In this episode of The Samantha Leith Podcast we take a look at our Thoughts. How to manage the good, the bad and the WTF. Taken from episodes 40-43 of The Samantha Leith Show.
Seriously, if people could actually read our minds, they’d probably think we were nuts. And if you’re anything like me, you probably think yourself a bit bonkers some days. Our mind is our most powerful tool, yet we aren’t taught how to manage it. Now that is crazy. So this month on the Samantha Leith show, we’re gonna take a squeeze at the chaos and learn some ways to manage our minds.
DEFINITION OF THOUGHTS
Back in May, 2022, if you’re watching this from some holographic screen in the future, we did work on emotions, feelings, and moods, and now we are delving into the master of all, our thoughts. If you google the word thought, you’ll find this uninformative circular definition, an idea or opinion produced by thinking or occurring. Suddenly in the mind, they control everything and I mean everything. Over the years, many are wise, men and women have hypothesized about how we work, and they pretty much all come back to something happens which sparks a thought. That thought generates an emotion, feeling or mood, which then triggers an action or behavior leading to a result.
Simple, right? No who or what is in charge of those pesky little thoughts. If we wanna get all scientific thoughts are electro chemical reactions. Our brain is made up of about a hundred billion neurons with trillions of connections or synapses. When chemical neurotransmitters are released, it’s the neuron communicating. Some connections can send up to a thousand signals per second, but on average it’s about one. So in this time that you’ve listened to this paragraph, you’ve probably sent 20 signals without betting an eyelid. Understanding how all of this works and relates to external stimuli is a tall order and what I’m sure they’ll be working on for a very long time to come. Let’s face it, science was not my best subject at school, so let’s move on, shall we?
Hang on. See that, science wasn’t my best subject at school. That’s a thought. My friends, a negative one that’s turned into a steadfast belief. I’m not gonna try and turn that around now, but it’s a great example of how something so seemingly innocuous can become almost a rule in the guidebook of us.
Way back when people thought that our minds were done at a certain point, you couldn’t learn anything more and you wouldn’t be able to change how you thought about things. Thankfully, that’s been proven to be incorrect because these wonder machines that we house have the gift of neuroplasticity, which pretty much means we have the ability to mold and change what’s going on up top. It’s so powerful when we look at things like having a growth mindset. Episode 33, if you wanna have a look, learning something new, developing better habits or simply being able to flip thoughts from negative, positive a little faster.
WHAT MAKES OUR BRAINS MORE POWERFUL?
Our minds are a machine and it didn’t come with a manual, and some would think this is a really bad design or is it? We need to discover how it works and optimize it for ourselves. Which guess what makes our brains more powerful? I almost forgot. Don’t think about a pink elephant while I’m talking. Now, as we age, this collection of thoughts we’ve created from a library and we default to certain thoughts out of a habit or a pattern, and sometimes this is so not good for us, it’s a cycle. Let’s walk through a couple of examples. In the office one day, your boss asks in a meeting for volunteer to something important. Now, you’ve never done this kind of thing before, but you know you probably got the least on your plate at the moment, so you think, I love trying new things. I can always ask for help.
Challenges are good and I usually succeed when I put my mind to it. See, you say yes. You feel invigorated by the new work. Get up early, look after yourself more, and you check in with your boss to see how it’s going. Then you openly receive her feedback. You complete the task before due date and get a bonus. That first thought triggered a bounty of good actions that created a result that can be added to you. Your I’m extraordinary file, or maybe you’re on Bumble, chatting to a person of interest. You set up a date, then they ghost you. You think I’m so unlovable, I’ll never find anybody or men of uh, see you delete the app. Then you feel lonely because you’re enjoying the chatting. You sloth around more and more. Six months later, you feel even worse, and when a friend suggest setting you up, you say, no, I don’t have the confidence to meet anyone.
