What’s on your mind. Seriously. Do you know what you are thinking?
Simple question, yet very broad and generic.
Did you know that your brain has between 60,000-80.000 thoughts a day?
That’s incredible. So when I ask the question, “What’s on your mind?’, you should come loaded with at least 40 different things to throw at me in just one second.
Did you know that 95% of our thinking is unconscious and effortless. Which is interesting because you might have something on your mind, but you don’t know even half of what your thoughts are about it.
Watch this. Yesterday I got to spend some time with my husband. We started talking about an email that we got about our child from the teacher. I got very upset and popped out a few tears. Which isn’t like me at all. When my husband asked why I was upset, you wouldn’t believe the things that came out of my mouth. I had a moment where I was talking to him and I could hear myself talking- as if it were someone else talking. I was rolling out at least 10,000 of the 60,000 thoughts I was supposed to have for that day. And almost all of the thoughts I had already been thinking before I got the email. This was just the icing on the cake.
I wasn’t upset about the email at all. I was upset about what I was making it mean about myself and my child’s future. I was upset about the thoughts I was having over the past week since I had received the email and the thoughts I had been having before I got the email.
Notice what I said. I wasn’t upset about the email at all. It was my thoughts that made me upset.
It is our thoughts that create our feelings.
I could have easily, like my husband did, received the email and felt curious to learn more. He wasn’t upset at all. I could have scheduled a conference with the teacher and spoke to her before getting upset. Which I ultimately did after I let my brain go wild with thoughts.
For most of us, we notice our feelings first. We think that it is the person or the situation that caused us to feel that way.
It’s not the person or the situation. It wasn’t the email. It was me. It was my thoughts about the situation.
Are you following me?
If you are waking up every morning feeling dread or coming home from work feeling exhausted. If you are feeling burnt out or overwhelmed, it is not because of what is going on in your life, it is because of your thoughts about it.
I have a challenge for you.
Start writing down your thoughts on a daily basis. I like to do mine first thing in the morning. This is the first step I give all my clients. You can’t imagine what’s on your mind until you start writing it down. To get started, it may be helpful to pick one feeling or one situation in your life and start writing your thoughts about that. (Clearly I should I have been doing this about my child’s school. That one snuck up on me!)
These thoughts you are having are not who you are. These thoughts are brewed almost unconsciously in a very primitive part of your brain. It is simply doing it’s job, yet it feels like an unmonitored toddler playing in the streets. It can be nerve wracking. For years, this toddler has been running around without anyone watching it. Not anymore. You are going to start observing it.
This will seem messy at first. Your thoughts will be all over the place. Imagine it’s like cleaning out your grandma’s attic. You have got to get everything out and clear out the cobwebs. I am serious when I say everything. You are going to want to shred your sheet of paper when you are done. It could get ugly.
Once you have cleaned out the attic, take a look at what you have found. How does this collection of items make you feel? Do you like what you see? Do you want to keep all of this? Does it make sense now as to why you feel the way you do?
This is what I like to call creating consciousness. Once you become aware of what is going on in your mind, you can understand why you are feeling the way you do, why you are reacting the way you are, and why you have the results in your life that you do. Don’t hold back either. The real you is going to want to correct those ugly thoughts that come up. Don’t let it. You need to see it all.
Once you see it all, then you can decide how you want to move forward.
You can start to choose what you think about your life.
You get to decide if you want to keep the broken items from the attic or toss them.
You have to let your guard down. Don’t judge yourself about your thoughts. Get real with yourself.
Start changing your life – one thought at a time.
You up for the challenge? Start writing.
Ready. SET. Go.
If you are interested in taking this work a step further, my SET program is exactly what you need. I would love to talk to you more about it. Schedule a time for a consult call to learn more.