The power of THOUGHTS

“It has been proven now scientifically that an affirmative thought is hundreds of times more powerful than a negative thought.”

Michael Bernard Beckwith

Thoughts are things.

They are actually measurable units of energy.

Every thought you have creates a physiological change in your body.

Think about a lie detector test.

How is a polygraph able to detect when a person is lying?

When you lie, your hands may sweat or get colder. Your heart will beat faster, your blood pressure will go up, your breathing will get faster and your muscles will tighten.

Your thoughts affect your body.

Negative thoughts affect your body in a negative way, and positive thoughts affect your body in a positive way.

Positive thoughts stimulate the release of endorphins in your brain. These endorphins reduce pain and increase pleasure.

A positive thought is far more powerful than a negative thought.

Some of you have bought into the idea that you need 10 positive thoughts to counteract one negative thought.

This is only true because you choose to focus on the negative thought more than any positive thought.

Whatever you focus on you create more of.

One positive thought really is all you need.

You must actually believe the thoughts for it to have power.

All of your thoughts fall into one of two categories, conscious and subconscious.

Your subconscious mind is pretty much running the show. It is far more powerful than your conscious mind.

Think of your mind like an iceberg.

Your conscious mind is the part you can see above the water. Your subconscious mind is the much larger and more powerful part below the surface.

When you can tap into using the power of your subconscious mind, that is when you will tap into your true potential.

Your subconscious mind can take you where you want to go, and help you reach your goals much faster and easier than your conscious mind.

How do you program your subconscious mind to think positive thoughts?

One thought at a time.

I notice I keep thinking I suck under pressure.”

I’m willing to be wrong about sucking under pressure”

I could become a person who performs better under pressure.”

It’s possible I could perform better under pressure.”

I am on my way to becoming a person who performs under pressure.”

I am a person who performs better under pressure.”

You can believe anything you want to.

Training your brain to believe useful thoughts is a skill.

What do you want to believe?

Empowering beliefs

Just one empowering belief can completely change the quality and direction of your life.

Mateo Tabatabai

Beliefs affect everything you say and do, and ultimately how you feel.

Empowering beliefs are not a problem.

Unless you don’t have enough of them!

How do you find empowering beliefs?

Notice what you are focusing on when you feel in control of yourself.

You probably already have some empowering beliefs running in the background.

Ultimately, you get to decide what you want to believe so you truly can create any belief you want to have that feels empowering.

The catch is it has to be believable. If your mind doesn’t really believe it, then it will reinforce the opposite of that thought, which will most likely become a limiting belief.

One great way to find some empowering beliefs is to borrow ones you find from reading the work of your role models.

Another way is to find quotes you resonate with.

The most powerful words in the universe are the ones you say to yourself.

Karen Salmansohn

Thoughts such as:

“The more mistakes I make, the faster I learn.”
“What other people think of me is none of my business.”
“I am made for growth and connection.”

Beliefs are learned through constant reinforcement.

You must prime your mind to be open and accepting of new beliefs.

Start by gathering evidence for how the belief could be true.

Your mind is programmed to give you answers. You just need to ask the right questions.

Another method is proving how the opposite of the belief is not true.

How could not making mistakes be slowing your progress?
Do you ever really know what anyone is thinking?
Can you notice how the only things on this earth that aren’t growing are dying?

Decide what you want to believe, and go to work finding evidence for your empowering belief.

Show your mind all the ways your limiting belief isn’t actually true.

Practice constant reinforcement.

Design your beliefs on purpose. Live life on your own terms.

Progress is the key to happiness.

It can all start with just one empowering belief.

Believing it’s possible

What we can or cannot do, what we consider POSSIBLE or IMPOSSIBLE, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.

Anthony Robbins

It might be possible.

This desire or goal that you have. What if it were possible?

Possibility is believing you have the potential to do something.

Being able to access the feeling of possibility is essential for believing new things and reaching new goals.

This feeling of possibility has an element of curiosity and fascination.

