The one thing in our lives that we can absolutely control is our thoughts. You’ve likely heard this often and maybe are even a little irritated by the idea. However, no matter what is going on in our world, no one else can think our thoughts, and no one else can control those thoughts unless we let them. Thus, it is the one area of our lives that we can control.
We give others permission to clutter our minds with their actions, behaviors and beliefs. We can apathetically allow anything to become part of our mental landscape or we can choose to cultivate only thoughts that serve us.
Freedom of thought means not being captive to the programming we have received and are receiving every day. Have you noticed that when you speak to certain people who view the world from a negative place, your mind supplies thoughts to match that vibration? If you stay in that state of mind, you will find that throughout your day, things feel progressively more difficult or unhappy. However, when you are with people who make you smile and laugh, your mind accordingly supplies thoughts and experiences to match.
No matter what you have been through or what your physical or mental state is, you can create freedom in your thoughts. Do this by carefully choosing what you allow to enter and grow in your mind.
The people around us, however well-meaning, have filled our minds with who we should be, what our good and so-called bad characteristics are, and how we need to behave. Sometimes we don’t even recognize that those thoughts are not our own. For example, perhaps you think you are disorganized. Did this thought that became a belief, come from you or did it come from people who repeatedly told you that you are disorganized? Thoughts become beliefs when we think them often. Make a list of things you believe about yourself and ask yourself, “Is this something I know for sure about myself or did someone else plant it?” If it came from someone else, it is time to recognize that it is not true, and let it go by changing the thought and allowing a new belief to grow.
Then there are the thoughts we create. Perhaps you are in a job you do not enjoy. Every day you get up and remind yourself how unfortunate you feel at work. This is a thought you reinforce so often that it is your reality. We all have areas of our lives that we have such thoughts about. We allow the thoughts to lead us from habit instead of creating new thoughts to bring newness to each day.
Here is a way to move past the thoughts stuck on repeat and create mental freedom:
- Identify the thought that is dragging you down.
- Identify what the ideal situation could rather be. Can you create this? When you give your mind something to focus on, it will generate the equivalent thoughts and solutions. Focus on the problems and your mind finds more ways to be stuck. Think of possibilities and your mind will provide those too.
- If you cannot change the circumstances, e.g. change jobs, can you change perspective? Can you start by finding one good thing about the job you’re in? Then add one more good thing to that list every day?
Become aware of the thoughts you think, and create freedom by choosing thoughts that serve you. This will create a ripple effect in your world.
What new thought have you been thinking that makes you smile?