I was on a walk the other day, listening to a podcast about the power of positive thoughts, and it triggered the idea to write a post/newsletter around it! I love when inspiration strikes and all I want to do is get home and write down my ideas.
I’m sure this doesn’t come as a surprise, but I TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY believe that how we think determines everything in our life. It is the only thing we actually have control over, and most of us don’t really know how terrible our inner monolouge is and how it is affecting us.
What are some of the thoughts and beliefs that have been running in the background of your mind? Some of mine:
I’m not very smart, I can’t remember anything.
My legs are fat. I’m fat. Nobody will love me if I’m fat.
I’m dumb at math.
If I don’t do something perfectly, it doesn’t count.
Does any of this sound familiar?
It took me, oh, maybe 35 years (I’m almost 40,) to even understand how terribly I spoke to myself in my head and how damaging it was. What we say to oursleves and what we think shows how much self worth we have, and what we will allow. I wouldn’t say ANY of this to my 12 year old daughter, so why say it to myself?
I won’t pretend I don’t still say these things to myself, because I do! It is a loop that continues forever in most of us, but the trick is that I don’t believe it anymore. I constantly work on listening to my thoughts and actively changing them as they come up.
Here’s the deal…
You don’t have to believe every thought you have! Most are just limiting beliefs that we picked up as children and then automatically think is true.
For me, body image thoughts are the ones that come up the most for me. And probably most women. Here is the one key to beginning to change your negative thoughts to positive ones:
You have to first change these thoughts to something neutral.
An example of this is when my brain looks at myself in the mirror and says, “You look like you are gaining weight, your legs look terrible. You are out of control” That thought makes me feel BAD and does nothing but hurt me and makes me want to do extreme exercising and dieting to gain control (not good for me, I’ve done it all.) So I need to change that thought when I catch it. A nuetral thought to this statement is, “I have a body.” What makes this good is that I cannot dispute it. I DO have a body and it is enough to slow my negative thought down. I repeat that one a lot, because these thoughts pop up a lot and it chills me out immediately.
Once you gain the CONFIDENCE that you can change the negative thoughts in your head to neutral ones and feel better, you can then try positive thoughts. One I like to repeat for the above body thoughts is, “I have a strong and healthy body that can handle hard things.” This statement empowers me and turns the negatives I feel about myself into a positive.
HOWEVER, positive thoughts are harder to believe. I think using a neutral statment helps us build trust that we can choose thoughts that make us feel better, and when we are confident that they work, we can move on to more positive thoughts. Self confidence is the ability to follow through on our word with ourselves. Make tiny habits make big changes for you. Change one thought to a neutral and then positive one. Keep building until you no longer accept negativity.
It is all about getting oursleves to BELIEVE what we tell it. I can believe a neutral thought because it is true and can’t be debated. Changing the thought from, “I am dumb” to “I have brain” is pretty easy and diffuses things until we can work on positivity on a daily basis (like, “I can learn anything I put my mind to.”)
You’ve got this. Keep trying. This is not an overnight thing! This practice doesn’t stop negative thoughts, but it changes what you automatically believe. You are what you say to yourself…what do you want to believe?