That first thought set off a landslide of actions that prove to you that you’re unlovable. Sadly, this is a pattern that happens way too often to many people. Sometimes we don’t even see it happening to have started going into or we’re halfway down that negative spiral. Knowing that the power over everything in your life starts with your thoughts is one of the best things you can know, but knowing it isn’t enough, we need to learn how to manage the monkeys in our mind that ascend all those messages. Okay, now I’m picturing little monkeys up there tipping a bear. It’s also important to know that thoughts are neutral. They may be able to be seen as positive or negative, but they’re not good or bad, and you, my friend, most certainly are not your thoughts. You can’t always change what happens around you, but you can control your mind.
Little disclaimer here, if you do have a diagnosed medical condition, the things that I’ll be going through are not a substitute for treatment and you should speak to your mental health professional. How’s that elephant going? Have you been thinking about them? Hmm? Back to thoughts. You may think, oh, the irony that the thought we’re having is the problem. No, it’s the action or the inaction. That’s the problem. What are you thinking about? Write now, grab some paper and write. Just do it. No judgment allowed either. That means no reading back your words and thinking it’s silly or dramatic or untrue. This is simply a brain dump of what you are thinking. Seriously, do not say, I’ll do it later. Hit the pause button and write.
NOTE YOUR THOUGHTS
Welcome back. Welcome back, welcome back. I can’t remember what that song was. Oops. You might call this a brain dumper, a thought download, and I encourage you to do it often.
Get that stuff out of your mind and get to work on more of the good stuff. Did you notice anything? Chances are there’s some thoughts on that paper that you didn’t even know you were having Bonkers. How is it that something can be percolating up there and we don’t even know? It’s easy and we do it often. It’s as natural as how we walk or breathe without even thinking about it. We can have so much going on in there at any one time that it’s not till we stop and sort through the mess that we find what we are looking for. Okay? It might not be what we want to find, but I can promise you the thoughts that come to the front. That’s the one you need to be having the thought you need to find. Here we go. I’m thinking about that elephant again, are you?
Hmm, silly. I know, but in planting that seed of thought, the circumstances seen the elephant. It will have usually triggered little thoughts of elephants. It may have been Sam’s an idiot from mentioning elephants, or I’ve never seen one in real life, or I still can’t believe people are riding them for entertainment. Those thoughts would’ve been like a little bit of popcorn on a stove top with the little ones fighting the way to get to the top and some being left unopened in the heat. So many of our thoughts are like that, and it can be exhausting. You’re not going mad when you have this jumble happening either. I promise. It’s humid. It’s part of the human experience, so embrace it.
For the next week. I’d love it if you grab the worksheet, it’s samanthaleith.com/freebies, and note your thoughts during the day. The thought, the circumstance prior to the thought, how you feel about the thought, then the action or the inaction you decided on based on that thought, pay attention to your mind and the rest will follow.
TRACK YOUR THOUGHTS
How did you go tracking your thoughts for the week? Let me guess. At some stage you acted like a judgy, Mick, judge Pence and thought some shocking things about your thoughts. I find one of the fastest ways for my clients to get a handle, especially on their negative thoughts, is to make characters out of them. Suspicious Sally, negative Nelly, frugal Fran, you get the idea. Our minds are clever little things. They lie to us all the time and can convince us of almost anything. I swear I’m really great at accents for an example. It’s complete bullshit. Yeah. Every so often I open my mouth thinking something amazing is gonna come out is so not true, that was just awful. Sorry people, even though you’re being playful by giving your dominant thoughts, characterizations, naming them gives you greater control over them and understanding of what your patterns are. You may think of these like your inner critic or your inner cheerleader, and they are, so they need training.
Let’s go back a step. List the top 10 most common thoughts you had last week and give those thoughts a name or a character. Then write out more about those characters, the good, the bad, and the what the, there’s a trend going around at the moment of little mis memes. If you have some time, and please don’t use this as a procrastination technique, give this a go. What does their voice sound like? What do they look like? Jump onto Canva and get creative. Do the positive and the negative thoughts, the ones that belong to your critic and your cheerleaders. Then post it on social and tag me so I can see how creative you’ve been with all those monkeys in your mind, and if you have a little miss that’s too late for me to give my dreams a go, you’re in the right place because you’re gonna be able to flip those thoughts before you know it.
