Most of us are habitual beings. Our days are made of routines and habits that we follow almost automatically. Such automated behaviour, however, applies not only to our normal day to day lives but to how we think and react to the various circumstances that we are faced with.
We hardly ever think about what we think about and how that affects our emotions, behaviour, and actions. We just think and this is where the danger lies.
Did you know that, according to Dr Joe Dispenza, an international lecturer, researcher, author and educator, 90 % of the thoughts we think today are the same as the ones we had the day before?
We are that automated in our thinking and, unless the majority of our thoughts are positive, self-empowering and related to the realisation of our goals, we may well be sabotaging our success.
Here is why.
Our thoughts create emotions (just pause for a moment and think about that amazing holiday you had last year – what emotions is the memory of this holiday evoking right now?). The thoughts we think and what we give our attention to creates an immediate emotional reaction.
Our emotions affect the way we perform, the way we interact with others, the way we act, how we learn and, as a result, what we get to achieve.
They also are energy. They contain vibrational frequencies, as illustrated by the work of Sir David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D shared in his book Power vs. Force, and act as magnets that attract experiences and events into our lives which correspond to the vibrational frequencies that they emanate. If you are familiar with the Law of Attraction, you also know that, according to the Law, “that which is like unto itself, is drawn”.
So, the more intentional we are in choosing and managing our thoughts, the better we can become at creating emotions that are positive and have high vibrational frequencies and, by doing so, improve our performance and our point of attraction too.
Yes, we are THAT powerful. Yet, many of us are not utilising the power of our mind and energy but are instead dispersing it.
We let our minds run unsupervised and don’t pay attention to the thoughts we think.
We react to circumstances that are out of our control in a way that creates worry, anxiety, fear, stress (think about the panic mode many of us went into upon receiving the news about the spread of COVID-19).
We don’t question our self-limiting beliefs.
This is what I call autopilot thinking.
We think, react, repeat without consciously reflecting on whether our thoughts, beliefs and their corresponding emotions are good for us and supporting or impeding the realisation of our goals and aspirations.
And, unless we stop being autopilot thinkers, we will continue sabotaging our success.
How to stop being an autopilot thinker
Here are a few steps that you can do daily to get into the habit of consciously spotting negative thoughts and their corresponding negative emotions and reversing them.
1) Pay attention to how you feel.
2) When you feel a negative emotion, identify what that emotion is (e.g. fear, worry, discouragement) and where in your body you’re feeling it (I usually feel negative emotions in my solar plexus).
3) Touch the area in your body where the emotion’s manifesting and ask yourself “What is it that I am thinking about now? What are the thoughts that I am thinking?”.
4) Grab a pen and paper and write these thoughts down.
This exercise will help you become more aware of the thoughts that trigger the emotion you’re feeling. Once you are aware of them, you can start to intentionally pick different thoughts on the same subject. You can even write the new thoughts down and keep writing until you notice a change in how you feel.
The goal is to start choosing and deliberately thinking thoughts that improve your emotional state. With a little bit of practice, you will begin realising how easy it is to change an emotion by changing your thoughts.
You will become a deliberate thinker.