Episode 120: 3 Steps to a New ThoughtAug 19, 2021
When I teach people that their thoughts are creating all the pain and all the results in their life, the question I get most often is, “But how do I change my thoughts?” In order to change our thoughts, we have to be very purposeful. New thoughts don’t just happen to us. New beliefs aren’t ever going to descend upon us uninvited.
In fact, because your brain is programmed for survival, most of the thoughts you want to think will be hard-won and only acquired through intention. In today’s episode I am sharing the 3 essential steps that allow you to change and acquire any new thought in your life, so you can create any result you want.
Welcome to the 100% Awesome Podcast with April Price, you might not know it, but every result in your life is 100% because of the thought you think. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome!
Hello, podcast universe! Welcome to Episode 120 of the 100% Awesome Podcast, I'm April Price and I want to welcome you to the podcast today. How are you? I was talking to my daughter today, she is, as you know, serving a mission in Iowa, and she has a big change coming up. She's been asked to train another missionary, and she's actually been assigned to an area where they want her to speak French. And this is the first time in her mission that they've asked her to speak French. And so, she's getting like she's just like in this moment of growth, right? And she was like texting back and forth with me this morning, and just saying, like I was saying, oh, this is like a moment where you're going to need so much faith, right? And she's like, yeah, and she said, like, I'm so excited to grow! And I said, yes, like, growth is exciting, growth is something that we all love.
And yet at the same time, growth is very uncomfortable. Like growth is kind of painful in many ways. And like growth sounds so fun, and exciting, and desirable, and something we all want. But when it comes down to it, it can be extremely uncomfortable. And sometimes when I am at my most uncomfortable, my coach will tell me this is what growth feels like. You're like I imagine the growth to be much more pleasant than this, right? But that comment that, this is what growth feels like, reminds me all the time that nothing has gone wrong. That is, that if it's difficult, that if it's hard, that if it's uncomfortable that nothing actually has gone wrong, and that I'm right on track, and it reminds me to stop arguing that it should be easy, right? Because I want to grow, and so this is exactly what it requires.
So, whatever new thoughts you are trying to believe, whatever new things you are trying to do in your life right now, those things are going to require you to grow your capacity to believe. And I want you to know that if it's hard and painful, you aren't doing it wrong, okay? This is what it means to grow, and it's supposed to be challenging and uncomfortable, and it's not a problem. In fact, it is a requirement, okay. So, if you're growing and it's hard, I just want you to keep going. I want you to keep fighting and I want you to know that I am cheering you on. This is hard work for all of us, but you are not alone. And you know, the good stuff is always on the other side of growth, so keep going.
Okay, well, today I wanted to answer a question actually that I got on Tik Tok. So, recently I have been posting a bunch of videos on Tik Tok, if you're on Tik Tok, you can get on there, and find me, and watch my videos. But anyway, I recently posted a video that was talking about how the only thing that ever causes our pain is our thinking, and then, I had somebody respond with the question that said, well, like, how do I change that? If the only thing that is causing my pain is by thinking, then, hey, like, let's change that, right? And I think this is a question that all of us have asked more than once, right? Like, how do I change what I'm thinking? How do I change my thoughts? And so, today I want to answer that question and give you some things that I think will help you to change your thought. And I've kind of broken it down into three steps. I think it is very like simple to change our thoughts, the process is very simple. It can be broken down into three simple steps, and the actual execution of that can be challenging, can be difficult, right? It's not easy, but it is simple. And so, I want to describe that process to you today in hopes that it will help you change some of the thoughts that you are working on changing, okay? Alright!
So, the first step to changing any thought is awareness. First, we have to know that whatever problem that we are encountering in our life, it is created by our thoughts. We have to be aware of that fact. We have to be aware that, in fact, what is causing our pain and our problems, and our challenges is the way our brain is interpreting things, okay? So, I had a client just this morning who said to me, like, I don't know if I'm the problem, or I don't know if my marriage is the problem. And I said neither of those things are the problem, our thoughts are always the problem. And we really have to be aware that this is the case. We have to have the awareness of what the real problem is before we can change anything else, okay? We have to understand that our brain is interpreting our life, every single thing that happens, your brain is translating it, giving it meaning, interpreting it, and every interpretation is up for grabs.
