di·lu·tion (dī-lo͞o′shən, dĭ-)
- The process of making weaker or less concentrated.
The other day I was buying dog shampoo and noticed the ones I liked best were concentrated. They suggested a dilution ratio of 3: 1. Three parts water to one part solution.
This got me to thinking about thoughts. Thinking a thought has a way of making you believe you have a truth.
We love our thoughts.
We love our “truths.”
But the truth is, any thought we think often enough becomes our Belief, whether it’s true or not. Thinking makes it SO—or SO it seems.
Then our thoughts become Our Belief Systems. Our B.S.
We love our rightness–almost at any cost. Have you ever held a thought so strongly that it was caustic and overpowering?
Think limiting beliefs.
One experience can make something SO. I remember being in grad school, nervous and overwhelmed thinking I was the stupidest person in the group. I was so sure of this that when the Dean called me to his office I was certain I was being expelled. What happened? He offered me a teaching position because he was so “impressed” with the work I was doing and asked me to edit my fellow’s Master’s theses.
Limiting beliefs come in all kinds of flavors just fill in the blank to:
I’m not _________________ enough.
What is one antidote? Dilution
The Losada Line or Losada Ratio, named after psyshoclogist Marcial Losada, is based on the ratio of positive to negative feedback. Simply said, it’s a ratio of 3:1 positive comments for every negative one.
(Scientific number geeks can find more at http://happierhuman.com/losada-ratio/)
This is just good common sense; however, common sense isn’t always common practice.
How do you dilute thoughts you believe to be true but don’t want to believe?
Trying to believe the polar opposite of something you strongly believe is rarely helpful, because your brain is screaming
“No I am not. No I can’t. No, I won’t”
But what if you simply diluted your negative thoughts by watering down the intensity of your language?
Diluting “not, can’t or won’t” to – “WILLING.”
I worked with a girl who staunchly claimed, “I am not confident. I am not assertive.” She cemented this identity image as if it were a fixed state as true and impermeable as the law of gravity or concrete.
When she was able to say, “I am willing to be confident” and then find 3 examples of areas where she was confident, it was enough to loosen her model of the world and begin to shift her into new beliefs. More of her real self emerged. She grew and expanded.
Dilution is as simple as 3:1. Are you willing to practice?
Make Believe~Make Belief Affirmation: I’m willing to dilute my negative thoughts with three positive ones.