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  • Sharon Borland

#63 Transform Your Thinking

Transform your future by transforming your thinking.

We’re always thinking about something, but how aware are we about what’s going on? At times, we’ll be very aware because we’ve chosen to focus on a particular activity – writing, solving a problem, something physical, etc. But even then, it’s likely that it won’t be long before we’re aware of some other thoughts creeping in that we didn’t choose. Those ‘intruders’ can temporarily distract us from what we’re doing unless we notice them and then actively choose to refocus. I’ve experienced many unhelpful thoughts during the writing of this blog: ‘What have I got to bring that’s of value?’, ‘Why do I find this so hard?’  and so on!


Why might it be helpful to examine what we’re thinking about? Our thoughts can significantly affect our emotions and mood, which in turn manifests in our behaviour. This includes our reactions, responses, actions or inaction, and contributes to our wellbeing, impacts our relationships and ultimately, our future. So, why can’t we just choose to focus on the thoughts that improve our wellbeing and reap the benefits that come from there? Of course, it’s much more complicated than that for many reasons. Here are just two that might be worth considering: firstly, we can’t just turn off our thoughts, many of them are automatic; secondly, our emotions and mood can be complex drivers of our thoughts.


Which comes first, the ‘thought that triggers our emotions’, or ‘emotions that kickstart our thoughts’? There are no straightforward or easy answers to this question, but let’s take a look first at ‘thoughts that trigger our emotions’. Something that’s worrying us might be a good example of this. A thought just pops in and before we know it, we’ve worked through any number of possible future scenarios and how we might act or feel in each one. Without an intervention, those thoughts are unlikely to go away on their own until either the issue being worried about is resolved, or other worries compound or replace them. Throughout the period of worry (which can go on for minutes, hours, days, or even years), our mental health, emotional stability and physical health are all impacted, often very significantly.


Let’s shift our focus now to ‘emotions that kickstart our thoughts’. Specific emotions may be caused by different forms of being triggered in some way, and those emotions often mean something to us – or about us. Either of these can be unhelpful because they catalyse a train of thoughts that can also result in serious impacts on our mental, emotional and physical health. It can be very challenging to even notice our emotions at times, let alone connect the thoughts we might be having.


Our thoughts and emotions are so intertwined with our wellbeing that gaining a better understanding of what’s going on for us is vitally important. Not only does our thinking shape our future, it’s shaped by our past and can help us to see things we’ve already decided about ourselves and others, like what we think is possible and not possible in our lives. By engaging in an ongoing enquiry about ourselves, we can begin to observe things we may never have noticed before. The more we notice, the more choice begins to emerge, and with that choice, our growth and our freedom.


Transforming our thinking is not easy but the rewards are potentially life changing. Why not join one of our Fovea Insights Programmes and start your journey of breaking free from the stories, challenges and constraints that are getting in the way of you walking in the fullness of who you were born to be. Transform your future by transforming your thinking.


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