Every minute of the day we are inundated with thoughts - 60,000 of them.
If that hasn't stopped you in your tracks, this will: 80% of these 60,000 thoughts are negative, bringing us to a stunning 45,000 habitual, negative thoughts every single day.
Stop for a moment and ask yourself, how many of them are truly your thoughts? Can you differentiate between the voices of your parents, teachers, and cultural/societal influences? Most people can't, and they live like these influences and subsequent thoughts are the truth - but they're not.
"There's only one thing between you and freedom - a made up story." - Cheri Huber
These thoughts make up the story you've created about who you are, but this story does not equal the truth.
One of the reasons we struggle in life is that in taking on others' opinions, thoughts, and ideas, we forget they are not our own and that this made up truth hurts, creating wounds that often take a lifetime to heal. If this is so painful, why are we wired to do it?
We do it because we all want to fit in, and belong.
It's human nature, a primal need that drives us, but not in a way that make us feel resourceful and whole. Instead, it causes us to forget who we really are, like an amnesia that hides our beautiful truth.
When I share these scary numbers about our habitual, negative thinking with clients they often feel daunted; how can they possibly impact 45,000 negative thoughts? It is possible though, if you're willing to become a truth teller.
You have to remember, and awaken to your own truth, the one you were born with, and the first step is getting clear on who you are not.
And that brings us back to the story of who you think you are.
Stories you were told growing up.
Stories you made up about yourself.
Stories that held you back.
They’re all made up.
It works like this...
Someone negatively comments on an aspect of your looks that you are most sensitive about. You decipher it to mean that you're not attractive, not good enough, and will probably die alone.
An ex says you’re too intensely <insert the quality you're most afraid of owning in yourself>. Then you decide that you’re too much for people to handle, you start toning down your aliveness and suppression becomes a habit.
Now go back to your childhood. Your 4th grade teacher says, “Stop trying so hard, you’ll never be a <insert one of your dreams here>." You then believe that she must be right, as everyone knows, so you may as well give up now and never, ever share your dreams out loud again.
You see how this works, right?
They said X ==> You made up Y
You go on living your life for the next 20, 30, 50 years as though that story is the truth about you. But 'Y' is not the truth, and never was.
“Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.” - James E. Faust
How to Become a Truth Teller
Step 1: Tell the truth by examining the old stories you made up about who you are.
As I did in the examples above, review your life, and write down the events that triggered your decisions and the stories that followed.
They said X ==> You made up Y
Step 2: Speak a new truth.
Since you are not your stories, who are you? Begin by acknowledging who you really are. Make a list; add to it daily. Read it out loud.
I am a truth-teller.
I am a supernova.
I am a lover.
Write down who you are, then speak these words aloud.
Step 3: Live your truth.
Now that you've told the truth about who you really are, start a practice of living it. Simply having insight about who you are is not enough and ultimately makes zero difference.
How can you live your truth each day? Notice what takes you away from living it, then renew your commitment and do it again tomorrow.
Step 4: Love your new truth.
Love your new truth as you would a lover. Write yourself a love letter, and let the words of love sink into your being. Cherish your truth, and create a new world where you love and honour this deepest essence of your being.
As Gloria Steinem said, "The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off."
With a little practice, that too will pass and you'll be left only with the glorious truth of who you are.
SANDI AMORIM is a Master Coach and Instigator committed to unleashing love and freedom from the inside out. She challenges ‘someday’ thinking with over 15 years of training and development in the field of human potential. She can be found sharing her unique twist on personal development at SandiAmorim.com.