If you want to think new thoughts, you have to know what you are already thinking. Your brain wants to think things that it has always thought. For example, try brushing your teeth with your left hand. It is hard, because it is something that your brain is not used to doing.
You also want to be able to distinguish between thoughts that are actually true and thoughts that have just been burned into your memory. I think about my friend Dr. Cali Estes. Her dad always called her fat as a kid. A lot of people would have eternalized this and chose to think that they were fat. Cali didn’t do that. It is awesome when we can be told something our entire life and then consciously choose to think a different thought. Everything that you think is a choice.
To start you have to identify thoughts that you are thinking now. You really have to pay attention to this for it to work. There are probably several negative thoughts that you are thinking that you do not even know you are thinking! Now is the time for that to stop.
Affirmations are a great way to start training yourself intentionally. This is where I started. I started by writing down things I was committed to. For example, I am committed to working out 5 days a week. That was a positive thought that kept me on track with my thinking and my goals.
Podcasts – Murder show? Or self development show? These two very different categories are going to change the way you think. If you are listening to murder shows you are going to be looking over your shoulder and thinking about people dying all the time. If you are listening to self development shows you are going to be filled with positivity that is going to make you a better person. What you are listening to is altering the way you think.
Music how do you feel after you listen to Lizzo compared to a ballad by Adele? Both are fantastic, but make you feel much different. Think about it? Are you putting music in your head that is creating a better person? Is it making you feel happy and energetic? Or are you listening to something super sad and wallowing in your sadness?
Shows – I swear This is Us makes me a better person. After I watch it I just want to love more. I relax when I watch it and it is so good that I just want to be good too! Here is another example on the other end.. There is a show called Snapped that I watched one day. I don’t know why, but I did. There was a lady on there that had some kind of psychotic episode and shot her 3 year old son in the head and then when her other son ran away she chased him down and shot him in the head. I thought about this for weeks. Why in the world would we watch things like this and fill our minds with trash that does not serve us? It was the only time I ever watched that show. Pay attention to what you are watching.
People around you have a huge influence on what you think. I used to work at a job where there were a lot of awesome people. But there 2 people there that literally complained about everything and they liked me so they always sat by me at lunch and meetings. Avoiding them was almost impossible. Their lives sucked and they did not want to have good lives. They just wanted to talk about how much they hated everything. Eventually, they started bringing me down to the point where I had to hide from them just so I didn’t get the negativity on me. It is okay to choose who you are around, in face, I suggest it.
So let’s get back to the thoughts we think.
Here are some thoughts that you might be thinking..
I can’t afford that.
That is hard.
I will never be that thin.
Work is hard.
You have to work a lot to be rich.
I don’t have enough time.
I can’t focus.
I am a hot mess.
If I eat that I will get fat.
She is prettier than me.
The list could literally go on and on. From now on I want you to recognize your thoughts. And see if you can change them.. Here are some examples..
I can’t afford that. – I am choosing not to spend my money on that right now.
That is hard. – With the right skills and effort I can do that.
I will never be that thin. – It is possible that if I worked at it I could be that thin.
Work is hard. – Work is easy.
You have to work a lot to be rich. – Being rich has little to do with how hard I work.
I don’t have enough time.- I have plenty of time.
I can’t focus. – I am choosing not to focus.
I am a hot mess. – I’m learning from my mistakes.
If I eat that I will get fat. – Eating one thing does not make me fat.
She is prettier than me. – I am beautiful.
One of my favorite people is Brooke Castillo. I have learned so much about coaching from her. She is golden and super successful. She talks about the thoughts that she chooses to believe every single day. She has a podcast, The Life Coach School Podcast. It is for everyone. It is sooooo gooooood. I listen to it all the time.
Here are the 10 thoughts that she chooses to think.
- You are 100% lovable.
- A great life is determined by the amazing goals you commit to, not necessarily achieve.
- Money is awesome.
- The discomfort of growth is always better than the discomfort of stagnation.
- Adults are allowed to behave how they want.
- Your spouse’s only job is to be there for you to love.
- You create your experience, it doesn’t happen to you.
- Nothing is too good to be true.
- The future is always better than the past.
- The worst that can happen is a feeling.
She talks about Thoughts to Believe in her podcast here. If you are driving or working out, you should listen to her podcast. It is great! I even had the opportunity to join her coaching membership that inspired me to start Transition YOUniversity.
I hope this helps you in changing your thinking. It is important. The more positive you are the more positive people you are going to attract into your life.
Get started today thinking the thoughts that you chose to think!
JoBeth Evans has five years of experience teaching high school, and has been teaching public speaking at the University of Arkansas for five years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and a master’s degree from Arkansas Tech University. She is a nationally certified life coach with a total of three different coaching-related certificates. In her work as a life coach, she helps teen girls make the transition from high school to college. In addition, JoBeth is a speaker and writer who works to equip young women for the major life transition of entering college. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.