Karen Darrin

Step 1: Notice your thoughts. Notice that you are the observer of these thoughts.

Step 2: Write down the thoughts.

Step 3 is to evaluate the thoughts you wrote down. For each thought, ask yourself: How do I feel when I think this thought? Take time to explore your answer. In particular, observe what your body is feeling. Do you feel energized or sluggish? Motivated or downtrodden? Excited or shamed? Chances are you don’t feel good and, if you’re like me, your thoughts can lead you to becoming one with the couch mindlessly flipping through Netflix.

Why are these thoughts creating such uncomfortable and distressing feelings? This was a very important question that I needed an answer to on my own journey. I knew from years of experience that no one could speak to me in a more shameful and destructive way than my “Inner Critic.” I needed to know why. What I discovered deserves it’s own post, so stay tuned.

Back to your list of disconcerting thoughts. We humans have anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. But according to some research, as many as 98% of them are exactly the same thoughts we had the day before. Talk about creatures of habit! Even more significant, 80% of our thoughts are negative. Eighty percent of your brain power is focused on negative thoughts, each and ever day. That is a sobering statistic.

If you are thinking defeatist thoughts about yourself or others chances are that is how you will show up in the world. How you feel can determine how you behave. Sustaining a veneer of “I’m fine! or Everything’s great!” when you have these critical thoughts stomping around in your noggin takes enormous amounts of energy. No wonder you’re exhausted. Plus you are just not living authentically, which feels “icky.”

What if you start to shift some of those judgmental thoughts to more empowering thoughts? I am not talking about positive affirmations. For those of us with low self-esteem, positive affirmations can actually make us feel worse, or so the research says. This was true for me. I felt like a fool repeating, “I am a lovable;” or, “I am a money magnet!” Nope. Doesn’t work for many of us.

Next week I will talk about how to “be a scientist” and genuinely dissect your thoughts. You will learn how to test a thought and uncover whether this thought is true or not. This is work. It takes time and energy to slow down and notice your thinking. But, it will change your life, I promise you. It changed mine and continues to do so each day.

Step 1: Notice your thoughts. Notice that you are the observer of these thoughts..

Step 2: Write down the thoughts.

Step 3: Evaluate how those thoughts make you feel and behave.

Next week, I will share the fourth and final step of how to change your thoughts which will change your life.

CALL TO ACTION:  Receive my free gift, “The Inner Critic Worksheet” here:  Karen Darrin Coaching Blog when you sign-up for my weekly email.