We have thousands of thoughts a day. It is said that roughly 95% of thoughts are UNCONSCIOUS, 80% of thoughts are negative, and 90% of thoughts are the same as yesterday. What does this mean? We are not aware of the many negative thoughts we repeatedly have every day. It takes intentional work to change your thinking, to rewire our thoughts. We must be intentional to fuel our mind with positive thought and bring conscious awareness to the unconscious thoughts we have that drive our feelings, behaviors, and actions.
Part of the growing practice of mindfulness is really the exercise to become aware of our thoughts. It is part of the practice to notice a thought and then let it go. This is part of the challenge of mindfulness because humanly we do not like to do this. We are wired to marinate on thoughts or impulsively act on them. It is building a mind muscle to have a thought, notice it and let it go. That is literally part of the practice. I used to think I was “failing” at stillness, but when in my neuro course I learned this is part of the exercise it helped me feel better about my continually active mind. Next, I learned there are lots of thoughts I have that I do not even realize I am having. This the work to start noticing more of our thoughts and how many thoughts we really have that shape our perceptions, emotions, and stories.
We have been in a season of high uncertainty and change. It heightens emotions, especially fear and anxiety. People feel tired constantly subconsciously managing their emotions. What is important to realize is when we have been feeling this way more consciously, it feeds our unconscious and repetitive thought. We must intentionally notice these thoughts but more so to create positive and optimistic thought. People who are optimistic live longer and are healthier. It is worth your time to reshape your mind and create new neural pathways that see positivity rather than the natural challenges and negativity.
There are said to be six core emotions, four are negative emotions (fear, sadness, disgust and anger) and one positive (happiness) and one mixed (surprise).
An interesting emotion that can be a hijacker of a great day is fear. It is an important emotion to watch for as it can quickly control us. FEAR & FOMO (fear of missing out) causes us to make bad choices. Fear is an emotion that can cause you to jump ship from your “sense” to more irrational thought. We get fixated on what we do not have instead of what we have. Shifting a focus to gratitude for what you have, thankfulness for the present and contentment that it is enough will help to calm the mind that is starting to spin in a story. Typically, when FOMO starts, we have already made a choice for a reason. For example, we choose to work or stay home and then we see that social media post that everyone got together, and we were not there. We might have FOMO at work where we choose to take one course of action but then FOMO grows as we see others achieve goals, finish projects, get recognition, leave early, etc. We start to second guess and question ourselves. FOMO is not really about the surface fear. It is more about the what ifs and the triggers under. It is a distraction when looking at the outside that makes us question ourselves and our decision. It can activate small thinking within us.
Here are a few tips to support building your positive and optimistic mind. To manage this:
- HAVE DAILY HABITS (A great book to support creating this is Miracle Morning)
- Plan your day and make sure it supports your goals and objectives
- Allow 20% of your day for the unexpected, otherwise stick to your plan
- Align your decisions to your values and priorities
- Create time for what is important to you (relationships, connection, etc.)
- SET YOUR MIND – create daily routines to focus on what is healthy!
- Start your day with something positive and inspirational to focus on
- Make your space positive – clean, organized, peaceful and motivational
- Fuel yourself through the day with creating space for breaks, checking in with yourself to notice your thoughts, fuel positive and growth-minded thinking
- Have a prosperous focus – what is good, what you have, what you CAN do
- If FOMO pops up, notice it and consider why – then let it go
- If you really struggle with FOMO, minimize channels that cause you to take your eye off the ball and get distracted in stories that ignite second guessing yourself
- BUILD CONFIDENCE – access your inner wisdom and recognize head chatter
- Be humble and get curious – when we feel we should know and shut down curiosity, we are really in an ego place … it is our ego that feels many of the negative emotions
- Learn something new – this is a growth mindset of always learning verses knowing/telling .. our confidence grows as we learn
- Focus on what is certain – to calm the mind to know what you can count on
- Reframe failure to learning and progress – it is not about being perfect, no one is
- Focus on your strengths, surrounding yourself with your tribe who value your strengths
- Be realistic about your strengths and opportunities, it is usually when we are fighting the truth or in denial about a growth area our confidence is most challenged.. when we are honest about an area that needs upskilling our confidence scales with our attitude and efforts
Your thoughts and mindset matters. What you do each day can support a healthy and positive outlook which allows greater success in life and work!