Chapter 11 – Excerpt from my book ” Self-Trust”
Do you talk to yourself? Take a second to think about it. All people do, but some are more aware of it than others. People talk to themselves all day long and probably more when they are angry, worried, or stressed.
Talking to yourself is a function of your mind. The mind thinks that it exists and has an identity, and it produces massive amounts of thoughts. You are not even aware of most of the thinking.
There is no problem with talking to yourself. There are no little men in white coats coming to pick you up. You use your thoughts to decipher the world around you. Most of us have full conversations with ourselves about everything. Since childhood, we have been cautioned to think before we speak. Our thoughts are faster than our spoken or written words. The dilemma that people have about thinking quickly is often when the self-talks are negative, and they don’t catch them.
Your thoughts and beliefs drive your choices. Your choices shape your life. Your life feeds your emotions, and your emotions drive your thoughts. Do you see the cycle? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to ensure that you have positive and happy thoughts?
The Thoughts You Think
On a scale from 1 to 10, rate how happy you are now.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
If your answer is not 10, there are thoughts that are harmful to you and you need to extinguish them from your mind. There are no reasons why you should not be at level 10 happiness. Happiness is a choice, and parts of you are choosing not to be happy even though you may think you are.
If you share the conditions of your life with a thirteen-year young girl who lives in the skirts of Africa where she lives in a hut, has to walk three miles a day to have drinking water and doesn’t know if she will have food to eat tomorrow, she will rate your life a 20 on the scale from 1 to 10.
Some people plan to be happy only when they have money or children, get a new job, meet the man of their dreams, or buy a big house. Those who may have lost their parent, child, job, have no money, been homeless or left by a partner may feel that they can’t be happy; but these are only circumstances, not absolutes. The thoughts you have about the events in your life drive your happiness meter and your ability to step into the path that you know you need to take. Your inner being is calling you toward it.
I believe that there are no accidents in life. Women like Ophelia don’t die on the beach by accident. Their thoughts got them there. Our thoughts about work, family, relationships, and ourselves drive the choices we make. They were not thoughts from the day before or the prior week. These are habitual thoughts we harbor for years. Most of us don’t think about dying or being terminally ill. I am talking about subtle thoughts such as “I’m not good enough; my life is hard; It’s not easy to be me; I’m going to lose my job; I have to work hard for the money, etc.” Often, you are so habituated to such thoughts that you don’t even realize that you think such negative affirmations that are driving your life downwards. That’s why you take actions that are against your beliefs and values, and you don’t even know why. Honestly, ask people, and they just don’t know why they did what they did.
People live in a constant state of stress, which narrows their thinking and channels their attention to the danger (what is holding you back) instead of the solution. This state of stress reduces all resources available to you. All are caused by your thinking. And thinking that you are not happy stops you from moving forward.
Keeping Track of Your Thoughts
Your thoughts can create stress. Your thoughts can also create happiness. Your body knows how to react to stress and happiness without your direction. You—the unconscious you—set your stress and happiness auto-responses in the form of emotions years ago as a way to conserve energy and keep you safe. Your current behaviors may not be aligned with who you are or want to become because you arranged those shortcuts years ago. They were unconsciously set in your childhood and reinforced over the years.
You are influenced by the thoughts produced by your experiences in the first nine years of your life. You may now be in your 30s, 40s, 50s, or even 60s, but you may still be responding to life with the beliefs and mindset of a five-year-old, and you don’t even know you are doing. Of course, not all of your thoughts and reactions are from your childhood experiences, only the ones that don’t get the results you seek.
It’s important to take some time to examine your thoughts. Start by paying attention to your emotions. Keep checking in on your happiness scale. If you are not rating your happiness level at 8, 9 or 10 on the scale, check your thoughts. Is it your job, relationship, or kids? Perhaps it is your expectations. In chapter 13, I will explore this subject in depth.
The lesson to remember here is that you cannot believe all your thoughts because they may not reflect who you are and what you want in life.
An easy exercise to do is to find a subject that brings up emotions for you, then list all of your thoughts about it and exam them one by one to discover what are the thoughts you think that you need to change. It only takes ten to find fifteen minutes, a journal, and a pen. List the subject on the top of the page, such a job, marriage, money, health, family, etc. Then write down everything you think about it. If a thought comes to mind even though you may believe it is someone else’s thoughts, write it down. If comes to your mind just write it down. Then read each thought and ask yourself if this your truth. Would be helpful to change that thought? Will this thought support or sabotage your goals?
Cross out all thoughts that need to be removed from your mind. This will help you solidify the choices you make to drive your happiness scale up.
|Life Jacket—Use the happiness scale as often as possible. It will encourage you to choose happy thoughts and learn more about the reactions you have that are influenced by your childhood experiences.|
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