I’m always trying to find ways to improve myself. Growth is the ultimate gratification because you feel pleasure knowing you’re making progress. Well, I know I do! A lot of the growth I’ve experienced throughout the years has to do with trying different, positive things that I know will make a good change in my life. Just being able to read, learn, and apply them has done wonders for me because I can truly say I’m happier than I was a few years ago.
Living with bipolar disorder opened my eyes because a mental illness is no laughing matter, and it can stop you dead in your tracks. You have to consciously make changes in your life if you’re going to beat bipolar disorder successfully. It’s hard to manage it because it’s so easy for this disorder to take control of you. I had to learn this the hard way because for several years my mind kept playing games on me, forcing me to think that no one liked me, and that I was no good, and lesser than everyone else.
In April of 2014, I download Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins on iTunes. Before this, I never really read books on self-improvement, emotional and mental control. This book changed my life because it challenged me to think differently—to view ordinary situations differently. It also challenged me to take the 10-Day Mental Diet Challenge. Tony Robbins proposes the 10-day challenge based on something that he had learned in a pamphlet by Emmet Fox, based on the 7-Day Mental Diet.
I’m asking you to make the same commitment I made in 2014, and take the 10-DAY MENTAL DIET CHALLENGE.
For the next 10 days, starting immediately, you’re committing to taking full control of all your mental and emotional faculties. By making this decision right now, you will not indulge in or dwell on any non-resourceful thoughts or emotions for 10 consecutive days.
If this is your first time, then start off slow with 3 days, however, know that you’ve only completed this challenge when you’ve done the full 10 days. If you’re starting with 3 days, it’s important to build your way up to 10 days. 🙂
The Main Idea
Never spend more than 10% of your time on the problem; spend at least 90% of your time on the solution.
Many of you will read this and say “It sounds easy” right? I said the same thing, but was surprised at how often my mind was consumed with negative, unproductive, fearful, and/or destructive thoughts.
By taking this challenge, you are trying to discipline your mind to always stay positive and avoid bringing yourself down. For example, when I started with the 10-Day Mental Challenge, I learned a lot about the way I think and how it was holding me back. I would dwell for hours on a problem which caused me a lot of stress, anxiety, sadness. And, further down the line, this led to a depressive state. The less you think about a problem, the more you’ll take positive steps to come up with a solution for it. Any type of progress forward is good for you because it’s motivation and makes you feel good about yourself.
After completing the 10-Day Mental Diet Challenge, I learned how my destructive thinking was leading to a lot of other negative things in my life. My negative thinking was affecting my relationships with friends, family, and even my work. I was self-destructing and I didn’t even know because I didn’t take a step back when it was happening. This challenge allowed me to catch myself, and come up with a solution right away. It changed my life, and hopefully it will do the same for you.
So to get started, you need to follow these four simple rules –
Rule #1– It’s important for the next 10 days straight you refuse to dwell on any destructive, non-resourceful, and negative thoughts or feelings. You need to avoid disempowering or devitalizing vocabulary or metaphors. In a nutshell, anything that is negative or makes you feel bad about yourself.
Rule#2 – This is very valuable so please pay close attention –
Every time you start to focus on negative thoughts, and from my experience this will happen a lot when you’re first trying the challenge, you have to catch and snap yourself out of it. Immediately change your thinking to a positive state by asking the following questions to yourself:
- “What’s great about this?”
- “What else could this mean?
- “How can this thinking help me going forward?
Any negative thoughts entering your mind, you can switch them around to more positive ones. For example, if you catch yourself thinking “I’m weak,” then replace them with “I’m awesome” or “let me use this weakness and turn it into a strength.” These alternatives will push you into a positive direction.
Here are more powerful techniques you can use to master your emotions.
Rule#3 – For the next 10 consecutive days, your focus is on finding a solution as soon as you start thinking negative. it’s a must; you need to snap out of your negative thinking and focus on a solution within one minute. You CANNOT dwell on a negative thought for longer than one minute. It’s normal to have negative thoughts so don’t be hard on yourself, but your mission is to stop this thinking pattern within 60 seconds (one minute).
Rule#4 – If your negative thinking continues for more than one minute, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to start your 10 consecutive days all over again. Remember, the challenge is no negative thoughts for more than a minute for 10 straight days. This starting-over process must happen no matter how many days in a row you’ve already accomplished.
Here’s why this process is so important, and what completing the 10-Day Mental Diet Challenge successfully will do for you.
1) It will make you extremely or intensely aware of all the mental habits holding you back. You’ll consciously become aware of what thought patterns continuously enter your mind. This challenge will help you catch them, and recognize what your mental roadblocks are.
2) It will force you to come up with positive reinforcements each time a negative thought enters your mind. You’re not in the habit of doing this now, but after the challenge you will be.
3) You will gain enormous confidence because you’ve completed a tough challenge. It will give you the strength to conquer other tough challenges that come your way.
4) Most importantly, you’ll create new habits, new higher standards, and build new expectations that help you expand more than you could ever imagine.
Homework for The Next Two Days
This challenge should only be started when you are ready to commit to it. It requires you to understand yourself and what changes you want to achieve in your life. Take the next two days to create a list of the positive and negative things in your life and review them. This list will force you to see what’s holding you back right now. Thinking about them won’t provide the same value as seeing them written on a piece of paper. In fact, read this study on how writing things down on paper help you see and understand patterns better.
You need to be ready to commit before starting. I recommend starting with a 3-day challenge, then moving your way up to the 10-day challenge. But, you must complete the full 10 days for this to be a success :).
It’s been a while since I’ve done the challenge. Leave a comment if you’re ready to get started, and we’ll do it together.