We are not born with a specific language. We know this because whatever language you are exposed after you are born is what becomes your first language. The language centre of the brain develops as we are exposed to the language we are born into. So, the words we speak and the words we think are not actually our own. Realistically, they have come from somewhere or someone and we have learnt them as we have grown.
Why am I sharing this? Because we all have thoughts that don't serve us, thoughts that are not productive and honestly, are not actually real or true.
This week, I had a conversation with two of my students when I saw them working on a task and then, they gave up. When I spoke to them both (on two separate occasions) I asked them:
What are you saying to yourself right now?
What are the words you are telling yourself that are getting in the way of you pushing through or getting unstuck?
One response was: I can't do this. I'm dumb.
The other responded: I don't know what I am doing.
When I asked if those words made them feel good about themselves or helped them to know what to do next, they replied that they didn't. So then I asked:
Do you think that those thoughts and what you are saying to yourself and about yourself is actually true?
This question stumped them a little because as humans, we naturally believe that everything we think is true. We think our thoughts are original and our own and the truth is - they are not! So, I explained this to them as best as I could. Then I asked them:
What could you say to yourself instead that would help you to figure out what to do next and that would help you to feel better about how you see yourself?
They both responded with things like:
I can't do it yet but maybe I can ask for help.
I know some bits but I am stuck on others.
I share this today because this lesson has been a big one for me in my life and it is still something I have to work on every single day and I know when I listen to what others say and how they act, I can see their thoughts can be a struggle for them too.
Why is this so important?
Don't believe everything you think!
I saw this meme a few days ago. It said: If you had a thought that you were a unicorn, would you believe it? (The answer is probably no!) So why do you believe it when you have a thought that you're ugly or stupid or crazy or unlovable? It doesn't make sense, right? We have this habit of picking and choosing the thoughts we want to believe to be true and human nature is to default to the ones that are more negative. I don't know why but this is why we recall the bad experiences more easily than the joyful ones.
Our thoughts are connected to our emotions
We are all human. All humans experience the same range of emotions. Our emotions drive all that we do, all interactions, and all actions and decisions we take in life. Our emotions are connected to our thoughts. It is important to remind yourself that these thoughts that we have are just snippets of our imagination and that they have nothing to do with our reality. When we think they are real, they connect to our emotions and that is how we interact and conduct our lives and experiences. Your negative thoughts are not real or true. They are not original. They feel real but it is an illusion!
Until next week...have a mindful and joyful week.
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