Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right. ~ Henry Ford
Man oh man, this is a big one. This is such a powerful statement. It is simple but says so much. I can’t claim it as my own since I first saw it on a bumper sticker on my way to NC one summer. However, I have been using this, personally and professionally ever since. Because this is what I teach people to do, not believe everything they think.
From a very young age we are all learning and experiencing life and whether we realize it or not, we have conversations in our minds. Our beliefs and assumptions repeat and become ingrained. This is our selftalk. The things we say to ourselves that we don’t realize we are even saying they are that automatic. So, because these are ingrained we believe them. We believe that they are true. These can be positive or negative beliefs or assumptions about the world.
We have our thoughts, positive or negative, and then these cause us to feel a certain way. A negative thought will cause negative feelings and a positive thought will cause positive feelings. The problem is all too often the negative thoughts takeover. We are hard on ourselves and our own worst critics. If we are prone to anxiety then that negative selftalk can repeat itself until we are feeling anxious and depressed.
For example: have you ever thought:
I hate the way I look in those jeans? I wish my nose was smaller or my eyes were bigger? That person doesn’t like me? I shouldn’t have said that…etc…and on and on and on!!!
We have all had negative self talk at some point or another. I know I have! So, what I do in my work with clients is teach them to not believe everything they think. We look at why the belief or assumption is there, where it came from and we begin to expose the TRUTHS. They look more like this:
I am loved, I am worthy of love. That person isn’t talking about me, they are talking about the news. I am an intelligent person as evidenced by my good grades.
Those Truths, the ones that come from a place of selflove, will cause more positive feelings. We work on replacing those negative beliefs and thought patterns with positive beliefs.
No, it isn’t. These are deeply ingrained and there may often be biological/psychological things at play that are roadblocks.
A therapist is a good place to start and they can help you to look at thought patterns, beliefs and assumptions that are impacting your mood.
However, you can always try asking a trusted friend or asking yourself some important questions to discover the truths.
Take time to ask yourself:
● What do I know to be TRUE?
● Where is the evidence for that truth?
● What would a friend say if you asked them for the truth about a negative thought you have?
And remember… Don’t Believe Everything You Think!