What does it feel like to be powerless? To not have control over your emotions or the way that you receive words that are spoken to you? At some point or another, we have all felt this way. I want to let you in on a little secret. You are the only person you need to have all the power that you want to have. I know. Like, whoa. So what is this magical thing that shows you how to give yourself power? Learning how to watch yourself think.
I know, I get it. Watching yourself think, am I serious? Yes. Yes I am. It sounds a little woo woo and super meta, but stay with me here. I don’t mean that you’re sitting there going, oh look at that thought and look at this thought oh how interesting. No. The act of watching yourself think is not necessarily a conscious act. It’s more about being aware of the thoughts that you’re having that you either want to change, or you want to encourage more of. It can feel awkward and uncomfortable, but man will it really help you make some changes in your life.
I know we have talked before about how your thoughts are the foundation of all the things. Our emotions and our feelings and our actions. I think that’s pretty obvious when you say it out loud, but I know that I didn’t connect those dots for a long time. So if you’re like me and maybe were emotionally stunted for a while there, I will state the obvious forever and always because sometimes that’s what it takes to get the aha moment. So here we are at the building blocks of everything.
The biggest thing is knowing that you can 100% control your thoughts and your feelings about them. That, is how to give yourself power. Outside circumstances do not actually make you feel or think any certain way. We have perceived it to be that way. That we are at the mercy of the things that happen to us or the things that people say to us. Not the case my friend. And I know that kind of sucks because we as humans love to not have to take responsibility for things sometimes. If we don’t like the thoughts we’re having that are making us feel upset or angry, its much easier to blame it on the mean thing that someone just said to you. It actually has nothing to do with it.
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that someone didn’t just say something shitty to you. But the thoughts and feelings that you have about it are up to you. When you find yourself going into an anger spiral because of something hurtful that someone said to you, this is where watching yourself think comes in. Recognizing that you are the one giving the power to the words that person just said, will be the catalyst for changing your thoughts about them.
And guess what? You get to choose what thoughts you would rather be having. When you see yourself getting lost in the anger or frustration, stop and ask yourself what thoughts you would rather be having instead. Maybe a family member is getting all up in your business about the way you raise your kids. Maybe they feel like you should be spending more time with them instead of other people in your family.
Sure this can feel like a personal attack which in turn makes you angry and leads you down a path of thoughts such as, well you’re not one to talk. What makes you so great? This is why I don’t like you and why I don’t want to spend more time with you. Then we will often turn it inwards with thoughts like, maybe I am doing something wrong, maybe they do have a point, I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings… It goes on and on.
We can easily guilt ourselves into thinking that someone else’s insecurities are our fault. Maybe this family member has a hard time respecting the boundaries that you have set up. That is not your fault. And you do not have to play into that. You do not have to get worked up or respond with something crappy. You can simply choose to acknowledge the words for what they are, and not have an emotional reaction about it. Yes, you can actually choose that.
It is not your job to set boundaries for other people. You can not control what someone says or does to you. But you can control the boundaries you set. You can control the power that you give to someones words. And you can do this by changing your thoughts.
Tell me, is letting someone else’s words have power over you something you struggle with?