Is Negative Thinking Holding You Captive? You change them!
On Mark Mansons’ new podcast, there was one sentence that stuck with me and made me think: “Don’t believe anything”
Don’t even believe your own thoughts and words. They might be true when you speak them, but could be totally wrong a few minutes later.
This made me rethink everything: my life and my thoughts.
“The thoughts you choose to think and believe right now are creating your future. These thoughts form your experiences, tomorrow, next week, and next year.”
— Louise Hay
Your Experiences and Surrounding Influences Your Thinking
Negative beliefs come from somewhere.
Our biggest influences are our parents, teachers, and friends growing up as we were learning about life and ourselves.
The childhood memories (that you don’t have to remember necessarily) are shaping your thoughts, beliefs, and mindset.
Your thoughts don’t have to be true. Because the people that shaped them were also not perfect and had all the answers.
You are not your thoughts! Because all of them came from somewhere.
When we are young we don’t set boundaries for what we experience or what we let into our mind. So you consume everything without fact-checking.
This past is shaping your present moment.
And you cannot change your past.
All you can do is change your present:
- Set boundaries for what you let into your mind
- Change your environment
- Decide who you want to spend time with
- Decide what thoughts you want to accept
- Let go of the beliefs that don’t get you to the future you want
- Let go of other peoples’ opinions about you
You can decide!
You can change your thoughts because they are part of you but are not your truth!
I always thought because I’m an introvert I will never be able to be successful or rich. That’s what my teachers told me and showed me. They gave me a grade less because I didn’t speak in class.
I worked hard to get an A on every exam, and most of the time I got it. But for my transcript at the end of the year, some teachers gave me a B.
For me those bad experiences were actually a good thing in retrospect, because of that and my ambition I started reading about personal development and how to improve myself.
I wanted to have success. So I worked on myself to achieve the goals.
Now I know that I can change my own beliefs, and I did.
I’m still an introvert, but I did things I thought impossible back then:
- being a leader of a student organization
- leading general assemblies with more than 20 people
- not being nervous anymore about presenting my project at the university
- finishing my Master’s next semester
My beliefs about myself changed. I changed my thoughts.
You can do it too!
“Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that — thoughts.”
— Allan Lokos
Your Memories Are Made Up
What shocked me the most about that episode on Mark Manson’s Podcast is that they talked about memories not being true and even being made up sometimes.
And it makes sense.
Memories are scenes in our brains. They are not 100% true:
- your brain interprets the situation differently than anyone else
- your brain mixes and combines memories (because it cannot store everything)
- your brain usually only remembers the bad ones because it’s programmed that way
First, we are programmed to be cautious of the dangers in life.
If we see a lion behind the bush, we will remember that more than if it would have been a sleeping cat.
Your brain would remember the lion, and we would be more cautious now with looking behind bushes.
We need to know and remember where danger could be so that we don’t go there in the future.
If you don’t have a picture or video to prove what happened: nobody knows what 100% actually happened.
All the trauma from bullying is probably a mix-up in my brain of all the bad memories, and I forgot the good ones.
So in retrospect my brain tells me that my whole middle school time was bad, everyone was superficial and bullied me.
But from experience, I can say this is not what happened. Not everyone was a bad child, and we all made mistakes and were full of emotions.
Knowing now that the memories of me getting bullied are probably not 100% true is helping me to get over it, and not let those beliefs control my life anymore.
What bad memories can you let go if you know they probably weren’t as bad as you remember?
Takeaway: Don’t Believe Yourself
Bad memories are part of life. But they probably weren’t as bad as your brain tells you.
Don’t take it as an excuse for not doing something.
Question your mindset, especially negative beliefs.
They are based on memories that didn’t happen like that. Nobody can prove it to you 100%.
Something could be true today, but totally wrong or different tomorrow.
Life is change. So you can also change your mindset and beliefs too.
Don’t let those lies control your life.
“You are what you believe yourself to be”
— Paulo Coelho
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