Changing Your Thinking – Words to Delete
How to know if your thinking is not helpful
First, here’s a quick story to start us off right… sort of!
By now you’re well aware that thoughts are THINGS. Like, actual, measurable and powerful things. We think in words and pictures. And together these thoughts drive and create your whole experience, reality, self-concept and life! So how do you know if your thoughts are helpful?
Well, here’s one word you REALLY need to weed out of your thinking patterns. It’s the dratted ‘s’ word. By now, if you know me, you know that I find curse words generally very expressive. So, I don’t really subscribe to the general idea of ‘bad words’ as much as most. That said though, not all thoughts and words were made equal and there are two that you would do well to use only carefully and rarely. The two words are the ‘S’ word, and the ‘C’ word… Any guesses? Here’s a useful pic while you think on that. Scroll down when you’re ready to read on!
The words I have in mind are: ‘Should’ and ‘can’t’. With ‘should’ we are literally living in a non-existent reality every time we use that word ie “I should go to the gym” notice that generally if we say this, we’re recognising that our current behaviour, and possibly intention is not aligned with the belief/idea, so expressing it is not good. Other times ‘should’ is an indicator we are being influenced by someone else’s values or beliefs eg ‘you should go do x’ and the real question is ‘according to whom?’ and is that something YOU CHOOSE to do? I am or I will are far more aligned and powerful phrases.
With ‘can’t thinking’ we are literally defining ourselves by what is not possible, and doing it in a negative way, confusing our unconscious mind’s ability to help us with what we ACTUALLY want. So, I might say “I can’t do that” and every time we do, our unconscious files it away as a FACT, because it has not reality or appropriateness filter. So here we are literally programming ourselves to be more limited. We don’t challenge that thinking, in fact quite often it slips under our radar as a fact without so much as a reaction. Other times it just bums us out. To my way of thinking, none of those possibilities are working for you.
So, your homework is to bring your attention to every ‘should’ you hear and start to challenge it (not necessarily aloud, but do start running a consicous audit for a few weeks to check what programming you’re letting in).
Think of it as someone else taking off their shirt and saying here – you should wear this. Would you just put it on? Unlikely, its not yours! And even if you were curious, you’d probably give it a good looking over first, decide if it’s your style, if it’s warm or cool enough for how you want to feel that day and if it goes with the other clothes you’re wearing too.
This is a powerful metaphor for auditing your thinking so I’m suggesting you start to do the same with all ‘shoulds’ (the ones YOU think to yourself or say aloud, and the ones others inflict upon/share with you). Recognise when others tell you what you should/shouldn’t do and what you can and cannot do, that’s simply THEIR MAP. So before you unthinkingly acquiesce and start to ascribe to that, decide if you even want to try it on, and then decide what feels right for you.