Episode 94: Thought Capacity

Episode Summary

Every result in our life is created by our thoughts. This means that if we don’t love the results we are getting, the solution is to change our thoughts. But this is easier said than done because our thoughts “feel true” and our brains fight to be right about them.

It can help to recognize that while no thought is inherently good or bad, or right or wrong, every thought has a different capacity to create results in our life. We can’t create amazing results with low-capacity thoughts. 

In this episode, I’m sharing the most common low-capacity thoughts that are keeping us from getting the life we want. No matter how true your thoughts feel, identifying a thought’s capacity to produce results can help you decide if you really want to keep thinking it. 

Episode Tools and Questions

Our thoughts are like light bulbs, and the capacity of the bulb determines the power it holds. There are 25 watt bulbs and there are 1000 watt bulbs, and if we use a lightbulb with more capacity, it’s going to create more light. We don’t expect a 25 watt bulb to produce what a 1000 watt bulb can produce. We understand that it only has a specific capacity.

Thought capacity is much the same: we can’t have a 1000 watt life lit by 25 watt thoughts. When we understand that our results are created by what we think, AND understand that our thoughts don’t have the capacity to create anything else, then we see the power we hold.
Today, I’m giving you three examples of low-capacity thoughts. Once you see where you might be having these thoughts, it’s much easier to exchange them for thoughts that serve you.

1. “I’ve never done this before.”
As long as we are thinking this thought, it’s going to be hard to create awesome results in our life. The tricky thing about this thought is how important it seems -- but it’s not actually relevant.

This thought has no bearing on what you can do. It is a statement about the past, not the future. It’s the brain’s way of trying to keep you from trying something new, so you can avoid failure and pain in order to stay safe. It’s also keeping you from the result you want in your life. This thought simply does not have the capacity to give you more.

When this thought comes up for me, what I think instead is, “The only thing that is required is to believe I can.” Whatever it is you want in your life, if you want more capacity to do it, you have to believe that you can.

2. “I am” or “I am not.”
“I am bad with money.” “I am anxious.” “I am not good at goal setting.” These identity statements define you in a limiting way. They are fixed, predetermined thoughts that don’t
allow you to reach the results or life that you want.

With identity thoughts, we confuse the causal relationship between the thought and the result. We think we’re getting a certain result causing us to think something about our identity, when
in fact our thoughts about ourselves are what cause the result.

Say you look at your bank account balance (the result) and you think that this causes you to have the thought “I’m bad with money.” But the causal relationship here isn’t right. In reality, thinking “I’m bad with money” is what’s actually creating the result in the bank account.

If you want a different reality, a different result, you need to think about a thought that has the capacity to create it in your life.

3. “God is disappointed in me.”
This thought creates shame and frustration, and any action we try to take from this thought is motivated by fear. We start to feel like we can’t ever do it right and want to give up.

One major way I see this thought getting in the way is with parenting. Clients tell me that they didn’t do it perfectly as parents, their children are now making their own imperfect choices, and somehow this is all very disappointing to God. The low capacity thinking that you got it wrong, and as a result your children got it wrong, is painful. We either feel shame and hide, or we try desperately to control our children and their choices while beating ourselves up for all the mistakes we’ve made.

These thoughts have a low capacity for creating the understanding, love, compassion, and grace that you need in your life for yourself and all the people you love.Your children were never supposed to get it right and neither were you. God is not disappointed in you. It’s impossible.

Bottom line:
It’s hard to realize that low capacity thoughts often keep us stuck where we are. But this is actually good news. Once we understand these thoughts and how they work to create results in our lives, we can make room for high capacity thoughts and results instead.

You’re allowed to think any thought, and there aren’t any thoughts that you shouldn’t think. It’s simply that the thoughts we choose create the results we have, and so when you want a different result, you have to believe a thought with the capacity to create it. 

Episode Notes

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