When you look at your characters, is there a positive and a negative one that resonates with you just that bit more? These are your new besties, the two sides of your thoughts. You won’t be able to remove the negative totally. After all, you are human, so let’s work at educating ourselves to have power over them. If you are writing a job description of your new inner cheerleader, what would you want and what wouldn’t you want? Likewise, if you’re doing a performance review of your inner critic, what would you want them to stop and what’s actually valuable? What do you mean? What is valuable from your inner critic? I’ll use me as an example. Okay? One of my common critical thoughts is that I’m not dedicated enough to my goals, so I’ll never get what I want. I sat with this thought over and over again.
DEDICATION AND ACHIEVEMENT
The word that kept hitting me in the head was dedicated, and you know what? It was true the never get what I want, but bullshit. But the gold was there for me. It just took time and this exercise to see, I first learned about doing this in a process called the work by Byron Katie, and I’ll touch on it here. There’s a link to her worksheet on this process in the episode note so you can grab it. Now, whilst this process is based on thoughts from a situation involving someone else, I found it really useful when looking at my own thoughts about myself and well, you might too. When you have a thought, you’re gonna ask yourself four questions. Is it true? Can you absolutely know it’s true? How do you react? What happens when you believe that thought? Who would you be without that thought?
So for me, I could see that it was true that I wasn’t dedicated to the extent I needed to be for the goals I was working on at that time, and I would’ve been fool myself to believe otherwise. When I was thinking that thought, though, I’d get into a state of apathy and be paralyzed about taking action. Thus proving to myself how not dedicated I was. It didn’t matter that in other areas of my life I could see total dedication and if I went back a bit, I’ve got proof of dedication and achievement. When we have a negative thought pattern, it’s a really strong little bugger, the vicious cycle would continue. I knew that without that thought, I would in fact be more dedicated and have a greater chance of achieving my goals. It just doesn’t make sense.
If you can and if you want to, it can be helpful to dig a little deeper and look for an origin story of a thought.
ORIGIN OF A THOUGHT
You may be having a thought when you’re 40, but maybe it stems from a throwaway comment made by great Aunt Arthur when you were 14. It can be as basic as that, like simple. She once said, don’t stare, it’s rude, and now you feel uncomfortable and look away. Anytime anyone makes eye contact, this is not a golden ticket for you to get stuck in your past, dredging up your stories for your thoughts because there might not actually be one, and this is definitely not a chance to play the blame game on why something isn’t working for you because of something someone said a gazillion years ago.
This is an opportunity for you to take a quick little look a little deeper. Usually, if there is something there, you’ll know it really quickly. It’ll pop up and be obvious. As an adult, when you think about what Aunt Bertha said, you can probably see that it came from a place of love and was never intended to have you feeling awkward with body language and you know it’s held you back in so many areas in life. So forgive her and take the baby steps towards having a better thought.
THOUGHTS WITHIN THE THOUGHTS
How about it’s safe for me to look in someone’s eyes? We’re gonna do more work on changing our thoughts over the next couple of weeks, so stick around. The last thing I want you to look at this week are the thoughts within the thoughts. Guess it’s a little like the matrix, the reality within the reality. Has anyone got a red pill? Is it the red pill they take red one or the blue one? Can’t remember anyway, if at some stage of your life you’ve been told a thought is bad or wrong or stupid, having that thought might make you feel shame, regret, anger, et cetera. The thought becomes a self-feeding beast. Say, you once expressed the thought, I’m so attracted to women with long blonde hair. I will not mention that short haired brunettes are so much more fun.