We also need awareness that our thoughts are the things creating our feelings, okay? Nothing outside of us ever creates our feelings. Your spouse, your kids, your house, your money situation, the church, the world. None of those things ever has the power to create your feelings. Our brain is the only mechanism by which feelings are created for us, okay? So, many times in our lives we aren't really aware of what's causing our feeling, right? And so, then we're mis-attributing our feelings to things outside of us, and that leaves us really, really powerless. So, we have to know that our brain is creating our feelings by the interpretation that it is choosing of our world. And then, we need awareness of that interpretation. If our brain is creating our feelings with thoughts, then the question after that is what are the thoughts that are creating my feelings?
So, recently I had a client who told me I think I married the wrong person. Okay, this thought made him feel stuck, and trapped, and hopeless, okay? He thought at the time that his marriage was creating these feelings of trapped, and stuck, and hopeless. He thought maybe that he had made a mistake, and that mistake was causing his feelings of stuck, and trapped, and hopeless. He thought the decision he made to marry this person was making him feel stuck, and trapped, and hopeless. But in fact, his thought that he had married the wrong person, was creating the feeling of stuck, and trapped, and hopeless, which was really good news, right? Because if the thought is creating that feeling, then he's got some room to, like, change things. And this is really good news, because if the thought I married the wrong person is creating the emotion of stuck, and hopeless, and trapped, then he can choose something else and create a different feeling in his life. If the thing outside of him creates his feeling, then he's powerless, he is really, truly stuck, okay? But the thing outside of him, the decision, the marriage, the person, all of that never creates his feelings. His thought, okay I married the wrong person, that was the only thing creating the problem.
And if we know what we're thinking, and we want to feel differently, then we are suddenly aware of what really has to change. Nothing else has to change except our thoughts if we want to feel differently. Now, sometimes we have awareness of what we are thinking, right? We understand the thoughts that we are thinking, but we sort of think that those thoughts are facts instead of opinions, right? Like we notice our thoughts, right? But we notice them as if they are like some implicit truth instead of an optional interpretation. So, for example, my husband recently had a change in his job, and he's been really aware of the thoughts that he's having, like he's fully aware his wife is a coach, right? And he knows that he's thinking thoughts, and he knows those thoughts are creating his pain right now, right? But he also sees his thoughts as like facts, instead of an opinion, right? When he thinks thoughts like, I don't like it, it's hard, they don't appreciate me, they've set me up to fail, those thoughts to him right now feel like facts. Like they don't feel optional to him at all.
And so, awareness extends not to just what we are thinking, and what that thinking is creating for us, that awareness also needs to extend to the optional nature of what we are thinking, right? We have to show ourselves that we are making a choice, right? And awareness means understanding that we are choosing to think in a certain way rather than assuming that it is the only way to think, okay? We have to tell ourselves right now I am choosing to think this way, and we have to show that to ourselves over, and over, and over, again, right? Not just what I'm thinking, but we need to say it in a way that shows us our choice. So, instead of saying, like, I don't like it, we can say to ourselves, I'm choosing to think I don't like it. I'm choosing to think it's hard. I'm choosing to think they don't appreciate me. And we'd show ourselves that again, and again, and again, so that we start to be really aware of the choice we are making. The more aware we are of the choice we are making, the more power we have to choose something else, okay? Everything you think is an interpretation. Everything you think is optional, everything you think is just a choice that your brain is making. And you need to show yourself that choice again, and again, alright?
Now, that brings us to the second step. So, the second step of changing your thoughts is acceptance, okay? So, after awareness, I'm aware that I'm thinking this, that it's creating my feelings, and I'm aware that I'm making a choice, okay? After that is acceptance. So, once we have awareness of what our brain is thinking, what it's choosing, sometimes we want to jump right to thinking something new. Like okay, if this is optional, and it's causing me pain, and I'm making a choice, then I want to choose something else like right now, right? Okay, so a couple of weeks ago I told you about how I was really jealous of one of my mentors, and I wanted to like, swap off those jealous thoughts so fast, like, I really hated those thoughts and I didn't want to think them, I didn't like that choice that I was making. I wanted to swap those out so fast, and to think something different. But before we can change things, this second step is so critical to being able to successfully change our thoughts. We have to have acceptance for where we are.
