Ep #94: How to Practice Thinking
One of the things I talk with my students about is thinking new thoughts. Your thoughts create your feelings. Feelings create your actions. Your actions create your results.
Most of us want to think new thoughts. We want to practice new things so we can we can create new feelings, new actions and results. However, for some of us, it’s challenging to overcome our brains’ desire for efficiency and develop the process of thinking new thoughts into a learned skill.
On this episode of The Life Coach School, I ouline the process of coming up with new thoughts that will serve you and practicing them on a regular basis until they become a part of you. Turn up the volume and get ready to take notes, as this process will surely help you experience the feelings and achieve the results you want.
I hope all of you have an amazing Christmas!
(And if you’re listening to this in July, I hope you have an amazing July!)
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What You will discover
- Why it’s so difficult for some of us to think new thoughts.
- The process of thinking new thoughts.
- How to practice thinking.
- The power of affirmations.
- And much more!
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Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Welcome to the life coach school podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. Now, your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Hi, you guys. How are you? What an amazing holiday season. I am so excited. Tomorrow I leave to go on the road, so when you listen to this I will be on the road in Colorado, taking my family for a 2 week vacation. We are going ... Those of you who don't know in California we haven't had snow in 2 years and I'm afraid my kids are going to forget how to snowboard. I grew up on skis. I love skiing. I'm a very good skier and I've had my kids on skis when they were 2 so they're very good at snowboarding and they love it and it's the one thing that all four of us really enjoy doing together. I decided we were all going to go. I got a place right on the mountain and we are going to ski for 2 weeks. We're spending Christmas there.
We have all the packages that we're going to pile up in the car and head out so I am very excited. It's been just relaxing not ... We didn't really decorate our house because we're just leaving and so it's been a non hustle and bustle kind of holiday so far and I'm really loving that and I think that will just continue because we're going to be traveling and skiing and enjoying so I hope you guys all have an amazing Christmas and if you're listening to this in July, I hope that you're having an amazing July.
It's a little chilly here in California, which is fun. I have this big furry coat on. Fake fur of course. Okay, so today we're going to talk about practicing thinking. One of the things that I talk about with my students is thinking new thoughts, right? Your thoughts create your feelings, create your actions, create your results so most of us want to think new thoughts. We want to practice thinking new things so we can create new feelings. We can create new actions and new results but I think it's challenging for some of us to overcome our brain's desire for efficiency. If you've been listening to this podcast very long, you know that the brain is designed for efficiency. We have so many incoming stimuli that it's very important for us to recognize that the brain has to filter out most of what's coming in so it can keep us sane.
If we had to pay attention to all of the stimuli coming in and everything and trying to filter it, we wouldn't be able to focus. We would literally go crazy so our brain is designed to focus on what's important and what matters and filter out anything that isn't so what that means is our brain likes to think the same thoughts. It likes to get habitual, it likes to have patterning and it likes to be efficient so most of the thoughts that we have are not even conscious. We don't have to think about walking or picking up something or driving a car or how to eat or how to, you know, open the car door. Right? We don't have to think about any of that stuff. It's all very efficiently programmed into our brain. This is great news for those sorts of things. Not great news for belief systems that no longer serve us that are unconscious. Ones that we don't recognize as even belief systems because we are so adept at thinking them.
In order to think something new, it's cumbersome. It's like learning something new. I want you guys to think about if you've never played golf, learning how to play golf is very cumbersome at first. It takes a lot of energy, a lot of focus. Once you swing the club a couple times and play let's say 25 rounds of golf, you get better at thinking about it in a more efficient way and it becomes more natural and you don't have to go, "Okay. I've got to grab the club this way. I've got to pull the club back, I've got to make sure I keep my head down. I've got to make sure my stance is right." All those things that you're thinking about consciously that make it difficult soon become practiced and efficient in your brain so you become more of a natural at it.
That's what I want you to think about when you're thinking about new thoughts and practicing new thoughts. It's not just that you're going to go, "Oh, I want to think that I'm beautiful. I want to think that I'm talented. I want to think that I'm capable. I'm just going to think that," without thinking that you have to go through that cumbersome, awkward stage of learning how to believe something, learning how to think something. I know that many of you have heard of the term neuroplasticity, which literally means we have the ability to lay new track in our brain. There are neurons, fire together, wire together so that's what we're thinking about when we're thinking about our brain.
