Choosing the Thoughts You Give Power to
By Louise Warren
Grab a pair of yellow sunglasses and put them on. All of a sudden the world around you is as bright as a sunflower. Take them off and instead put on a pair of blue sunglasses. Now all of the world is periwinkle.
Though our thoughts may seem less tangible, they work in a similar fashion. Our thoughts and feelings are team members (a pair of shades if you will), framing the world around us. They give us feedback on how we are interactingwith the world, but they are not the world, solely as it is. They are the world as we perceive it in our current state.
I remember when I realized that I couldn’t believe every thought that I experienced. I was lying on my bed, having another anxiety moment where I was just SURE that the relationship I was in was going to somehow reach a catastrophic end. Of course, my belief was not backed by any real evidence. It was a fear like fire, growing and spreading to every part of my being until I couldn’t eat or sleep or really even function.
Fear can be helpful. It can warn us to prepare and ready ourselves or leave if something doesn’t feel right. Other times, fear is face-blind, fighting an old foe in a present body. It’s mistaking what was, with what is and encouraging us to react just the same.
I often ask my coaching clients to distinguish between their personal experience of fear and their personal experience of intuition. When you know the difference for yourself, it is easier to gauge whether you should take pause and listen to your thought or proceed onward, despite it.
This kind of work requires you to be able to float above the steady stream of reactivity and manage your own inner world. You have to be able to step outside of the front row experience of these thoughts and feelings and discern whether or not they are the ones you wish to headband to. If not, you can grab your things and leave the venue.
This level of discernment requires ownership and objectivity. The more attached we are to the experience, the harder it is to apply this sort of logical reasoning.
For example, a few weeks ago I was sitting in my car thinking about someone I knew who had achieved something that I’ve been working towards for a good portion of my life. They did it on an even bigger scale than I had allowed myself to feel was possible for me. My thoughts were on autopilot, poorly managed and aggressively counting all of the reasons why I wasn’t “good enough” to experience the same type of success - a familiar feeling for many of the ambitious creatives and dreamers that I work with.
Perhaps it was the setting of sitting in the driver’s seat but I realized something quite powerful. If this person and I were two cars driving down the street and they chose to speed ahead of me, it would mean nothing about whether or not my car would arrive at its destination. Sure, they might beat me to the light. But often times, the cars that speed ahead are really only arriving a few minutes before the rest of us. We see them down the road and usually only a few cars ahead.
Furthermore, if I’m trying to keep up with them, I might miss important markers along my route. There could be a shortcut that I could take or a passenger I need to pick up along the way. Either way, our cars are on their own, separate journeys.
When we have a strong reaction as we are interacting with the world around us it can serve as a guideline for what matters most to us. The reason I reacted to this occurrence in my life was because it was deeply connected to my passion and purpose.
The reactive side of our brain can uncover buried treasure if we let it. But it takes activating the manager side of our brain to see these thoughts as useful and valuable.
Often times, my coaching clients know exactly what it is that they want to bring into their life. They want to release a new album or write their first book. They want to feel worthy and love themselves deeper.
What can bridge this gap? A choice can. Or rather several choices over time. We make these choices when we see our reactive thought, take in the information it provides us, and then replace it with one that supports our greater intention.
For example, if I want to feel worthy, yet I’m presently thinking, “You are not good enough, let me count the ways,” I can observe what triggered this thought and learn quickly what fears I have about myself. If we know what we fear, we then know what we need to face.
In the moment, this is difficult work. But it’s work that snowballs. Worthy thoughts beget more worthy thoughts. Action begets more action.
And yellow sunglasses beget a beautiful sundress to match! Be the CEO of your inner world and you can color the world around you in whatever shade you desire!
BY LOUISE WARREN
Louise Warren is a Life and Creativity coach as well as a nationally touring Singer/Songwriter.
She has trained with both the Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy and the Creativity Coaching Association.
Her mission is to empower creatives to stay in their lane, self-care, and dream big so they can shine brighter than ever in their true masterpiece: the life of their dreams.