Do you lie to yourself? I do. I just realized that throughout my day, thoughts come to me that I know are not true, and I accept them anyway.
This morning, I was working on a fun design. I was writing “self-compassion” in bubble letters in my journal. This simple act, gave me a huge epiphany….
I was working my way through the letters, “C-O-M-P-A….” and I came to the first “s.” Immediately, my thoughts started in with the warning. “Oh no. You know the “s” is the hard one. You’re gonna mess this up….” Normally, I would overthink it, panic a little too much and end up wanting to rip out the page and ball the whole thing up. AND that’s not what happened.
This time, I heard that warning, that critical voice, and simultaneously had a memory of myself in my third grade classroom, helping one of my favorite teachers cut out letters for her bulletin board. I traced and cut out letters for her every month, and sometimes when letters were missing I would have to draw them freehand. I remembered that I learned as a kid how to make a perfect letter “s.” So instead of giving in to the defeating thought, I combatted it with, “I’ve done this a million times. And I can probably do a better job if I stop telling myself I’m gonna suck at it.” And for the first time ever (well since 3rd grade), I made a perfect “s!” It wasn’t all wonky at the top, and weird in the middle, like the one in “S-E-L-F.” It came out perfectly.
I finished writing “S-S-I-O-N,” and began journaling affirmations about self-compassion, worthiness, and blessings. As I wrote, “Blessings are always available to answer…, “a corrective thought interrupted with the words, “enter my design.” I was about to write, “… my prayers,” but I felt, intuitively, that I was to omit “answer” and change the phrase to “Blessings are always available to enter my design.”
I had never thought of it that way before, that my prayers are designs—blueprints for my life experiences. As I thought about my core belief, that I am co-creating my experiences, I realized that it makes sense that blessings are all around me and that my thoughts are impacting what I allow into my design of my ideal experiences.
That’s when I thought about my experience with the letter “s.” I had a vision of writing my title in perfect bubble letters, but my internal conversation nearly impacted the outcome. And if I have internal conversations about simple things like bubble letters, I am likely having internal conversations about other things throughout my day. All day, I am adding and rejecting blessings that I want in my vision. Chances are you are doing it, too.
It can be as simple as the thought, “I really want to grab Starbucks before work.” (That’s the envisioned design.) However, if upon approaching Starbucks the thought, “The last time I was here the barista was rude,” crosses our mind, some internal decision making is likely to come next. “I wonder if they are working today? Do I feel like dealing with a rude barista today? How long is the line? What if they’re out of…..?” And so on. Before we know it, we have pushed our vision of walking into work with delicious Starbucks to the background. Based on where we choose to focus our attention, we will either choose to allow our vision to unfold, or reject it. (This is just an example. You may hate Starbucks, but I think you get the point.)
Throughout our days, with our thoughts, we make decisions about what gets to be a part of our lives. Whether we’re ignoring an urge to get up and have a drink of water, hopping in the car to remove a “to-do” from our list, or not following up because we assume we didn’t get the job, we are constantly making individual choices in our thoughts that impact the outcomes we design. These little decisions throughout our days, weeks, months, and years add up and impact our general satisfaction with our lives.
I decided, seconds ago, to be a little more intentional about choosing thoughts that align with the visions I design. I get to pay more attention to the micro-decisions that help me allow more of what I want into the moments of my life. With these small decisions I get to increase my life’s satisfaction.
If you’re like me, maybe you could use more satisfaction in your life. Maybe this small practice is worth considering.
So how do you do it? Well, one way is when you start to talk yourself out of what you want, take a step back and notice the thoughts you are focused on. Then remember your vision. Is it possible that there is an alternate perspective you can also consider?
You can ask yourself questions like:
- “What if it works out?”
- “Is it possible that I am more capable than I think?”
- “What if I catch on quickly?”
- “What if it goes really well?”
- “What if they are impressed?”
- – “What if this a really great experience?”
- – “What if I take the pressure off and just do my best?”
- – “What if I just look at this as a learning experience?”
- – “What if they’re having a bad day?”
- – “What if this is the best date ever?”
- – “What if I’ll be fine either way?”
- – “Will I enjoy this more if I do it now or later today?”
- – “What if it’ll be over before I know it?”
- – “How good will I feel knowing this is done?”
- – “What if I just work on it for 15 minutes?”
- – “Maybe I could I call ahead and tell them __________?”
When we ask ourselves more empowering questions, we are able to shift our thoughts from negative expectations to positive. We are more likely to allow in our blessings than to talk ourselves out of them.
I hope you find this list helpful. I know I see a few I intend to employ. Don’t be surprised if this ends up in my upcoming book, “You’re Being Catfished.”
Have a wonderful rest of your day.