Thoughts: The Model-Brooke Castillo
This is the second of a five-part series where we are breaking down The Model. Each of the five builds on one another. So if you haven't read the post on Circumstances yet, I would definitely recommend clicking here and checking that one out first.
All right, let's get into it!
What is a Thought?
Simply put, a thought is a sentence in your mind. Thoughts can either be conscious (you know about them) or subconscious (you aren't aware of them). They include the opinions, judgements, perspectives, and beliefs we have about neutral circumstances. If we're taking a look at The Model, thoughts would go right under circumstances.
Some Examples of Thoughts Are:
It's cold outside.
My kids are always complaining.
I'm a disorganized person.
I'm so busy.
This can be a hard truth to accept for a lot of us who are holding on so tightly to our thoughts and beliefs. This is especially true for ones we've been repeating over and over again, collecting all this "evidence" to support it. It can feel vulnerable and uncomfortable to hear that our thoughts aren't facts at all. We may find ourselves defending our thoughts, like we have to protect them.
Build Awareness of Your Thoughts
Earlier, I mentioned that thoughts can be conscious or subconscious. Many of us aren't paying much attention to our thoughts. Once you start bringing awareness to them, you may not like what you find. You may want to change them, ignore them, or pretend they are not there. You may also start to judge yourself for the thoughts you have and want to change them right away. Instead, I would invite you to just let the thoughts be there. Observe them in the spirit of curiosity and fascination, without judgement. For now, just think of your thoughts like clouds. Appearing and disappearing, changing and moving across the sky. Just existing like neutral circumstances. One thing I like to do when I'm observing my thoughts is to say, "Right now I am having the thought _____________, and that's okay". Or I might say, "It's so interesting that I'm having the thought _____________ right now".
Thoughts Are Not Permanent
Another thing you need to know about thoughts is that they are not permanent. They can change. We don't have to keep any thoughts that aren't useful or beneficial to us. To know if a thought is useful, we need to see what result it is creating in our life. I'll explain this more as we go through this series. Once we have allowed our thought to be there, explored it with nonjudgemental curiosity, then we can go about changing it if we want to.
Why Thoughts Matter:
Thoughts are the leading cause of everything else that follows in The Model. They are the cause of our feelings, which then determine the actions we take in our lives. Any results we create can also be traced back to our thoughts. That is why it is SO important to take ownership and responsibility for our thoughts so we can create the life we want. You could think about thoughts as the paint an artist could choose from to paint on a canvas. The color and type of paint we use will determine what the overall painting looks like.
So Now That You Understand Thoughts...
It's time to look at feelings and how the two are related to one another. You can read more about that in the next post.
Want to take this work further?
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