Changing your mindset has a lot of benefits. It can reduce stress, depression and anxiety. And it can lead to happiness, fulfillment and purpose.
But many people who want to change their mindset don’t know where to begin.
I Think, Therefore I Am
Not just a Billie Eilish song, “I think, therefore I am” is a societally accepted limiting belief that originated with philosopher René Descartes in the 1600s. Descartes believed everything existed and originated in the mind.
Basically, he thought we exist because we have thoughts. Essentially, you are your thoughts.
Even though this theory has long been discredited, it still negatively affects a lot of society today.
I’d Rather Shock Myself Than Sit With My Thoughts
Studies have shown that most participants would rather get electric shock than sit alone with their thoughts. (More on that here.)
But a lot of us didn’t need a study to realize this. It is evident in all the scrolling, drinking, fucking, t.v. watching, etc. that people would do almost anything to escape their thoughts. And the primary reason sitting with thoughts is unbearable is because people think they are their thoughts.
So if they have an intrusive, unwanted, or downright fucked up/weird thought (we all have them) they feel powerless and like they have to follow the thought. They identify with the thought and understandably want to escape it.
I Think Therefore I Am Awareness
By expanding the “I think therefore I am” limiting belief we get unstuck and set ourselves up for success.
Because just like you are not your sleeping dreams (you are the awareness of them) you are not your thoughts (you are the awareness of them). And when you acknowledge this fact you give yourself power.
By acknowledging you are the awareness of your thoughts you allow yourself to explore your thoughts with curiosity instead of being weighted down or feeling stuck by them.
If you have an intrusive or downright fucked up thought, instead of thinking there is something wrong with you or that you’ll never be able to escape it, you can question “wow, that was fucked up, where did that thought come from?” Or you can decide “that thought is unproductive, I’m going to let that pass and focus on something else.”
I Am Building a Growth Mindset
“I think therefore I am” is a discredited philosophy and limiting belief. “I think therefore I am awareness” is growth and is the foundation of a growth mindset.
So when thoughts come up remind yourself, you are not the thoughts. You are the awareness of the thoughts and you decide if you give the thought(s) momentum or reject them.
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Photo by Michael Dziedzic