Changing Our Thoughts

Changing Our Thoughts

Hey crew! Welcome back to the project. In the last post, I shared an idea that has changed everything for me.

Our thoughts create our feelings. This idea, when new to us, is easy to resist. It is easier to continue to blame my circumstances for the way I feel than to realize that a lot of what I have deemed facts about my life are merely thoughts I am choosing to believe about my circumstances. And those thoughts are creating the emotions I experience. For more detail on this concept, check out my post The Power of Our Thoughts.

Once we have accepted that idea, or even if you’re not quite there yet, I think the next question is How Do I Change My Thoughts?

Here’s the simple answer: Just start thinking positive ones.

A little too simple, right? Many of our thoughts have been firing multiple times a day for years, creating deep-rooted beliefs. We are very good at thinking these thoughts. We have practiced them a lot! And to simply change them in an instant is certainly difficult, if not impossible. In order to create new thoughts and beliefs that are strong and deep-rooted, we will need to practice them as well.

First, start to become aware of your thoughts. We think thousands and thousands of thoughts every single day. Most of them are subconscious, meaning that we think them without even being aware of them. But we do have the ability to start to notice them. So pay attention to yourself and the thoughts you are having.

When you notice a thought, do it without judging yourself. For example, when I look in the mirror, and instantly think, “Ugh. Those wrinkles are so awful!” I don’t judge myself and create further negative thoughts and emotions. That won’t help me at all.  Just take note—“There I am thinking that thought again.” Maybe be curious about it. Ask yourself, “Why do I keep thinking that thought about my wrinkles?” “Why are they a problem for me?” “What about them is really so awful?” Try to notice and then understand the thoughts you are having.

Once you have noticed and explored your thought, ask yourself if it is one you want to continue to have. Ask yourself if it is creating positive feelings for you. If it isn’t, you may want to try a new one—a replacement thought. Here is one to try: “My wrinkles are mine. They are part of my unique beauty.” Maybe that one feels good to you. Maybe it doesn’t. Try it for a while and see. Maybe you like another thought better: “These wrinkles show who I am. I love to work outside, and these wrinkles are evidence of a life spent doing what I love.” (This is the thought I use and love!) Keep trying until you find one that works well for you.

Some thoughts are not real strong and are easy to replace, while others are much more difficult. I love to garden, and with gardening comes weeding! In my yard, I deal with a variety of weeds. I love to plant flowers and vegetables, but inevitably, every year I have to weed the beds before I can plant anything. Some weeds are easy to pull, and I can quickly plant what I want in its place. However, other weeds have roots that are so deep and strong that I need a shovel to help me pull them. (That alfalfa!!) Our negative thoughts are much like this. Some can be replaced quickly with new, more empowering thoughts. Others, however, will take a lot more time and effort. Keep working! Keep trying!

Sometimes, however, you may run into an alfalfa plant.  You may need additional tools, much like my shovel.  If you find you are having trouble getting to the root of a thought that clearly needs to be removed, I would encourage you to get the help you need.  This help may come in the form of reading books or listening to podcasts by experts on the topic. Maybe you need an even bigger shovel—a therapist or life coach. I don’t know which tool will be the best fit and fix for you. But I do know this. An alfalfa plant, when ignored, only grows larger, and its roots get deeper. So do something about it. You are worth it. Your relationship with your body is worth it. And you can do it! I believe in you.

Love your body, and your body will love you. 

5 thoughts on “Changing Our Thoughts

  1. Love it! I have a lot of work to do in this area. First, in accepting that my thoughts control my feelings rather than my circumstances. And then, in shifting my focus from a negative though to a productive, positive one. Thank you for your insights!

    1. It’s not easy to do! It takes ongoing work, for sure. I have been working on it for awhile, and still tonight, I had to coach myself through some frustration caused by, of course, my thoughts! Hang in there!

  2. Beautiful, true perspective. I know this is so true. This has been a concept I learned at a young age when my mom would say “that’s stinkin thinkin” when I would verbalized a negative thought about myself. She was an amazing teacher as I learned over the years, what I think about and focus on is what I would create, whether good or bad. Years later Ron and I had the privilege of meeting an amazing man who coached us on the power of training our Thoughts. He would say change your results not by working harder but by thinking differently. Oh man, is this easy?! No, and have I perfected it, not even close, but awareness is the powerful key. He taught us we can direct our life by our thoughts or just let life happen. Thank you Taffy for reminding me the precious gift of our thoughts. I know I can live life in default, choosing thoughts that are not productive or healthy and even allow my mind to accept them as truth OR live each day with deliberate intent choosing each thought that bring growth and progress.

    1. YES to all of that!! We will have thoughts whether we are intentional or not. But choosing them is the only way to really find the life we are seeking! And you’re right about it not being easy. Continual work, for sure. But the more we practice, the better we get!! You are lucky to have learned this. So many people really have no idea how powerful their thoughts are or that they can choose them. Thus the need for this project!

  3. This is a great post, Taffy! I have areas to work on, for sure. I need to worry less about things I can’t control and focus my thoughts on the here and now with more positive thoughts. Thanks!

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