It’s time to ask yourself
WHAT AM I THINKING?
When was the last time you asked yourself
“What am I thinking?”
Before I became a Mindset Coach, I am not sure if I ever actually asked myself ‘What am I thinking?’ I innocently thought that whatever I was thinking I would always be aware of. It wasn’t until I was half way through my Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) training that I was first asked the question about my thoughts.
“Ummm, I don’t know”, was my first answer, giggling a little at the silliness of the question. “I am thinking about what I will make for dinner.” My teacher looked at me with a sheepish grin as she knew how my life was about to evolve into something pretty amazing.
The mind has the ability to multi task on lots of thoughts flowing in and out but it also loves to be efficient, focusing most attention on what the mind believes is important. For example, if I have a party to go to in a couple of weeks and I am stressing because I feel I need to lose weight quickly, my mind will source as much information as possible to support my thoughts. Without even being aware of what I am thinking, I may subconsciously be asking myself questions like:
- Why am I so fat?
- How am I going to ever get through this without starving myself?
- Does it ever get any easier?
- Why don’t I deserve to be skinny like my friends?
Or saying statements like:
- You are such an idiot, you can’t even manage to lose a little weight
- Everyone is going to think I’m out of control
- I don’t think I’ll go to the party, I don’t like them anyway.
- I try so hard but I just can’t lose weight
If any of this sounds like you, it’s time to be aware of your thoughts and start asking yourself better questions. Remember, where the focus goes, the energy flows.
When you ask yourself good questions, your mind will start to work hard to find a good answer.
The first question to ask yourself is “What am I thinking?” By asking yourself this question, you start to become aware of everything that is happening around you and inside your head, connecting it all to your emotions. When you ask yourself what your thoughts are, you should have a pen and paper and start to write everything down. It doesn’t matter if you think some of it is rubbish or petty or not really true. The process of watching your mind think and writing it all down is a skill and one that helps you become conscious of why your are taking actions in life (or not taking actions).
Often when people start to write down their thoughts, it is a little like looking at your work desk and it’s a complete mess. There are papers all over the desk, post-it notes stuck everywhere, pens, staplers, high lighters and anything you can think of just thrown on your desk. Nothing is in any order so you find that you only focus on what has been placed on top of the desk, burying all the other good information deep below it. Writing down your thoughts is the first step in cleaning the desk up, placing everything in a pile, neatly stacking books and placing the pens away. When you want to find something, it becomes easier and quicker – just the way the mind likes it. The focus isn’t limited to just the surface.
So now that you have your thoughts out of your head and on paper, it’s time to ask yourself “Why am I choosing to think some or all of these thoughts?” Every thought you have is a choice, made by you and only you. Is the thought serving you or is it an old default thought you have carried around for years?
Let’s go back to the example above and ask, “Why would I be thinking ‘why am I so fat’? Is this thought helping you lose weight? Is this thought going to encourage you to WANT to lose weight? Is this thought serving you or is it a thought you have carried around for so long that you no longer know how to NOT think it?
When you think the thought ‘why am I so fat’? – how does that make you feel? Does it make you feel empowered to lose weight? Does it make you feel safe in your own body? Does it make you feel important enough to believe you can actually lose the weight?
This is a common question many women say to themselves, weekly, daily and sometimes even hourly without actually realising it. How on earth can a person compete with this negative conditioned thought about themselves when most of the time they are not even aware they are thinking it? The mind is continually proving the thought by never allowing you to lose weight and love who you are.
So now that you are aware of your thoughts by writing them down and questioning the thought, how do you go about changing the thought? A great way to start to change the thoughts is by asking better questions. Instead of asking:
- Why am I so fat? – Why not ask “What little thing can I change today that will start to make a difference tomorrow?”
- How am I going to ever get through this without starving myself? Why not ask “How can I start to eat only when I am hungry?”
- Does it ever get any easier? Why not ask “How can I make better choices that do not cause me stress?”
- Why don’t I deserve to be skinny like my friends? Why not ask “What do my friends love about me?”
When you finally ask yourself, “What am I thinking?” and you take the time to process it, you have taken back your power and the ability to change your thoughts. When you start to change your thoughts by asking good questions, the mind focuses on this to try and find you the best answers.
Linking up with Kylie for #IBOT