But anyway, your BFF that you said this to said, you are a fool for thinking that and not to be based on people’s looks. Now, anytime you see a blonde that you find attractive, you berate yourself, the shame rises up and then you’re too scared to have a flirt because it’s wrong of you to be more attracted to her. Okay? I’m obviously having a little fun here coz blondes aren’t my type because when I went to get my very first haircut, I asked the hairdresser for long, blonde and curly. Never gonna happen. We actually can’t help who we’re more attracted to yet every day all around the world, people are judging others and themselves because of those thoughts. Over the next week, when you have a thought come to the surface, want you to try a couple of different things, a sign a character to the thought, take yourself through those four questions.
See if you can find a base thought behind the thought and look, you may be sitting there thinking, get to the point, Sam, how do I fix my thoughts? You don’t. Sorry, they aren’t broken and neither are you. These steps of discovery will I promise, help you to deal with your thoughts, delete some of them and create new ones that will help support you to be the best you possible. How are you going looking at your thoughts? It’s fascinating, isn’t it? Okay, that’s my thought about this stuff. You my friend may be thinking that this is all way too deep and meaningful or a complete waste of time. See, just another thought. What we’re doing is still the same. Everything is subjective. There is no one definition of perfection because we will all think something different. But if you don’t agree that J Lo and Beyonce are examples of perfection, then we need to have a chat.
WE ARE WHAT WE THINK
Change your thoughts and you change your world. Norman Vincent Peele said that, and the Buddha is quoted as saying, we are shaped by our thoughts. We become what we think. Both of these statements are true. Everything in the universe is at first a thought, the stress, the camera, the car I drive, the energy that I have today. I thought about that first. Every moment of our lives includes and is influenced by our thoughts, so isn’t it our duty to make them as extraordinary as possible? If we can re-frame our negative thoughts into more positive ones, surely we will in turn be more positive. Yep. Even our ants or our automatic negative thoughts can be worked on. I’m not talking toxic positivity here. There are some circumstances that are crap and negative, and if you pulling out of them, it’s false. It’s a bit like trying to make that dog crap. You stood on covered in glitter. You can dress it up all you like, but it’s still shit.
Back in episode 41, we look at knowing if a thought was true, so go back and watch it if you missed it. Even if thought is true, if it’s negative, we can work on it. The magic is that what we think more of becomes more powerful, so giving power to negative thoughts will make you think more negatively. We’ve all had that day, it was cold and you had a late night. You lay there thinking, I don’t want to get out of bed because you’re too tired and you’re an idiot for going out last night, and to top it all off, see, life would’ve been much better if you worked for yourself and you could just decide to sleep in. You force yourself up over breakfast. You remember that your friend kept you up later chatting more than you wanted, and that was mean.
Now you’re thinking of all the times they’ve pissed you off. Your kids wake up and God, they’re noisy. You think, doesn’t anybody care about you? They send you on a huff all morning searching for evidence in your mind of times people haven’t cared. Next thing you know it’s bad traffic, followed by breaking a hail in the pavement. Your boss gives you a crazy deadline and burning the dinner when you finally get home in that messy kitchen because yep, your family clearly don’t love you enough to tidy up. Wowza. If in that second you were thinking you had, you were too tired in an idiot sector, you had in step thought how great it was to catch up with your friend. They talked so much and they clearly needed it and they’re important to you, so you are glad you could be there and hey, it’s only sleep. You’ll take it a bit easier today. Grab takeout and make it a fun early movie night with the kids. Imagine what a different day you would’ve had.
FLIPPING A THOUGHT
Flipping a thought is a four stage process when the negative thought is taking up that precious space, asked yourself, is this thought true? Is this thought important? Is this thought helpful? If the thought is negative, but helpful or important, how can you use this new understanding to improve your thinking? If the thought is negative or not important, can you simply ditch the thought? Yes, this may sound oversimplified, but sometimes it really is actually all it takes. A lot of the time though, you do need to do a way better work to flip it. All you need to do is ask yourself, what would be a better thought for me to have? Right now? That list you’ve been working on of your common thoughts, grab it and give it a go. It’s your brain, so make it a place for all the good and exciting and positive in your world. Don’t leave it dark and growing mushrooms.
