Becoming the conscious observer: How thoughts had limited my possibilities

Don’t be so quick to give into your thoughts!

“Sometimes our thoughts do not have our best interest in mind” – Dali Lama

Dalai LamaWhere your attention goes your energy flows.  And where your energy flows, whatever you focus on grows.  Interestingly, only you, through your attention, can give thoughts value and power.

What thoughts are you holding onto?  Whether anchored in the past or focused on the future, “Are they making your life today better or worse?”

Our potential weighs so heavily on what we think – literally our thoughts (those we choose to pay attention to) shape our life.  When we place enough attention to a thought it eventually turns into a belief.  And our beliefs either empower or disempower us.  Essentially, what you think about and tell yourself becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Seems simple enough yet our brain is innately programed with a negativity bias.  We have strong tendency to place our attention and energy on things like “what could go wrong” and “our perceived limitations.”  This mental loop of planning for the worse tends to have us view the present as not good enough.  It’s as if we live with one foot in the past saying, “If only things had been different.” And the other foot in the future saying, “When this happens, things will be better.”  Meanwhile we completely ignore the present which is the only place where life actually exists.neuroplasticity

“Make the present moment your friend rather than your enemy.  Too many people live habitually as if the present moment were some obstacle they need to overcome in order to get to the next.  And imagine living your whole life like that, where always this moment is never quite right because you need to get to the next one.  That is continuous stress.”  – Eckert Tolle

They say that stress is a byproduct of obsessively thinking about the past while anxiety results when we try controlling or forcing outcomes in life.  Admittedly there are valid moments where past analysis and/or future forecasting is beneficial (mostly in our professional lives).  However, too much time spent thinking about what’s already happened or what might happen is toxic to our livelihood and potential.  The point I am trying to make is this.  Whether you are predominantly anchored in the past or lost in the future, thoughts lead to beliefs and beliefs shape reality – the life you live.

Make no mistake, we have little to no control over our inner thoughts.  On the contrary thoughts cannot just take over your mind.  Only once you place attention on a thought can it materialize and influence (empower/disempower) your livelihood and potential.  This is your responsibility, you have control over the thoughts you hold onto, placing energy and attention on.  A thought is just that – a thought…until you rest your mind on it, dwell on it, and choose to believe it.  Once that happens your thought has the power to become life changing.

Think of it this way.  If Kennedy thought landing on the moon was impossible (which you can bet was one of the many thoughts he had) it would have become his belief.  And that belief would have changed his presidential legacy, the country’s legacy, and all human potential for that matter.  Make sense?

Here is my straight forward advice… When negative thoughts or feelings come into your mind, simply observe them, and but for the rare instance of life/death situation, let it go.  Depending on life’s circumstances it is perfectly natural to “feel” worried, stressed, doubtful (thoughts)…but you do not necessarily need to “be”  worried, stressed, doubtful (beliefs, state of being).  Beliefs define what we are capable of and the quality of our lives.  Our perception of who we are, of the world around us, situations we face – when we adopt them as (truth, a belief) they literally shape our reality.

“Once you notice you are feeling a particular way, then you generate more thoughts equal stressto how you’re feeling, and then you release more chemicals from your brain to make you feel the way you’ve been thinking.  And since the hormones of long-term stress down-regulate the expression of healthy genes and create disease…you must stop placing attention on any feelings related to stress…” – Dr Joe Dispenza

Your attention is the mind’s spotlight.  What you chose to focus it on will become the picture of the life you live.  The best way to predict your future is to create it.  Leverage the power of choice.  What thoughts you choose place your attention and energy on.  Unleash your human potential and turn those dreams into reality.  You got this.  The choice is yours and yours alone to make.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

Follow this blog by clicking the icon on the upper right side of this page.   

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi