Yes, I’m a life coach. What that really means, though, is that I’m a thought analyzer.
My clients have tens of thousands of thoughts each day. Me, too, and so do you.
The human mind is a thought generating machine!
This is a wonderful thing, the human mind’s capacity for thinking. For creating. For plain ol’ making things up.
The trouble we run into is when we take the thoughts in our head too seriously.
When in fact, thoughts are just electrochemical impulses, bundles of neurons splashing around in all kinds of hormones and whatnot.
We “hear” the thoughts that arise to our cognitive attention and it seems to be in “our” voice.
But what thoughts should we “trust”?
Let me give an example…
Imagine you have a big project at work.
You want to do a good job and finish on time (or early!) but you are procrastinating.
Which is the “real” you, the person who wants to be focused on the task or the person who wants to get to Inbox Zero instead of working on the project?
What if the answer is neither?
What if both impulses are just bundles of neurons coming to your awareness for consideration and selection?
We look for our identity in what we think and do.
We label ourselves… “I have a pattern of procrastinating.”
What that really means is “Sometimes my brain fires off a bundle of neurons that suggest I should avoid the discomfort of working on my project. And sometimes I agree with those impulses. And that agreeing means that sometimes I choose to avoid the discomfort of my project.”
The thinking that we are aware of is nothing more, nothing less than bundles of neurons firing.
What you prefer…your goals…your personality characteristics…your worries…your dislikes…
Neurons efficiently firing off impulses that have gotten your attention before.
I love imagining that every thought I have is a bundle of neurons firing off fireworks to catch my attention.
Thinking is no different than blood pumping or gas collecting in my large intestine.
Just a bodily function like any other bodily function.
When my clients learn this analogy, they’re able to see their thinking as practiced responses. Then they can use the powerful part of their mind to create thoughts to practice on purpose.
“I’m a procrastinator” might be a thought that fires off. But I don’t need to believe it. I can say, “Oh, neuron mail has arrived. This message is ‘I’m a procrastinator.’”
Then I get to decide what I think – on purpose.
I can say, “Yup, sometimes I choose to avoid the discomfort of working on my project. Sometimes I don’t. What do I want to choose for myself today?”
Low drama. No drama. Just brains firing neurons and me evaluating what I believe on purpose.
This work is so simple and it changes my clients’ lives!
Practice noticing your thoughts as bundles of neurons instead of instructions, personality, truths, etc.
See what happens when you experience your mental chatter in this very freeing, playful way!
P.S. I invite you to fall in love with the “Less Stress, More Fun” podcast. Subscribe today! Each week’s episodes offer smart, fun ideas to reduce stress and boost your sense of playfulness.