We have to have acceptance for what we are thinking right now. I have to have acceptance of thinking, the thought that it's not fair that she's so much farther ahead. I have to accept that my brain gave me that thought, and I'm thinking it, and it's creating jealousy, okay? So, if I use the example before, my husband really doesn't want to keep thinking like, and doesn't really even want to acknowledge that I don't like it, he doesn't like that. He doesn't like it. But in order to change it first he has to accept like I don't like it. I keep thinking, I keep choosing to think I don't like it, and that's okay. I'm making a choice here and it's okay, right? So, we have to have acceptance that our brain is making a certain choice right now, and that's okay, right? We have to understand that our brain has a good reason for choosing to think the way that it does. It is always concerned about our survival, and so it is always calculating risk, and trying to assess what we need to think that is going to give us like the best chance of survival. And so, of course, it gave me that thought, right? So, if I think about my mentor, like my brain is like, hey, there's only so many resources, and if she gets more than will have less, right?
Now, my brain, which is like, you know, just like a primitive brain based on survival, and limited resources, of course, this is what my brain thinks. It makes sense that this is what my brain thinks. Now, in fact, this is not the way the world works, there isn't a limited supply, but my brain doesn't know that, so , of course, it gave me the thought. And when I can understand, like my brain had a good reason for thinking it, and it's okay, and move into acceptance for where I'm at, then it is so much easier to change the thought. If we go back to the example with my husband, if he thinks, for example, like, I don't like it, this is hard, and he notices his brain is making that choice, it makes sense that his brain is making that choice. He's being asked to do something he's never done before. His brain is like, we might fail, we might be humiliated, we might look dumb, we might not be successful, right? And so, our brain, of course, is like, no, we don't like this. This is hard. Let's avoid this. So, it makes sense that his brain is offering him these thoughts, right? And when he can accept, like, my brain has a good reason for it, I'm not a bad person because I'm choosing to think this way we can get to acceptance, and after that, changing our thought is so much easier.
So, it's really helpful in this place of acceptance to ask yourself, all right, my brain has a good reason for thinking the way that it does, why does it want to think this way? Why does my brain think it's useful to offer me these thoughts in this way? You want to get to a place of understanding with your brain. You want to understand the choice that your brain is making and have compassion for it. Understand that, of course, it's okay that my brain chose these thoughts. I sometimes, I'm like, thanks Brain, I appreciate it. It's 100% okay, but I've got it from here. So, it is always okay to think, and feel the way that you do, but if you want a different result in your life, we're going to have to make another choice. And after awareness, the next step is acceptance.
So, I can't tell you how many times I have had a client say, like, tell me their thoughts, and say to me, like, this is terrible, that I'm thinking this way, this is terrible, but, you know, and then they'll share their thoughts. Or they'll say, like, I know I shouldn't feel this way, and they'll tell me how they were feeling, but we just can't change from that place of judgment. We have to get neutral around everything that we're choosing to think, and feel, and we have to get neutral about when we feel that way. This is how we act, and when I act, these are the results we create. We need to understand that our brain, in its attempt to keep us alive, it's doing the best that it can, and those thoughts that it gives us just aren't serving us. And it's okay that we believe them. It's okay that it's creating the results that it is. But we can accept that, and then choose something else.
So, when I tell people that every result in their life is 100% because of the thoughts they think, like instead of being like amazed, and empowered by that, so many of us instead feel shame, right? Like we look around at our life, and we're like, look at these results, I can't believe I'm creating this, I can't believe I'm thinking this what is wrong with me? But what we need to change is from a place of acceptance, like, yes, my brain offers me thoughts, thoughts that are designed to seek pleasure, avoid pain, save energy. Thoughts that worry about me being accepted by my tribe, thoughts that are worried about what other people think, and that are designed only to notice what's wrong with me. Yes, of course, my brain offers me these kinds of thoughts. That's its job. And it's 100% okay. It's okay that sometimes I believe my brain, and sometimes like I act, and create results that I don't like, okay because from that place of acceptance, we can change so much in our lives.
