You can choose your thoughts. Did you know that? I didn’t. You don’t have to believe thoughts, just because you heard them in your head. For example, I can easily, effortlessly find myself thinking: “I should just quit doing music now, and nobody would even care. I am wasting my time living in a van, I will never make it, and I am a fool for thinking I ever could.”
And here I have a choice to make. I can choose to accept or reject that thought. I can think “Crap, it’s true. Why did I ever think I could do this? I’m such an idiot.” Or, I can recognize that as a LIE. That would mean intentionally thinking “Wow, I don’t where that thought came from, but that’s ridiculous. I refuse to agree with that. I am obviously supposed to be creating and performing music, and I’m going to love every second of it.”
The negative, untrue thoughts will probably always be in my head, but I have decided how I am going to respond to them. I’m going to murder them with TRUE thoughts. Like this:
I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and can easily think “Ugh. You look awful. What a mess. Thank God for makeup because you need a lot. I’m sorry people even have to look at you this morning, you look like crap.”
Wow! That’s harsh right? But I am willing to bet you know exactly what I’m talking about. It just sounds crazy ridiculous when I give it a voice and type it out like this. So, after that thought pops into my head, I can decide if I want to agree with that, or not. I choose to reject it and think true things instead. Like this:
“Good morning beautiful! I am so happy to be awake and alive today. I am grateful for my face, my smile, my hair. I am so excited for this brilliant day ahead of me and that I get to live from a place of joy and calm all day.”
Lol, I guess that also sounds a little ridiculous typing out, but I am willing to sound silly to make a point. I am also willing to think lavishly ridiculously silly GOOD thoughts about myself if it helps me love myself more. If the negative, cruel thoughts that come into my head are off-the-charts insane, how much more insane should the good thoughts be that I think to fight the bad ones with?
But you have to see what a choice this is. If I want to stay miserable and hate myself, I am free to do that. It is pretty easy to do, because self-tormenting thoughts seem come into my head all on their own, with no help from me whatsoever. But I’m over it. I hate hating my life, my looks, my personality. So I am deciding not to. I am deciding to enjoy myself instead.... It is wonderful. You can choose to love yourself too. At the risk of getting overly simple, I’m going to break it down into steps. Here’s how:
1. Decide you want to love yourself. That you’re done living with self pity and acting like a victim of your own life. You’d be surprised how many people enjoy being miserable, they get a kick out of hating themselves. It takes a brave soul to decide to get well.
2. Start paying attention to the thoughts in your head. Hopefully you started doing that from Part I. Try to “catch” the bad thoughts as they come, recognizing their existence.
3. Change your mind. When the bad thoughts come, recognize them, and then take it one step further by disagreeing with them. It helps me to even say it out loud, like “That is a lie, I will not believe that, it has no place in my head. I’m not going to give that another thought.”
4. Replace the bad thought with an opposite good thought. When “You are so annoying, how can people stand to be with you?” comes into your head, fight it with the opposite thought. Intentionally think something like this instead “No. I am actually a really fun person to be with. I am a blessing to others. People like being around me because I am considerate, kind-hearted, and genuinely interested in other people.” It also helps to say the true thought out loud.
5. Believe the good thought. Just as you can choose to agree or disagree with a thought, you can choose your beliefs too. But here’s the thing- it takes time, it’s not quite as instant as choosing a thought. What you’re doing is reprograming your mind, and your sub-conscience, but it takes choosing good thoughts many, many times before those things take root in your head and become your actual beliefs. To where you actually BELIEVE that you’re fun to be around, you don’t have to “trick yourself” into thinking it by saying it out loud. You will get to the point where you don’t have to MAKE yourself think it anymore, because it will come naturally.
Someone once described it to me as making a groove in your brain. Every time you think the good, true thing, that groove get a little deeper. And your thoughts are like water, like rivers flowing in all different directions, and water will naturally flow to the lowest place; the deepest groove. So if you’ve thought “I’m such an idiot” a thousand times, that groove is really deep and is naturally where your thoughts will flow in to. So it might very well take thinking “I am clever and intelligent” a thousand times before that’s where the water naturally flows to on it’s own instead.
I’m still working on it. I probably will be my whole life! But I’m alright with that-the progress I’ve witnessed in just this past year has been well worth the effort. If you have any thoughts on this, please post in the comments. I would love to hear other people’s experiences with this insane topic that nobody talks about.