A willingness to explore ideas without the pressure of being “right.”

Once you are aware you have a goal or desire to create something, moving into the possibility of achieving the thing is the next phase of belief.

If you are believing something could be possible, then your brain will help you find evidence to make a case for the thing.

This moves you to the next phase of belief, which is probability.

Not only is it probable, it is inevitable.

Practice accessing your imagination. That is the land of possibility.

Your mind was made to create things that are unrealistic and what you could argue as impossible.

It happens all of the time. Everything that we have was created by a human brain who believed it was impossible, and then possible.

Then the magic happened and the impossible thing became a real creation.

What do you want to create?

Be curious.

Nothing is impossible.

When you don’t see results

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.

Muhammad Ali

It starts with desire.

A burning, however big or small, to do something.

Shortly after, your brain might come up with all kinds of reasons why you can’t, or how the thing might seem impossible.

Being aware that you actually have an unfulfilled desire is huge.

Don’t discredit that.

You have desire for a reason.

Some part of you believes you can do the thing, or you wouldn’t have a desire to do it.

This is the very first stage of belief.

The only problem is when you stay here. When you stay in believing the thing is impossible.

How do you know if you are believing something is impossible?

One way is when you sabotage yourself.

When you find reasons for why things won’t work or why you can’t.

If you find yourself collecting evidence against yourself, you know you are here.

Another way to know is you are feeling like a martyr.

Believing you’ve tried all the things, done so much work, and have no results.

Maybe you get stuck in confusion.

You just don’t know how! If you had the info you needed, then you would have the results, you think.

The truth is, you won’t know the how until you do.

Unfortunately, that is how it goes. The how comes from doing and learning. You don’t get to know the how ahead of time.

None of those sound like you?

Maybe you are experiencing the fantasy land effect.

You don’t have the results from the goal you set, but everything is wonderful.

That is because you don’t actually believe you can get the goal, so you choose to focus on all the reasons why you don’t want or need it anyways.

Your brain is very good at creating what you are believing.

The good news is that being aware of your limiting beliefs is part of the process.

Noticing that they are there. Seeing how they are showing up.

Find the impossible thought.

Discover what you are believing.

That is the only way to change it.

What are you avoiding?

When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.

Viktor Frankl

What does it mean to avoid a feeling?

It means to directing your attention away from something that feels unpleasant to something that feels more pleasurable.

This goes back to the idea of wanting to feel good all of the time.

Just because something feels good, doesn’t mean that it is good for us.

And just because something feels negative or unpleasant, doesn’t mean it is bad.

When we are always seeking pleasure, we are missing out on the things we could truly desire.

Eating ice cream and chocolate feel very pleasurable, but they are not good for us long term.

We usually feel the discomfort soon after eating the thing.

Avoiding a negative feeling is only a temporary fix.

You will still feel a negative feeling, you really just get to decide what version of suffering you prefer.

Do you want to be uncomfortable in a body that is out of control, seeking pleasure from food?

Or do you want to experience the discomfort of an unanswered urge? Or boredom?

One of the main sources for avoiding how we are feeling is food.

Some might say they eat their feelings.

This is not possible.

You can only dull your feeling by eating food.

Just as an empty glass will vibrate stronger than a full glass.

Eating simply dulls the emotions you are feeling.

Not just the negative ones. The positive ones too.

By avoiding or distracting yourself from feeling your emotions, you are missing out on the full human experience.

All emotions are necessary.

Once you are willing to feel any of them, you get to take your pick.

You will still feel the discomfort, possibly even stronger.

But the positive emotions will also be stronger.

Your capacity to feel will grow.

Don’t be fooled by the temptation of instant gratification.

It is costing you more than you know.

Better than happy

Climb the mountain. Not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air, and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.

David McCullough Jr.

Whenever I ask an athlete how they want to feel most of the time, the answer I get back more than any other is happy.

It sounds like a great goal, to just feel happy.

I then ask if all of the negative emotion could be taken away and they could only feel happy, would they want that?