So, I know that I've shared this example with you like a hundred times, but like when I had so much debt, like I was so not accepting of that, right? Like I just thought like this is a terrible result that I'm getting. It's created by my actions, which are terrible, which of course must be created by terrible thoughts, and feelings, right? And I just thought, like, well, I can't accept this, or I will always stay here. And the opposite was true. I had to get to a place of, like, understanding that my brain had thoughts like like I'm bad with money, and we're never going to have enough. And from those thoughts, it felt very scarce, and panicked. And so, it spent money on more money than I had, and it gave me the result of debt. But none of that is a problem. It makes sense, my brain, when it thinks the thought, we're never going to have enough, this is what it does. And when I can get to a place like my brain is always worried about running out, my brain is always worried about scarcity, that's its survival mechanism. When I understand that, and I accept that, and I see the neutrality of my thought, the feeling it created, and the neutrality of my actions, and results, then I can change things.
As soon as I accepted that it was 100% okay to be where I was with my money, I got changed so fast. I had been in debt for decades, and I was out within about eight months. And the key was acceptance. Like, it's totally fine that I am where I am, my brain had a good reason for creating it, but I can now create something else.
Okay, the last thing that I want to just mention quickly in terms of acceptance is accepting our circumstances as they are. So, sometimes when we go to change our thoughts, we also want to change the circumstance, right? Like let's say we're trying to change our thoughts about our marriage, and we sort of think like, okay well, if they could be different in some way, if my spouse could be different, then I could change my thoughts, right? Or if we want to improve our relationship, we think like, well, if they could be different, if they could act differently, if they could respond to me differently, then I could change my thoughts. But remember, we're trying to change our thoughts without changing the circumstance. We need to accept that the circumstance is what it is. They do what they do. They say what they do. They act the way they do. And now what? What do I want to think about that? How do I want to feel? What result do I want to create for me given this circumstance? So, acceptance means accepting what is. Accepting the circumstance as it is, and then asking ourselves, given that how do I want to think, and feel to create the results I want in my life?
So, for example, like my husband might be tempted to think like, okay, well, these things need to change in this job, and I need to have, like, these things fall into place before I can feel differently about this job. I need more resources here, I need more help here, and then I can feel differently about this job. But that just leaves us, again, powerless, and dependent on things outside of us. So, getting to acceptance means, hey, this is the job as it is, I'm going there every single day, how do I want to think, and feel in this circumstance?
So, we've talked about awareness and then acceptance. Now the third step to changing our thoughts is agency. So, the thought that we have chosen is the one that our brain has offered us on default without being really super conscious of the choice that we're making. You know, we've let our brain just like offer us a thought and believed it, okay? And after we are aware of the choice that we're making, and accepted, like, okay makes sense, it's okay, then we get to decide what we want to think instead. You get to choose what you were going to believe. And I know that sounds sort of like obvious, but it is really an astounding thing when you think about it, like you get to choose what you're going to believe. And I think a lot of us actually forget that, I forget it even, right? We say things to ourselves like, well, I can't believe that, that's not realistic. I've never done that before. How can I believe that? I don't have any evidence for that. Like, I can't just be delusional. I can't believe that. But I really want you to know that none of that matters. You get to believe whatever you want, believing is a choice, thinking is a choice, and whatever you choose to think, your brain has to think it.
And, you know, I told you this a couple of weeks ago, but I was working on this really big goal, and struggling to believe it, and struggling to, like, think my brain was giving me, like, all this feedback on it and telling me how it's impossible, yada, yada. And I was driving one day, and I just like, had this moment of, like, stunned, or I was at the stoplight, and I was like, wait a minute, I tell my brain what to think, not the other way around. If I choose to believe this, my brain has to believe it. It has to think it. It has to obey me. That is so important to remember, right? You decide what you want to think. And I just want you to know that it can be really helpful to think about this now in terms of what is believable, or realistic, but to think about what you want to believe in terms of results.
