I talk a lot about your thoughts. What you think creates your feelings, your feelings lead you to take actions and those actions create the results in your life. But I want to look at this from a different angle. Sentences. Sentences are a set of words. A set of words that can hold so much power and energy in your life.
The first step that I always say is awareness. Are you aware of the sentences in your mind? Have you ever thought about this? I never had. As you go through your day you will hear these sentences in your mind. Do you pay attention to them? Can you pull yourself from the subconscious and ask how is this sentence helping me become the best version of myself?
Those sentences can of course be positive, negative, or a mixture.
In regards to the negative ones. Which are a large portion thanks to our primitive brain that is constantly scanning to keep us safe from harm. We say sentences in our own minds that we would never dream to say to someone else. They could be sentences that have been repeated for years or maybe they began more recently.
I never used to pay that much attention to these sentences but I know I had them and I often believed them.I used to think that those sentences were inner wisdom or my voice of reality. Those sentences created a feeling in me. An energy. A vibration in my body that ultimately guided what actions I was going to take.
I want you to be thinking about what your sentences are? I will share some of mine. My old ones and some new ones I am working on being more prevalent and top of mind. Why would I even want to do this? Because having these desired thoughts be top of mind creates an energy in me that is positive. That guides me to go after what I want more of in my life. The way I want to show up in the world. The way I want to show love to myself and others. These sentences don’t always match up with what you would really choose more of in your life.
So here are 5 of the many repeating sentences I had in my head that I remember I used to have:
I’m not a good mom, I’ve screwed up.
I am stuck in this job and there is nothing I can do about it.
I am not enjoying my life.
I am not as smart as others because I didn’t attend college.
I am afraid of networking and talking about myself.
I would wake up everyday thinking these types of thoughts and they would just pop up during a day. Maybe they would pop up when I was getting ready to take an action. And that action would suffer because of these sentences. They were on repeat. I now see how these sentences were driving the routine actions I took each day. And those actions were often not of a positive energy because I was feeling so crappy about myself. They didn’t take me towards where I wanted to go. They took me farther away from it.
For example, when I listened to that sentence, “I’m not a good mom, I’ve screwed up.” Can you feel the heaviness in that? So of course that sentence would lead me to compare myself to others parents, judge myself, shame myself, feel like a failure. Give up and just think poorly of myself. So how do you think I showed up in my actions? I showed up with so much negative energy because I had already condemned myself as a bad mother.
Or the sentence of “I am not as smart as others because I didn’t attend college.” How do you think that helped me run a small business, attend meetings with my peers, transform a printing company to a professional marketing organization that was making an impact? I noticed I would be working so hard to overcome this sentence in my head, but if I would have just been myself, I had all the good stuff I needed. I already had it within me. But that sentence would make me feel like I was not worthy. I believed it.
New sentences I have created in my life are:
I am confident and ready to make a difference.
I love helping people.
I love who I am, all of me, good and the bad.
I love my history, it made me who I am today.
I did the best I knew how at the time and it was enough.
What do you think when you hear those? I hear compassion, love, confidence and someone who is ready to go after her dreams and not be afraid of doing it wrong or not knowing everything yet. My life dramatically evolved when I changed that one sentence of I am stuck in this job….to I am meant for something different and I owe it to me and the world to find it.
OK, so where do you start with all these sentences?
Step 1 would be to start paying attention to the sentences. Ask yourself if they are positive or negative. Just start with that piece. What is the percentage of negative and positive sentences in my brain? Do I say I hate Mondays, do I say I hate this weather? Or do I say Monday is no different than any other day. Or Monday is the fresh start I get each week?I would have to say my former self was 80-90% negative. It feels crazy to even say that, but that is really where I was at. Somehow I thought the negative sentences were facts that I had to overcome. But I see now they are just sentences. Sentences that I have repeated over and over again to create a well worn neural pathway in my brain. Nothing more.
Step 2 I want you to get curious about these sentences. I want you to write them down. That really is the most productive. Sometimes you don’t realize the weight and magnitude they carry until you look at them on paper.Something different clicks when you read what you wrote. Ask yourself if you like these sentences? Do you believe them? Are they factually true? Do you know when this sentence started? Can you trace it back to where it began?
Step 3 I want you to ask yourself for each of these sentences would I fight to keep it? If I could erase this sentence from my mind, would I choose to? And if your answer is yes, then I want you to tell yourself you are not going to repeat that thought anymore. You are officially sending it a break up letter. And when it tries to sneak back in…because our brain can be very sneaky, you remind it that you are a person that no longer thinks that about yourself.
Step 4 I want you to get curious and explore what sentences fire you up…in a good way. What would you tell your best friend to think about themselves? Make those your sentences. Write them down, put them on post it notes around your house, have them pop up on your phone or watch. Live into them. We tend to prove these sentences true. So ask yourself, if I have the ability to create what these sentences are, what do I want?. Because when you have a sentence in your mind, you think it, you feel it and then you act it creating your results. So what result do you want to create? Practice those new sentences.
You can do this. It is not hard, it just takes you being intentional.
So, which type of energy do you want as you go through your day? The low negative energy that you are working to bring yourself out of or the positive high energy that can lead you to taking more action than you thought possible. Making a bigger impact than you thought possible.
The fact is the less positive I am with myself, I limit my contribution in the world. I don’t want to do that, do you? You just think this is the way life is. I am here to tell you that is not true. With a little bit of intention, you can change what feels heavy to you.
So…..what are your sentences?
Write them down, look at them.
Do you like them? Would you fight to keep them?
What do you want them to be?
Practice those thoughts. Repeat those thoughts. Make them a habit. Sentences are optional. Choose them so they can be for you not against you.
“You either control your mind or it controls you.”Napoleon Hill
2 responses to “The sentences that run your life.”
What an important practice to remind ourselves of the thoughts that we think define us. Worst is if we believe them, and allow them to run our lives. I like what you did here. Thanks for taking the time to write this!
Absolutely! You are very welcome. Thank you for the kind words.