Each month I talk about becoming aware of your thoughts because they have such a heavy impact on your life. Becoming aware wakes you up to what you are saying in your head. Think about it (no pun intended) you have between 60,000-80,000 thoughts a day…….and 95% of them are from yesterday. Part of the way these persistent thoughts reveal themselves is in the stories we tell ourselves and to others around us. The ‘stories’ are the dialog of our lives. You share your triumphs and your defeats, your physical pains and gains. You share the stuff that pisses you off and the stuff that makes your heart smile, the boring and the exciting – all of it contributes to the story of your life. So if you are loving the stories you are telling – FANTASTIC!
I did not wake up to my thoughts until the ripe age of 47. Wake up in the sense of really paying close attention to what I was saying. You know that pesky little voice that rehashes, overanalyzes, criticizes, worries throughout the entire day – yep that’s the one I’m talking about. The inner critic. No wonder no matter what I did, I kept getting the same results over and over – – my thoughts kept replaying the same debilitating stories.
So here’s what I learned: if I wanted my future to be different from my past I had to start to tell a new story. How does one begin to tell a new story? Start by paying attention to all the stories you’re telling others – these are often the same stories you’re telling yourself. When you start to pay attention to the stories, tune into how you feel as you regurgitate the story. Do you feel amazing or lousy? Authentic or phoney? Proud or ashamed? Calm or cranky? If your stories are making you feel CRAPPY – ask yourself in that moment, “Is this the story I want to be telling?” When you ask that question you get a chance to change it and tell a new story. It also takes you out of your head where all those repetitive thoughts are hanging out. You can choose to stay in your old story or embark on the new one – gravitate to the one that FEELS better. And most importantly know that whatever story you are telling will come into your life over and over again.