For today’s post, I couldn’t resist a play on the title of a storybook classic by the beloved Dr. Seuss. It’s called “Oh the Thinks You Can Think!”. Unbeknownst to many parents, this fun little children’s reader emphasizes a point about our brains, and the unlimited creativity and fluidity of thought; as the good Dr. guides us through several, whimsical, Seuss fabrications.
We too are very creative with our thinking. Our thoughts, thought-habits and thought-patterns can generate a wide range of emotions. The emotions which come up are, themselves, capable of producing even more thought-variables.
Most of the time, you can expect that one particular way of thinking will bring up a predictable set of emotions. Conversely, allowing a particular set of emotions to control our thoughts will naturally bring up the thinking habits that support those emotions.
These thoughts, feelings and emotions then color our output and direct our actions. Once again, we find ourselves in that universal cycle of THINK, FEEL, DO… THOUGHTS – create feelings… FEELINGS – create behaviors (what we do)… and what we DO – reinforces THOUGHT.
How you choose to respond to the thought /feeling input of your thought habits, can change the course of your behavior… your “DO”! The “DO” becomes your direction, your action, your TRAJECTORY!
It all begins with your thinking! How or what you think, is a choice!!
Choosing the same old thought responses gets you the same old behavioral results. Consciously changing or altering your thoughts gives you new sets of responses to choose from. These are fresh options for new, different, better results.
When habitual, limited THINK-ing activates corrosive FEEL-ings and limits your DO-ing, you can easily and unknowingly get stuck in a CYCLE of INACTION. (More details on the Cycle of Inaction to come in a future post) You must recognize and challenge EVERY ASPECT of the limiting belief as soon as it is known.
Remember your mindfulness and the mindfulness rules:
- It’s EASY (Practice, practice, practice)
- You can do it ANYWHERE so do it EVERYWHERE
- NOTICE your thoughts and emotions as they show up (Where did they come from, why are they here?)
- IDENTIFY why you have these thoughts and emotions (How do they strengthen and support each other?)
- NAME each one ALOUD!
(For more on Mindfulness, see our blogpost: Scrubbing Your Thoughts and the Mission of Mindfulness)
Whether this thought or belief stems from sadness, fear, shame, doubt, guilt or pain, doesn’t matter. What does matter, is our MINDFUL observation and understanding of its origins. Why does it survive (or thrive)? Which of our other thoughts and/or emotions provide its nourishment? As soon as we have the smallest grip on some of these elements, we can begin to discover the way out.
Thoughts which dig up feelings of shame, guilt, fear, inadequacy or potential failure, and the like, must be recognized and thoroughly examined for the confining elements of their effects. Once identified and considered, new thoughts and feelings can be harvested to replace the undesirable consequences of the old thinking habits.
If your habitual negative thoughts are deeply entrenched, it will take concentrated effort for you to overcome them and form different, productive, thought patterns. It’s not hard, but it requires discipline. Some will be easy to identify and change, making the transition quick. Others may take more effort. Watch for feelings of impatience or discouragement to show up in the process.
Do the work. Diligence and determination, coupled with the right tools, will reshape your outcomes and bring you more happiness. You’ll be back in harmony and integrity with yourself when your thought habits build you up rather than tear you down.
Look back on your life. (Not forever, just the past couple of days…) Where have your thought habits taken you. (Hint, its right where you are, right now!) What have they provided you? (Look at your current circumstances) What have they taken from you? (What are you missing or missing out on?)
If you could SEE where you thought patterns could take you, you would be able to decide if your thoughts are appropriate or if you need to change them.
I’m here to tell you, you CAN see the fruits of your thinking. They’re all around you in the life, and feelings that are your circumstance.
Seeing these thoughts and thinking about where they’ll take you BEFORE they just hijack your next move, will help you discover a vision of the future. It’s a future you can change as you need to, before you ever get there… your own little prophecies to live by.
It all begins at the S.T.A.R.T. And we’ll tell you about S.T.A.R.T.ing in our next post.