Can changing your thoughts actually help you change your life? I know it sounds overly simple and a bit corny… but what if it were true?
Have you ever heard the saying “If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got”? Think about it, when you always follow the same recipe you get the same results. Your thoughts are like that as well.
How often have to told yourself that things are always going to be hard? Do you talk yourself out of things because ‘that could never happen‘. Have you given up on yourself before you even started something? Are you stuck in a pattern of negativity?
For years I told myself that because I was a single mother I was always going to struggle. That was simply going to be my lot in life. Money was always going to be tight, I was always going to be stressed out…things were just never going to get better.
I TOLD myself that so much that I made it true for myself. My thoughts effected my perspective and my perspective influenced my habits. My habits effected my life and how I felt about my life. It wasn't until I decided to change my thoughts that my life turned around.
Outer changes in your life are the result of changes in behavior.
Changes in our behavior are usually because of inner changes – changing our thoughts. When your thoughts change or your beliefs change then you behavior typically changes. For example:
Maybe you decide one day that you want to serve your community more. Get out of the house and do something fulfilling. You meet new people while volunteering, maybe you start dating a new person or possibly get a job that you otherwise would never have known about.
Sometimes the simple thought of doing something new can be enough to push our lives in a completely different direction. Simply changing your thoughts to believe that you can have something different or new.
Examine your current beliefs…
Are your current thoughts or beliefs holding you back? Do you believe things that simply aren't true? Are you telling yourself stories that you have made up? Like when I told myself that because I am a single mother I have to struggle. Who says? Where is that rule written?
Our beliefs are like our software – yes I am a bit of a nerd so I am going to use computer terminology for a second..
If your software is telling you error error error or it is faulty then maybe you need to reboot or upgrade that software. You can't operate efficiently on broken software – so change your thoughts.
Are your thoughts and beliefs serving you? Are they helping you reach your goals or dreams – or do they hold you back? Do they keep you from even trying? Ask yourself this question…
If your good friend came to you with their dream or goal would you tell them that they couldn't do it? Would you crush their dream by telling them they weren't good enough, capable enough or qualified enough? No – I didn't think so.
Inner changes will change your habits…
Once you change your thoughts you will start to change your habits. When you have decided that your goals are attainable you will start working more toward reaching them. Because you are no longer allowing yourself to talk yourself out of them.
For example, if you have changed your perspective on why you want to stop smoking…
I need to quit because my children need their mother around and healthy
– instead of –
I can't quit because my children stress me out and smoking is my only stress reliever
Then you may find yourself not even feeling that you need a cigarette the way you once thought you did. Or maybe you change your thoughts on why you want to lose weight – so you go to the gym or start taking walks.
When the things you do each day are altered, even if it is small at first – your results will be altered as well.
Envision the life you want to lead…
If you only focus on the life you have then you will always get more of the same. Take some time each day to think about the life you WANT. The goals that you have and what your life looks like when those have been met.
Don't dwell in things that are not the way you want them because it only brings you down. Be specific about the life you are creating for yourself. Have you bought your very own home? What does that house look like? Where is it?
What type of work are you doing? How does that work make you feel? Now that you have met your goals how do you feel?
When you do this enough this life should feel possible to you, it should feel normal and completely attainable. When you do this you will keep changing your habits to help you create this life. You have decided that you can accomplish this so you will no longer get in your own way.
Monitor your thinking…
This type of change takes work. If you are like me you have spent a really long time telling yourself you can't do things. You need to stay on top of your thoughts because negative thoughts will always bring negative results. Once you start telling yourself you can't do it you will start to believe it. You will give up.
How can you have a positive life and make positive changes for yourself if you are being negative? You can't. So every time you find yourself having a negative thought change it to a positive one. When things don't go exactly as you wanted them to just tell yourself “plot twist” and try to find a positive spin.
You are going to make mistakes, you will fall down sometimes – because we are human and that is life. The important thing is that you don't let those times stop you. If there is a lesson in the mistake, take that lesson and let it help you grow and keep moving forward.
This will be something that you have to work on all the time. Some days will be harder than others. It is an ongoing process but it is totally worth it because it can be life changing.