Right now, you may have a connection in your brain that believes you're not good enough. I know for sure I have many of these connections in my brain. Some days, for example, this morning when I wake up my brain is filtering and looking for everything that is not good in my life. Everything that didn't go well yesterday and everything that's not going to go well today. Really? That's what I have to wake up to? That's what my brain wants to filter and look for so I have to consciously pay attention to what my brain is doing. Like I said, many times it's a toddler with a knife. It's innocently running around not trying to hurt anybody but it is and so I have to redirect it. I have to tell it what to think. I have to practice new thoughts and I want to offer that there ... I have given you some tools in how to do this. One of them is to do thought downloads with whatever's in your brain, which means you sit down and you write down everything that's in there like emptying out a purse and then you proceed to run models on a few of those thoughts and then create new models of things you want to believe.
When you decide consciously what you want to believe and you practice it enough, then it becomes unconscious. Okay? I want you ... It's kind of like a 3 step process. You see what you're currently thinking, you change it to what you want to be thinking, and then you practice what you want to be thinking on a regular basis until it becomes unconscious. Until it becomes natural.
What are the ways of doing this? Right? Decide first what you want to feel, create, and do. Decide on the thoughts you need to believe in order to create and feel and do what it is you want to do. Then make a list of those thoughts and you have to tune in and check in with those thoughts and make sure that they're believable and when you read them, they feel good. The reason why I say this is sometimes people try to go from a very negative thought pattern to a very positive thought pattern and all that happens is a lot of negativity so if you go from, "I hate my body," to "I love my body. It's beautiful and there are unicorns everywhere," you're never going to get to the place where you believe that so all you're going to here is, "No there aren't. No you're not. No there aren't. No you're not." Right? That's what you will be reinforcing. The negative side of it.
I've offered this before. You can go from, "I hate my body," to "I have a body," and you can practice that thought until you're able to drop into this new thought patterning. Then maybe you can switch to, "I have a body with the potential to be thin." Right? That you can believe. Then maybe you move to, "I have a body that is thin," and you can start believing that even before you get there. Right? You have to many times go gradually to that place.
The way that I teach this is you think about the thoughts you want to think and then you write them all down. Now, one of the things that really helps the mind focus is setting goals and setting goals and writing them in a present day tense. For example, it is 2017. January. I have just completed a year of business where I generated 2 million dollars. I am in the process of working with my bookkeeper and my accountant to pay my taxes or whatever. Right? You align with that. You can believe it. You can be in that space of where that may be true for you. You can connect with those feelings and connect with the truth of that statement.
Now, for some of you, 2 million dollars is nowhere near. For some of you, that's enough money but for some of you, you can say it's 2017. I'm at home. I have my 2 children there and I'm married. Right? You can believe that that's true especially if you're married and you already have 2 children. You're pretty dang sure that you're going to have 2 children and be married in a year. For most of you, right? You can practice visualizing and practice thinking thoughts in that way in a way where you really genuinely do believe that that's where you will be and then you can start adding in more details. One of the things that I have done and I got this from the success principles book. I have a podcast on the success principles and I'll link to it in the show notes.
I highly recommend that book and author Jack Canfield. One of the things that he taught was to write down your goals on 3 x 5 cards and then hole punch them and safety pin them in the corner, which I have done. Read those goals, read those intentions, read those thoughts on a daily basis when you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning. That is a way of practicing thinking. That is a way of your mind practicing what it is you want to believe, where you want it to focus. The other thing you can do is write down the list of thoughts that you want to believe and practice reading them. Have them on a 3 x 5 card, put them in your purse, put them on your phone. Right? You could make it so every time you log in to your computer or before you ever go onto Facebook, you have to read the list of thoughts you want to believe. It sounds maybe tedious to some of you. It maybe sounds like something you don't want to do but I can't emphasize enough how powerful that would be for you to do that with your mind, to tell it what to think on purpose.
