When I chose the theme of Change for this month, I imagined that, when it came to writing my Blog, I would focus on the topic of ‘changing habits’ or ‘changing directions’. Both of which are typical reasons why clients come to me for coaching (click here for more information about my coaching packages). Whilst it is true to say that those topics have been a key part of this month, there has been another change topic that has come up several times. For myself and for my clients. The topic of ‘changing our mind.’
At the start of this month, I had the wonderful experience of attending a Mindfulness Retreat at Grasmere in the Lake District. It was incredible, for so many reasons, not least of which the stunning scenery and the space to be able to just stop for two whole days – bliss. (For details of upcoming retreats by the amazing Adam Dacey of Mindspace, click here).
Photos by Ronnie Harris @vjhmarketing.com
The Mindfulness theme for the weekend was Resilience so each session focused on a particular area of this. One of those areas really took me by surprise – it was the one where Adam talked to us about how we can ‘change our minds’. When we get caught up in our thoughts and the stories we tell ourselves, he said it is always within our gift to change our mind and think about something else or tell ourselves a different story. I kid you not, it was like I was hearing that for the first time ever! What? You mean I can actually change my mind about what I tell myself? Really? Turns out that the answer is a resounding YES!
Now, you might be wondering what the big deal is about this unexpected revelation. It is not like this is a new concept to any of us is it. Or is it? Take a moment to think about the habitual thought patterns that you have about yourself. Chances are that a good few of them are on the negative side. Those self-limiting beliefs that get in the way of us realising our full potential. It might be thoughts like – ‘I am not good enough, old enough, young enough, smart enough, rich enough’….and so on. Plus, it can seem like we have thought these negative beliefs about ourselves for so long that they feel ingrained in our total being. They have become us or we have become them! Consequently, we simply accept them as true. I know I have done this for many, many years. Especially the one about not being good enough. And yet, in all the work and study I have done in the field of personal development, on the topic of change, the ability to change my mind never really, well, crossed my mind!
Why is this so important? Gosh, where do I start?! At the very basic level, our thoughts shape who we become. So, if we are thinking negative thoughts about ourselves, the way we behave and the actions we take are shaped by those thoughts. The outcome of those behaviours and actions is that we get results based on that negative outlook, rather than on a positive one which I am sure we would all prefer!
Knowing that we can ‘change our mind’ is marvellous news because it means that we can turn the volume down on the negative outlook and those self-limiting beliefs. We can change our mind and decide that we want to think more positive things about ourselves and focus on creating and developing empowering beliefs. And you know what the funny thing is? When we choose to change our minds from the negative to the positive, those areas of our life that we want to change i.e. career, habits, priorities etc. become easier to change. And all because we decided to change our mind about how we thought about those things.
So, to finish, I am going to leave you with a short poem that feels very fitting for this month’s theme of Change and the idea that, of all the things we can change, it would serve us well to remember that we can always change our mind!
Watch your thoughts, for they become words
Watch your words, for they become actions
Watch your actions, for they become habits
Watch your habits, for they become character
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny
What we think, we become….
With love and Burn Bright Wishes,
Photo by Ursula Kelly @studiosoftbox