If you have been following my Instagram caption series for the past month, you will know that I have been focusing on negative thought patterns that we should leave behind in our 20s and I have been giving suggestions of more conducive thoughts to think.
But the million dollar question is- how do we think new thoughts?
When I first started being coached, this was a concept that I just could not get my head around. I pushed back with my coach, asking her repeatedly “now I understand that what I am currently thinking isn’t serving me well, how can I believe this new thought?”
Over time, the process became clearer and I eventually realized that the skill of learning a new thought is something that requires patience and effort. I wasn’t going to wake up one day and suddenly the old thought would vanish. If only it were that easy.
I have summarized here four steps that have helped me to forget an old thought and replace it with a new thought:
I think this step is the game-changer. The ONLY way to be able to release the old thought is the moment that you become aware of its existence. By taking time to observe your mind, you will gain clarity and insight. I like to imagine the thought in question, (i.e. the negative thought that is bothering me) as an object travelling near me in my physical space. When it comes close by and my mind starts to put the spotlight on it, I can ‘catch’ the thought with my awareness. Knowing that it is there and I am focusing on it, is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome.
Commit to the new thought. When you have come up with a new thought that you would like to believe, ask yourself: “What would your life look life if you believed that thought?” “How could it make you feel?”, “Do you truly want to believe it?” If so, then you need to commit to this thought and try wholeheartedly to believe it.
When you have fixated and committed to thinking a new thought, focusing on it on a daily basis will introduce the thought into our brains. Once our brains are focused on something it looks to the environment for evidence to prove it. If you take all of the above steps, eventually your brain will be fine tuned to look for evidence in the environment to support the thought.
There are several practical steps that you can take to help with the process and to help the above three steps to take place. Importantly, you need to introduce this new thought into your routine every day. This may look different for each person, but some examples include journalling, meditation or repeating the thought in a mantra-style way. It may include taking a long walk and focusing on the thought, or working on it with a professional- such as a coach or a therapist.
This process is not an exact science. Each individual has their own process and way to deal with their thought patterns, but once you are able to gain control of your thoughts- the outcome will be truly life changing.
If you want to know more about my coaching program click here, and feel free to reach out to me to book a complimentary initial consult, and we can speak in person about how to take control of your thoughts to make some exciting new changes.