My clients are always hearing me say that although we don’t have control over our past, or things that have happened to us or (sorry to tell you), other people, what we do have control over is how we choose to think.
One of the first homework assignments I give clients is creating a Thought Download. Taking 5 minutes to pay attention to their thinking and write down those thoughts.
Why? This is the first step of becoming aware of their thinking and by doing so, start to capture thoughts that usually go unnoticed.
Over time we create a set of thoughts that have become a default way for us to think. I called them thought habits.
How many of you have a favorite place to eat in your neighborhood? How many of you go into that restaurant bound and determined that (this time) you will order something other than what you usually order. And when the waiter comes, how many of you switch to your “usual”. It’s easy to get flustered with the choices, perhaps you aren’t sure how the dish will taste, the “what if’s” start to enter into the equation and after all, that Salad with Chicken – well you sure do know what that will taste like, it’s familiar, it’s predictable, whether you really want it or not.
Thoughts are the same way. Our brain is nice and comfortable to think the same thoughts it is used to pulling from and unless you give it new thoughts to focus on, it will go to its usual default way of thinking.
Today, practice purposeful thinking. Envision your mind as being a restaurant offering your mind a smorgasbord of thoughts and decide what you want to think on purpose.