Don't Believe Everything You ThinkSep 08, 2022
We have so many thoughts, so many beliefs, stories, and conclusions that we have drawn about ourselves. Thoughts about how we look, what we're capable of, about the kind of people we are, about all the aspects of our lives.
For the most part, the thoughts that we believe about ourselves are simply the ones that we've believed the longest. It’s not because they’re true.
I’m hard to live with. I’m not attractive. I’m not smart. I’m bad with money.
Because we have believed these thoughts throughout our lives, we’ve collected a lot of evidence for them, which makes them feel even more true.
But…how do you know that the things you believe about yourself are true? Maybe it’s time to learn how to stop believing your thoughts if they don’t serve you.
Look at the beliefs you’re trying to prove true
Notice what you were looking for when you gathered evidence for your beliefs about yourself. Chances are, you were never looking for evidence on both sides of the argument. Right? You just wanted to prove it to be true, not untrue.
But the original model of those thoughts might not be true.
Example: I was telling my endurance coach my belief that “I’m just not an endurance athlete. I never have been. I don’t have the stamina.”
He said, “Let’s try a different model of thought where you’re a different April and see what evidence we can find.
You’ve had four pregnancies. You trained for five months before hiring me. You’ve built a business, you have three years invested in a podcast.”
And I started to think of evidence on my own – like that I’ve been married for 27 years. “Maybe I do have endurance.”
When I was assuming that the original model was correct, I gathered evidence for my belief.
I wasn't trying to disprove those things, only prove them – because our brains are wired to want to be right, even if the thought or belief doesn’t serve us.
Evaluate the risk of believing something new
It feels so dangerous to believe something new about ourselves, to believe we're beautiful, to believe we're good with money, to believe we're an endurance athlete. But what is the real risk?
There really aren't that many – but your brain thinks it's very risky to believe something new about yourself, because it hates to be wrong.
Your brain thinks like your life depends on being right, but your brain is wrong about that. You could be wrong about every single thing you believe about yourself right now and nothing bad would happen. Your life would probably get a lot better.
But there was a time in human history when being wrong really did mean life or death. If you made the wrong decision about your food or shelter or whether it was safe to go outside where a predator could find you, you could die. So it makes sense that your brain is scared of getting things wrong.
But there is no danger in being wrong, especially about yourself.
- How to reconsider the thoughts you’ve believed about yourself, and how to stop believing your thoughts when they don’t serve you
- Why your inner authority outweighs the authority of anyone else when it comes to your beliefs
- How to choose new thoughts that support you and the life you want to create
- To decide to believe the thoughts that serve you, and trust that your belief is valid
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