Whether or not something is believable or not, just means that, like, you have so much practice believing it, that it feels easy. So, like things feel believable when they've we've taught them many, many times, right? Believability is actually based on repetition, not on like probability or possibility. So, I want you to know that, like, if something feels easy to believe, it's just because, like, you've had a lot of practice thinking it, and those neural pathways are really fast, and easy, and efficient. And if something is hard to believe, it just means that we haven't carved the neural pathway for it. But it doesn't mean that we can't. So, I just know for myself that anything new isn't going to feel believable, but it doesn't matter. How I decide whether or not I want to think something is, I just asked myself, like, if I believe this, how would I feel? And if I felt that way, then what would I do? And if I did that, what would that create in my life? That is the only thing that you need to ask yourself when it comes to your beliefs, or your thoughts, like not whether or not it's believable, not whether or not it's realistic, but will it give me the result that I want? That is the only criteria.
So, for example, if I believe that I was a person that exercised, for example, how would I feel then? What would I do, and what result would I create in my life? If I believe that coaching helps people more than anything else, how would I feel? What would I do right in my marketing, in my advertising, in the way that I talked about coaching? And what results would that create in my life? So, I really want you to think about, like, what is the result that I want in my life, and what what I need to think and feel and do in order to create that in my life? And I want you to know that whatever that is, you just get to believe it now. You just get to start thinking it. It doesn't matter if it's realistic or believable, it just matters what it will create for you in your life. And then once you find that thought, the thought that will create that result, you have to choose to think that thought. And at the beginning, it's going to feel a little weird. It's going to feel a little awkward. It's going to feel a little bit forced because we're like just establishing those neural connections. But it doesn't mean that is not true. It just means we need more practice thinking it.
So, for example, I have a client who is just really disconnected from her brother, and she wants so badly to have a good relationship with him, and I asked her, like, what if you chose to disbelieve that he cares about you? And she had this moment where she realized, like, oh, it doesn't even matter if it's true or not, like it doesn't even matter if I can prove that he cares about me because I will experience him differently if I believe it. If I believe he cares about me, then I feel differently about him, I do things differently, and I create the result of connection in my life, right? It was like, oh, it doesn't even matter if it's true. What matters is I will experience my life differently when I think this way. And the same is true for you, okay? What I want you to see is that you have to purposely make the choice, you have to discipline your mind, and tell it what it needs to think, what it's supposed to think, what you want it to think, to create the results you want in your life.
It's never going to just happen to you or occur to you, right? The thought isn't going to suddenly descend upon you as right and true. You have to fight for your thoughts. You have to work for your new beliefs. You have to repeat, and rethink, and redecide to think the way that you want to think. Like, it sounds really easy when we talk about thought work or like change your thoughts, and you get a different result right now. Sounds really easy or simple, right? And it is simple, but there is nothing easy about it. It is hard work, it requires discipline, it requires commitment, it requires choosing. It it happens intentionally. It is using your agency to get what you want.
So, those are the three steps that will allow you to change any thought, so I want you to think about what you want in your life. Think about a problem that you would like to solve or a result that you would want to create, and put these three things into practice, right? First, you need awareness of what you are thinking right now, right? And awareness of what that thinking is currently creating for you. And then acceptance for that. Acceptance for what is, and acceptance for what you have created through your thinking, all of that is okay right? And then after you can get to that space of acceptance, and understanding for what you have been thinking, then you can ask yourself, but do I want to choose something else? Do I want a different result? And if the answer is yes, then I want you to recognize that you always have the power to choose something else. The power to choose what you want to think for yourself is your right as a child of God in every circumstance in this Earth life. And with that choice, with that agency, you can change any thought you have and create any result you want in your life. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome. I love you for listening and I'll see you next week.
Thanks so much for joining me on the podcast today, if you want to take the things I've talked about and apply them in your life so that you can love your Earth life experience. Sign up for a free coaching session at aprilpricecoaching.com. This is where the real magic happens and your life starts to change forever as your coach. I'll show you that believing your life is 100% awesome is totally available to every one of us. The way things are is not the way things have to stay. And that, my friends is 100% awesome!
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