Can I get real with you right now? I did something crazy this summer.
(It’s kind of embarrassing, but it’s coming up as a story that needs to be told. I’ve learned over the years to pay attention to this feeling, to put aside my ego and be of service.)
Here’s what happened. After the epic labor and birth of our baby – which I have compared to being in a street fight with my own body – I needed surgery.
Afterward, the nurse offered me a Motrin. Given that, you know, the anesthetic was going to wear off, and it wasn’t going to feel good.
Without hesitating, I said … “No thanks!”
Negative Thought Patterns at Work
Turning down a Motrin after surgery sounds crazy, unless you know how the brain works. See, when your system is spent and your brain is tired, it tends to run along the tracks that are easiest to follow. Past programming is the path of least resistance.
In that moment of exhaustion and emotional overwhelm, I didn’t make a rational, thoughtful decision. Instead, I defaulted to an old belief system.
The underlying beliefs running the show were as follows:
“Don’t take any pain medication if you don’t need it. (Read: if you’re not in agony.) Don’t take medication unless you absolutely have to.”
And more devastating: “It doesn’t matter if you’re in pain. It doesn’t matter if you suffer.”
The point isn’t how I learned those negative thought patterns. The point is that I hooked into them easily, quickly, and without much volition.
That is the power of underlying thoughts and limiting beliefs – they run your life almost without you knowing it. They lead you to make unhealthy and unhelpful decisions, because you simply don’t see another way forward.
They’re just constructs in your brain, but they have the power to pin you down in pain and suffering.
When the nurse offered me a Motrin and I said no, she looked at me, puzzled. Then she exchanged a glance with my husband, Jonathan. Their expressions were concerned; I read them as, “Whoa, Caroline is SO not thinking straight.”
To her credit, though, the nurse was respectful: “Okay! If you change your mind, just give me a call.” Jonathan was respectful too. I don’t remember what he said, but I remember his concern for my well-being.
His compassionate response brought me back to the present moment and helped me to snap out of the crazy. Soon I called the nurse back and asked for that Motrin. (It was the first of many.)
What About You?
Have you ever done something like this?
Have you ever let yourself run on autopilot and end up somewhere you never meant to be? Or – be honest – do you run on autopilot a lot of the time?
Do you do all the things you’re supposed to and then procrastinate and talk yourself out of the thing you actually WANT to do?
Do you take care of everyone else and neglect your own well-being?
Do you listen to those internal gremlins day in and day out – the ones that tell you you’re not good enough?
If so – good news. I’m making something new for you about exactly this issue.
It’s a free 5 day video series called Manage Your Mind & Make Progress: Break Through the Negative Thought Patterns That Hold You Back.
In this series, you’ll learn:
- The #1 reason why you haven’t been able to shift your negative thought patterns up until now
- A proven escape hatch from the pain of negative thoughts
- How to retrain your brain and stop procrastinating
- What to do when managing your mind just isn’t working!
- How to stand in your power and choose wisely
So, here’s my challenge for you:
Leave a comment below and tell me ONE negative thought pattern that pains you and limits your life.
(For example, “It doesn’t matter if you suffer.”)
I’ll address as many as I can on the series next week.
The series starts Monday, February 10th, and if you’re subscribed to the email list, you’ll receive the first video in your inbox at 9am Central Time. See you then!
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