Sometimes there is hesitation before they answer. No. Some negativity is necessary in order to learn they say. But most of the time they should be happy.

In reality, we would not know the positive without the negative.

Both are necessary. Equally necessary.

But for some reason we think something has gone terribly wrong whenever we are not happy.

I want to offer that there is a a feeling that is better than happy.

It is fulfillment. Achieving something you truly desire. Creating your masterpiece.

This is only possible when you embrace the discomfort. Lean into the pain. Into the suffering.

When you’re ready to feel terrible if it means getting closer to the person you are meant to become.

The other side of that discomfort is so much better than what you can even imagine.

Care more about the growth than about being comfortable and right and . . . happy.

It is the fulfilling of your destiny that is the feeling of being alive.

Go after your dreams. Embrace the failure, the success. All of it.

Because your life is one worth living. Enjoy it.

Don’t settle for being happy.

The solution

I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord.

Isaiah 66:9

How often do you think you should experience negative emotion?

Sometimes you may think that negative emotion is “bad” and that positive emotion is “good.”

This leads to thinking that negative emotion is unwanted and must be avoided.

What if negative emotion was just as necessary as positive emotion? That we couldn’t have one without the other?

If you actually wanted to experience negative emotion?

As it turns out, you do.

You want to feel sad when a friend moves away.

Disappointed when you lose a game.

Grief when someone you love passes away.

It is also true that you want to do workouts that cause sore muscles.

Having a challenge is exciting.

Feeling negative emotion and experiencing discomfort is the price of growth.

Thinking anything else will have you avoiding anything that feels unpleasant, and will have you questioning your goals.

It will also leave you judging yourself and will increase your chances of quitting.

So what is the solution?

Get good at feeling discomfort.

Embrace it. Know that it is for your benefit and that it is useful.

All emotions are trying to tell you something.

Be curious.

The first step to allowing an emotion is to name it.

Naming an emotion begins the process of regulating it and reflecting on it.

As you are experiencing this emotion, you then need to describe it with as much detail as possible.

What is the exeperience of feeling anger?

Where in your body do you feel it? Ask yourself if it is fast or slow? Open or closed? Hard or soft? Hot or cold? Heavy or light? What color is it? Does it have a shape? How does it move from one area to another?

The more you describe it, the more it can process through your body.

Whatever feeling you are experiencing, it is always caused by a sentence in your mind.

Can you find it?

Can you be curious and accept it without judging it?

Are you willing to feel it — the tightness, the heat, the heaviness — without reacting to it?

Once you know the experience is caused by the sentence you are focusing on, you are able to decide how you want to feel.

What feeling do you want to be acting out of?

Any feeling is available at any time.

Being willing to allow all the feelings, even the uncomfortable ones, is the solution to getting anything you want.

Acting out

You are always responsible for how you ACT regardless of how you FEEL.

Anonymous

Humans are emotional creatures.

This is especially apparent in young children.

You can always tell how they are feeling because they act out all of their emotions.

When they are sad, they look the part. Bottom lip stuck out, tears streaming down their cheeks, nose running, breathing slowly.

The same is true when they are happy. You can feel their happiness because it radiates off of them.

Children are great at acting out their emotions.

They also think that everything they feel is because of someone or something else.

Humans grow up believing that they aren’t responsible for how they feel, and then act in ways they can’t seem to control.

This leads to blaming other people and other things for how you feel. Your coach. Your teammate. Your parents. Your teachers. Your opponent. The score. The weather. The time. The traffic.

You get the idea.

If you could control all of the things and people in your life, no doubt that would be the best option. But you can’t.

Becoming emotionally mature means you accept full responsibility for how you feel and for how you act.

This means, knowing whatever you are feeling is because of what you are focusing on.

It is always caused by a sentence in your brain.

Once you are aware of this, then you can choose to act in a way that will help you get the result you really want.

