So many people want to make a change in their life, yet they continue to think the way they always have and do the things they’ve always done. But to create new results in your life, you need to learn to change your thoughts and do things differently. If you continue to take the same action, you’ll continue to get the same results.
Most people want to see the change before believing it’s possible. After all, it’s so much easier to believe in something when we can actually see it! But if you want results faster, you need to believe ahead of time, and that involves changing the way you think. We need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone, learn to think differently and practice those new thoughts to create the reality we desire.
Join me this week as I explain why we need to prioritize thought work ahead of all the other things in life if we want things to change. I’m explaining why you should stop believing your thoughts as though they are fact (hint – they’re not!) and sharing a step-by-step process to show you how to believe new thoughts so that you can get what you want in life!
If you’re a mom, you’re in the right place. This is a space for you to do the inner work and become more mindful. I can help you navigate the challenges of motherhood from the inside out. I’d love for you to join me inside Grow You, my mindfulness community for moms where we take this work to the next level.
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- Some of the biggest mistakes I see people making when doing this work.
- Why practicing affirmations that you don’t believe doesn’t work.
- Why all of your thoughts are optional.
- How to think on purpose.
- Why taking more action won’t necessarily change your result.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show and Other Resources I Love:
- Have a question about any of the programs or coaching I offer? Email us at [email protected].
- If you love the podcast, be sure to go to Apple Podcasts and give me a shoutout and review!
- Grow You (coaching)
- How To Process Negative Emotions (podcast)
Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.
Hey friend. How you doing? Welcome to the show. I want to start off with a little thank you. It’s January 2021 and I have just been reflecting, and planning, and pausing to think deliberately, and really look at my results, and my life, and really all of it, taking the time to apply this work during this season. And I am just filled with gratitude for you.
I know that every time you tune in and you listen to this show you are exchanging your time for this content, that’s not lost on me. And so I make sure that I try to over-deliver for every single episode so that it’s a no brainer for you to keep tuning in and it’s always really worth it for you. So, thank you, thank you for making it worth it for me, thank you for listening. Thank you for the thousands of downloads, oh my goodness. Thank you for your reviews.
Just really thanks for doing this intentional living and growth journey with me and for allowing me to grow and to continue to teach you as I evolve and as the mission and the vision evolves and changes. It’s really been such an honor and a privilege to teach and to coach. I have so much appreciation for all of you.
A special shout out to those of you who are also in Grow You and The Creator Program, being able to help you on a deeper level with personal development and with growing your own business has been my life’s work so far. And I’m so, so grateful for all of it. So that’s what I want to start with, a big thank you for you.
Today I want to talk with you about believing new thoughts. So all of your results are created from your thoughts, so then it follows that if you want new results in your life you need to think differently. I don’t know very many people who would argue that. And yet we don’t live it, do we? So we are busy. We’re busy on purpose. We love having full lives.
We love having activities. We love having family and events and doing all the things. We actually really like it even though sometimes we spread ourselves too thin. And so what that means is we have to prioritize our own thought work ahead of all the other things in our lives if we want things to change. And this is the big sell to you It’s that if you don’t do this you will repeat more of the past.
So I like to think of the example of being on a bike, a bike that you love, a bicycle. You’ve loved this bicycle. You’ve ridden this bicycle for a few years and it goes fast, it goes faster than walking. But you are trying to go across the country and so you are riding your bike really fast but you’re still making really small improvements. You are still taking a really long time to get to your goal.
And someone pulls up next to you in a car, they are driving in this car, they pull up next to you and the say, “Hey, if you get off your bike and you leave your bike right here you can have this car. It’s a brand new car. You can have it for free. You can drive this car across the country and you will get there in a quarter of the time and you won’t be as exhausted.”
It sounds obvious that you will get off the bicycle, leave the bicycle and get in the car. But the truth is we don’t do this. We stay on the bicycle because we love the bicycle, it’s our favorite color, it’s teal, it’s white, it’s pretty. We know how it rides, we’ve experienced it. We know when we need air in the tires, we love this bike. And so even though our goal is to get across the country, we stick with what we are currently doing because it feels more comfortable. And this analogy is so similar to our thought patterns.
We want to get new and different results. We want to achieve our goals. We want to improve our marriages. We want to build businesses. We want to get a different job, make a bunch of money, lose the weight, whatever your goal is, you want to do that, yet you’re so attached to your current way of thinking.
Your current way of thinking is the bicycle. And so you can slowly get there but there’s so much resistance and it’s going to take so long because you haven’t opened up to the possibility that you could just put down that whole thought entirely and get in a new thought system and get there a lot faster. It feels foreign in the new car, in the new belief, it feels uncomfortable. You’re like, “Well, do I have insurance? How do I know for sure that car’s not going to break down? I don’t even know the stranger who gave me the new car on the side of the road.”
