I keep saying that the key to your freedom from overwhelm is less in changing your circumstances than in creating new thoughts.
Every sustainable change in your life is linked to choosing thoughts that serve you and move you towards the change you desire.
You are allowed to choose your thoughts concerning your circumstance. Actually, that is great news: you aren’t stuck with life as it is. You can decide on the story you tell yourself about your day-to-day life.
And you all answer by asking me a question: How the heck do we do that?
So here is Creating New Thoughts 101:
The basic process is as follows
- Become aware of your thoughts,
- Clean them up if necessary,
- Create new ones, and
- Practice them.
As Human Beings, we have the amazing ability to use our minds to change our brains!
Thoughts are Structures in our Brain
After we think a thought for a while, it starts to become automatic and we are no longer aware that we are thinking that thought anymore. It occupies mental real estate in our brain.
If our goal is to replace a thought that works against us with one that is a benefit to us, we need to first recognize it and let it go. If we created that thought, we can get rid of it.
Then, we need to begin creating a new brain structure that will in time become automatic.
We human beings are amazing neuro-plasticians.
Grab a piece of paper and let’s get very practical!
Step 1: What thought do you need to replace?
First, write down ONE thought that you think a lot that is not helping your life:
Example: “My recovery from this knee surgery is taking way too long.,”
Step 2: Why do you think you need to replace that thought?
Think through the reason this thought is harmful to you. What kind of results is it bringing about?
Example: “This thought is fueling feelings of discouragement and I the more I think it, the more want to give up.”
Step 3: What new results do you want?
What results would you rather have instead of your present ones?
Example: “I want my knee to get to the place where it’s better than it ever was!”
Step 4: What kind of feeling would fuel this new result you want?
Next, identify and write down the ONE feeling that would fuel the result you want:
Example: Commitment, Hope, Focus, etc.
Step 5: Brainstorm thoughts that would fuel that feeling.
Your feelings come about because of thoughts that you are entertaining. You feel happy because you think someone loves you. Give yourself two minutes and write down all the thoughts that come to your mind.
Example: “I am right where I need to be.” “I only need to keep going every day.” “My future is worth the work.” “I can do this one day at a time.”
Step 6: Pick One
Out of all these thoughts, which one rings the “truest”? Which one could you begin to practice?
Make sure this is a thought that you know to be true and that you can commit 100 % to believe it.
Step 7: Practice your new thought!
Next, tell your mind to think it on purpose.
There are many ways to think on purpose and we will explore them next Monday.
For now, tell us in the comments how this exercise has helped you. And as always, if this was useful to you, please share the love!