Here are some simple flips for you. Okay, this is too hard, this is a good challenge for me, I can’t cook, I’m getting better in the kitchen, the traffic is always bad, maybe I could talk to my boss about a better start time, my kids never listen to me, how can I help my kids to communicate better? Sometimes you need to flip in stages, and if you’ve got kids, I’d actually suggest doing this with them and make it better fun. The earlier we can teach our kids to create better thoughts, the, huh? Better maybe grab some paper, post-it notes or the worksheet and write out some of your most common negative thoughts. Then on another color or with another color, write a softer thought.
See like going step, step, step. Then on another one, it’s got three bits here. What is the dreamiest most positive thought? It’s a bit like the mirror exercise way back in episode seven. It’s pretty impossible to go from, I hate my body to I love my body, but you can probably go to loving or appreciating a part of your body. I love my eyes because they get to see the world and help me to connect with people. I’ve gotta be honest, I had to do some major flipping myself this month. I’ve put on a bit of weight and I don’t like it. My thought was I can’t film the show because I’ve put on weight and who would listen to a life coach that’s put on weight? If I can’t get my own shit together, how on earth can I help other people? I know bonkers, people did not stop listening to Oprah when she went up and down the scales.
What’s crazy is the thoughts had nothing to do with what I looked like. They were all based on how I’d let myself and by some strange connection, others down by taking my eye off the ball. Yeah, that’s true. I have put on weight. Is it true that people will stop paying attention? No. Okay. Some might, but that probably has more to do with their thinking than the size of my ass. Can I get my shit together? Hell yes, I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again, and finally, me showing up and being honest about my journey and how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking is a great thing for anyone watching this. I’m real. This year has had many negative circumstances for me. Some have caused thoughts. I’ve been able to flip and others have been harder. Well, I haven’t been able to. Earlier this year I was lifting weights, I was running upstairs during five Ks. I’m feeling fabulous. I loved exercise. Finally at 47, then I got COVID and it really knocked me and sent my heart rate soaring. Then we had all the rains. My house got damaged and more rain and more rain. These things in combination led to me not sticking to my routine, which you get the picture led to me standing here. Yep. Put on weight and I’ll sort that out. I tell you all of this because my thoughts at the time were, I’m being lazy. See, I’ll always be fat. I don’t deserve success. I’m a failure. Then I went to the cardiologist because of my resting tachycardia. She did every test under the sun and gave me a clean bill of health to start exercising again, which I have done. I burst into tears in her office. The words I was so scared I was gonna have a heart attack and leave my daughter shit poured outta my mouth.
That was my underlying thought and I didn’t even know it. That’s why it’s so important to do this work. Dig, find the truth in your thoughts and create better ones, ones that will support you to live the extraordinary life that I know that you can.
FEELING YOUR THOUGHTS
In the words of Shakira, you know I’m a hip stone lie and I’m starting to feel it’s right. Oh, okay. Our bodies don’t lie, but our minds most definitely do. You’ve probably proven that over and over again as you’ve been doing this work on your thoughts. When I first tried feeling my thoughts, I felt like a twit. A thought doesn’t have a place or a something in my body is what I thought. B bang. Yes, they do. We just don’t notice it. Have you ever had the chills when you’ve been in a dark place late at night? There’s probably a fearful thought behind that.
What about when you’ve been watching a movie and you are reminded of a loved one and tears fall? We literally feel our thoughts and our feelings. They’re in our bodies. Back to the I’m too tired story that went on to ruin your day the other day last week. That thought would’ve made you feel more tired. You would’ve done everything at a slower pace and even yawned more. Side note, I wasn’t thinking I was tired, but when I typed the word yawn, when I did this, I yawned.
