There are two schools of thought on negative thoughts:
- Get them out
- Try not to focus on them
I’m definitely in the first school!
Get them out!
And here’s why…
I have a really big ugly cold sore under my nose! I get cold sores when I haven’t expressed my angry and resentful feelings and thoughts.
After taking three Pit Stops in three days (more info on Pit Stops below) I finally got to the bottom of my baggage and worked out that I still believed I wasn’t worthy of earning a decent income if I worked for myself. In other words I believed I wasn’t worthy of being paid money to share my knowledge and gifts and basically be ‘me’.
This all came about after some harsh business advice where I worked out that if I wanted to continue teaching ‘Sparky and Shady’ workshops I would have to charge almost triple! They were $88 for two days – now they are $229! A big jump!
The festering anger and resentment about being paid handsomely to teach kids to read and do maths as a teacher in a school, but not be paid to teach them to believe in themselves in my own school started boiling above my upper lip on Friday. I handed an office assistant in a high school a flyer for the next holiday workshops and she said, “Are you trying to make money out of our students?” Talk about being totally ‘triggered’!
When we are instantly triggered by what someone says to us it is a sure sign we have baggage! And what is baggage? Baggage is negative or more precisely – fearful thoughts that we believe and the feelings that go with that belief that we haven’t expressed yet!
Baggage makes us feel angry, resentful, guilty, ashamed and lots of other horrible feelings. It also has the potential to make us sick (cold sore!) but the biggest consequence of hanging onto fearful beliefs is that they limit us, hold us back, and prevent us growing and doing what we are here to do.
The way to stop fearful thoughts is to get them out of us when we realise we are thinking them. And to express the ‘bad’ feelings that go with the thoughts.
Next time you notice you feel bad take a ‘Shady short cut.’ Go somewhere private where you can make a noise, hold up your tall finger (yep that gesture), hold the tip of your finger and ask yourself, “What am I thinking?”
Listen to everything Shady (the fearful part of you) is saying to you in your head. You can say it out loud, write it down or just listen in your imagination. Keep going until your Shady has nothing left to whinge, moan, worry or complain about. Let your feelings come out now too. I usually use a towel to scream and cry into. Keep going until you get it all out.
If it is a new thought or not baggage yet, this short cut may be enough to let out the fearful thoughts and feelings. If we all did this every time we had a new fearful thought we wouldn’t collect baggage (that’s what I’m teaching kids to do)!
If you already believe the thought (like I did) you will need Sparky’s help to do a complete Pit Stop. A Pit Stop takes longer and is more involved. If you are up for a real life example of a Pit Stop go here for my performance on other baggage I had! Yeah, it’s not pretty! But it is always worth it because afterwards you feel one hundred times better and you can move forward!
Now for that second school of thought and why it doesn’t work…
The second school of thought would argue that, “Whatever you focus on gets bigger, so you should ignore, overcome and focus on the positive to ‘beat the negative.’”
This does NOT work!!
The simple reason is we drive on autopilot 95% of the time. Autopilot means our subconscious beliefs or the baggage we believe about ourselves, other people and life, steers us straight to what we believe without our conscious awareness.
Trying not to focus on our fearful thoughts with our conscious mind does nothing because we subconsciously focus on them 95% of the time, which means we steer straight to them!
In my case I had no conscious awareness that I believed I wasn’t worthy of earning a handsome income teaching kids in my own school, until it was brought to my awareness doubly by that lovely office lady and my lovely cold sore!
Today I’m super grateful for the Shady comment and my ugly upper lip because if I didn’t let go of my baggage about being worthy of earning a handsome income from ‘Sparky and Shady’ then I would go broke, my business would fold and I wouldn’t be able to empower kids all over the world!
Ugly lesson – but totally worth it!