Quarantine time has got me thinking…about my thinking. How my thoughts create my reality—not the other way around. There’s what happens and then there’s what I make it mean, which dictates how I respond.
All of us have a default thinking program based on our upbringing, family, culture, environment, religion, etc. This operating system runs on autopilot until we decide to consciously upgrade it.
My default program looks for a) what’s wrong and b) the worst case scenario. When I let that system run unchallenged it finds mountains of evidence to prove it’s right. It collects images of how the world is a terrible place and I need to protect myself from harm.
This leads to feelings of frustration, despair, disappointment, righteousness—and keeps me in a cycle of blame where I wait for the outside circumstance to change in order to feel better. This is the ultimate victim mindset and plays out time and time again until I question my thinking.
A master on this subject is Byron Katie. If you aren’t familiar with her work you are in for a treat. I just spent last Saturday in a virtual class with her. She says, “Either I believe my thoughts or I question them.”
If we want to experience relief we must first examine what’s going on inside—in our minds.
Is searching for what’s wrong and the worst case scenario making me feel better? If not, is there a different filter I could try? Could I look for what’s right and the best case scenario? What would that feel like? Am I willing to run the experiment and find out?
Yes is my answer. What’s yours?
A beautiful example of this is highlighted in the below Tedx Talk that I discovered through one of my brilliant clients (Thank you Debbie!). I loved it so much I created an exercise around it for the participants in my Vitamin C3 group.
I recommend carving out 18 minutes to watch and apply it to your own thinking.
Press play below.
If you take this on, know innocent curiosity is helpful. Gently explore—without judgment—the thoughts/beliefs going on inside of you. Remember, this is about testing out new beliefs/thoughts/ideas. If you don’t like them, you can always go back to the old ones!
Also know, when building any new habit—including upgrading an outdated thinking pattern—effort is required. The new path isn’t laid yet. It’s not automatic, so it needs focus, attention and commitment to interrupt and build the new path.
If you have questions, let me know. Upgrading your thinking is one of the most profound, life-changing gifts you can give yourself.
And, if you watch the video and apply it to a situation in your life, let me know. I’m curious how the process is for you. Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
With Fierce Loving,
ps: If you’re a coach or you know someone who is, we’ve just announced a new option for the 2021 class of The CFJ Coaching Success School. Check it out here.
Photo by Aleksandr Ledogorov.