This is a true story. Your brain's default is to find all of the negative... not because there is anything wrong with your brain... it does this to protect you. It thinks that if you are aware of all of the bad things, then it can assume you will be on the lookout and make all the good choices. It operates this way to keep you safe. The problem is that your brain is operating on the premise that you have way more things to be scared of than you actually do, and so it has you living in the land of freak-out, anxiety, and fear for much more time than is actually necessary. And freak-out, anxiety, and fear are not emotions that are conducive to producing your best results. So what should you do?
Thought work is a "coachy" term that is thrown out there, referring to taking the time to examine what your thoughts are and deciding if those thoughts are serving you or not. In our world, this is not something we are usually taught to do growing up. There was never a high school class that taught us that we should stop and think about what we are thinking. This means most of society is walking around thinking that they have no control of their thoughts. Thoughts just happen to them.
The truth is that our thoughts are completely in our control... if we actually stop and think about them. (I know this sounds funny.) And our thoughts are the one thing that influences how we feel. Stopping to see exactly what thought is creating the anxiety or fear you are feeling might lead you to realize there is really nothing to be afraid of at all. This becomes critical work when our thoughts are self-defeating about us (who and what we are). You know, the negative self-talk about;
We all do this to some level, but how helpful is it, and if you really stop to evaluate what you are saying, how true is it? Yet, the thought itself is enough to affect how you feel and, ultimately, how you behave.
Here's a brain hack to help control your brain's shitty thoughts. Since we know our brain will default to looking for the negative, start the day by acknowledging that and just write down the shitty thoughts that you know your brain might throw at you throughout the day. (See examples above.) After you have written down all the crap, tell your brain, "Ok. We have dealt with all the crap. You can now feel free to focus on the things that will actually help us achieve our goals instead of the shit that will hold us back." Then take a moment to list some things you know are positive and true about you (because it is important to remind the brain what is good and true). Later in the day, when you hear in your head, "You are so fat." you can kindly tell the brain, "We already dealt with that this morning, and we know that is not helpful." This might seem silly or crazy, but it actually gives you the power and helps you practice being in control of what you are thinking, instead of letting your brain be a toddler running around the house with a Sharpie marker. It also will affect how you feel. More positive emotions will totally help you perform at a higher level and help you produce better results.
I help my clients learn how to identify their thoughts and understand how their thoughts affect their results. I'd love to help teach you these skills so you can take charge of your outcomes and turn down the noise of the negative committee living in your head. Click here to schedule your complimentary coaching session and see how to turn down the noise.