What’s Up Doc?: Ever get talked out of what you want in life?

To get rid of counter-productive thoughts, try writing those thoughts on a chalkboard in your mind and replacing them with intentions. (John David Mercer/AP)
facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Be quiet for a few minutes now and do nothing but listen to your mind. You’ll notice that your mind is thinking nonstop about everything and anything. See if you can stop thinking for more than a couple of seconds. Good luck!

Just because you have all those thoughts in your mind does not mean you intentionally selected those thoughts. Thoughts can come to mind that none of us want or choose to have. Any thoughts in your mind that talk you out of what you want in your life, your desired intentions and goals, and talk you into opposite ways of reacting or behaving that undermine your intentions, are not your thoughts. Now, that’s a new “thought,” isn’t it? Well, if it’s not me, then who or what is feeding me this garbage to undermine me?

The “what” that is feeding you the garbage is called a “pattern” that has been repeating itself throughout your life. You may not have viewed these counter-productive thoughts in this way before. A pattern usually enters and filters our thoughts with its own thoughts, especially when we are happy and excited with what’s going well for us. The pattern then gives us the worrisome thoughts: “Yeah, but will it last?” “What if it doesn’t?”

It’s a crazy-maker. You can also think of a pattern in terms of a virus that enters a cell and is activated when conditions are right for the virus’ well being, not the cell’s well being.

We usually believe we are the ones talking ourselves out of what we want. Then we get upset. But this pattern is like a parasite that feeds off our upsetting emotions and behaviors and puts us into a pissing contest with ourselves.

When things are going well for you — say you’ve just lost those 10 or 100 pounds — it’s a pattern’s “thought” and not yours, that seductively whispers in your ear: “You have done so good for so long. You deserve to celebrate what you’ve accomplished with an ice cream sundae smothered in hot fudge with a cherry on top.” Even though you’re aware that eating sugar gives you cravings for more sugar, that understanding somehow gets lost with that tempting, tantalizing, hypnotic thought, “You deserve it.”

After you’ve scarfed down that sundae, it’s not too long before you have remorse and are disappointed, mad at yourself and depressed. And before you know it, you’re struggling to maintain your resolve of keeping the weight loss and you’re back to adding those same pounds on again — if not more. Yet the pattern that conned you into that tempting thought remains invisible. “It” makes you blame yourself and continue to falsely believe that you are you worst enemy. However, it’s not in your consciousness to buy into the undermining “thought” of the ice cream sundae as not being your thought. We tend to believe that every thought in our mind is coming from ourselves.

Those manipulative thoughts were not your conscious choices to intentionally undermine your goal, but rather a “thought-form” that lives off your feelings of misery and frustration. Since all those upsetting emotions this devious thought-form generates are so overwhelming, you avoid and don’t address those feelings directly. Instead you find yourself eating the unhealthy foods to give yourself feelings of comfort and solace. And that loop continues. If you can’t see this repeating phenomenon in yourself, you may see it in others more easily.

Here’s a way to deal with counter-productive thoughts: Imagine that contrary thought, “You deserve the sundae.” See the thought written on a chalkboard in your mind and erase it completely. Now, replace it by writing on the chalkboard whatever intention you want. For example, “I’m good. I can keep my resolve. I can maintain eating foods that support my well-being.” You now have a tool to communicate to your mind what is not your intention by erasing that counter-productive thought written on the chalkboard and replacing it with what you do want by seeing the supportive thought written on the chalkboard.

Keep this idea in mind for anything in your life that’s not what you desire, not just eating habits, but drinking, smoking, etc. Let me how this exercise goes for you personally.

Dr. Richard Crowley is co-author of the Imagine All Better book and mobile app (ImagineAllBetter.com) and is a sports psychologist (Sportsmaker.com.) Email comments to Doc@ImagineAllBetter.com.

In Other News