This will be the second post in a 3-part series called the Discovery of You. Today I’m going to focus on your thoughts. Last week I talked about listening to your body in a different way.
Day in and day out, every minute, second even, we have thoughts. Coming and going, ebbing and flowing. How often do you notice the thoughts that fly through your mind? I mean really notice them. Did you notice the one that said, “I don’t want to get out of bed today”, or the one that mentioned, “how bummy it was that it was raining”. Or maybe it was the thought that said, “I can’t do this”, or “I’m not good enough”.
Why is even looking at your thoughts important?
Because it’s your thoughts that actually lead your life. You don’t take a step in any direction without some thought behind it. Here’s what I mean.
When you have a thought about something going on in your life, feelings are created because of that thought. Depending upon what feeling is created, we take action (or not) based upon it. The results we get will always relate back to and confirm the original thought.
Circumstance: I am required to do a lot of things in my job.
Thought (about circumstance): I don’t like my job.
Feeling: unmotivated, bored, stressed
Action: surf internet often at said job
Result: my boss gets on my case for things not getting done
Confirmation of thought: Grounds for not liking your job
I learned this self-coaching 101 model from an amazing coach named Brooke Castillo. It’s just one of the tools I utilize with my clients.
If you find that you aren’t feeling so good emotionally (like pissed off, frustrated, or sad) and feel kind of yuck-o, stop.
There is a reason you feel this way. There is a thought that you are thinking about a circumstance in your life. Sniff around like a doggie detective. What is happening in your life that you aren’t so thrilled with?
Did someone cut you off while driving, did your boss yell at you? These are both circumstances. Facts. They happened and are neutral. Period. It’s the thought you are having about the circumstance that needs to be looked at.
If you are mad because someone cut you off in traffic, it is because you think “that driver is a jerk”, therefore your feeling of pissed-off follows your thought, “that driver is a jerk”.
If someone cut you off and you had the thought, “maybe they didn’t see me and it happened accidentally”, then you probably would not feel pissed-off, possibly only slightly irritated, or nothing at all. See the difference?
Being a detective of your thoughts is so important because even though our mind generates them without our awareness, once we do become aware, we get to decide if that thought brings us more peace or more stress.
If you prefer the feeling of peace (and who doesn’t), then you get to choose, to decide, to pick another thought to have about whatever situation you are dealing with.
Let’s plug this back into the example and see it in action.
Same Circumstance: I am required to do a lot of things in my job.
New Thought: My job is challenging and I can do it.
Feeling: hopeful, motivated
Action: Get creative to find ways to get everything done as best as I can.
Result: I feel good about the effort I put forth and my boss gives me kudos for it too.
Confirmation of thought: Your job is challenging and you can and did do it.
What’s important here is that you plug in a thought that both feels better than the one you are currently having and is true for you as well.
Don’t make something up that doesn’t fit you. Find what works. Find what’s powerful and makes you smile when you think it.
I’ve got clients who aren’t happy in their jobs. And I would never tell them not to leave a job where they feel like their soul is being sucked out of their hearts through the top of their head, BUT, whether they decide to stay for a short while longer, or indefinitely, they always have control over how they think about their situation, therefore how they feel. Control of you is a powerful thing. You have way more than you ever imagined.
Your Turn: Do you pay attention to your thoughts? Do you believe what they tell you? Leave a comment below, or email me, email@example.com
Next week, I'll share some cool ways to find out more about your inherent strengths and inclinations.
Thank you for spending some of your time with me today. I really do appreciate it and hope you found it helpful.
As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest you can leave behind.
Susan Grace McDiarmid, Life Coach firstname.lastname@example.org 907.374.6004
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