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Challenging Negative Thoughts About Yourself

Thoughts

We have thousands of thoughts every single day.

Some of those thoughts are neutral, some positive, some helpful and some are very unhelpful for us, especially the negative thoughts that come up from your inner critic.

So what to do?

You do not have to believe everything you think and you can choose another thought, a higher thought that is in alignment with who you really are; love. You see, you are not your thoughts and you are not just your mind. As The Power of Now explains, you are a being behind those thoughts. And when you become aware of your own thoughts, you can begin to challenge those negative self thoughts.

The importance of doing this work, is because a same thought over and over again creates a belief. And that belief has a huge impact on our lives. A constant negative thought about yourself will lead you to believe that about yourself, if you believe in the thought, and thus it affects your reality and  your life.

Let’s give you an example…

  1. Thought comes up in me saying “oh my god I look so fat and disgusting today”.
  2. Me (being) acknowledges the thought and is like oh thanks for that one, really helpful… (note the sarcasm).
  3. Me (being) chooses not to believe that thought.
  4. Me (being) chooses a higher thought (from a place of love)… “I recognise that my mind is trying to attach our self worth to our size here. I know that my self worth is not determined by my size or shape or the amount of fat that happens to be on my body. I want to thank my body for being so freaking awesome and keeping me alive in this life. I am worthy”.
  5. Feels empowered and moves on with life…

(Note: you can simply move on at step 3, but I find it is helpful to reinforce a positive belief with a new higher thought).

Old Lauren in her early 20s may have reacted in a different way:

  1. Thought comes up in me saying “oh my god I look so fat and disgusting today”.
  2. Takes thought as gospel and believes it to be true.
  3. Thinks “what are we going to do about this? Should I cut my calories, should I run more? Ugh everyone must think I am so fat, ugly and disgusting”.
  4. Takes action to make my body smaller and reinforces the belief that I am “fat and disgusting”.
  5. Is very unhappy and the cycle repeats.

You see the huge difference between these two scenarios?

When you become the watcher of your thoughts, you can choose which ones to believe and which to acknowledge as untrue. And if it is helpful, you can re-frame those thoughts to be from a place of love and create new self beliefs which are from a place of truth and love.

Doing this work is tricky to begin with and it does take constant work each day. But the more and more you align to thoughts that are your highest thought (in love), the more your thoughts will be like that. When you choose not to believe in the negative thoughts and not give them power, it gives you so much freedom.

And just to note…even when you have got this shit down, you will still get weird/wacky/negative thoughts sometimes. That is totally normal. It is what you then do with those thoughts that matters. I am pretty sure even the Dalai Lama gets odd or negative thoughts, but I am also pretty sure he doesn’t let them drag him down or create negative behavioural patterns. He would just let them be there and move on.

What thoughts can you challenge today?

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2 Comments

  • Reply Michelle

    Gosh, this is something I am always trying to do but I sometimes get discouraged. It can be hard trying to stay vigilant over your thoughts all hours of the day. Do you have any tips on how to stay focused on it?

    https://thedogtribe.com/2016/07/22/summer-shred-workout/

    July 27, 2016 at 12:16 am
    • Reply thebrightfulllife

      I am the same Michelle. Unfortunately I feel the only way to do this, is to keep doing the work. I think maybe we don’t have to be so vigilant, but be aware. I believe that the more we do it, the easier it becomes and it then becomes a second nature thing. We have had so many years being completely unconscious and therefore it takes time to be conscious. And know that it will likely take a long time to get to where we would like to be, to have patience and grace with it all and not give up. Know that we will probably get lost in thought over and over again, but each time we choose to be aware and conscious, it is a step in the right direction 🙂
      I believe when we combine this work with trying to be present and in the now, we end up thinking less over time and then when we do think, we can more easily choose those thoughts that are in alignment with who we are; love. I guess for now, for both of us, just keep trying to be aware and accept those “negative” thoughts that do come up and then keep aligning to what we want to be; love.
      I would highly recommend a couple of books that help me with this that I refer back to a lot – The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle (I have read this one lots over the years and it takes a while for the truths of the book to sink in. I am only just really beginning to understand it all). The Happiness Trap by Dr Russ Harris (really great for accepting thoughts). And then a book called Conversations With God by Neale Donald Waslsch (this one isn’t all about thoughts, but it has a good section on this in it and is just a generally incredible and eye opening book).
      As you can see, I am very much still in this journey myself so I am completely here with you in doing this <3

      July 27, 2016 at 8:58 am

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