A few days ago I posted about the quality of our thoughts and mentioned the concept of what we think really matters. The stories we tell ourselves and the stories we allow others to tell us about ourselves really does matter. I am up writing this post about midnight because this thought kept turning over and over in my mind. I knew I would not be able to sleep until I shared it. This thought which has been running around in my mind all day, and obviously, well into the night.
So here it is! I believe repetition is one of the greatest teachers known to mankind and our mind is the most powerful tool we have.
Did you know, if you hear something often enough, your mind starts to believe it is true even if it is not in fact, true? Once the seed is planted it is fairly easy to cultivate, especially if the action or thought is repeated with consistency. (I also believe it is easier to plant a negative seed versus a positive seed, because of how our minds work. Which is a discussion for another day perhaps.)
For example, let’s say you had a parent who consistently called you stupid, or lazy throughout your childhood. Repeated often enough by the parent, you as the child start to believe it is true. Pretty soon, you begin to take ownership of what you are being told. You may even start to say things like, “Yeah I know, I am stupid.” Or, “I would not have done that if I wasn’t so stupid.” Or maybe even, “I guess this proves how stupid I am.” If it is not a parent, maybe it is a teacher or another important figurehead in your life who tells it to you with consistent repetition. Either way, it is a story about yourself, being told to you by someone else. A story you begin to own because you are being told it as a fact, by someone you look up to. Has this ever happened to you?
Let’s take it from a different perspective. What if it is a story you begin to tell yourself, which is not necessarily true, but rather it is your perception at the time? For example, let’s take a veteran who survives a war when others in his troop did not. The veteran, like so many others, begins experiencing survivors guilt. He starts to question why he lived when so many others did not. Pretty soon the guilt is weighing so heavily on him, he begins to believe he should not have survived at all. (It was a fluke, a mistake.) He should not be alive, he should be dead like the others. These thoughts lead to suicidal ideation because he now believes it was not fair he survived. Yes, this is a pretty severe example, but it happens all the time. Not just with veterans, but with people who survived fires, car crashes or any other horrific event, when someone they cared about did not. Is it true, they do not deserve to live because someone else died? It is if they believe it. If they make it their truth. If they tell it to themselves with enough consistency.
Our minds are powerful tools. In fact, our mind may be the most powerful tool we have. Humans have an innate ability to tell our own stories, or in some cases, allow others to tell our stories for us. We turn thoughts into fact and those facts are then put into action. Although it may be harder to do this with positive thoughts, it is equally true of positive thoughts and stories. We can tell ourselves something positive with enough frequency, it becomes our truth. Or someone else can tell us something positive with enough frequency, it becomes our truth.
If you could change or write your own story, would you?
What we tell ourselves, what we repeat to ourselves over and over, becomes our truth. What we think matters! Or what we choose to listen to from others, can become our truth. What we think about what other people tell us, matters!
What if you could choose to sit down tomorrow and write your own story, or re-write parts of your story? What would it look like? Who would you be? Do you believe you have the power to write it and live it?