Choose your thoughts wisely

One of the most liberating moments we can have as human beings is when we allow ourselves to accept that we’re actually doing better than we often give ourselves credit for. I’m talking about that feeling we get when someone tells us how great we’ve been or how much they value us, and the endorphins ride in on what feels like a 15ft wave. And the best part? We get to choose the thoughts that will give us this feeling.  

Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to rely on others to make us feel this way? Spoiler alert: we don’t.

I recently read my youngest child a bedtime story and the process of choosing a book went on for about 10 minutes. During that time, we must have looked through 20 books, each with its own cover and story. We finally decided on a book, a classic called The Tiger That Came to Tea and we settled in for the story that we’d read hundreds of times before.

What’s the relevance of this? Well the truth is, we are just like bookshelves, full of stories that feed our thinking, which drive how we feel which in turn dictates how we behave. Some of the books (thoughts) on our shelves (in our minds) have titles such as:

“I’m rubbish at presenting, written by me”

“I’m woeful with money, written by me”

“I’m rubbish at art, written by me”

“How can I get better at golf, written by me”

“I’ll hold my opinions lightly, written by me”

“I’m pretty good at making others feel valued, written by me”

The point I’m making is, just like when selecting a good book to read, we have a choice to hang out with thoughts that serve us well and make us feel, well, good. Sure we can’t control our thoughts but we can absolutely chose which ones to hang out with.

Your mind is your greatest tool. Understanding how it works, accessing a state of conscious awareness and determining where you want to focus your thinking, drives your whole experience of life. Learning how to harness the power of your mind, uncovering your unconscious influences and biases, and intentionally working on them is a critical part of the skill we call Conscious Mind.

Find out more about the skills we teach on the Ivy House programmes below.

By Neil Trevena, Ivy House London
3rd August 2022

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