Often we can feel at the mercy of our thoughts. Toxic thinking, self sabotage, whispers of defeat hassle us, speak over any encouragement we hear or wake us up at night to steal hope. The landscape in your head can feel dreary and permanent. We try to deal with making a life for ourselves in this environment and resign ourselves to making a life here.
But would we tolerate that in the physical house we live in? I mean the actual building we eat and sleep in. If I felt cold in my house I’d do two things…
I’d walk over to the thermostat and see what temperature the house is.
I’d turn up the heat until I found a temperature I liked.
Why do we treat our headspace environment any different than our homespace? Because we think only one is under our control.
What if we could do the same in our thought life?
Check your temperature. What are you feeling? (Not how are you feeling)
When you’re feeling an especially strong emotion or hearing particularly strong self-talk, grab a pen and start writing. Keep writing until you know you’ve trapped that monster on paper. Don’t stop writing until you have completely hit every nuance of that feeling. Write til you’ve perfectly captured that phrase that sits like a wet blanket over everything you say and do that kills your hope and defeats your effort.
There may be a bunch of monsters, a pile of lies, a crowd of voices.
Just pick one.
Shine a light on it. Don’t let it hide. Don’t let it say it’s who you are. It’s not.
It’s your past. It’s the hurt dealt out to you. It’s mistakes you made. It’s unforgiveness. It’s a bad decision. It’s a name you were called in elementary school you said didn’t matter but did. It’s a curse that landed on you. It’s a divorce. It’ a betrayal. It’s a habit. It’s a choice.
Then close the trap on that monster. In one or two sentences. Don’t let it get away.
Then look at it.
If that was a monster would you want it in your house?
What would you want instead? What truth would you replace that with?
Craft a weapon…. Write a statement you would replace that thought with. Take your time because it’s a weapon, a sentence, particularly suited to killing this particular monster.
Go back and visit that monster on the paper every morning. Look at it. Then write the statement you crafted nine times. Speak it out loud every time you write it. Remember that statement a few times as you go through the day.
Do it for 21 days.
What shape is that monster in now? Does it need another 21? Or is it time to turn your attention to another monster? What if you can create and choose the thoughts you live with?
What would you choose?