This is why reading good books and listening to podcasts and listening to uplifting music is so powerful for your brain because it tells it where to focus and what to think about.
The other thing that's interesting that you may have heard of is the idea of affirmations. I first learned about affirmations from the author Louise Hay. She's the owner of Hay House, the publisher, and one of the amazing things about her work is first of all, she is amazing. If you go check out her website…I'll put it in the show notes. If you check out Louise Hay, I think it's louisehay.com. If you check it out and see how amazing she looks and just what an amazing person she is. You can see the effect of having these affirmations have had in her life and I love watching her. If you ever watch her give an interview or watch her give a speech, she talks a lot about her affirmation. Basically they are thoughts that you can think and say out loud and practice out loud and as long as you believe them, they will have an incredibly powerful impact on your day and you life.
Let me give you some examples from her website of her affirmations. Every experience I have is perfect for my growth. My life is joyously balanced with work and play. I am unlimited in my wealth in all areas of my life. All areas are abundant and fulfilling. My heart is open. I speak with loving words. I forgive everyone in my past for all perceived harms. I release them with love. I am grateful for my healthy body. I love life. I feel safe in rhythm and flow of ever changing life. My income is constantly increasing. Life supports me in every possible way. I am worth loving. There is love all around me.
They just go on and on and on and on and she has audios that you can listen to and I actually recommend all of her work but I also recommend doing your own affirmations for yourself and creating them on canva. Canva.com and creating a visual board for yourself, maybe on Pinterest and that's actually a really powerful reminder, is that vision board.
I know a lot of people have stopped making vision boards because there seems to be all this hoopla around the idea of the secret and the law of attraction and all these people going out and making vision boards and thinking that's all they need to do to create what they want in their lives and I think it's really important to remember that when you have a vision board and you look at it everyday, you're telling your brain what to focus on. You're giving your brain something to filter and something to think about so those vision boards can be really powerful and there's a way to create a vision board on Pinterest, right? You can create a physical one or you can create one on Pinterest and look at it every day, which I highly, highly recommend. Think about what you want, you focus on what you want, and then you go and get it.
You don't just focus on it and wait around for the mailman to deliver it although I have heard stories where that does happen. It's certainly better than not focusing on anything you want, right? Creating the result you want by focusing on exactly what it is and then creating a plan to get it, which I've talked a lot about in this podcast, right? The choices that you make will determine whether you get what you want or not and if you're very serious about getting something, you will go and you will get it. I am the kind of person that if I create a goal and I write it down, and I'm committed to it, I go get it and I do what it takes to get it. I take massive action, which means I take action until I get the result I want. Obstacles and things that are in my way don't stop me from getting what it is I want so really powerful reminders, going and listening to audios or looking at Louise Hay's wisdom cards for some ideas can be really powerful but you can also create those for yourself. You can also create those audios for yourself to listen to on your own phone in your own voice.
I think that really helps you establish a relationship with yourself and memorizing the thoughts you want to think. Repeating the thoughts you want to think, reading the thoughts you want to think, and writing them down. One of the practices that I highly encourage that you pick up is sitting down and writing down the thoughts you want to believe. Writing down what you want, writing down all the positive things in your life that you want and that you have and writing down all the positive things in your life that you want and that you're going to create in your life. Most of us will say we don't have time for this. Most of us will say we're too busy, we can't take the time to visualize our future, visualize what we want or write down what we want. We only have time to run around and be really, really busy and overeat and overdrink and overwork. Right? That's all we have time for but when it comes to really creating a conscious life, we have to manage our minds.
What that means is we have to go in there, clean out what's already there, pay attention to what's already there, and then actively replace it with new thoughts by practicing them, practicing affirmations that we believe, right? Not affirmations that we don't believe, and thoughts that we believe and consistently move up to the higher level of thinking that will create a higher level of life. I would love to know how this goes. Come over to the lifecoachschool.com/94. The number 9 4 and tell me what your affirmations are, what your new thoughts are that you want to think, how you believe them, and how they feel when you think them. I'd love to know how you're practicing. You can share ideas there. All right everybody. Have an amazing wonderful week and an amazing wonderful Christmas and I will see you and talk to you next week. Take care. Bye bye.
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