And so your brain comes up with all these ideas for why you should stay on the bike. This is true for all of us, myself included, but when you understand why this is happening and how it’s happening in your brain you can get out ahead of it and not let it stop you. You can choose to get in the car. You can choose to put down the bike even though you love the bike. You can say, “Yes, I love you bike, thank you for getting me this far. But now it’s time to shed this bike, to shed this identity and get into the car and take on this new identity.”
And yes, it’s going to be scary but that’s part of it, my brain always gets scared when I do new things. So I want you to think about how this applies to your life. And I want you to think about what it is for you in your next season of growth. So is it weight loss? Is it your relationships? Is it money, and business, and career? It could be your relationship with yourself. Whatever that goal is, think about the thoughts that you have now, those are the thoughts that get you your current results. If you want to create new results you have to think new thoughts.
So I like to think about my growth, particularly with respect to relationships and with respect to business and money, those are the two I give examples a lot of. And I think about my belief systems and how they’ve changed and how I went from walking to riding a bike, to getting in a car, and maybe even after that a sports car, it’s constantly changing and being willing to give up the current identity for the next one. And that’s what I’m talking about when I’m talking about believing new thoughts.
So I want to dive a little bit deeper into my examples and you might see exactly what I mean a little bit clearer. I was thinking about this recently with Steve and how we met and got engaged in about a year, it was just under a year. And I had the thought oh my gosh, this was kind of fast. It didn’t feel too fast, it just felt a little bit fast. And then I thought oh no, this wasn’t fast. This was all of the relationships that came before him that led up to this one. It was 10, 15 years of dating that led to this relationship, this marriage.
Have you ever heard of people talking about their business success and they’ll say, “Yeah, I built this business up to a million dollars in one or two years.” I actually just heard someone say this. And she admitted and she said, “Well, but before I started this business, before this one that I grew from zero to a million in a year, I had had a different business for 10 years. And so really I learned everything, and grew, and made all the mistakes, and that business never got to a million.” And so often that is the case.
So often we look at other people’s results and we see how effortless it is for them and then we compare our results and we think that something’s gone wrong, it should be happening faster, it’s not going to happen for us, because we can’t see what it took for them to get there. We just kind of hear the headline of yeah, you met and got engaged to Steve within one year, or you started that million dollar business within one year. Ignoring the fact that there was a decade of dating before that, ignoring the fact that there was a lot of business failures for years before that.
Because the truth is you can go on dates forever and never get married. You can take the same action in your same job and get the same results of making a 100K. What changes your results is not taking more of the same action. I’m a huge fan of massive action. You’ve got to take it. Your action creates your results. But your thinking and your feeling, who you are being is what raises and changes the level of results.
Let me give you an example. So in 2018 my business created $180,000 of revenue and at that time I was selling programs. So I sold some programs, I made a 180K in the business, that was 2018. 2020 I sold some programs, I made over 500K in the business. What’s the difference? My thoughts, my thoughts and feelings changed my results. I’m still selling programs, I have been for years. But I’m getting different and better results because I’m changing who I am being. I’m raising my self-concept, my self-identity, my thoughts. I’m changing my beliefs.
So all of that is to say that if you want new and different results you have to create time in your schedule to practice thought work, to coach yourself. I think some people end up joining Grow You or The Creator Program simply to have that carved out for them and say, “Okay, well, this is the time where I do my thought work.” Because when we’re in a program we tend to show up differently. If you don’t, you will be on the bicycle and you will move very slowly.
What I want you to do is I want you to pull over, get off the bike and get in the car and get those results that you want. But it requires giving up your current thoughts and creating and practicing new thoughts. And it’s a lot scarier for your brain than you’re probably thinking. Consciously we think that’s a great idea, I want to do that, I’m in, even I do that. But then when it comes time to do the thing, to think differently we either feel entitled to have the result already or we look to our circumstances to create evidence that it can’t be done. We basically self-sabotage.
So what I want you to do is, create a practice where you are thinking thoughts on purpose that you choose. I’m going to give you a step-by-step process to do that at the end of this episode. But I want to talk a little bit first about what I mean when I’m talking about thoughts and beliefs. So you have mental chatter in your head all day, every day. I love how Michael Singer calls it the roommate; you have that roommate in your head. I talked about that in the Mental Chatter episode.
