If we aren’t getting the result we want it’s because of a thought.
Our thoughts create our feelings, our feelings drive our actions, our actions accumulate into results. – The trouble starts when we forget about this powerful cycle of results-creation.
If something is not as we want it to be,
if we have a result in our life that we don’t like (for example: ‘Our desk is covered with piles of papers’),
- we often believe that something is wrong with us.
For example: ‘I am hopeless at organising my stuff.
- Or we blame certain circumstances in our life.
For example: ‘I don’t have enough space to file my paperwork properly.’
Feeling incapable, out of control and stuck is the consequence, and making any changes to the unsatisfying situation seems impossible.
It just seems like that that’s the way things are and that there is nothing we can do about it.
However, we can do something about it.
We can change the results we currently have by changing the thoughts we currently think.
How can we declutter limiting thoughts?
The first step is becoming aware of the limiting thought. We need to recognise that what we believe to be a fact is actually a thought.
The fact in the example-situation above is that the desk is covered with piles of papers. The thought ‘I am hopeless at organising my stuff’ is not a fact, it’s just a thought about the fact.
This differentiation is very important!
Thoughts are optional, we can change them, we can believe whatever we want about the circumstances – the facts – in our life.
As soon as we have become aware of what we are thinking, we can start to question our thoughts.
Questioning our thoughts
One of the many ways to test our thoughts – especially our limiting beliefs – is to ask ourselves powerful questions, for example (Source: April Price) :
- ‘If I didn’t believe this, then what would I do?’
We play around with the idea that what we believe to be true might actually not be true.
Example: ‘I am hopeless at organising my stuff. – If I didn’t believe that, then what would I do?’
- ‘What if I’m wrong about that?’
The more willing we are to consider that we might be wrong about our beliefs, the less self-limiting power they have over us.
Example: ‘I don’t have enough space to organise my paperwork properly. – What if I’m wrong about that?’
- ‘What if this is just a story my mind made up?’
Stories are not reality, they are made up. They are interpretations of the things and events of our life. We can decide to interpret things differently.
Example: ‘I am hopeless at organising my stuff. – What if this is just a story my made made up? What’s a different story I could tell myself?’
Think about an area in your life – a special circumstance – where currently the results are not what you wish them to be.
It could be, for example, your fitness levels, your job satisfaction, a stressful relationship.
Now take some minutes to write down the thoughts you have about that circumstance.
And then have a closer look at the thoughts:
- How do you feel when you think them?
- Are some or all of your thoughts limiting thoughts? Do they keep you from feeling and acting better?
- What are you thinking that’s keeping you from taking action and creating what you want?
- Is it time to question or even declutter some thoughts? What could you decide to think instead?