THINKING ON PURPOSE
Stay in the Cave(wo-man)!
Our brains are biologically wired for survival. When we lived more primitive lives, think caveman/cavewoman, this was very helpful in ensuring we were alert to danger and ready to act. In today’s world we don’t need our brains to be constantly scanning for life-threatening dangers. But our brain hasn’t gotten that message. It wants us to stay in the cave. It’s committed to keeping us safe. And that means sometimes we can overthink things and put ourselves in a Fight or Flight or Freeze Response over scenarios that are not happening and likely aren’t ever going to happen.
You have so much more control over the direction of your life than you know!
Thoughts are optional. We can choose what to think. This is a skill we have to learn, but it's the best and most worth it skill out there. It will change your life forever, I promise. And anyone can learn it with a little help.
You can think thoughts on purpose.
Rather than going through our lives letting our brains unconsciously react to events, we can choose AHEAD of time how we want our brain to be processing an event. Take for instance you've got a presentation coming up. Can you see the difference in your experience if you go into a room to present thinking, “I’ve got this,” versus, “Oh Goddess, please don’t let me mess up!”
What's the difference between these two thoughts?
"I've got this," versus, "Oh Goddess, please don't let me mess this up."
If you’re choosing to consciously think “I’ve got this” and things get wonky in the presentation can you see how your brain will likely begin troubleshooting what might be going on and looking for ways to solve or respond to it? You may still feel nervous, but you’ve got this.
Ok, so same presentation scenario, but you’re thinking, “Oh Goddess, please don’t let me mess this up.” This will have your brain thinking very differently if things go wonky in the presentation. You will definitely feel nervous and this could throw off your presentation completely.
Note: Your preparation wasn't different or anything else about the circumstances surrounding it...It was just the thought that affected your presentation. Wow! Our thoughts are so powerful!
We know this to some degree, but we don't usually learn how to manage our minds and our thoughts. This is what I teach! I can teach you how to manage your thoughts and your mind and it's life changing, truly!
The first thought, helps you solve the mistakes and keeps you focused and confident. The second causes anxiety and worry and difficulty in getting back on track. We know anxiety and worry are not useful in helping us do a better job presenting, or at anything for that matter. Am I right?
You can practice confident thoughts instead of worry thought! Yahoo!
Of course, I’ve been playing with this lately. And it’s so interesting. One day this week I went into my day thinking “I’ve got this.” I told myself this several times that day; sort of setting my brain's filter to see everything through that lens of "I've got this" confidence. And the key here is that deep down, I really do know "I've got this," so this is a true and believable thought for me. Just not one I use enough.
I've practiced worrying thoughts (remember cavewoman?), more than I’ve practiced confidence building thoughts, like, "I've got this." So if I let my brain run my day without PRACTICING THOUGHTS and choosing them on purpose, I’m going to go to my default of worrying because my muscle there is stronger, for now.
What thoughts assists you in coming up with solutions instead of creating more worry? This is where you will get "unstuck," and that always feels good!
Worry serves no purpose.
So I connected to the new thought (by thinking it on purpose—mentally rehearsing it like a mantra over and over again), and I noticed that how I was taking in the circumstances of my day TOTALLY shifted. I was processing some things very differently. Any tension or stress that came with the day didn’t necessarily melt away, but from a place of “I’ve got this” I met the events of that day with a sense of “I’ll figure this out,” and went more to solve or options mode instead of worry. YES!
Repetition, the most important ingredient. When it come to thinking your thoughts on purpose, repetition creates your desired results!
I’d love to tell you a magic switch then got flipped and now I do this all the time and with ease. But it didn’t. And I don’t. And that's ok because I'm human. This is a cultivation like any new skill. It takes practice and repetition to change a thought habit. But it's totally doable and you WILL get results!
The key here is:
(1) that the thought is somewhat believable and true to you; and
(2) that you’re not requiring your circumstances to change.
Whatever events occur, occur. Thinking on purpose lets you have more choice in HOW you meet the circumstances of your day.
We always have a choice
If I’m in line at Starbucks and someone turns and starts yelling at me, imagine the differences in my experience if I think “oh I don’t think so lady,” or if I think “this isn’t about me, she’s having a hard day.” My thinking doesn’t change what’s happening outside of me (the circumstance), but it definitely shifts my internal experience and what I do or don’t do.
It’s easier for us to think about this idea of choosing our thoughts when we view our circumstances as positive. When our circumstances feel messy or difficult (lady yelling in the Starbucks line), we often think we don’t have a choice in how we’re thinking about this. But we do. We always do. How we think about a circumstance isn’t magically going to make it “go away,” or necessarily, “make it 100% better,” but it can definitely change the way we go through it and how we approach it.
Now you try -
1. Write down one thought you want to think on purpose for the day. Make it feel good, I mean a real juicy exciting one.
2. Be sure it is something you can believe. Some examples: “Everything happens for a reason,” "All of this is in service of me," "I love my life," “I’m lucky,” “I’m blessed.”
3. Purposely think this thought as key events happen in your day. Your daughter rode her bike for the first time, there's a huge line at the bank, it’s your house cleaning day.
4. Notice how choosing this thought changes your experience.
Some thoughts I am currently practicing:
I know I can do it.
I am creating the feeling of love and being loved.
I'm being taken care of.
I give up worry, it serves no purpose.
I'm totally worthy and more than capable.
I've got this, step by step.
I can pack without stress (this is a hard one for me)!
If you need some help in creating the future in which you are the heroine of your own life story, sign up for a complimentary free mini session and I'll help you design your irresistible life by coming up with awesome thoughts to think on purpose. You'll be amazed at what you can CREATE on purpose and with such joy your heart will sing. Gift yourself a mini session today.