There is going to be a lot of that chatter in there, a lot of it on default. And it’s just language. It is sentences in your head. On default your brain is going to think thoughts that it’s thought from your past experiences. It’s going to think thoughts from the past because that’s the easiest. Your brain’s like, hey, there’s a bike over there, let’s get on that bike. We’ve ridden bikes for 10 years. We know how to ride bikes. We know the pedals. We know the helmets. We know the lane to stay in. We are bike riders, let’s get on that bike, I see that bike over there.
It might see a Mercedes, or a Ferrari, or whatever car, a Honda and think, no, we don’t really drive cars, let’s go to the bikes, we love the bikes. And that’s solely because it’s familiar with bikes. It’s familiar with that old thought pattern. So let me give you a concrete example with thoughts.
Have you ever practiced the thought, money doesn’t grow on trees? So if you grew up middle class I’m sure you’ve heard this or it’s just been something that you may even believe now. It’s a thought and it’s a thought that definitely doesn’t serve you. It is not an observation, it is not a fact. So when I look in front of me I see a coffee mug. That is a fact. So that’s a fact, that’s not a thought. The fact is there’s a coffee mug right here. The fact is I have blond shoulder length hair.
So what we want to do is we want to separate out the facts from our thoughts. And typically what happens is we don’t do this. We say, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” And we say that as if it’s a fact. And then we practice that like we’re riding a bike and we get really, really good at the thought, money doesn’t grow on trees. We get so good at it.
And then that car comes up and it’s like, hey, but if you just dropped that thought and you actually came over here into the money does grow on trees car, you would create the result you want which is an abundance of money, sufficiency with money, a million dollars, whatever it is. But your brain is like, no, I don’t really trust that thought.
So seeing that your thought patterns are like highways, those neural pathways are like highways that you’ve practiced so much and you’ve gotten so good at. And they are creating the results that you have now. And in some ways they’re amazing. It’s so good that you can ride a bike. You get exercise. It can take you short distances. There’s lots of benefits to it. Just like there are lots of benefits to the current thoughts that you have. For everyone it’s going to be different.
Maybe you don’t have drama with food and you have really great workout habits and you take care of your body, and your health, and you compliment yourself, and your relationship with yourself is really good. So you want to keep those thoughts, those beliefs, but maybe with respect to money or your marriage or something like that, you don’t have those thoughts.
You’re stuck spinning, and spinning, and spinning in these thoughts that don’t serve you because they’re not getting you the results that you want which is whether it’s more money, getting out of debt, creating the marriage of your dreams. The thoughts that you currently have are what’s creating the result. So you can try to take more action but if you don’t change your thoughts you will not change your results. You will do more of what doesn’t work. You will try to pedal backwards. You will try to go on the bike with no hands.
You will try all these things and take different action but you will still have the same thoughts. And until you say, “I’m done with this thought pattern, that’s not serving me, I’m going to get in the car even though it’s scary and I’m going to think money does grow on trees.” Until you do that you will keep creating results that you’ve created from your past. What most people want to do is they want to see a tree with money growing on the leaves in order to believe money grows on trees.
And you might be thinking, well, of course, it’s so much easier to believe when we see it, but seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing. So if you want your results a lot faster and you want to do everything you can to guarantee them the way that you do that is you believe ahead of time. You decide I’m going to believe money grows on trees. I’m going to believe money is easy. And you believe that regardless of the evidence. You believe that regardless of the trees not having money on them.
You decide I have all these thoughts in my head; all of my thoughts are optional. You know that, you’ve heard me say it before. You can just think whatever you want at any time. It’s such a beautiful gift that we often forget because we’re so attached to our circumstances. And we think if I change my circumstances, or if I take more action I will change my result. But the truth is you have to change your thoughts first. So I don’t want you to look for evidence in your life, in your circumstances to believe.
I want you to decide to believe and then create evidence for it. Now, once you start creating evidence that money grows on trees, you’re attracting money. Then use that evidence to support the belief. But don’t wait for the evidence to create the belief. Are you with me? So you can just believe money grows on trees. That is so fun to believe that. There is plenty of love. There’s more than enough time. You can just believe these abundant thoughts and choose them.
But it’s kind of like getting in a car and driving it for the first time, just because you do it once doesn’t mean you’re really good at it. So you’re really good at riding that bike. And the first time you drive the car you’re not going to be driving with ease, it’s going to take a lot more brain power and a lot more practice. Do you guys remember what it’s like to learn how to drive when you’re 15 or 16 years old? Oh my goodness, so much concentration goes into it. That is what it’s like to practice new thoughts.
