[00:00:00] Welcome to today's TLC. Whether you found this podcast on my website, through the emails I send, or simply from a friend, I'm glad that you've decided to add some TLC today.
[00:00:17] Hello, my friends. Guess what my six-year-old son said last night? I was telling him to do a job that he was forgetting and I kept reminding him and kept reminding him and he said to me, "Uh, I am a forgetter!" And I turned to him and I said, "No! Forgetting is so normal. Don't tell your brain that you're a forgetter because then your brain's like, 'Oh, we don't need to remember... we can just forget.'"
[00:00:46] And this little smile spread on my six-year-old face and he said, "Hey brain, let me tell you something... I am not a forgetter!" And just walked off with confidence and did his job. And my mama heart was like, "Oh yeah, we aren't doing this!"
[00:01:04] I was so proud of him! And he's a little bit more of my peppy kid and so when he really gets into it, he gets into it and I was really proud of him. But I haven't been able to stop thinking about that moment where he was talking to his brain, telling his brain that he's not a forgetter and that he was taking charge of his brain in that moment. I loved it.
[00:01:28] A little bit of background on your brain. The national science foundation in 2005 did a huge study where they tracked people's brains (their thought patterns) and they realized that the average person has anywhere from 12 to 60,000 thoughts a day. That's a lot of thoughts, right? When I think about that, it creates even more thoughts that want to be in drama about all the things going through my mind.
[00:01:51] The other finding that was a little disheartening from this study is that 80% on average—80% of those thoughts—are negative! Negative thoughts that fuel us to have negative emotions. Right?
[00:02:07] Now don't worry, because a study by Cornell that same year said that 85% of what people worry about never happens. It never happens! So we spend 12 to 60,000 thoughts a day 80% of which are negative and 85% of those negative never happen.
[00:02:27] So you can take a breath and let go and say, "Let me tell you something brain: we are fine. We don't have to be negative. The negative usually doesn't even happen. And we can choose something different!"
[00:02:40] But unfortunately, many of us choose to let our brains tell us lies. Lies like, "We're not good enough," or, "I don't have any friends," or, "I am a hundred percent sure that my boss hates me..." What about, "That person is so much better than me!"
[00:02:58] Lies my friends. These are lies that your brain is trying to convince you of—these negative things. Here's some other lies that your brain tells you to try and keep you safe: "It's better if I just don't say anything." Or, "I'm better at cleaning the bathroom so I'm just going to do it and my kid can watch me so that they can learn to do it right." Or how about this one? "I don't really want to waste my time and my energy I'll start when I have a clear vision of what it is I'm supposed to be doing."
[00:03:25] *Those are lies our brain tells us to keep us safe.*
[00:03:28] But remember when your brain's on autopilot, it's trying to avoid pain, save energy and seek pleasure. So it's going to look for all the things that can take away energy and pleasure and create pain. So naturally we're looking for all of the negative, right?
[00:03:44] But what does that create for you in your day-to-day life? How do you feel when you're stuck in those negative cycles, feeling unmotivated and way down like you're just not a good person. Or feeling flatlined, like you're just robotic and going through life and there's really no pain, but there's really no joy either?
[00:04:05] Why does her brain do this? Again, that automatic response is afraid and so it anticipates those problems to try to control it. But you and I know that your thoughts are creating your feelings, and then your feelings drive your actions and your results. Whatever fuel you're putting in your thoughts, that's going to trickle out to the rest of your life. The fuel you put in is the fuel you'll get out.
[00:04:33] So here's the good news, you don't have to be the average person: 80% of 60,000 thoughts is 48,000 negative thoughts. The average person = 48,000 negative thoughts a day! You don't have to be the average. You are learning to create positive patterns in your brain.
[00:04:57] *Here is how to not slip into the average negative brain:*
[00:05:01] First, you have to be proactive about focusing your brain. If you're curious and you're looking for what's going on in your mind, you'll have a better chance of seeing the lies, seeing what negativity is going on there, and recognizing what's not true.
[00:05:18] Just like working out takes effort for you to put on your exercise clothes and turn on the exercise video or go to the class. It takes some effort to exercise your brain. But there's so many benefits for your mind and your life just like for your body when you exercise.
[00:05:35] So in my house, we practice seeing lies. When I see them, I point them out like I did to my six-year-old: "You're not a forgetter don't tell your brain that... that's a lie!"
