I’ve been reading Paul Selig’s book, The Book of Knowing and Worth. He posits that we are free to choose worth and that no one else can give us worth. I reflected and realized that I was trying to derive worth from someone else: my mother, my job, my boss, my spouse, my child. But it’s just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. It’s all been within in us,all along. It’s always been there. Hmmm. What a concept.
I run into this a lot with my coachees. Many are unwillingly, or unknowingly, buying into their thoughts and aren’t able to see that they can choose how they think about things. You can feel guilty for not visiting your father or you can feel at peace. It’s so ingrained to feel the guilt. But what if you were at peace? I remember asking a client, “Can you choose to think about that differently?” and she responded, “I don’t know. Can I?” Yes. You are free to choose. So choose well.
Here are ways to choose good thoughts:
- Authority. Paul Selig writes that you have the authority to decide if you are worthy. It places the responsibility to choose your worth on you. It’s up to you. You have the magic wand, so go use it. There is no blaming others for your lack of confidence, your financial short fall or feeling guilty about your ex. You get to decide if the glass is half empty or half full. It’s all within your authority. So go big and be worthy.
- Quit rehashing. Have you ever rehashed an embarrassing situation over and over and over and over and over again? You think, “Why did I say that to my boss?” or “I’m a dummy for not catching that mistake.” You cannot change the past. You can change how you look at it. I love Andy Dooley’s first step to changing negative thoughts. You say to yourself, “Stop, cancel, clear and get the fear (he uses a graphic four letter “F” word instead of fear) out of here!” To claim your worth, you need to stop the negative rehashing.
- Rewire to the Positive. You may not realize this but you can rewire your bad memories. Your brain is so malleable that you can think back to the embarrassing singing solo you did in fourth grade and make it a wonderful success. False memories affect us all. As Tara Thaen wrote in Time, “The phenomenon of false memories is common to everybody — the party you’re certain you attended in high school, say, when you were actually home with the flu, but so many people have told you about it over the years that it’s made its way into your own memory cache.” The trick is to rewire the memory by thinking about it anew. Throw in a standing ovation when you finished your solo and someone handing you a bouquet of roses. It’s your story. Make it as great as you like.
- Mindfulness. We end up spending a lot of time and effort either living in the past wishing it were different, or planning our future and hoping nothing will go wrong. The thing is, neither are possible. Why not be here right now? Right now. Stop right now. Close our eyes. Take three deep breaths and be here right now. Feel your big toe. Feel your ear lobes. This right now is what matters. Nothing can be done about the past except forgiveness (for yourself and others). Nothing can be done about the future except for setting a positive intention. So be here. Right now.
- Be open. We are currently relocated as our home is being repaired from Hurricane Matthew. My dog, a Brittany Spaniel named Baci, has been an excellent example of openness. She is not griping about not having her favorite chair to sit in. She isn’t frozen by my side waiting for me to show her where the squirrels are. She is out there living in the moment and being open to all things. The new smells, the new couch, the new sounds, the new neighbors and the eight new dogs that surround where we are living. As Dorothy figured out, she was always “home.” Be open.
Choose the positive thoughts. You have the freedom to choose.