And so what you have to do is you have to commit to the practice of it. You have to say, “Okay, I’m going to put down the bike, I’m going to carve out this time even if it’s just 15, 30 minutes and I’m going to practice these new thoughts on purpose. I’m going to practice how to drive this new car. I know that I’m going to fail, I might even hit a cone but I know and I have confidence that I’m going to be a really great driver. I’m not there yet but I’m working on it.”
So it’s making the shift from there’s no way I could get in the car and drive to, yeah, I’m going to learn how to drive, I’m going to practice driving, to I’m an amazing driver. And depending on where you’re at in your own belief in your goals or whatever results you want to create, you might be at the, okay, I’m going to start to believe this phase, or the I know it’s possible one day in the future phase, or the it’s as good as done phase. And that it’s as good as done phase is the phase where you create the result.
And you’ll know if you’re doing this right based on the energy that you create with the thought. So if you are stuck in the I don’t know how energy, you’re not believing yet. So think of the person who has the result that you want, what are they thinking? They’re not confused about how to do it. They are thinking, yes, I am just a 125 pounds, this is how I live my life. I eat two meals a day. I work out four days a week. It’s just done. They’re not confused about how to lose the weight.
They’re not confused about what to eat. Maybe they try different foods. Some foods they don’t like, so they try the other foods but there’s no confusion. So going to the place of the person who has the result is one of the best exercises I can recommend for you to do. So that person who has the result that you want, what are they thinking and feeling? They’re not confused, they’re not stuck but they might still have some hiccups or some failures. They just don’t make it mean anything about their belief, that’s the difference.
And that’s what creates the result because if you’re stuck in the I don’t know how, you will look to your circumstances as evidence of why you can’t do this and that’s what you’ll create. The person who believes no matter what, keeps trying, and if they miss the mark or if they fail, or they hit a cone they don’t make that mean they can’t be a really great driver. They just say, “Huh, I guess I’m supposed to shift gears quicker. I guess I’m supposed to try a different action because that action doesn’t get me where I want to go.” So they just take it as feedback, they don’t take it to mean I can’t do this.
Alright, now I want to give you the step-by-step process for how to believe in new thoughts. It all starts from the awareness of your current thoughts. So remember I gave the example of money doesn’t grow on trees. You will think that’s a fact and so step one is to write down what you believe now. It’s to do a brain dump. Write down everything that’s in your head. And when you write it down, look at it, reread it to yourself and see which sentences are observations and facts, and which sentences are thoughts. If you’re not really sure err on the side of calling it a thought.
Facts are really neutral; they’re like the math of it. This is a tree. This is a podcast. This is a coffee mug. I have blue eyes. There’s no subtext, there are no adjectives. There is no opinion in it. So any time there is an opinion, any time there is an adjective, that’s all going to be thoughts. So you write down your thoughts and then you pull out a thought that isn’t serving you. So let’s say one of your thoughts is there is not enough time.
And that thought is creating a lot of urgency and a lot of scarcity for you and you see that, you keep thinking this thought. And you really believe it’s true, you’re like, “No, Natalie, if you looked at my schedule there is just not enough time.” That is a thought, not an observation. It is a thought, not a fact. And so you want to write it down and then you want to create a counter thought to practice that you actually believe.
So this is the part where you’re creating that dirt road, that new neural pathway. And it’s hard because it’s something you haven’t done before. Your brain’s over here like, hey, we have the highway of there’s not enough time and we know it so well and we find evidence of it and we create more of that. What I want you to do during your daily practice of believing on purpose is to find that thought, that’s the awareness part, and to write it down. And then to create a counter thought that you actually believe.
So the best thought would be there’s plenty of time for everything that I want. But you probably don’t believe that if you’re living in there’s not enough time. So this is why practicing affirmations that you don’t believe, it doesn’t work. So this is also why you have to do the work yourself. And so coming up with a thought that feels really true to you, that shifts you out of the worst thought.
So if the thought that’s creating all your results that you don’t like right now is there’s just not enough time, there’s just not enough time. And your brain just over and over thinks this is an observation, but really it’s just a thought. A counter thought that you could think is that we all have the same amount of time. Now, you have to try this on for you, does that feel good to you? Or does your brain immediately say, “Yeah, but so and so has a team”, or, “Yeah, but”, fill in the blank. If it doesn’t feel good to you then keep trying to create counter thoughts and come up with one that you actually believe.
Time is neutral, there is time, I love the time that I have. Go on a rampage of thoughts where you just write, and write, and write, trying to come up with counter thoughts and try each one on and see how they feel. Then the last step, step number four is to practice the thought that feels the best to you. And you might even want to put this on a sticky note on your mirror, if it’s something that you’re really working on, one real big belief that you want to shift for your goal, you can absolutely do this.
