Every single day, over 60,000 thoughts run through our minds. Most of these thoughts are habitual, unconscious thoughts that we never really knew we were picking up and that we would never choose to think if given the choice today. Most of these thoughts are lies. The amazing part about having brains is that we CAN choose which thoughts we want to think, but we’re not really taught how to cultivate intentional thoughts growing up so oftentimes this work starts later in life—like right now. Many of the thoughts that we habitually think are more destructive than supportive…some examples of destructive thoughts are thoughts like “I should lose some weight“, “money doesn’t grow on trees“, “there’s not enough time in the day“, “my hard work always goes unnoticed“, “it’s always something“, “nice guys finish last“, “I just have bad luck“, “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings“, “my parents should be more supportive“, or my personal favorite, “men are trash“. Lies in logic’s clothing.
The best part about coaching my clients is watching them realize what’s possible for them once they realize that they can decide what thoughts to think on purpose. I help them choose supportive, empowering, beautiful thoughts that drive them into desired action to achieve results they want to create in their lives, rather than living at the effect of all of the discouraging, destructive thoughts they never knew they were thinking. Taking myself through this process blew my whole life up in the MOST amazing ways, so from where I’m sitting, there’s nothing better than helping other people do the same.
The tough part about this thought work is that many of our most negative thoughts—the lies we tell ourselves day in & day out without realizing it—masquerade as facts. We’re so used to thinking and believing these lies that we’re often extremely resistant to even considering that there might be another thought available to us that is much less inhibitive to our desired outcomes in life than the crummy thought we’ve been thinking all along.
The thoughts mentioned above, those really sad, woe-is-me thoughts, are all rooted in indulgent emotions like worry, self-pity, shame, resentment, inadequacy, and disappointment. I’m labeling these emotions “indulgent“ because they don’t lead to any productive action; they lead only to more indulgence in negativity. Most of these thoughts are lies, but even the ones with some grain of truth to them don’t serve us at all when we think them, so we might as well choose a better feeling thought to focus on. Some people think “well, no, if I feel shame about my body then I’ll actually change my eating habits and go to the gym and do something about it“, but the actions of eating healthier and going to the gym are in fact driven by a different emotion like motivation or commitment or determination. Shame produces actions like hiding, spinning in more shameful thoughts, and avoiding feeling the actual emotion of shame with distracting activities like eating or watching Netflix or shopping.
The key to changing our lives is changing our actions, and the key to changing our actions is changing the thoughts and feelings we have that drive those actions. The most productive thing you can do today is to take a look at your most prevalent thoughts, examine what actions they drive you to take, and decide if they’re serving you or not. You never have to believe the negative lies you’ve been thinking simply because they’ve been around for years. The number of years you’ve been thinking a thought has no correlation to its validity or truth. You get to decide what to think and believe, and you can always choose thoughts that build you up rather than break you down. It’s cliche, but it is EVERYTHING. Take it from someone who completely changed her life by changing her thoughts.
What results do you want to create in your life? What thoughts can you start thinking more of that would support you in creating those results? And which negative thoughts do you want to release?