You are not your thoughts
You are not your thoughts. When you start paying attention to what’s going on in your brain, you can start to think that everything in there is true and that what you’re thinking defines who you are. You are not your thoughts. This is important to remember.
First, you think thoughts. Then, you become aware of them. You realize they are mostly bad thoughts and you start beating yourself up for your bad thoughts.
This is not good. Thoughts happen. You are not your thoughts, and until you become aware of your thoughts you cannot change them.
It’s okay if you have been thinking negatively. It’s what our brain has learned to do. You have the option now to change that. Becoming aware is the first step. Once you are aware of your thoughts, you can separate yourself from your thoughts and choose better thoughts to serve you.
So, how do you do this? How do you separate yourself from what’s going on in your brain?
The first thing that I think is helpful to do is to have to understand how your brain works. There’s the old motivational triad and the new motivational trial.
The old motivational triad says that our brains were designed to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and use the least amount of energy possible. When you think about life as a caveman, you can understand how this was good.
Those three things helped us grow as a species. But the way our brains have been programed isn’t working anymore.
Now we seek too much pleasure and it isn’t good for us. We are afraid to feel any sort of discomfort and we have become so accustomed to convenience that we can’t handle anything that takes effort and time.
This old motivational triad is literally killing us.
What we need to do is to train our brain to a new motivational triad.
We need to avoid pleasure, seek pain, and exert the most amount of energy possible.
Think about what you can get done if you do this. Let’s use housework as an example.
What if you decided to do the housework even if it wasn’t fun. And no matter what ‘painful’ emotions come up, you’re going to do the work. And, you’re going to work hard so you can get the job DONE.
I’m not talking about white knuckling it and hustling your way through the day.
I’m talking about not allowing yourself to indulge in any of those emotions that have you stuck in the old motivational triad.
The third thing that I think really helps us know that we are not our thoughts is to do thought downloads.
When you can get your thoughts out of you and onto paper, you can look at them from a different perspective. You become the watcher.
So often we don’t even realize what we are thinking because we’ve been thinking it for so long. When you have to actually write it down, you notice it. Then you get to decide if that is something you want to continue thinking.
If you start writing down your thoughts and you move from the old motivational triad to the new one, you will be able to separate yourself from your thoughts so you can move forward.
As you become aware of your thoughts remember that you are not your thoughts. It’s important to listen to your thoughts because your thoughts are what create the results in your life, but as you listen, you have to think about what you’re thinking about.
It sounds confusing, but it’s not really.
Let’s say you have this thought “I’m so lazy.”
You have to know that even though you thought that thought, YOU are not lazy. Your brain just said that. It’s most likely an old belief.
Remember, a belief is a thought you keep on thinking.
So, you think ‘you’re lazy’, and then you have another stream of thought about being lazy. This is what I want you to pay attention to.
When you tell yourself you’re lazy, what do you think that means?
Maybe you think you should do more.
Ask yourself why you should be doing more.
Because Suzi is?
Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s not even true. Maybe you need to tell yourself everything you DID do, so your brain knows.
Remember, life is supposed to be 50-50. You don’t always need super happy thoughts, but when you find yourself stuck on the negative ones, it’s your job to separate yourself from those thoughts and move on.
So you have these thoughts and you know (kind of) that they aren’t ‘you’ and now you’re supposed to move on. This can be difficult to do when the thoughts you are thinking feel so TRUE.
It feels like a fact that you are lazy.
It isn’t a fact because if it was a fact, we would ALL have to agree on it.
If you want to move on, you really have to understand that. Thoughts are thoughts. It’s just a sentence in your mind.
So you have this sentence that isn’t producing a good feeling. What you want to do is to neutralize it. When you hear yourself thinking that thought, tell yourself it isn’t true.
Tell yourself what you did do. Tell yourself who you are. Say, ‘I’m a mom, and I get a lot done during the day.’
Keep it simple because you want to believe it. Notice how you feel when you say it. The goal here isn’t necessarily to get to a happy place.
The goal here is to know that your brain fires thoughts at you, but those thoughts are not you.
When you can understand how the brain works and you become aware of your thoughts and you start choosing better thoughts based on who you want to be, you can change your life.
Embrace the new motivational triad.
Be willing to feel any emotion and to do the work to be who you want to be, not who your brain says you are.
Think those thoughts over and over so they become beliefs.
This is how you change your experience in the world. This is how you open yourself up to who you really are.
You are not your thoughts, and your thoughts are always optional.