In your life, who is in charge, the thinker or the thoughts?
Gaining awareness of thought is essential and foundational for changing all habits.
Society has conditioned us to believe we are our thoughts. It’s just like the saying, “I think, therefore I am.”
But, if we are our thoughts, then our thoughts control us instead of us controlling our thoughts. A scary notion, isn’t it?
Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Our prefrontal cortex was the last part of our brain to evolve. We use it for higher-level functioning such as simulating future events, taking other people’s perspectives, and understanding language.
It has proved to be an extremely effective tool, providing rational thinking and problem solving and thus putting us at the top of the food chain.
However, there’s a caveat. Few people in our society use the neocortex as the tool it’s meant to be. Most are enslaved to their habitual thought patterns and believe their thoughts to be facts.
Thoughts are NOT facts! We cannot control which thoughts we have, but we can control which thoughts we engage with. Just as our heart beats and our lungs breathe, our brain creates thoughts. It is our job to discern which thoughts will empower us to achieve goals and create the life we desire.
Many people have a handful of negative habitual thought patterns that keep them stuck in familiar cycles of self-doubt, self-sabotage, anxiety, and depression. First, we must become aware of our habitual thought patterns in order to allow conscious choice around which thoughts we engage with.
The best way to do this is to use our emotions as a guide.
Emotions are a physical reflection of thought, so if we’re experiencing a shitty feeling, then chances are we’re having a shitty thought.
When we feel a negative emotion, it’s time to check in with our thoughts:
What train of thought are we riding?
What is the likely destination of that thought train?
Are the thoughts true?
Are the thoughts helpful?
Are the thoughts kind?
If the thought is not true, helpful, or kind, then flip the coin on the situation. Look at the positives or silver linings, explore the opportunities, and practice gratitude.
Alternatively, we can ask ourselves: “What train of thought do I need to be on to reach this goal or change this habit?”
Then, we get on board and engage with that new thought.
We have the innate ability to be in control of which thoughts we engage with. In fact, it’s one of the few things we do have control over in this world. So, it’s time to get good at it!
Need help restructuring your thoughts? Let’s connect with a FREE 90—minute Jump Start Session to your healing, or explore my coaching packages here.