Many of us know that it’s important to pay attention to the thoughts we think daily, but do you actually know why that is?
I’ll tell you why: it’s because our brains see all thoughts as neutral, and this can be problematic.
No matter what the thought might be, your brain simply sees it as a thought, and will begin to practice thinking it.
Your brain can’t discern the difference between a thought that is encouraging, calming, supportive, and conducive to you achieving your goals and a thought that is discouraging, destructive, distressing, or antithetical to your goals and desires.
Why does this matter?
Most of us have been thinking thoughts by default for our entire lives, unaware of the effect those thoughts had on our lives, and unaware that these thoughts were simply thoughts and not some supreme truth.
Thoughts like “I’ve never really been the pretty one“, “I’m just not great at math“, “I don’t think it’s likely that I’ll find someone I could be with forever“, “I should be realistic“ are thoughts we’ve been rehearsing over and over and over again because we picked them up somewhere along the way, believing them to be true, and just never thought to question that they might not have any more credence than we ourselves have given them by thinking them so much.
Since one of our brain’s main objectives is to be as efficient as possible, it will keep thinking the thoughts that we’ve been practicing the longest & are therefore the easiest to think. It’s no sweat. It’s like you having to choose between a night at home with your Netflix & some ice cream or going to an awesome party that’s all the way across town and full of people you don’t yet know. You’re most likely to default to staying at home simply because that’s what you’re most accustomed to, even though the party might be the best night of your whole life.
Your brain is just trying to be efficient and keep you “safe”.
The truth is, there are most likely lots of thoughts you’re currently thinking out of habit that are producing unwanted results in your life, and there are lots of thoughts you could be choosing to think instead that would produce way more amazing results in your life.
Since our brain doesn’t have a built-in filtration system that keeps the degrading thoughts out and invites the self-affirming thoughts in, we have to decide to take on this task ourselves.
You need to be the gatekeeper of the thoughts you deliberately and intentionally choose to think. No one else can do that job for you—not even your own brain.
Congratulations on your new job as your brain’s Brita filter. Get to work—you’ll be glad you did.