All month on the blog, I’m exploring the topic of how thoughts become things. In other words, what we give our attention to internally will find a way to manifest externally. (Nope, this isn't "the woo" talking; this is actually how life works).
Last week, I talked about how there are thoughts and then there are “THOTs”.
Because humans have an inherent negativity bias (in that approximately 80% of our thoughts skew negative), that means people tend to have low-value negative THOTs. Left unchecked, these THOTs will eventually could very well manifest into negative results.
Worse than their inherent negativity, many of these THOTs are not true. (And, yet, we have a tendency to believe them as being "the news." We're not dumb for believing them; we're just human).
Wanna know a cool trick to discern the truth of your thoughts?
In her seminal work, Loving What Is, Byron Katie introduced four critical questions to ask yourself when coming upon these destructive thoughts. (To make a long story short, after suffering a self-described mental breakdown in 1986, the author came upon the realization that nothing in her life was actually wrong. She realized that it was her thoughts about her reality - not her actual reality - that was giving her the most grief).
She developed and shared a four-question framework that helps people understand the veracity of their thoughts.
It goes like this:
Take a thought, and then run it through this four-question filter:
Is it true?
Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
Who would you be without that thought?
And finally. Turn it around. Find the opposite of that thought, and see how that resonates.
For instance, suppose I was entertaining the THOT of "I should really be a size 2. I’m so ugly for being any size higher" (because, gee, how on Earth would I ever have come to THAT conclusion in our culture? ; )).
Let's run it through the four-question test.
Is it true? Well, kinda, sorta...?
Can you absolutely know that it's true? No.
How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought? I feel awful about myself.
Who would I be without that thought? I would feel free and beautiful.
Now, turn it around. What is the opposite of that thought?
Turning this THOT around can happen in several ways, but here’s one: “I really shouldn’t be a size 2. I’m so beautiful for being any size higher"
So, if the original THOT doesn't pass "the gravity test," then why should I believe it?
Why on Earth would I let it infect my reality? If this THOT is optional, wouldn't it be better, happier, and more joyful to believe its alternative?
This is excellent news.
I'm not saying nothing is real or that reality should be completely denied.
What I'm saying is that if we can separate the objective from the subjective, we're given WAY more creativity and WAY more power in how we choose to experience the circumstances in our reality.
We're given a choice. Pardon the metaphor, but if our mind is a computer, we can choose to work under corrupted software, or we can choose to fix the bug, upgrade our system, and find some overdue happiness in our thoughts and in our lives.
And if you need help finding that overdue happiness, hit me up here!!