Do you think about your thinking? No really. Do you ever think about the thoughts that rattle around in your mind? Thoughts about others? Thoughts about yourself? Do you ever take an honest look at what actually goes on in your mind? I bet not.
Noticing What’s In Your Mind
I always knew there was a lot of chatter in my mind; mostly stories and drama about what I looked like, what others thought about me, if I was doing it right, or if I was in trouble. But, I never gave much thought to what I was actually thinking or ever questioned or challenged any of my thoughts. Because I thought them, I believed them!
Growing up, I remember getting into trouble with my dad because I’d forget to do one of my chores around the farm or I hadn’t returned something I borrowed from him to its proper place.
For reasons unknown, my mind latched on to the thought, “I’m in trouble,” which followed me through life. No matter what circumstance I would encounter, deep in my mind was the lurking thought, “I’m in trouble.”
The thought, “I’m in trouble,” created lots of negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, doubt, and shame…which I’d try to numb with food, drugs, and alcohol.
Feeling afraid, anxious, doubtful, and ashamed caused me to avoid, withdraw, hide, play small, and not show up in my life and relationships.
Avoiding, withdrawing, hiding, playing small, and not showing up didn’t get me what I wanted in life and in my relationships. Mostly, these behaviors caused me to settle.
Understanding What’s In Your Mind
In any circumstance or situation, our mind creates thoughts. Our thoughts influences are feelings. How we feel drives our actions, even our inactions. Our actions then effect what happens in our life.
For instance, if we think the thought, “I’m successful,” we will most likely feel confident. Therefore, our actions will more than likely be assertive, assured, deliberate, intentional, and goal-oriented. Thus, we’ll get what we want, desire, and are capable of achieving.
Thinking the thought, “I’m successful,” doesn’t mean that we won’t face hardship, failure, or loss; however, our “successful” thoughts will influence how we rise up and get back on our feet again. Why? Because we think we’re successful!
If I’d have had the thought, “I’m successful,” I might have run for a class office in my high school, tried out for the college band, or pursued a different degree and career path. I might have traveled abroad long before middle age!
Perhaps I’d have stood up to people in my life and not beat myself up or judged my body so harshly. I might have set clearer boundaries, used my voice, and been more assertive in my relationships.
All because of one thought, “I’m in trouble,” that I was unconsciously and deeply attached to in my mind.
You might be inclined to blame my father for creating the thought, “I’m in trouble.” However, I urge you to not go there. Blaming will not serve you…it definitely hasn’t served me.
Owning that I created the thought and taking responsibility for changing the thought has been one of the most “successful” insights that I’ve achieved! Honestly, I’m grateful. Mostly, I’m free.
Changing What’s In Your Mind
Brooke Castillo, author of Self-Coaching 101 and Founder of The Life Coach School, teaches that, “by taking a peek into our own minds we can find the cause of all our suffering.” Once we recognize the negative, self-defeating thoughts in our mind and how they influence our feelings, actions, and results, we can decide to change them!
It might not happen immediately, but with practice, we can change any thought that doesn’t get us what we want and create what we truly desire in our lives and relationships.
Changing your thinking is not the flip of a switch. You’ve been thinking your thoughts for a very long time and like my, “I’m in trouble” thought, it takes time.
Learning how to change your thinking will also ask you to be patient, compassionate, understanding, and gentle with yourself. You’re going to want your thoughts to change overnight, and well, that’s just another negative thought that you’re thinking in your mind.
If you think the thought, “Why can’t I change this thought now?” You’ll most likely feel frustrated, impatient, annoyed, and agitated. Those feelings will influence how you act, which will most likely sabotage the very thinking that you’re trying to change.
“…we block our joy with outdated and untruthful thoughts and beliefs.”
~Brooke Castillo, Self-Coaching, 101
Creating what you want in your life begins with identifying the thoughts that you think in certain circumstances, understanding how thinking these thoughts makes you feel, discovering how you feel drives your actions, then seeing how your actions influence what happens in your life and relationships.
Remember, it’s all in your mind.
Sending you inspiration,