Why Your Thoughts Matter
by JANIE LOUBSER & SARAH MATHEWS
In 2006, the world was given ‘The Secret’ … the best-selling self-help book written by Rhonda Byrne, which (with Oprah’s help), popularized the pseudo-scientific ‘law of attraction’ along with the belief that our thoughts have a direct impact on our lives. Simply put, this book claimed that by focusing on either positive, or negative thoughts, a person could directly invite positive, or negative experiences into their lives.
Many visionaries, writers, inventors, speakers and entrepreneurs have gone on to speak about and share this philosophy and yet for many of us – more than a decade on – it still seems way easier to let our minds default to their natural state of constant chaotic chatter. We jump from laundry lists of to-do items to replaying hurtful events of the past over-and-over again; we judge ourselves in the present and preoccupy ourselves with crazy ‘what-if’ scenarios that could play out in the future. We get so acquainted with our irrational and rational fears that they wake us up in the early hours for imaginary dress rehearsals, making us feel even more anxious and stuck. According to researchers, most of us are believed to indulge 80% of our average 70,000 thoughts a day on negative chatter so imagine the state of our collective experience if we are all guilty of this? If we are all attracting this, what can we do to shake it?
THE SIMPLE TRUTH: WHY OUR THOUGHTS MATTER
Your unconscious mind is what creates your life. I will go on to give you a simple explanation but the reality is, if you want to create new things for your life your thoughts are going to play an instrumental role in making that happen. To help you feel motivated to change and do the necessary work, I find it useful for you to better understand why it will benefit you. Knowing that the direct outcome of something you do can leave you feeling motivated and empowered makes putting in the necessary effort (the how) that much easier to help you arrive.
Our thoughts are very real, they affect our bodies, how we feel and hold huge influence over our lives. When we submerge ourselves in negative unconscious thoughts, we will be weighed down by feelings of unhappiness, anxiety and struggle. Luckily, we can use our conscious thoughts to help us change this. By making a conscious decision to feel good (even before we have reason to), this helps us reframe our unconscious experience into a more positive space. When we feel good, we free ourselves to do the creative work that is required to guide us to our desires. It lets us focus on what we want to attract rather than incessantly worrying about what we fear and the guilty feelings that go with that. When we develop a happy unconscious mind, we develop a happy conscious mind and this reflect in our everyday lives, leaving us feeling happy, at ease and in flow… and who doesn’t what that?
If you are serious about making these changes then you need to commit to getting to know your mind through the easy to follow practices below. A better understanding of your mind will help you change your thoughts and help you intentionally create all the outcomes you desire.
SIMPLE MANTRA TO GET YOU STARTED
It is through my thoughts that I can change myself.
- I, therefore, really value my mind and want to take care of it.
- I take time to reflect on my thoughts, I observe them without reacting to them.
- By doing this, I break automated reactions.
- I am now in control of my thinking.
The best way to step out of your daily routine and to become aware of your thoughts is through meditation. All you need is 15 minutes a day sitting quietly and focusing on your breath, in and out. If you do this every morning you will soon develop the ability to observe your thoughts.
Take notice of your mind when it feels slow, foggy or busy… this is an indication that your unconscious mind is working in a way that is keeping you from being focused and productive. Take control by simply pausing and deciding what you want to do next. Instead of allowing your unconscious thoughts to run the show, you decide what you want to focus on… you create your reality.
It is such a good feeling when you start to feel the benefits of practicing awareness and developing the ability to change your thoughts. Most people I work with look forward to meditating and directing their thoughts because nothing feels as good as feeling in control. You may however have to fight against the self-limiting belief that you can’t control your mind – but here’s a thought: Isn’t that the part of your mind (the 80%) that we’re inviting you to quiet? Start today and let your actions speak louder.