Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? The main character, played by Bill Murray, relives the same day over and over and over again. Each day is exactly like the day before. Many of us do the same thing in our own lives.
We often unknowingly create patterns in our lives and in our families. Patterns of thinking, patterns of behavior and patterns of how we relate to each other and our surroundings. The mind loves patterns because patterns are easy. True thinking is work for the mind so it tends to refer to the default setting of the patterns that are already in place.
We’ve practiced them. We’ve perfected them. They have become comfortable in an uncomfortable way if that makes sense. I have a friend who told me flat out that even though her life was painful, she liked the comfort of the darkness because it was familiar. She knew what to expect. She is not alone. Many, if not most of us choose to stay with what we know.
The Groundhog Day Effect, as I like to call it, can also be seen on a broader scale. Whether we mean to or not, we often create the same life over and over again even though we are trying to make change. We may give our circumstances a “facelift”, a new house, a new job, a new relationship, but in essence, we stick with the pattern that has been ingrained in us and create the same life in a different place. Wherever you go, there you are.
I had a woman come to a vision board workshop once who said that she looked through her journals over the past 10 years and realized that she had been living the exact same life for 10 years. It was a sobering realization for her.
The good news is that we have complete control over our thoughts. In fact, it is the only thing we do have complete control over. It takes constant practice. Like working a muscle. But it is as simple as replacing old, dis-empowering thoughts with new, empowering ones. Simple but not easy, that is.
It helps to have a list of replacement thoughts. A list of thoughts we can turn to when the old, dis-empowering ones creep in, as they are prone to do.
WRITE: Fold a piece of paper in half the long way. On the left side make a list of 10 dis-empowering thoughts that you consistently have and on the right make a list of positive, empowering, replacement thoughts
PAUSE: When you notice a negative thought, pause, take a breath and re-frame it. Insert one of the new, empowering thoughts instead.
PRACTICE, practice, practice
It’s all about noticing what you’re noticing. Noticing that you are having a negative thought is progress, my friends! It’s the first step in changing a habit. So celebrate it and keep noticing.
P.S. Do you need help changing old, dis-empowering thoughts? I’ve created a FREE Daily Affirmation E-course to support you in changing your thoughts one affirmation at a time. Click the button below to get started.
Photo by: Leon Biss on Unsplash