“But it seems so true!”
That’s what lots of my clients say when I ask them if they want to keep thinking a thought.
When we think thoughts, we generally assume they’re true.
Check it out…
My son is still sleeping at 11am when he has chores and homework and work to do.
I think “He is so lazy.” Seems true. Right?
But, what if it’s not?
He’s sleeping, his room is messy, homework not done, chores not done. I’m up, cleaning the kitchen, I can see with my own eyes, there is so much to do…
This is definitely true.
He is lazy.
Before we get carried away here, let’s imagine we’re in front of a judge in a court of law.
I tell the judge my son is lazy. Then he asks for evidence. I list all the things above.
Then, my son’s turn.
The judges asks him, “Son, are you lazy?”
“No, I’m not.” He is quick to answer.
The judge asks for evidence.
My son talks about how he runs on the cross-country team and is improving his time each week, he works 15 hours a week, he mows the lawn, and wakes up every weekday at 6AM for school.
The judge finds my son… not lazy.
My arguments didn’t stand up in a court of law. There was no substantial proof that my son was lazy. In fact, there were arguments to the contrary.
But, our brain doesn’t like to think that stuff through. That takes energy. It’s so much easier to not resist and just believe the thoughts our brain offers.
Guess what I feel when I think my son is lazy…
Resentment. Frustration. Maybe even anger.
Yuck. That does not feel good. And as it turns out, what I’m thinking might not even be true! I’m just thinking thoughts that make me feel yucky and never even bothering to question them!
It seemed so true… But it’s not.
When I look at his argument to the judge, it sounds like he is not lazy. It sounds like he is reliable, committed, and active.
When I think of my son that way, then what do I get to feel?
Satisfied. Content. Maybe even proud!
We have free will. We know that when we chose our actions. Yet, we overlook that privilege when it comes to our thoughts. But we do get to choose our thoughts. Just because my brain offered the thought that my son was lazy does not mean it’s true. And it doesn’t mean I need to continue to think it.
Same goes for your thoughts too.
Have you ever stopped to examine the thoughts your brain offers? Have you asked yourself if the thought you are thinking is true? Would it hold up in a court of law? Do you even what to be thinking it?
Start watching your brain. It’s empowering. And if you choose to think a different thought, you might just start feeling better too.
If you like this article, check out this article about taking responsibility for your feelings.