So let me go over the steps one more time. So you write down what you’re believing now. And you might not know the exact thought. So this step is all about kind of doing a brain dump, or you just write about maybe your current results, your current circumstances. You’re just going to write about that goal that you have or a certain area in your life that you want to change like your relationship to time and being busy.
Step number two is to pull out one of the thoughts that you kind of think is the worst thought that’s causing the results that you don’t want. So in the example I gave, there’s not enough time.
Step number three is to create counter thoughts that you believe. So that’s where you’re going to go on that rampage of thoughts, find a thought that feels good to you.
And then step number four is to practice that new thought, write it down. Put it in your wallet. Put it on your phone as the background. Do what you need to do because you’re going from riding a bike really confidently to driving a car as a beginner. And so your brain is going to say, “Yeah, but we could just get out of the car and get on the bike and feel so much better.” But you can ride that bike from sun up to sun down and it is not going to get you the result that you want.
So be willing to be bad at driving. Be willing to practice this new thought when it’s not intuitive, when it’s not a habit yet is the work that I think most people avoid, not intentionally, just because it feels like it’s not a priority. It seems like our observations of the world, our circumstances are going to be what create our results and it’s just never true. So you don’t need more evidence in your life to believe on purpose. You can just decide that you want to believe deliberately.
Finally, you will know if you’re doing this right based on how it feels. So it might even feel a little bit scary at first, like when you first drive a car and you’ve never driven before and you’re like oh my gosh, I’m driving a machine. And then it will start to feel better and you’ll start to get the hang of it. That’s how you know you’re doing it right. If you are stuck in confusion, and I don’t know how, and this isn’t working, you are not doing it right. And that’s a sign that you want to go back to thought work, it’s not a sign that you want to take more action.
So let me give you an example. Let’s say that you are losing weight and that’s your goal, your goal is to lose 40 pounds. And you decide to try one method losing weight. A lot of people take the How to Change Your Eating Habits Forever course in Grow You and they love it. So let’s say that you do that. And let’s say that you start to lose weight but it’s not as quick as you wanted. And so you start to make that mean that you’re only going to be able to lose 15 pounds and that you can’t lose 40 pounds. It’s just not in the cards for you, if you start to believe that, that is what you will create.
If you say, “Because it’s taking six months and I’ve only lost seven pounds, that must mean that I’m incapable of losing 40 pounds.” So you will take your current results and make them mean something about your future results instead of saying, “I’m going to believe that I can lose 40 pounds. This is happening exactly how it’s supposed to be happening. Let me try to think differently, what’s the person who has the result I want, thinking.” And take action from there.
If you are believing that it’s not possible for you to get the results that you want, taking more action isn’t going to change that. Let me repeat that. So if you don’t believe that you can get the results that you want, taking more action isn’t going to change that. So if you believe that it’s just not in the cards for you to lose 40 pounds, taking more action to try to lose 40 pounds isn’t going to work because you’re going to self-sabotage and every time you do you’re going to use that as evidence that you’re right.
So in that case what you want to do is you actually want to examine your thoughts and say, “Okay, what am I thinking right now that’s creating the result of gaining weight, that’s creating the result of yo-yoing? The weight goes up, the weight goes down. What am I thinking? I’m thinking the thought this isn’t actually possible for me.” And from there you can decide, okay, that thought is not serving me, what’s the counter thought? What can I believe that moves me out of it’s not possible for me?
It’s not going to be the amazing thought of it’s as good as done. But it will be a thought closer to that thought such as I’ve lost a little bit of weight before, I can do it again. Or it’s possible for humans to lose weight and to gain weight. And because of that I get to choose which I do. So you’ve got to try on these thoughts.
You’ve got to come up with counter thoughts and decide what the thought is that you want to practice. And then practice it, and practice it, and practice it so that you are in flow with that new thought. And then it becomes a belief because a belief is just a thought that you keep on thinking so much that it’s a habit. I love thinking there is plenty of time. There is plenty of money. There is plenty of love. But my brain is tempted to not think those things on default until I practice them and really create beliefs.
So the biggest mistake I see is mistake number one is there’s no awareness that what we’re thinking is even optional. So there’s just no awareness that these are thoughts we don’t have to think. And then mistake number two is when there is awareness and you do come up with a new thought you don’t practice it. You think I got in the car once, I decided to put down the bike, now I should be a pro driver instead of really taking the time to practice the new thoughts.
So that’s what I want you to do. I want you to practice believing thoughts on purpose so that you create the results that you want. And so you’re not exhausted and taking more action trying to change your results from the same thing which does not work. Alright, I’ll talk with you next week.
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