I’m Diana Swillinger, and this is the Renew Your Mind Podcast Episode 69 I Can Figure This Out.
DIANA: Hey. Hey, everybody. What’s happening with you? Amazing things, I hope. You know there’s always something good going on. If you think about it, there’s something good going on for you and around you if you’re willing to see it. I can see it around me all the time. It is there.
So if you haven’t looked yet for today, make sure you do. Go find what’s good there’s something all right, before we get started, I want to give a shout out to an itunes user, Tim Scannell. Yeah. Did I say that right? Tim Scannell. I want to say thank you, Tim, for listening. Tim has done his part to help spread the Renew Your Mind movement by rating and reviewing this podcast in Apple podcasts. So his review says well, he’s right to the point. He says, great podcast. I love this conversational podcast, because it is insightful and it makes me think. Thank you. Well, you’re welcome, Tim. Thank you for encouraging me. And thanks for taking the time to leave a review, because every time any of you leave a review, it will make the podcast easier for the people who need it most to find it. When people search things, there’s algorithms that show up. So if they’re searching for a Christian podcast that helps with feeling better and more hope and more peace and they search for it, the more reviews this podcast has, the more likely Apple, uh, itunes is to have it pop up for them as an option. So I need you to go leave a review if you haven’t. Do like Tim did. And when people find the podcast, when somebody just like you finds this podcast and puts the tools into practice, she or he gets to feel more peace and joy and hope, just like you. So go be like Tim and leave your review if you haven’t. And I love reading them, too. It is fun, and I really appreciate getting encouraged. It’s one of my favorite things. So thank you all who’ve done it so far.
All right, on, uh, to business, today’s topic kind of makes me think of an episode I did last year called this is the part where do you guys remember that one? Like, this is the part where I doubt what I’m doing. This is the part where I doubt I’ll be good at what I’m doing. This is the part where I doubt me, but I move forward anyway. This is the part where somebody calls me a name and then I choose to remember my value in Christ. This is the part where life is hard, but it’s okay. I’ve done hard things. I can do it again. All right, you guys remember that it’s kind of like narrating your own life in a way that gives relief. It kind of gives grace. It opens up opportunity to redirect the story that’s going on in your head. I think of it as like a quick and easy brain hack. I mean, I call all these tools, but when you can take a phrase like that and just plug it in, it’s kind of like hacking your brain from its automatic stories. And so I want to give you another one today. And this one, if we were just to put it in a simple phrase, is, I can figure this out.
So I’m going to give you my real life example and you guys are going to get a little insight into who I am here because it’s about a phone game. Does anybody else play games on their phone? I do sometimes. Um, when M, we do this kind of thought work on simple things like that bite size things like a phone game, it makes it a lot easier to try it on something that is a little more important. I have three games that I play on my phone, by the way. It’s not filled with games. They’re distracting. So I strategically have chosen a few games.
So here’s the games I play. Surprise, surprise. Words With Friends. Of course. It’s a word game that I play most often. I used to play Scrabble until the developers stopped developing the Scrabble app and they sold it to another company who trashed it and put all this bling and spinning wheels and stars and oh, it’s terrible. I cannot even look at the new game for Scrabble. So I play with my mom. We used to play Scrabble. It was nice and simple. It no longer is. We switched to Words With Friends, and I know there’s bling and bells and whistles on there too. We ignore it all and we just like to play Words.
Another game I play, I don’t remember the name of it, but it’s like a Boggle type game. So just letters and then you got to connect them and make words. I crush my family in Boggle. When we play in real life, they all want to beat me, but they can’t. So those are my word games. And then, uh, I play a block game. It’s like a spatial game. I used to play Tetris on, um, the Nintendo system long ago. And this isn’t exactly like that, but it’s still blocks and then you place them on a grid. That’s all it is. And I mean, it’s kind of like Tetris, but they’re not falling. And when you place a piece, a line disappears and all that. So I’ll put a picture of it in the Renew Your Mind Facebook community so that you guys can all see what it is. And maybe I want to try it too.
