Beliefs are powerful. I have a client who believes that her boyfriend will leave her if she lets down her wall and really trusts and engages in the relationship. What she’s coming to understand is that this belief is causing her to do things that actually, given enough time, will in fact drive her boyfriend away. Her belief will sadly prove true, but she can easily make it different.
We have such incredible power over our thoughts and beliefs (most of the time), so how do we use that power? I bet you aren’t really paying attention to the beliefs and thoughts that circle endlessly in your mind. And likely you haven’t really considered that you can change the nature of the constant chatter. But you can.
Imagine a conveyor belt that goes in one ear, though your mind, and right out the other ear. Right now that conveyor belt is probably moving along a lot of garbage. ‘I’m so fat.’ ‘I can’t do anything right.’ ‘This is never going to work.’ Imagine though that you replace the garbage with lovely little images of smiley faces (my personal favorite), or beautifully wrapped gifts, or whatever works for you. ‘My body is amazing. I can’t believe it works right every day.’ ‘I can learn anything with the right help.’ ‘This will work as long as I’m persistent.’
Garbage in, garbage out. Smiley faces in, smiley faces out.
You can imagine that these different kinds of thoughts and beliefs then create different ways of being and acting in the world, right?
What kind of garbage do you keep on your mental conveyor belt? And how might it be getting in the way of who you want to be?
Perhaps it’s time to take out the garbage, for good!
Make a list of all the garbage beliefs and thoughts that you have.
Translate each one into a more helpful belief or thought. You can’t simply come up with a fluffy affirmation that you don’t really believe. ‘My body is perfect just the way it is’ doesn’t cut it if you don’t believe it. In fact you end up sort of sneering at the fluff. Look for what can be really true for you, but in a way that’s more helpful than the garbage. ‘My body is strong and gets me exactly where I want to go’, may be a statement that you can really feel as true.
Write the new helpful thoughts and beliefs on colored index cards. Carry them around. When you find yourself thinking garbage, pull out the cards and remind yourself of the more helpful belief or thought.
You can dump the garbage on your conveyor belt, but you have to be aware of it first, and then replace it with something more helpful. Then, your thinking won’t be so stinky.