Is Your Thought Process Holding You Back?
Is your thought process holding you back?
As the old saying goes, you are what you think.
It’s no secret that we spend hours thinking about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. That’s a natural thing. It’s how we make sense of life.
But sometimes, we unknowingly engage in a powerful thought process that can actually hold us back.
We all know that when we have a bad experience, we think twice before getting ourselves into the same situation again. This is often a good thing.
However, these thinking patterns can be so strong that they keep us from taking risks at all in those situations. As a result, we become stuck in areas of our lives, such as romantic relationships.
So just what is this thought process called?
This is what we call autopilot thinking. Autopilot is the thoughts, emotions and behaviors that occur automatically without making a conscious choice to think, feel or act a certain way. It’s those famous inner scripts that run through our heads like a marathon with no end.
You see, we all have autopilot thinking patterns that have developed over the years of our lives. Some of those patterns are helpful…and some are not.
One of the things that we discover when we start practicing mindfulness is that by becoming aware of what these thoughts are, we can distinguish between the two.
In turn, we become able to see that unhelpful thoughts are often illogical and driven by autopilot thinking patterns.
For example, “I’m not good enough” is a common autopilot thought. How do you know that you aren’t good enough? You don’t. It’s an autopilot script that is holding you back.
In mindfulness, we aim to stay in the present moment in order to avoid being carried away by these autopilot thoughts and emotions. We do this by becoming moment-by-moment observers of our own mental processes.
It’s like watching a drama on TV rather than being a part of it. We attempt to become observers to gain distance from the thoughts themselves.
This week, make it a point to notice your autopilot scripts. Which ones serve you well, and which ones don’t?
If you find a repetitive thought that doesn’t serve you well, try acknowledging it in the third person.
For example, “There goes (insert your name) on an autopilot rant about not being good enough again.” This can help you to gain distance in order to avoid getting carried away.
As always, I’d love to hear your feedback. And I welcome all questions.
To your mindfulness,