A few months ago I recorded a podcast episode called Your Legacy of Thinking. I had become tired and annoyed at the way my brain looped in the same thinking patterns and found myself asking the question; “if you were to leave behind the legacy of your thoughts and thinking to the world, what would they look like?” I was embarrassed to think of what the world might see. I wanted to think differently.
Perhaps I was being a skosh judgmental, but it did lead me down a rabbit hole of understanding the human’s nature of habitual thinking and some actionable steps that could be taken to override my brains software.
What I have observed over the last few months of practicing thinking differently is not only the lack of patience I have around “it’s not working”, (insert scene of Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman; “these are broken. mine are broken”) but the tenacity my brain has to gaslight and interrogate me. Some mornings I wake up bombarded with thoughts about people places and things that I have nothing to do with. Shame around my body and bank accountant when both are healthy. Questioning my behavior and guilting myself before realizing, I didn’t even drink last night or eat the whole damn cake.
The only conclusion, rather solution I could come up with was lying back to myself. I would have to think differently if I wanted to think differently.
Not a huge ask when you consider that your illusion of yourself is one of delusion. Meaning, the thoughts you are thinking are just that- thoughts. Your opinion of you and the world around you is an opinion. Your thinking is subjective, not objective. Which begs the question; Why not choose an illusion that serves you and your bigger picture? Think thoughts that create a better version of yourself. That make you feel better.
I realized if I wanted to think differently, I was really going to have to think differently. On purpose. The irony is that we expect to think differently, without actively thinking differently. Much like we wish to change our behavior without actively changing our behavior. This is called passive action, Renegades.
To become the next version of yourself will require a level of awareness and discomfort that you will want to bail on. You will watch your brain look for the bad and judge the fuck out of you and everyone else. You will want to believe it when it tells you you are making no progress. That your thinking is still the same. You are still the same. That you will never change.
In order to train the brain, we must tame it.
You can thank your brain for its opinion AND choose to not subscribe. Choose to believe the opposite. . Make a U-Turn and direct your thinking down another path. Practice creating new thoughts.
Instead of focusing on what’s not working- the broken thoughts or behavior- start by celebrating the tiny victories you are experiencing along the way. For example; if you catch yourself in a moment of thinking a way that you don’t like, celebrate the success of awareness in that moment. By doing so you will do so more. Acknowledging your wins each day, no matter how small or imperfect your brain deems them to be is thinking differently.
Direct your brain to find the good in each day.
Choose or create 3 new thoughts to think on purpose.
Keep it simple.
Think differently to think differently.