Our brains communicate messages relentlessly. This might be a sweet feature if that communication was delivered in the manner of a trusted adviser – one caring for your well-being and committed to seeing you fulfilled, purposeful and happy.
However, unless things are different in your head than mine, that’s often not the way it works.
Instead, our mind largely (and I mean largely) communicates information that is unhelpful. It finds fault, interprets situations to our detriment, minimizes our chances, and delivers one abiding theme – “you’re not enough and you better get out now!”
Here’s the real kicker – it’s all false. That’s right, we lie to ourselves.
For many this internal hammering leads to refuge in comfort – How I Met Your Mother, Ben & Jerry’s and Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck. Ahh… the voices are quiet.
A growing and dynamic life? No.
A better strategy is to challenge your thinking. The time has come to show that mind of yours there’s a new sheriff in town.
Here’s the skinny – your thoughts only become destructive when you act on (or act in) on them. Then they’ve won and you’ve waved the white flag.
However if you resist the pull to abandon the mission (inspired plans, goals, your vision) and stay on course with small actions and choices that support the quieter voice deserving of your loyalty, then you win. Victory!
Your fear and doubts are not going away as long as you continue to feed them. You feed them by taking actions motivated by their message. You effectively tell them “you’re right, I can’t do it”. Like a bully your mind is empowered to deliver more of the same. Why wouldn’t it? After all, it’s working!
Now the easy/hard part.
Make a commitment to do things different each day. When you see yourself succumbing to the toxic drag of your negative thinking treat it as a red alert. Sit up, realize the enemy has breached the compound and fight back!
- Slow down and be quiet. Be kind to yourself for a few minutes. Know that you don’t deserve this harsh treatment and that it is not true.
- Remind yourself that in challenging your thinking and taking action to the contrary you are being courageous and bold.
- Your thinking is urging you to contract. You will look to expand. It can be small, but find an action that makes you bigger! Baby steps count!
- Identify the next task in your day and complete it as if your life depended on it (BTW-It does)
- For bonus points, look outside yourself and see if there is someone you can help – this is a virtuous act of trusting that does an end-around the negative voices. It communicates that you are safe, secure and ready to help others. Radical!
Bolster yourself by knowing that in taking these small steps you are reclaiming your life. You are supporting the quiet voice of possibility, creativity and freedom. Through discipline, commitment, kindness to self and hard work you can alter your thoughts and cultivate a more supportive environment in your noggin.
Things can be different. You can change. The power is in your hands. Before you know it your thinking will also come along for the ride. Then you’ll have a trusted adviser. True relief. You don’t want to miss it!
Jun 6, 2012