Once you’ve started looking at your thoughts, and how they influence your life… what then?
Then the fun starts.
The point is not just to look at the thought but to figure out why and how it is there. What belief is feeding in to this thought? How could it be holding you back: from being happy, achieving what you want, fulfilling your true potential, even following your dreams!
As kids we absorb so much information, from adults, from peers, from society. But now, we get to paint our own picture. Yippee!
These thoughts can be based on ideas of duty: I can’t get divorced, I must be a good friend, the Gucci bag needs me!
Or beliefs on what will make you happy: more money, a bigger house, a man, a woman, that job.
Or beliefs about who you are: I’m not clever, I’m not manager material, I’m not a hippy (ahem), it’s not me.
Or about what you’re capable of: I can’t pull it off, I mustn’t show off, I don’t deserve it.
Or your fears: I’m comfortable here thanks, what will people think? What if…?
Once you can identify whatever it is feeding your restrictive thought, you can start to learn some really interesting things about yourself. I am regularly amazed when I step back from my thoughts and go “Wow! I did not know that about myself!”
Identifying the restricting thought, gives you power. Power to change it. Halleluiah!
Literally re-think it.
For me, one of the things that has held me back in life is not having faith in my work.
It means noticing, when I’m having a sub-standard thought:
Aaaarggh my work will never get noticed
And replacing it with a better one:
My work is valued, appreciated, celebrated.
(NB: not a plea for appreciation, just how I used to undervalue creative work).
Another example, I regularly used to think:
I’m not a good Mum
Which is absolute tosh.
I’m a great Mum!
I was holding myself up to some impossible standards.
Perhaps this gives you an idea of how damaging these thoughts can be to the intended outcome. Since I’ve put some effort in to changing mine, I’ve won a couple of awards for my work, been given some amazing opportunities, and I’m not afraid to share what I create any more. And I’m an imperfect, mostly happier Mum.
Enough about me; what about you? See if you can notice a shoddy thought today. How does it feel to flip it?