What are you thinking?

Sweetie's Journal Each of us bring our past perspectives and experiences into each new experience. In some ways having experiences in the past can beautifully prepare us to have the next experience feel familiar when we are faced with similar circumstances again.  Sounds lovely doesn’t it? Perhaps you’ve done a task to completion and because you’ve done it over and over again in your past, you expect it to turn out the same way you’ve experienced.  Sounds doable doesn’t it….right up to the place where what you experienced in the past was pain, hurt, or perhaps failure. Too often we learn to rewrite what is currently happening and insert what we fear, have experienced in failure, or humiliation into the current situation.

Uh oh.

What we think about we often bring about. Our thoughts, our immersion into what we truly believe, herds our actions like a shepherd minding sheep.  If we believe we will always be embarrassed, our brain sends out subconscious directions to do something to make that thought action true. You see, if no one else will, our bodies will obey our mind.  Our self talk is so important.  Perhaps you once struggled with giving a keynote address. It was new at the time, it was a first time to do so, and it went well, but it was s c a r e y.  Now we fast forward you 20 years.  Each new speech you’re replaying in your head “I am going to mess up, I’ll forget my lines, or I will make a goose of myself”  instead of “this is so fun, really enjoy watching the audience, and you know things happen, but I always recover”  what is the message that your mind has to fulfill to be congruent with what you are thinking?

Thinking 101 right?

Whether a beginner or an experienced human, our thoughts discipline is so important.  What we say to ourselves and others matter.  The perspective we choose to engage in our self talk and inner thoughts matter as much as our words to others.  What are you saying? What are you expecting? What are you rehearsing in your mind to happen in your life? Do you visualize your outcomes? Do you think through what you want a day, moment, or experience to look like, feel like, experience?  Too often we rewrite in our minds what our current experience is.  A client of mine called last week and shared that she was a failure with an editor.  I asked why.  Her perception was that since a manuscript had been sent back twice for additional work she was not a writer.  In the past a former boss had said her writing skills were hopeless, that she needed work, so when the current book publisher’s editor suggested a minor edit, she applied the former boss’s words to the situation.  The truth was that the current edits requested were minor and the very fact this publishing house had contracted her said she was in their eyes a brilliant writer.

What stories are you rewriting in your current experience?

Our experiences shape our responses to current situations, but often our experience is not valid for the new situation. Are you keeping up to date on who you are? Have you taken time to stop and think through all the wonderful examples of your skill sets? Do you give yourself supportive credit for the work and efforts you have accomplished? If there is an area of difficulty are you taking time to fairly take into account why that may be difficult?

A friend of mine recently asked why she was so incapable of keeping up with her  professional writing the way she supposed I do.  I had to laugh, this friend has two babies under 4, a full time role as homeschool mother of two primary school children, a farm that she is responsible for many of the daily chores for, and has not a mother’s helper or virtual assistant to help handle the things they might could to allow her time to write.  I explained that in my world, I am up most days  at 4:30-7, five days a week,  so I can write privately without interruption. That I have chosen to recognize that when big deadlines are looming it is best for me to take a day at a local hotel to work without interruption one to two days a project. That my still at home children are 16 and 19 now, and their father and I have made this arrangement to allow all of us to have less stress when deadlines loom.  I learned early on as a writer that my family time is my family’s but there are times that it is emotionally and financially advantageous for me to simply exit our space to complete work that requires my full attention with a client. I do not pretend I can complete hard deadlines without the time to do so.  It was as though a lightbulb came on in her eyes….”you mean it’s not that I am not disciplined enough, it’s that I am overscheduled?” You see, figuring out what works for you is personal, it’s not magic fairy dust, and you cannot fit 50 hours of work into naptime that only lasts an hour a day.


What are you expecting of yourself? What are you expecting of others? What mental rehearsals are you playing in your thoughts? Have you tried putting steps on paper for preparation? We often over think what succeeding will take or we under consider what tasks are needed to have ease and comfort in our lives. Sometimes we repeat mistakes because we have not discovered that we have set up unrealistic chances for success by ignoring what is needed to succeed.

When I first came home I believed cleaning our kitchen would take 45 minutes. If you saw my kitchen in those days you’d think 45 years, bu that’s another story. However it turned out that about 10 minutes after a meal, dishes would be loaded, the counter wiped down, and the floor onced over with a broom if needed.   t e n  m i n u t e s.  In my mind I never had time for that, despite the fact I prefer my kitchen to be clean. My friend Angela Belford would come to visit and during her stay my kitchen would magically stay clean, I could not figure it out, but one day she said “when I figured out it takes 10 minutes after each meal, I so figured out it was worth it to have a clean kitchen. ” I agreed, it is WAY worth 10 minutes a day after meals to walk into a kitchen that is spiffy throughout the day or after a long day somewher else.  When I actually timed what it took I found that my thinking was way off.  What areas of your life is your thinking  perception clouding your present truthful experience? Personally one of my hard held favorites is that chocolate has no calories or effect on my waistline. My experience and the current evidence of my reality is different, but it’s a thought I have long held as a belief. 🙂

The media, our past, even sometimes our friends inject their experience into our present situation, but my friends my request is this….is what you are telling yourself, being told, or experiencing YOUR experience or someone else’s who doesn’t live inside you (or perhaps doesn’t live there anymore). You’re capable, you have lived a life with many experiences, lessons, and opportunities to learn.  Are you experiencing what is happening right now in your life, or are you letting the lines of your story be written by someone else or even your own past, not who you are today,right now?

Become aware, take inventory, what are you thinking? How are your thoughts affecting your current experience?

What are you thinking?


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