Many of you may not know that my Master's degree is actually in psychology; not exercise science. As a fitness professional of some 20 years, I was always more in awe that we didn't do what we knew we should do. It seemed, our mind was our most powerful muscle.
Do you know we think some 60,000 thoughts per day? And 98% of those thoughts are the same as we thought yesterday! Not much room for originality. So, if your thoughts aren't serving you, then your behaviors probably aren't either. This beautiful quote from Gandhi (I've also seen it credited to LaTse) sums it up...
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
So, if we want to change our destiny, we will need to change our thoughts. And it is actually doable! In fact, the most recent research on neuroplasticity of the brain shows that we can change our brain. Think of a thought as going on a trail. The more we think it, the more that path becomes ingrained. It becomes easy to think that thought because it always knows to go there. If you want to put a new thought in your head (maybe try on something a little more empowering), we need to blaze a new trail. Imagine cutting away the branches and making a new path. It's a little bit tough at first. But, the more you take it, the easier the route. It's the same in the brain. You can create a new path and eventually it will become the "go to route".
In the book, E-Squared, the author suggests that you should think of your 60,000 thoughts a day as prayers. Would you really want to pray for what you are currently thinking about? When you clean up your thoughts, according to the author, you clean up your vibrations that you put out to the world. We need to stop recycling old tapes, knee jerk conditioning and automatic behaviors that we picked up before we were 5. How much time are you spending automatically judging, belittling or second guessing yourself? Instead, think brilliant ideas that affirm your intentions and create new possibilities.
Think of retraining your thoughts just like you would house train a puppy. You keep putting the puppy outside until they get it. You don't punish the puppy when it goes potty in your house. You just redirect it. Here is how you are going to house train your thoughts today.
1) Gently redirect the negative thoughts that come in to your head.
2) Replace those negative thoughts with a new more positive path.
3) Go out of your way to look for new empowering thoughts to replace the usual 98% cycle!
Keep repeating those positive thoughts until your mind starts repeating them back to you!