I wonder whether our thoughts are the most powerful part of us, without us really knowing it? They actually control everything we do.
If you think, “I hate my job, it’s ruining my life” the impact of this thought on how you feel and how you day goes is really outside of your control, but you can bet that things are not going to go that well. If you choose a more positive thought: “I’m lucky to have a job, it means that I can live in my lovely home and it supports my lifestyle”, you are going to have a better day.
The power of thought is stronger than we know.
When you stop and think about it: think about something that you have to do, that you wish you didn’t – for example, doing a presentation at work. You could be thinking all kinds of negative things about this, and you can talk yourself into doing a really terrible job of it! E.g. “This is all my boss’ fault, I can’t believe he’s making me do this”. This kind of negative self-talk is unlikely to spur you on to do a brilliant presentation that everyone will be congratulating you for in the end. But, if you can change this to: “I really want others to see the good work I’ve done on this project, it might be inspiring for them, and I want more experience at doing presentations”, this might be rather more motivating!
This isn’t always easy by any means. I worked with someone recently who would call in sick when these kinds of situation arose, as the thought of standing up in front of colleagues was completely overwhelming. But this was her thinking and not the reality. She described to me how doing a presentation at work was so far outside her comfort zone – so unfamiliar, that what she was overwhelmed by were her thoughts. What we discovered was that the reality of doing this was that her colleagues wanted to hear what she had to say, and were not judging her at all – the only judgement was inside her head.
Thoughts are powerful, they impact on our feelings, and therefore how we spend our days.
Doing new things, unfamiliar things can be really exciting (I’m thinking the latest rollercoaster at Alton Towers!), or they can feel extremely stressful (I’m thinking the latest rollercoaster at Alton Towers!). What generates the feeling is the thinking that comes first.
Sometimes we feel like we don’t have control over our thinking at all. We can feel upset or worried about things to the degree where it feels like everything is out of control, particularly if we are depressed or anxious, or if we are in physical pain. But, it is worth bearing this powerfulness in mind, and in moments where we remember to notice that there is choice, grabbing hold of those moments with both hands. If we can take control over the thinking, it has a knock on effect on our feelings – which are beyond our control. (You can fake it ’til you make it, but it’s still fake!)
Doing new things, unfamiliar things can be the most challenging for us, but it you keep doing them these things become familiar, and the thoughts that go with them become more positive naturally. Why not aim to start that way?
Remember – it’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed.