Brain Power, Part 4: Transforming Thoughts
Thoughts really are transformable. In fact, the Transformers toys are a great analogy for how that process happens. The bottom line is the transformation doesn't always go smoothly. If you have ever tried to transform a Transformers toy, you know it doesn't magically happen like it does in the movies. Twisting, tweaking, and downright manipulation by force are often needed to change the robot into the vehicle. In fact, it can be downright maddening!
Transforming our thoughts takes an equal amount of twisting, tweaking, and yes, sometimes forceful manipulation otherwise known as tricking the brain. It isn't easy because the brain wiring was created over many years and its comfortable in that pattern. Breaking free of old thought patterns that are no longer serving us can seem overwhelming, but if we break it into manageable steps and accept it will take lots of practice before the new wiring takes hold, it is a freeing process no one regrets.
First, identify a theme in your thought patterns. One of my longest running themes is wondering if I matter, do I have something to contribute. Yep, we are getting that real, friends! If you are afraid to face your themes, only so much transformation can happen. As you observe your thoughts using some of the methods we discussed early on in this blog series, you will see a few themes emerge. I encourage you to take on the one theme that seems to be an entry point to the others, even though that might feel like the most vulnerable thing you have ever attempted.
Second, list truths that disprove that theme. My truths include:
~My love matters to my friends.
~My work matters to my clients.
~My journey matters to me.
~My presence matters to my nanny family.
There are more on my list, and you get the point. List as many truths as you can think of because you will need them for what comes next.
Third, here is where the rubber meets the road. Insert the truth whenever the negative thought pattern rises. This requires awareness so you know what is happening in your head. And, it requires space to pause, stop the damaging thought pattern, and insert the truth.
Do you see why PRACTICE is a huge part of this equation? If you only did this once for every theme, how far would your transformation go? Not far at all! In order to rewire effectively, the brain needs repetition. The other giant benefit of practice is the repetition starts to move the feeling and thought closer together.
When I believe I have nothing to contribute, I feel pretty crappy about myself and the world around me. When I believe my life and contribution matter, my love for myself and others grows. Thought transformation is not just for you. It is for the very fabric of humanity. We need one another's positive vibes to grow and flourish as individuals and as a collective.