Your Thoughts And Your Words Will Become Your Story

A study by Julie Tseng and Jordan Poppenk in 2020 showed that a healthy brain has around 60000-70000 thoughts running through it every day. Quite a lot of them are about ourselves, the things we do, the things we have done, the things we should have done, and the things we should be doing. A human being tends to be their own worst critic and the first person to judge our actions, consciously or subconsciously. The thoughts and evaluations we give to ourselves will help us define who we are, further each day. Every thought will solidify a belief we have about ourselves. It’s fair to say that not all of those beliefs are necessarily good and healthy ones. Think back at the things you may have believed to be true about yourself years ago, but proved to be invalid in time as you grew to know more about yourself. There’s a good chance that many of the beliefs you’re solidifying with your thoughts today are untrue as well.

Sometimes we choose to believe something that feels more safe and more comfortable at the time. Let’s imagine a person who has struggled in the past following through on projects that they start. It starts with big ideas, and great enthusiasm but over time motivation and inspiration dry out and the project is left somewhere forgotten. The person, based on their previous history, begins to doubt if they’re capable of following through with anything (which they would be, by the way, if they tried a different approach, changing the variables in their action plan). Every thought they think on that topic will start building a character profile for them with a narrative that comes with them.

Reminding the projects that were never completed, how every time the person started something, it ended the same way, they slowly become a character whose narrative is to fail in their projects before they catch the wind. Once the character and their narrative is solid enough in their own head, they start sharing it with the world, refusing inspiring offers because these kind of things are not for them, none of their projects were ever successful, and they are incapable of providing the effort this project would need, it would end just like all the others and so on and so on. They’re introducing the character they have built in their head to others so that they can play along. Every now and then maybe they even had to listen to the thoughts of others that fed their character’s narrative as well – “You have another new spectacular project idea? Well, we all know how your ten previous ones ended – you never completed any of them. They were all a failure!”

By becoming the character who is can’t bring any great ideas to reality, the person chooses the safe comfort zone where they can stop trying and give up for good. Eventually, people will stop encouraging them, and inviting them to participate, and they will learn to ignore the ideas that probably still keep popping into their heads and live a colorless life with no highlights or lowlights whatsoever. This is one way of developing a fixed mindset

So what would a person with a mindset for growth do? Let’s face the facts – the person, even without the story they could build for their character, is still a person who has struggled in the past following through on projects that they start.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Albert Einstein

The person could build a story in their head to become a character who has tons of good ideas and has the drive to try and bring them all to reality. Idea after idea they start again only to end with the same result – running out of motivation before the project is complete. What’s missing?

To change something the person must become aware of the ideas and projects that got never completed. More exactly, become aware of the moment it happened – the consistency to work on the project started to drop. If they learn to pinpoint it, they can direct their focus into finding the reason behind it and either try a different approach on the same project or the next time they get an inspiring idea to work on. So what’s the narrative they’re telling themselves this time? They become a character who knows they struggle to follow through with their ideas but are aware of their weaknesses and are working towards finding a way to get around them.

In this narrative they’re not falling back to their safe comfort zone and giving up completely, neither are they lying to themselves that they can do it (if the stars align correctly or if the idea is the right one or whatever other ridiculous condition that is way beyond their control).

What about those around us who feed the story that would fix us in our safe comfort zone? There’s not much you can do about them. Some are strong enough to let their thoughts enter the mind and exit right away without leaving a trace of the doubt for us to mull over. It takes a lot of self-confidence, strength, belief in yourself, and the art of not caring about others’ opinions. Not many have that in them. If you’re in the process of developing a character who knows they struggle but are working towards overcoming those struggles, you may want to fight actively against the thoughts that want to enter your head through others’ words. When someone reminds you that you’re the one who fails their projects, introduce them to the character who knows all that but began to analyze their failures to do things differently. Show them that the character they believed you to be has decided to change and get better and chances are those people choose to go with that storyline as well. And those who still try to dictate your story, it’s ok to limit the exposure to those people for your own mental strength and health.

Your thoughts and words will become your story. Choose them wisely and keep your mind open for growth