For example, when you are feeling mad because you are thinking your parents don’t understand you and aren’t listening, you might be tempted to yell and argue and act mad.

What you really want is to feel understood, not mad.

When you have the emotional capacity to notice that it is the thought “they don’t understand me and aren’t listening to me” that is causing the feeling of mad, then you can solve for that.

Instead of yelling and blaming your parents for you feeling mad, you can express calmly that you are feeling misunderstood and continue a conversation without reacting.

Knowing what feeling you want to be acting out of makes all the difference.

Accepting that you are the one in control by taking responsibility for your actions is the first step.

Allowing all the feelings without judgement is the next step.

Take your power back and stop blaming others for how you act.

It is totally worth it. You will be so glad you did.

The battle you never win

What you resist, persists.

C.G. Jung

There is only one battle that you are guaranteed to lose.

And that battle is the one with yourself.

When you fight against yourself, you lose every single time.

Why would you ever fight against yourself?

Usually this happens when you want to reject feeling a certain way.

Judging our feelings as “good” or “bad” is simply not useful.

When you resist a feeling, this can feel like trying to hold your door closed when someone is pushing against it trying to get in.

Or holding a beachball beneath the surface of the water in a swimming pool.

On the surface it looks calm and collected, but the longer the ball is under the water, the more pressure it builds.

Until it comes forcefully out of the water; unpredictable and out of control.

It is the same with our emotions.

When we resist feeling a certain emotion and judge it, we only give it more power. It is only a matter of time before it turns into something even more powerful and unmanageable.

This might look like feeling nervous before a game. When resisted, those nerves turn into anxiousness, which then can turn into a full on panic attack.

Or when you want to pretend something doesn’t bother you. When it really does. And then you end up blowing up or being extremely dramatic and wondering why this always happens to you.

See the problem?

You start to fear certain emotions. Not wanting to feel them. Rejecting them at all costs.

By pushing the feeling away, you are inviting it to stay. Any energy you use to fight it only increases its power.

When you are willing to feel any emotion, there is no need to resist.

Sweaty hands, tightness in your head, chest and shoulders, a sick, buzzing feeling in your stomach, quick, shallow breathing, and a racing heart beat is nothing you can’t handle.

This is what the experience of nervousness is for many of you.

It isn’t great, but it sure beats a full on panic attack.

When you are willing to feel any emotion, there is nothing you can’t do.

Realizing that all emotions are caused by thoughts we are choosing to focus on changes everything.

Once you can process an emotion all of the way through without resistance, then you are able to choose whatever feeling might be more useful in the moment.

This is only possible once you really learn the skill of allowing your feelings.

This is the work we do in Find Your Edge.

What would you do with more control over feelings?

Why worry?

Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.

English Proverb

What are some things you worry about?

Many of you worry about the outcome of a game.

You worry about making mistakes and losing a game.

Maybe you worry about getting that scholarship or experiencing disappointment.

Worry is an interesting emotion because the things that we worry about the most are based on the future or the past, both which we have no control over.

Is worrying ever useful?

I would offer a very strong no.

So why do we worry?

We mistakenly think that worrying about a certain thing will some how prevent the thing from happening, or prepare us better for if it does.

But that is a lie.

It does not empty tomorrow of sadness, but it robs today of joy.

The companions that accompany worry are fear, doubt, anxiety, and despair.

All of those feel terrible.

So, what is the solution?

Since worry is based in the future or past, the first step is bringing yourself back to the present. Notice how in this moment, everything is just as it should be.

Next, remind yourself that the feeling of worry is always caused by a thought you are thinking. What is it you are afraid of?

Again, worrying never actually prepares you to accept a negative outcome, it just makes it more likely the the undesirable outcome will actually happen.

Accept the possibility of the thing you are worried about. Make peace with the worst case scenario, and then make a plan for any outcome you can think of.

There is nothing you can’t handle.

You love a challenge.

Nothing has gone wrong.

The universe is conspiring in your favor.

Worry is never helpful and never necessary.

Don’t fall for it.