An educated mind can entertain a thought with accepting it – Aristotle
I think the biggest revelation I have had as a psychologist is finding out that I can choose what thoughts to buy into.
You can actually choose whether to entertain a thought! Who knew? Well, Aristotle, obvs, but it was news to me.
I can remember so clearly what life was like before I knew this. I have a vivid memory of walking down the road to Baron’s Court tube station and being so involved with arguing with my mind that I had actually started waving my arms up and down. I was that person you cross the street to avoid.
We get fused with our thinking. And often those thoughts do not serve us at all. They take us away from being present and following our values. Thoughts can encompass us in a psychological fog so you can’t see where you are going and you certainly cannot take effective action.
So try this: next time your mind is giving you a beating put the words ‘I am having the thought that…’in front of the statement.
‘I am having the thought that I can’t do this/will never be good enough/am a failure.’
If you want to go to superpowers level then try ‘I am noticing I am having the thought that I can’t do this/will never be good enough/am a failure.’
The key point is that it’s not about whether the thought is true or not, it’s about whether it helps you live a meaningful and authentic life in line with your values.
You cannot always change what your mind tells you but you ABSOLUTELY can change your relationship with your thoughts.
Isn’t that just the best news you’ve had in ages?