Do, do do. One of the greatest things we can do to have more of a mind body connection is meditation. Now, I’m not gonna take you through one here, but I do love ova as a meditation app, but there’s truckloads of amazing free guided meditations out there, so have a Google. Stop. Not before you actually watch this video, <laugh>, sometimes a thought will have triggered a feeling that is so obvious in your body. Even blind aren’t. Betty could see it and other times it’s less obvious, so we need to take time to explore. I suggest doing this when you have time to work on a thought. Okay, I’m not here trying to create more work for you so you can think you have too much to do and then indulge and overwhelm, but we’ll talk more about indulging later when a negative thoughts popped up to say hello, stop and take four square or box breaths. Okay, we’re gonna do it together. Breathe out everything you have, in through your nose for four. Hold at the top for four, out through your mouth for four. Pause and hold your breath for four. Then do that four times. Slow it down a little bit. This will center you, connect you to your body, calm your nervous system, reduce any stress and will actually just feels good.
Once you’ve done this, think of the thought again and notice where you feel it in your body. What does it actually feel like? Maybe it’s a heat in your chest or a tightness in your jaw. Wherever it is, you wanna slowly tense and release the area to allow some of the physicality of the negative thought to dissipate. If it’s your neck, drop it. Have a circle. Shrug your shoulders, clench and release your fists because that’s where I show frustration. Breathe in and out to relax your stomach or put your hands on your heart to soothe it. Swiggle your jaw to release tension, and yet maybe if you sense some thoughts in your butt, do some clench and release there, and if it’s in your anatomy, give your keels or go girls, it’s great for your pelvic floor and for releasing tension. Trust me, win win.
MIND AND BODY CONNECTION
There are many therapies that work on a better mind body connection. I’m about to give somatic therapy to go to work on some of my past trauma, so I’ll keep you posted. Once you’ve noticed and released the physicality of a thought, you wanna shift your body to feeling more positive. Movement of any kind will help you with this, and hey, if you can, Heather bugger, makes everything feel better. Don’t do that in this bra. If your thought has been based on a lack of confidence, your shoulders may have been hunched and your eyes focusing downwards, stand up tall, shoulders back, hips back, chest out, and smile. This change in your physiology will automatically help lift your thinking. Here’s a little tip. When you’re in a meeting and your thought is this meeting is a complete waste of time and you start to feel hot and stiff, don’t suddenly sit in the corner box, breathe and connect with your body.
Simply start to be more aware in that moment and do what you can to shift the physicality of the thought and do a quick flip where possible of the thought. I mentioned indulging in thoughts before, so let’s have a bit of a look. Put your hand up if you think he’s sometimes indulgent thoughts. Okay, if you didn’t put your hand up, you are lying to yourself, buddy. We all do it, have done it at some point, where do you think sayings like, have a pity party and build a bridge to get over it? Come from some thoughts are almost begging to be indulged like a spoiled child. We’ve created habit over time and we just keep doing it. The one that is the most common for me, which I mentioned earlier, is the overwhelm. I don’t actually realize I’m doing it till I’m doing it, if that makes sense.
I put way too much on my to-do list. Then I start thinking I’m too busy and I’ll need a miracle to get it all done. Then I let the ways of overwhelm take over and I almost wallow in the indulgence of that. It gives me a hawk pass for procrastination, apathy, numbing myself with food or booze or porn or candy crush or tv, anything to take away from the act of actually doing what I need to do. For others, they may indulge in feeling sad because it means they get attention. People step up to help them to take away their pain, make them smile when all along it may have been a simple negative thought that they could actually have worked on. This indulging in a negative thought gives us an excuse to not deal with the reality of the thought. I catch myself now and I take things off or I move them from my to-do list or down another week I’ll take a walk and I’ll ask myself what really actually needs to be done.
I do the work to break the pattern. If when you were younger and you had a tantrum, you were given attention, then anything you wanted to calm you, you may be an adult who now has the habit of expressing the deadest, tiny bit of anger, and the crowds come running to appease you. Anything because we don’t know how to deal with your anger and neither do you. If you wanna be logical about it. Okay, I’ll try and be logical sometimes people. This is one of of the most obvious and very, very common ones, using food to indulge in feeling bad about your body. Even saying it feels bonkers, but stick with me here because you know it’s true. Your thought is, I hate my body and I’ll never be able to be the size I want.