Anyway, I use this game when I want to give my brain something to do. Or it’s really useful getting me off of spinning thoughts. If I can’t calm my brain down and I want to chill all the thoughts in there, life issues, work stuff, activities, whatever, I can take five or 10 minutes. And it gives my brain a break because it gives it something simple to do and something different. It’s a spatial activity. So it takes my brain into something it’s not usually doing during the day. So that kind of thing is scientific, you guys. If you can give your brain and Google it, I’m not going to explain it here, but if you give your brain something to do, that’s not what it’s been doing all the time. It pulls you out of it. I, um, was talking about this on a Facebook Live in the community last week too, where when you’re having worry and anxiety, there are techniques to take yourself out of that by giving your brain something to do in like a different category of processing. So that’s what this game does for me.
So the score goes up based on how many blocks you place. And then if the board gets too full and you can’t play any remaining pieces, the game is over. And for however long I’ve had this game on my phone, at least three years, I bet. I never got past a score in the realized I had a story about it, an automatic story was going on in my brain. I was having thoughts like, because I got curious about this sometime. I’m like, I wonder why I never get past 20,000 something. And I think things like, it gets hard in the 20,000s. Like that’s just a fact. I just think that and so it must be true. I think it’s hard to pass my high score. I’ve also thought I’ll never get past the those thoughts are in my head about this game. And then a few months ago, when I was playing and nearing the inevitable moment when the board was going to get full and I wasn’t going to be able to play any farther, and then I was going to look at the score and it was going to be 20,000 something, I was like, Wait a second. I’m a life coach. I bet I could think something different and it would change the outcome. So I put it to the test. What was happening was I always think the game will end here. And then what happens is it always does. So what if I think something different? I chose to only let myself think one thought about the game from that moment on, at least for the rest of that game, for every piece that needed to be played. Every time I was about to play a piece on the board, I thought, I can figure this out. And I did not stop thinking that for the entire rest of the game. I did eventually not, uh, have a place to play and the game stopped. But all the way till the end, I only thought that I mean, occasionally another thought snuck in. But if I noticed, then I would change my thought. In fact, if no other thoughts snuck in, I’d probably still be playing that same game. I probably never would have died. But as it was for three years, I could not get past the 20,000. And then on this game, I got 83,882. What? I didn’t just pass the point that the game was over, I blew it out of the water and I kept playing and playing for days because I don’t play that long.
So it went on for quite a while. Instead of thinking I’ll never get past this high score, I thought, I can figure this out. What? Ah, a great, simple, no stakes way to practice a new thought. It was no stakes because who cares if I win or lose the game, right? Nothing good or bad is going to happen based on my game score. It’s just a relaxing game. And yet so much was possible with changing a thought. And so of course, I did apply this thought to other areas of my life that felt hard. And then those areas got easier and I had less dread and less fear and less doubt and all that yada yada yada. It worked. But I’m going to keep talking about the game. I’m not going to talk about my practical life right now, y’all, I’m going to talk about the game. Because this was fascinating. After that brilliant high score of 83,882, guess what kind of scores I got on all my subsequent games? 20,000.
For a couple months, I was right back being stuck at that threshold again. I had just blown it out of the water and I just went back to being stuck. So this last weekend, I was checking in with my thoughts. I was like, I wonder what am I thinking about this game? Why am I in the 20,000s with my score? And my thought was, that was probably a one time thing. You guys ever think that, oh, that’ll never happen again. Right? That was probably a one time thing. There it was. I was completely responsible for keeping myself stuck in the game again because I had a thought that kept me stuck. I was not going to pass the if I kept thinking that was probably a one time thing. Are, uh, any of you guys skeptical? Are you wondering, how is this even possible? It’s just a game on your phone.
