Thoughtful Thursday: Episode 2
Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday’s, a weekly series where we explore our brains, one thought at a time.
Hi Everyone: Welcome to Thoughtful Thursdays. Not the kind of thoughtful like “oh you brought me flowers just because it’s Tuesday, how thoughtful '' No, this is where we will explore our thoughts and how they move us forward or hold us back.
Last week we talked about beliefs and today we’ll talk about belief’s evil twin, limiting beliefs.
Just like beliefs, limiting beliefs are thoughts that you think over and over again until you believe them as fact. “I’ll never be able to lose weight”, “I can’t control my drinking, I must be an alcoholic”,”I’ll never be able to run a half marathon”. Interesting, I’ve had all of these thoughts and for a long time I did believe they were facts.
I’ve tried just about every weight loss program out there and achieved some success but never exactly what I was looking for. Hmmm, maybe I had unrealistic expectations? (That’s for another post) I have a history of alcoholism in my family so when I tried to stop drinking or control it so I only drank when I wanted to drink not when my brain told me to drink, I thought “I must have the alcoholic gene” (I find that funny now that I put it out there) and as for the half marathon, well maybe you can relate to this, I HATE TO RUN!! So you ask “why did you sign up to run a half marathon”? Actually I did two of them!! I signed up because I was tired of setting goals and not achieving them and continuing to think that meant something awful about me. For once I was going to commit to a physical goal that seemed IMPOSSIBLE and achieve it, and I did. Now, it was crazy hard, but the feeling of accomplishment that I felt when it was over I cannot describe. Oh yes, and another limiting belief I had was “I never accomplish the goals I set”. NOT ANYMORE.
Beliefs, and limiting beliefs are your brain's way of saying “you don’t need to think for yourself, I’ll think for you and I think you should stay on the coach, watch Oprah and eat chips because that is what makes you happy” You see, your brain is wired to stay safe, warm and protected, NOT GO RUN 13 MILES. It doesn’t want you to feel all the feelings that come with not drinking and feeling bored or lonely. It doesn’t want you to limit the junk you eat because as we already know, food is love. No your brain wants to keep you safe in the den away from lions and tigers and bears oh my! Your brain is very comfortable not evolving.
But what if you decided to tell your brain to F off? What if you decided what to think from now on? Sit with that for a minute. What would you think if you actually believed that you were in control of your thoughts? Do you have a goal you have always wondered if you could achieve? (wanna run 13 miles? NOT) Is there a career you have always wanted to try but your brain convinced you that it was impossible?
Here’s the thing, the minute you “decide” to start thinking for yourself you will get into a fight with your brain. Your brain will gently say, “oh no, not again. Are you going down that ‘I’ll think for myself path’ again? You know that won’t work. You’ve tried that before and it didn’t work so just go back to the coach and grab the remote. And while you’re up, will you pour me a glass of wine?” But what if you were prepared for your brain’s chatter and you gently said “thank you for your input and concern but I’m going to start thinking for myself from now on”. Because this will happen. And your brain will get louder and louder until it finally gives up, but here's the thing, you will have to be able to anticipate this brain chatter in advance so you can be prepared to thank your brain and tell it to shut up. You have to know in advance that anything you try to change that your brain thinks will be hard it will rebel, but being kind to your brain and thanking it for it’s thoughts will shut it up. You can’t negotiate with your brain because guess what, YOU WON’T WIN.
Tell me about your limiting beliefs and your thoughts. Let’s start the conversation.
Until we meet again, choose your thoughts, they are all yours.
Kim Jolicoeur is a Certified Life and Stop Overdrinking Coach helping people regain control of their lives, one thought at a time. For a free consultation reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org