[00:05:46] Then the new truth that he embraced, "Hey brain, let me tell you something... I am not a forgetter!" Can you just feel that energy? I just love that stating truth naturally provides forward movement and energy. It's so good.
[00:06:01] Here's another example from one of my clients.
[00:06:03] She's been going through a really intense situation with her husband and trying to decide if she's going to get a divorce. When we were talking about it, she kept saying, "No matter what, it's going to be so hard!" and when she said that, I just felt the fear like dripping off her... the exhaustion, the overwhelm, it just felt so heavy.
[00:06:27] But here's the thing... hard is subjective. "It's going to be so hard!" is a story that she's telling herself. And it might not be the way that she wants it to be, but how much harder is it going to be if her brain is focusing on all of the things that might go wrong and she's letting her mind explore all of the worst case scenarios and bringing that emotion into one big ball of a yuck right now. And that's what she brought to me when we were talking. And I honored that fear. I looked at it and said, "It's okay that your brain wants to go to all of the negative. And you don't have to stay there. What might not be true about it being so hard? One little piece, one little piece that might be... not hard?"
[00:07:20] And it took her a minute for her to find something that she felt was honest because, "Everything was going to be fine..." was not true for her. So she did have to dig a little to figure out what it was that her brain could think instead of, "It's all going to be so hard."
[00:07:37] Once we explored her brain together and found a truth that felt peaceful for her, she took a deep breath and let go of all of that energy of the, "It's going to be hard." And she had more space to then decide what she wanted to do next instead of getting stuck in fear and shutting down and turning off her brain, trying to avoid the pain.
[00:08:00] It's so ironic that when we shut down and go into fear, we actually amplify the thing that our brain is trying to avoid! We take a shortcut right to it.
[00:08:11] *It matters where we focus. Practice focusing on truth. *
[00:08:17] This client's truth that she found, "God cares about my family and He will help us."
[00:08:24] That simple truth gave her a release. It gave her the chance to let God guide whatever happened and she didn't need to control it anymore. And it gave her space to breathe.
[00:08:37] Another woman I've been helping is struggling with her teenage daughter. I've talked to both the mom and the daughter and they are convinced that the other person is wrong. They told a completely opposite story about what had gone on and why they were mad at each other. Of course it was the other person's fault, of course the other person is so inconsiderate, and the negativity just kept going on and on.
[00:09:00] And sometimes we think that it's helpful for us to just bring up all the negativity and tell all of the feelings that we have, but I've talked in other episodes about the difference between clean pain and dirty pain. And negativity is dirty pain my friends, it's not helpful for you.
[00:09:17] Focusing on your own experience and finding things that are true for you is liberating because when we chase the other person like this mother and daughter were, trying to get them to change so that we can feel better... we feel out of control. And that negativity just spirals.
[00:09:37] So what was the truth here that reset this relationship?
[00:09:41] "You can't control others, you can only focus on what you can do. And God will help, you know, what to do next."
[00:09:51] Can't you just feel all of the energy settle? All that negativity and blame and frustration just settles when you say, "I don't need to control somebody else. I can focus on me. And God will help me go forward. That recentering on what's true says to the brain, 'Hey brain, let me tell you something... I'm in charge.'"
[00:10:17] And we love our brain! It's trying to help us.
[00:10:20] *But again, we don't want to let the brain be the one in charge—you are in charge! You can find the lies and trade them for truths. *
[00:10:30] So, what is your brain trying to lie to you about?
[00:10:34] Where do you feel out of control or negative or worried about things that you think are going to happen?
[00:10:41] You got something that your brain wants to be worried about?
[00:10:44] Now take a deep breath and find the lie.
[00:10:49] What small piece of this might not be true? Just a little bit.
[00:10:54] Are you willing to even consider that it's not true?
[00:10:59] Doesn't mean that you're wrong, just means that there's a more empowering thought for you!
[00:11:04] *So find the lie. Then find a thought that will help you focus on more empowering truths. *
[00:11:14] And as you practice this—recognizing lies and offering your brain truths—you will create patterns that will break the norm. You will not be the average person focusing on negative things. And you will have natural, positive momentum fueling your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
[00:11:34] Guess what that's going to create in your world? Amazing things!
[00:11:39] I can't wait to see what you create. When you choose to be the boss of your brain.
[00:11:45] Life after therapy can be simple. Come learn how to think, light feel light, and live light at www.thelightcoach.com. I offer five free discovery sessions each week and one of them is for you. Together, let's discover the joy that's possible. In life after therapy.