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.

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.

“I’m so tired.”

Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.

Wayne Dyer

Have you ever been that athlete?

The one who comes to practice and starts off by telling everyone how tired they are?

I hope not. But if so, I’m glad you’re here reading this.

All of you feel tired–mentally, physically, or emotionally–for different reasons.

There is the physical sensation of being tired, and then there is the thought “I’m tired.”

Whatever you focus on, you only create more of.

What happens when a teammates shows up to practice and is “tired?”

They participate, but their effort and energy levels are low.

Less energy and less effort result in less than desirable outcomes.

What about when it’s the 4th quarter?

Same outcome.

Do you really want to be giving less effort and energy when it is needed the most?

I’m not saying you aren’t actually tired, but what good does focusing on it do?

Being tired is part of the human experience.

The thought “I’m tired” is only useful if you are going to take a nap or go to bed.

Any other time, it is totally useless.

Decide to take back your responsibility for how you show up.

Being tired is a choice.

You really can do anything you set your mind to when you are willing to feel any feeling. Including tired.

Focus on what you want to create more of.

You can always work hard and bring your best energy.

Show up and give value to those around you.

Most importantly, show up for yourself.

You will be glad you did.

Overwhelm is optional

Time is relative; its only worth depends upon what we do as it is passing.

Albert Einstein

“I’m too busy.”

“There aren’t enough hours in the day.”

Sometimes we think a version of these thoughts, like “I have so much to do and not enough time.”

The only thing these thoughts ever produce is feeling overwhelmed.

Which then leads to feeling stressed out, rushed, and then more overwhelm.

Think about the last time you felt like you had too much to do and not enough time.

How much “stuff” (assignments, tasks, homework, chores, etc.) does it take before the overwhelm kicks in?

Overwhelm is always laced with a little bit of self pity. Some element of thinking you aren’t able to handle it all.

Notice how often you actually do end up handling it all. How often do you get all the things done?

For many of you, it is most of the time.

You finish your assignments. On time.

So tell me, is feeling overwhelmed necessary?

It pretends to be.

You think that feeling overwhelmed is caused by all of the “things.”

But it is created by your thoughts.

Feeling overwhelmed simply means you have decisions you haven’t made yet.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

J.R.R. Tolkien

It’s true.

When you start to feel overwhelmed, take a step back and separate the facts from the drama.

What assignments do you want to do (remember how you never have to do anything?) and when are they due?

Next, decide.

Decide when you are going to do the assignment. You get to choose how much time you spend on something.

Remind yourself you have plenty of time. Always 24 hours each day. Never less, never more.

Remember how you always get things done on time.

You can handle it. Everything is as it should be.

Choose to constrain yourself to focusing on one thing at a time.

Very calm, peaceful even.

Can you see how the overwhelm and stress really aren’t necessary or useful?

How you manage your vocabulary around how much time you “have” or “don’t have” makes all the difference.

You get to pick what you do. The more options you have, the better.

Appreciate all the things you get to experience because of all the options available to you.

Everything is for your benefit and growth.

It is all working in your favor.

Let that be your truth.

Overwhelm really is optional.

Belief Bucket

You are not stuck where you are unless you decide to be.

Wayne Dyer

You all have a bucket.

As you grow up your opinions and views about life are shaped by many factors.

Your family, community, culture, church, school, neighbors, teachers, and several other sources shape your beliefs.

They offer ways of thinking that you allow into your belief bucket.

As children, you do not have the ability to determine what goes in your bucket. But as you get older, you can learn the ability to look into your belief bucket and see if you like what you find. Are your current beliefs useful or just weighing you down?

So, what is a belief?

A belief is usually a thought from the past that we have thought over and over again until we think it is true.

Your belief becomes so second nature, you don’t even realize it is there. Like water to a fish and air to a human. You might not notice it, but it affects everything you say, do, and feel.

Once a belief is established, your brain is programmed to search for evidence to prove this belief is true. It will even reject clear evidence against your belief.

For example, if you think Ram trucks are the best, you are going to find all kinds of reasons to support that belief. If you think Ford trucks are the best, you will do the same. But the truth is, it is a matter of opion.

Interestingly enough, most beliefs come from the past. If we are only believing things about the past, then we will be creating more of the past.

So, how do you believe something you don’t yet believe?

Beliefs about your future are based on what you want. What do you want to believe?

There has to be an element of faith when you want to believe new things. The opposite of faith is certainty.

To exercise faith, you must be uncertain. You have to be ok not knowing if the thought you are thinking is “true” or not.

Your brain isn’t going to like that.

So ask yourself questions.

How could the thing you want be possible?

What would you think if you did believe it?

Why do you want to believe this thought?

Your brain can’t help but find an answer.

What you search for you will find. What you focus on, you create more of.

You get to decide what to believe, and what is true for you.

Your beliefs are meant for you to follow, not for everyone else.

Decide what beliefs you want to keep in your bucket, and decide what you can let go of.

Don’t let your brain run on default.

Question all of it. Think deliberately.

Protect your bucket. Guard it carefully. Be selective of what you allow in.

What’s in your bucket?

Believing on purpose

We have a habit of distorting the facts until they become bearable for our own views.

Charlie Munger

What is a belief?

It is a conviction that something is true.

Where do beliefs come from?

For most of us, our beliefs are based on our past experience, and on what we have learned from other people in our lives either directly or indirectly.

Other people are great to learn from, but every person has their own set of beliefs. Beliefs are really a code for us to follow, not for other people in our lives.

When we believe something, we look for evidence to reinforce what we believe. We reject evidence that goes against our belief, and we even rationalize, ignore, or deny anything that doesn’t fit in with our belief.

The problem lies when our current beliefs limit us.

If we are using our past to determine what we believe, we will only create more of what we have already created. This could be a great thing in some areas of our life, and not in others.

Your brain will always want to keep on believing things you have always thought and believed. That is its default. Even when there is evidence of the contrary!

Our brains are programed to be right.

What we think are facts, are often judgements from the past.

How do you know if a belief is limiting you?

By how you feel. A negative feeling equals a negative belief.

So, how do we believe something that has not happened yet? How do we learn to believe new things?

It is a skill that must be developed.

If you believe that you choke under pressure, then you will discount the times you actually performed under pressure, search for all the ways you underperform, create unnecessary pressure for yourself, and end up creating more choking under pressure.

If you believe you are a mental athlete and are inconsistent, you will feel extremely uncomfortable when you are consistent and focused, and won’t be able to stay there long.

When your results are not aligned with your beliefs about yourself, you have two choices.

Bring your mind with you in your transformation by choosing to believe more useful thoughts, or go back to being a mental and inconsistent athlete, or whatever else it is you believe about yourself.

You get to decide what is true about you.

What do you want to believe?