I used to have lots of negative thoughts. Ranging from “Why me”, “I’m such a horrible person”, “I’m so stupid”, to “I will never make it”, I will never live my dream”.
It’s a lot less now than it was before but I still have these thoughts. But now I know it’s not my thoughts that make me feel bad. It’s not what I think that makes me feel bad.
So what is it?
Most of us make the “mistake” of thinking that the content of the thought we’re having has anything to do with us feeling bad about ourselves.
I made that “mistake” as well. I changed the content of my thoughts. I tried positive thinking. I tried affirming. I tried it all but the thoughts just kept on coming.
Changing thoughts didn’t help. Here’s why
I’ve learned that it’s not about the content of the thought. Because as I tried to change the content of the thoughts different types of thought surfaced their heads. Why? Because all these thoughts came from my limiting belief. And as I didn’t tackle my limiting belief, thoughts just kept on coming in different shapes and sizes (and with different types of content). My limiting belief kept on manifesting and creating other thoughts whenever I was exposed to a certain experience or event.
What I did back then was associate my negative emotions (feeling bad, feeling depressed, feeling sad) with these thoughts. Which is primarily the right thing to do. But what’s important to realize is these thoughts come from a belief I had about myself and the world. So what most of us do, is try to work with the thoughts. Trying to change them by for example visualizing, relaxation practices and other things. But that can be like swimming against the current. As if you are “fighting” against something you could never win. These methods do work of course, but if they haven’t worked for you, this is why.
Tracking the thoughts is important, but realizing they are not the core issue is even more important.
Your thoughts are representations as well as manifestations of your core limiting belief.
So the thoughts shouldn’t be your main focus but they are clues as to what kind of belief is unconsciously influencing your life.
The thoughts you have and the negative emotions coming with those thoughts encompass more than just the thought itself.
Your emotional guidance system
You see, your emotions are your guidance system. Your negative emotions are signaling to you that the thoughts you have aren’t true for you. Your positive emotions are signaling to you that the thoughts you have ARE true for you. So negative emotions are GOOD as they are signaling to you that you’re out of alignment with your True Self.
So, as your thoughts are representations and manifestations of your limiting belief, and your emotions are signals as to what you’re thinking and believing is or isn’t true for who you really are, the CONTENT of the thoughts isn’t what makes you feel bad. You feel bad because you’re BELIEVING something NOT true for who you really are.
This is the most difficult part and where too many people get lost, unfortunately. Lots of problems can be circumvented by simply finding your way to a belief that you’re holding on to. A belief is not the same as a thought. A thought like “I’m not good enough” can stem from a belief of Lack. This belief can be the source of many similar thoughts like “I’m not worthy”, “I will never make it”, “there’s not enough money”.
Another belief can be around “feeling unsafe”. This belief can be the source of similar thoughts like “I need to control everything”, “I need to work hard”, “it all comes down to me”, “I’m afraid to do this and that”
So the types of thoughts you have, the content of the thoughts you have are not the reason you feel bad. They can help you though in finding the belief that causes you to feel bad. Thoughts will lead you to a belief that you’re holding on to and is the source of many similar thoughts.
By following the types of thoughts you have, by grouping them together, by seeing a similar thread amongst different thoughts, you can decipher the specific belief. You can find your way to a concept that you’re holding on to which is a breeding ground for all these different thoughts that don’t make you feel good (because they are not true for you).
So what I did was stop listening to the content of the thoughts and find my way to the underlying limiting belief that was generating all these thoughts and I started working on transforming that belief. After doing that, the thoughts were gone. In instead of the negative self-talk I have positive self-talk now.
This positive self-talk doesn’t require work on my end, it’s natural and it flows organically from the positive and empowering beliefs I hold.
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