlines of your Internal Blueprint.
Regardless of the challenges you face, you can create the life of your dreams. Simply click on the audio file below and follow along…
(to save the file on your computer please right-click on the link above and choose “save link as”.)
Dr. Sean Sullivan is a San Francisco Therapist and performance psychologist who teaches how to clearly see the details of your “inner world” by creating your own Mind Map. He is the creator of The Mind Master’s Guided Journey, a 21-day online course that details step-by-step how to create a precise personal map of your “inner world” to follow to becoming an expert creating at whatever “outer life” you choose. “Once you can actually hear and see your “inner world” with clarity, you can’t help but to create and follow your own map that will lead you to the “outer life” you choose to live.” – Dr. Sean Sullivan
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