In my last post I explained the worst thing that ever happened to me. Now I’m excited to tell you about the best thing.
I discovered life coaching! That’s it! Case closed, now you know. Now go get life coached and you can have the best thing, too.
Okay, if you read my last post, it’s clear that the best thing was that I learned to take my power back. Not my power over situations or the system or anything like that, but the power over my thoughts.
It sounds so easy, but it isn’t. It’s simple, but definitely not easy.
Our thoughts present themselves to us as facts. If we were to tell someone our thoughts, we would present them as the story that’s happening to us, not the one we’re creating. They seem like facts, feel like facts. Sometimes we think them so automatically and often that they become deeply held beliefs. It’s like doing brain surgery to dig in and find what our thoughts and beliefs actually are.
I didn’t know I was thinking of myself as a failure. In my mind, I was incapable of doing anything different, because of my situation, because of my previous actions, because because because because because…
So the first step, and this is what I would consider the start of the best thing that ever happened to me, was to become aware of what exactly was happening in my brain. At first, that meant just listening in as an observer and being like “oh, interesting, that’s what my brain is telling me about that situation, or that experience.”
But then I learned how powerful it is to actually write down my thoughts. It took me a long time to do that, by the way, for two reasons. One, I thought if I wrote down what I was thinking, especially if I was mad, someone would find it and what I wrote could do damage, by hurting someone’s feelings or something. This was solved when I realized I could tear up the paper and throw it away once my thoughts were on paper. Easy.
Second, I had this belief that by writing something down, I was giving even more power to it. Like, if I wrote down that I thought I was incapable of taking care of myself, it would somehow become more true to my brain that it was before it was written on paper, and I would begin to operate out of that way of thinking even more.
See, even writing this right now reminds me of how powerful it is to write things out. Once we separate ourselves from our thoughts, and by writing them down, we’re actually physically separating them, because they’re over there on paper now and we’re over here, we gain so much clarity, then power over our thoughts.
The second step then, is realizing that our thoughts are optional. That’s where the true power comes in. Learning that we can think something else.
It sounds so trite at first, like “oh great, let me just think something else then, duh!” But don’t dismiss it just yet. It’s work to retrain your brain to think something else.
When I’m speaking with a client, at this point in the session (we usually reach this point pretty early in working together) they usually say “Okay, but HOW?!?” They want to know right away how to get to a better thought that brings them to the point that will start producing different results in their lives.
And I promise, we’ll get there, because there are simple tools you can use to retrain your brain to think different thoughts, (again, simple, not easy), but first, we really have to embrace one concept: It’s our thoughts that ultimately determine our results, not our circumstances.