The indulgence takes over, so instead of working on flipping the thought you give into it. There’s clearly no point trying. So you sit on the couch watching Bridgeton and eating your way to the bottom of the top of ice cream.
Now you feel even worse physically and mentally. You’ve proven to yourself that you’re a failure when it comes to your weight. So guess what? Then you go to bed late after polishing off a bottle of wine and you wake up to tell your friend you can’t go to their party because you’re sick, but really it’s because of the shame welling up as you look into your wardrobe and yourself in the mirror thinking you got nothing to wear. Then you go back to the couch. Yep, I’ve done that. Maybe you have too.
This week. I want you to keep working on those thoughts with the exercises we’ve been doing, on the worksheet and get honest.
If you notice a thought, you’re indulging in, do something, anything to break the pattern, change your physiology, phone a friend journal or walk over to that fridge and throw out the chocolate instead of opening it. Ultimately, we all wanna be happy, but it’s not the reality of life, my friends. There will be negative, there will be mind drama. There will be things you can’t control that trigger a thought, emotion and feeling that propels you to do or not do something. It’s called life. It’s called being human. So don’t seek perfection because you’re not gonna find it. What you can do is cultivate more happiness by having a sense of purpose, knowing your passions, building better beliefs, working on changing negative thoughts, spending time with people you love or doing things you love. Breaking negative patterns, creating better habits, going for your goals and dreams and being intentionally optimistic.
Oh, there, Sammy, intentional optimism. Isn’t that false positivity? Nope. I am most of the time an intentional optimist. I look for the positive in situations. I don’t make it up if it’s not there, but I look, I’m a glass half full type of girl, so when I’m unable to find positivity more often than I’m able to find it, I know that my negativity is starting to get too great and I really gotta do some work. What do you see? A glass half full or a glass half empty? Okay, now I’m thinking about Cadbury ads from the eighties and a glass and a half of full cream milk in every 200 grand block. I don’t even know if that’s actually what they said in the ad, but that’s what I’m thinking about. So, a thought, another thought. You can go back and watch episodes on habits and goals, finding purpose and passion and more. So for now, we’re gonna look at the thoughts you need to believe and how to do it in order to have the extraordinary life you so deserve. Yep. It’s in the worksheet, but let’s go through it here.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
You’ve got a really big dream and maybe you’ve done the work to create a goal that will help you get there. Even if you haven’t, there’s an episode for that. However, your thoughts are not playing along with you. Why do you think you can’t do it? Why do you think you can do it? If you were to look at some of the documentaries of major superstars like Lady Gaga, J Lo, Taylor Swift, Michael Jordan, the Rock, just to name a few, you will see a common thread. They believed in themselves. Yes, along the way, many things played a part. Hard work, luck management, timing, opportunities, talent, lots of things.
But at the core, they had a belief that they had what it takes. In many cases, this belief far outweighs talent and skill. Henry Ford said, whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. And it’s true. So how do you go from thinking you can’t to thinking you can. It can be a really big leap. So you guessed it. Let’s take baby steps. Firstly, what is it you wanna achieve? What is that big dream? Think big here, as silly as it sounds, we’re often jammed when chasing a goal because it’s not actually big enough. What do you need to think to achieve that goal? Is it that you are the most talented pianist in the world? Or maybe that there are people out there that need to hear what you have to say? If it’s a dream about breaking generational poverty, you might need to think that you are smart enough to be wealthy and no, I’m not saying you need to be smart to be wealthy, but it’s a common thought that holds people back.
