Honesty and Positive Thinking

13 07 2010

“That voice inside your head is not the voice of God. It just sounds like it thinks it is.”

 (Cheri Huber)

Last week I spoke briefly about the connection between honesty and “thinking positively.” As promised, this week I will expand further on that and how you can combine both without having instances where it feels that one is fighting against the other – because that can be particularly tiring.

When I first left education I worked in hospitality management and we would have music playing in the background. Occasionally I would notice the specific tunes that were playing. If it was a song I liked I may notice it was playing and hum along to it and sometimes it may be a tune I didn’t like I noticed, normally inwardly groan and go get on with something else. However, most of the time I didn’t pay any attention, I knew it was on and noticed if it stopped for some reason but it was just part of the background noise.

When it was pointed out to me that it was possible to have the same relationship with my thoughts I was initially sceptical. Mainly because most of the thoughts I was aware of were the ones I was engaging with and “humming along” or “inwardly groaning at”. I hadn’t registered there were many, many others that were passing by without me paying much attention to them – things like “oh that cloud looks like Aladins lamp”, “looks like rain”, “what times lunch?” etc. Most I chose not to dwell upon, pay much attention to or even engage with at all. Yet there are other thoughts I may choose to dwell on further.

As Michael Neill says in his book Supercoach:

“A thought without your personal investment is no more powerful than a teabag without boiling water. It’s only after you add the water that the tea begins to infuse and add flavour, and it’s only after you add your agreement and energy to a thought that it begins to impact your life.”

At the time I was amazed at the concept that I could choose which thoughts I could interact more with. Yet when I thought about it there were already times when I picked not to dwell on something – if I was fully engaged on the phone with someone and a random thought popped into my head I knew I could pay no attention to it and carry on with the conversation. I also knew that I could have a thought about noticing something and not engage any more with it other than a “that’s interesting”.

This new idea of selecting which thoughts to interact more fully means I can pick to let any “negative ones” pass me by with no more than a “oh yes” or “that’s interesting” response. I can also choose to interact more fully with those “positive thoughts.”

There are times that I can get caught up in a thought unintentionally. Eventually I will recognise that the reason I may not be feeling particularly brilliant is because I am engaging with a particularly negative thought. At that stage I can remove my personal involvement from it.

The reason that this is different to just thinking positively is that the key part is about which thoughts to engage with and which ones you just let float by and carry on their way.

This week I invite you to notice the thoughts that you are engaging with and explore choosing which ones to engage more with.

  1. Pick a subject to explore the impact this can make.
  2. Notice the thoughts that come into your head about that subject. You’ll probably find that there are ones that you are used to engaging with and some that you haven’t noticed before.
  3. Give each one a shorthand title and make a note of it on a piece of paper
  4. As you go throughout your day notice when each thought pops into your head and keep a tally of it on your paper. 

When I did this around writing this weekly piece I noticed thoughts that were variations of:

  • You’ve nothing to say of any interest,
  • This is useless,
  • Who are you to write this?
  • That would help a lot of people,
  • Good point.

Because I know that I can choose to interact with these or not I choose not to interact and just let them keep going as background while I got on with actually writing.

If at any stage you find yourself noticing that you have got caught up in a thought that isn’t useful then congratulate yourself for noticing and let it go – If you let it, it’s just a thought.

Have a week full of engaging choice

Love

Jen

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3 responses to “Honesty and Positive Thinking”

13 07 2010
Delphine (07:18:36) :

Great post Jen.
It’s something I’m exploring at the moment ! Playing or even being in control of my thoughts…Not easy but a great challenge.
xxx
Delphine

13 07 2010
Tweets that mention Honesty and Positive Thinking -- Topsy.com (07:41:38) :

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jen_Waller. Jen_Waller said: Your Changing Direction new post: Honesty and Positive Thinking (http://bit.ly/aG2txp) [...]

13 07 2010
Jen Waller (14:00:38) :

Hi Delphine,

I’m glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for taking the time to comment.

Personally, I find that if I must control anything that it’s a lot easier to pick which thoughts I interact with rather than trying to control the thoughts themselves. Sure there are times when I still play with unhelpful thoughts but I find it’s far easier to stop playing with them when I realise that’s what I’m doing :)

Happy exploring

Love

Jen

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