In preparation for a new training last week, we learned that 90% of the thoughts we have each day are repetitive. Good or bad, helpful or not, the thoughts we think are largely, day in, day out, the same. This staggering statistic makes it easy to understand why change can be so hard. If we think the same thoughts, we will do the same things and we will get the same outcomes.
If we are completely honest, many of us likely don’t care for the repetitive messages we tell ourselves. Things such as we aren’t good enough, we can’t do (insert particular thing here), we will never be enough, the people in our lives don’t appreciate us, etc., etc., etc.
New thoughts expand and energize, but how do exactly do we get new thoughts?
- Interact with new people or folks you haven’t seen in a while. Ask about them, find out what they are learning, reading and/or excited about.
- Take a class, read a book, research a topic that is of interest to you. In an effort to practice what I teach, just this morning, I signed up for (online) classes in the science of breadmaking, how to make caramel and small container gardening. Even if I never actually do any of those things, learning about them will stretch my thinking and lead to new (mental) connections.
- Do something different. Even if it’s just taking a new route home or trying to eat with your non-dominant hand, doing different things will force your mind to be present and engaged.
Repetitive thoughts (particularly when negative) further deepen the neurological patterns we already have in our brains and don’t allow us to grow or change. Albert Einstein once said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
Go get some new thoughts and change your world.