You may need to look at someone whose life, career, or family, et cetera, is something you want for yourself. What thoughts do you think they think? Try someone. It’s a bit like trying on some outfits. Some will feel really strange and others will feel like an extension of you
Here’s where it might help to do a visualization. Close your eyes. Picture your future self. You’ve achieved all you’ve ever wanted. Feel it, see it, smell it. Now, think about what it took to get there. What action did you need to take? How did you feel? What were your most common thoughts? What were the habits you stuck to? When you’re done thinking, grab some paper. Yep, the worksheet, and write everything that came up for you. You may have started thinking something negative too. What was it? You might darling have all the answers in there already. You have everything you need to achieve your goals and dreams. You’ve got to believe it.
STAGES OF BELIEF
There are four stages to getting this belief, and they’re spoken about in a few ways, but it’s the same general meaning. Okay, I don’t believe it’s possible. I believe it’s possible for others. I believe I can. I believe I will. Or maybe it’s I can do it, I’m doing it, I’ll do it. I’ll do it again. Or it’s impossible. It’s possible. It’s improbable, it’s probable, whichever way you look at it like a good car. It’s not ideal to go from first to fifth, so we take it in stages. Firstly, you wanna look for evidence or proof of the better belief. Say you wanna run a marathon, but your current thought is not exactly sporty spice. Where in your past were you more active or enjoyed sport? Maybe it was netball in primary school, or you realize that you love playing chases with your dog, and if you look and you can’t find evidence to support a version of that particular thought, find another one that shows you a past success.
Start small and grow into this new belief by building an action in every single day. I’ll say it again, every single day, I know for me to achieve my goals, I need to reach out more. I had thoughts, okay, let’s be honest. I still rear their ugly head that I wasn’t good at sales. Sales is icky, and if people wanted to work with me, they would, okay, the clinch up. I need someone else to believe in me and to do that work so delusional. Now, I set myself small targets of outreach every day. I don’t always do it, but I am working on moving from impossible to probable.
Now, back to the marathon idea. Walk a little bit. It’s impossible at a short jog. It’s possible. Try a lengthier run. It’s improbable. Build up slowly, it’s probable. Next thing you know, you did the bloody marathon.
So that’s the action. But what about the thought? That’s where the last few episodes come in. Anytime those thoughts of doubt creep in, look inside and do the work. What am I thinking? Which character’s taken over? Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it important? Where in my body am I experiencing this thought? Can I shift it? What can I do without this thought? Who would I be? What would be a better thought for me to have in the moment? Come on, we’ve done the works, and you can do this. I seriously don’t expect you to go through all of these questions each time. Like many things in personal development world, if you did it all, you wouldn’t have time to do anything else. So don’t do that. In time, you will know what you need to ask yourself in each and every moment. The biggest and best thing you can do for yourself when working on shifting these thoughts that are the beliefs that are holding you back is to be intentional.
So, every single morning when you journal, I want you to write this statement. Today, I choose to have the thought. I am smart and a foot in the works to get my degree. I’m enough and know that my ideal partner is out there. I am brave and will nail my sales calls today. You get the idea. Bottom line in all of this work is if a friend or a family member who you loved and respected said your most common thoughts out loud to you, what would you think? Chances are, you wouldn’t think they truly cared. So why? Why do we let our own mind talk to us like this? Manage your mind, and you are one step closer to having that extraordinary life that I know you dream of.
If you’ve liked any of these episodes, I’d love it if you subscribed, shared or commented because it really helps. And if you want some more support with managing your mind, tag me on social media at Samantha Leith and let’s have a chat. Remember those thoughts that take up that space between our ears are capable of supporting our fabulousness or bringing us crashing down? And you, my dear, are in the driver’s seat.
Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode and wanna dive deeper into the world of personal development and what’s possible for you, then I’d love to invite you to join the club. It’s my monthly membership designed to guide and support you with the tools and the coaching you need to be extraordinary. Head on over to samanthaleh.com/theclub for more information. I’d love to see you on the inside.
Songwriters: Anthony Newley / Leslie Bricusse
© Tratore, Universal Music Publishing Group
Produced by Samantha Leith / Michael Allen
Vocals by Samantha Leith