Well, without going into all the academic psychology journals to explain it, I’ll put it into my own everyday language. The brain works to make the thoughts that you think happen and come to fruition. The brain just wants to be correct. It wants to be right. If I think that was a one time thing, the brain is going to get to work and make that true. If you let your brain think a thought, it will look for evidence to make it true or even direct your behavior to make it true. Like if you think this meal I’m making isn’t going to turn out, you know what happens. You make some mistakes while you’re cooking it because you have that thought and then the meal doesn’t turn out. If you think this run, I’m going to go on, I’m going to go exercise and go run. This run is going to be so hard. You know what happens? The run feels so hard. If you think I can’t figure this out, you know what happens? Your brain keeps spinning and keeps you from figuring it out. It offers distraction or carelessness or a lack of focus or whatever. It just wants to show you that you’re right. It’s so nice. It’s a good brain. It’s taking direction really well. You can thank it for being so efficient. It’s trying to make whatever you think be the reality.
Thank you, brain. Thanks for listening to me. Thanks for caring about what I say and try to make it happen. It’s m doing a good job, but doesn’t that make you want to give it good thoughts? Doesn’t that make you want to be in charge of what you’re thinking so that your reality and your experience can be a little bit in your control and be more positive? Back to the game. After I found my thought about thinking that high score was a one time thing, I got rid of that thought. The truth is it’s not a one time thing. I can recreate that high score. It’s not a problem. I just need to think a thought that puts my brain to work to create that. So back to the thought, I can figure this out. That’s what I’m going to think with this game.
That’s what I’ve been thinking and now I’m in the play for 510 minutes a day. So this might take me a few days or weeks to get back up there, but I’m totally going to do it. I really am. I’m just going to keep thinking I can figure this out. Part of me just wants to prove to you guys how powerful changing a thought is even on just a game like, who cares? This is so fun. This makes it really fun. You guys can do this in your life too with something that doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t affect anyone. It’s not high stakes. Whatever this high score is going to be, I will also put that in the Renew Your Mind Facebook community so you guys can follow up with me there. So what do you want to play with what have you felt stuck in that’s low stakes? Nothing too dramatic. What’s something you want to dabble in for fun? Exercise? Cooking. Gardening? Keeping a plant alive, keeping your counters clean.
Find something you want to practice on. And before you pick a new thought, I would say, let’s check in like I did. What were my thoughts? Uh oh. My thoughts were, the game gets hard in the didn’t work. Or, that was a one time thing. It didn’t work. I was paying attention to what I was thinking first, because I want to recognize if my brain tries to give me those thoughts again so I can say, no, no, that’s not the one I’m thinking right now. Thanks for trying. When I know what I’m thinking and the brain tries to offer it again, i, uh, recognize it. I can be tuned into it. So, first, check in. See what your brain is thinking about it. Before you have a new thought. Then set that thought aside and choose a different one. Use mine if you want. I can figure this out. Or yours could be a little different. It could be something like, I m choose to stick with this. Or this is my new way. Or this is just what I do. Whatever works for you. All right. Okay. That’s going to be fun. I would love to hear you guys stories on your low stakes, practicing with your thoughts. It’s going to be fun. So many possibilities.
All right. Last week, you guys heard Rianon on my podcast. I just talked with her again today. We’re really excited about the upcoming episodes we’re going to do together, where I answer your questions. So if you want to get your questions answered right here on an upcoming episode, all you need to do is join the Renew Your Mind Facebook community, and Rianon will be popping in there, reminding you that you can send her your questions. You can post them there. You can direct message her. They can be anonymous. Um, or, I mean, she would be the only one to see your name if you want them to be private. And we will not say your name on the air unless you want us to. So go to Rympodcast.com, and you can find the link to join. Or go on Facebook and search the Renew Your Mind community and ask to join from there. So we’ll see you guys there. And that’s it for today. So I’ll catch you next week. Take care of you.
As an advanced certified life coach, I help Christian women trying to live their best lives, but they still feel unsatisfied, and stuck. I teach thought management skills that work so you can enjoy life again and step into who God has created you to be. Don’t forget to head on over to Rympodcast M um.com to get my free resources or a free coaching call.