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Arrow Tip #21: Think About What You're Thinking About


In many Arrow Tips, I've stated in order to have a better life or change anything, you first have to change your mind. This starts with changing your thoughts. Therefore, observing your thoughts is paramount. I've even given "observing your thoughts" as an ACTION STEP several times. Your beliefs and assumptions (which may be conscious or subconscious) create your thoughts and your thoughts drive your behaviors and create your experiences. If you want to create new behaviors or experience the world in a different way then you have to change your thoughts first. But how can you change your thoughts when you're so engrossed in them? Most people aren't really even paying attention to them. They're just thinking them! This is why you have to start thinking about what it is you're thinking about! You can't change your thoughts until you become aware of what your thoughts actually are.


It's been said that 90% of the thoughts we have on any given day are the same thoughts we had yesterday. We are highly repetitive in our thinking. It's very rare that someone decides to step back from themselves and take note of WHAT it is that they've been thinking about. This is what it means to become the observer of your thoughts. You can't change something you aren't even aware of. If someone sees you deep in thought they might ask you what you were thinking about and you could probably answer. But have you ever taken a moment to step back from yourself and from a higher point of awareness, (almost as an observer of yourself), and watched your thoughts? Try it.


I can't tell you how many times I've gotten into a negative thought spiral and then stopped for a moment to just notice what I was doing. I usually end up saying something like this to myself....."Wow, look at me going down the rabbit hole, spiraling out of control!" Then I ask myself....."Ok, so what am I actually thinking here?" Once I examine what my thoughts were, then I decide if they're pointing me in the direction of what I would prefer in my life. If not then I try to come up with a better thought.


Sometimes it's hard to come up with better thoughts. That's because you may have a belief that's in conflict with a better thought. As you become conscious of your thoughts you will probably see that there are patterns in your thinking. Those thoughts, if examined, will expose to you what your beliefs are. Are your beliefs in alignment with what you would prefer to have? If not then it may take some work to change the beliefs. That work starts by changing the thoughts first. As you change those thoughts, your brain will search for evidence to match the new thoughts and in time your beliefs will begin to change.


So, how do we start thinking about what we're thinking about? First, you'll have to remember to do it! This is totally foreign to most people. We just go about our day thinking things without really paying attention to the fact that we're thinking. Try to remind yourself as you go through your day to pay attention to what it is you're thinking about. You might even consider setting an alarm on your phone several times during the day just to get used to the concept.


Once you've remembered to take a moment to examine what you're thoughts are, try to step back mentally from yourself and be the observer of your own thoughts. This means saying to yourself....."wait a minute, let me step back here and examine what I'm saying to myself right now". This is especially important to do when you are thinking about something you don't like and want to change. You can even take a moment to write down what your thoughts were. Notice if the thoughts are in alignment with your goal. If they're not then see if you can figure out what beliefs might be behind the thoughts. You wouldn't be thinking them if you didn't believe something on some level.


 


It's virtually impossible for us to stop thinking. Through different practices, we might slow our thoughts or have gaps between thoughts but for the most part, we're always thinking. Our thinking is mainly made up of conversations we're having with ourselves or someone else in our minds. As you do this, see if you can remember to stop, take a mental step back, and listen to what you're actually saying to yourself or to another in your mind. Once you start doing this I guarantee you will begin to see the patterns and the beliefs that are keeping you stuck in the same unwanted place. I've given you many Arrow Tips on how to gain control and change your thinking so you can get results but none of that can happen until you first start looking at what you're thinking about and what you believe. As you do that you can begin to change things.



 

ACTION STEPS:


  1. Remember to take a moment to "think about what you're thinking about". Set an alarm to do this periodically until it becomes something that's more familiar to you.


2. If there's an area of your life you want to change, ask yourself "What thoughts have I been having about this topic?" Next, ask yourself "What is it I must believe in order to have this thought?"


3. Notice your mental conversations. What are you saying to yourself? This will give you an indication as to what your thoughts and beliefs are.


All change first starts with the mind. In order to shift anything in your life, including your mindset, you have to become aware of what you're thinking about. Become an observer of your thoughts. That's the first step.



~Remember: YOU ARE UNSTOPPABLE.