You’ve probably heard that what you think about matters, but the questions is- HOW do you actually change your own thoughts? Maybe you have tried positive affirmations, read books about changing your thoughts and wondered why nothing has actually changed. That is because the actual process of how to change the pathways in your brain are not readily explained. Listen to find out the 3 steps to literally changing you mind. Once you understand how to use the power of your mind, there is nothing you can’t have or do!
I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to The Heal from Infidelity podcast, episode 11, Believing New Things.
Hello, and welcome to the Heal from Infidelity podcast where courageous women learn not only to heal from their spouse’s betrayal, but to become the boldest, truest, most decisive and confident versions of themselves ever. If you know there’s more for you than the life you’re currently living but don’t quite know how to get there, you are in the right place. Stick around to learn how to create a life that will knock your own socks off. Is it possible? It is, and I’m here to show you how. I’m your host, Andrea Giles. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Hey, everybody. Welcome to episode number 11. Thank you for being here. I’m so glad that you’re here. I love talking with you. I imagine your faces. I imagine you listening, living your life, going about your days listening. And it just makes me happy to think of you getting some information, some comfort, some guidance. I love that you tune in. So thank you for being here.
It is a beautiful fall day here in Montana. I’m recording, looking out my window at the leaves that are turning. It’s just beautiful. And I’ve got some things to share with you that are really exciting. So today we’re going to talk about believing new things. So if you’re here and if you’re human, you have adopted some beliefs that are driving your life. It’s like an old school tape that just goes on a loop over and over again. Do you remember the radios that would automatically rewind and then turn it back on over and over and over, and you’ve got thoughts that are running the show, that are creating results in your life, that are keeping you in pain, keeping you feeling emotions that maybe are not serving you well? And today we’re going to talk all about that.
So what is a belief? A belief is simply something that you have thought over and over again. You’ve thought it so much that you just believe it as true. You don’t question it. You don’t think of it as optional. It’s more like you’re just observing the color of something like, yeah, I’m just not good at that. You’re just matter of fact. You don’t see it as something that you can change.
So, many of you have been in a place of survival mode for a while. I remember that place well. It’s like I don’t even know what I want. I don’t know what I need to change. I just know that I’m putting one foot in front of the other, doing the best I can, trying to get through my days. It’s not a great place to be, right? It doesn’t feel great. Some of you have forgotten the things that you want, the life that you want, the kind of relationship that you want because you’ve just been trying to get through where you are without too many casualties for yourself, for your kids, for everyone involved.
Today, I want you just to listen and think about areas where you’re willing to open up a little bit to believing something new. I’m going to give you plenty of examples of what that looks like, how that would work for you. But I wanted to tell you some thoughts that you might know. Here’s some thoughts that you might recognize. If I were better, he wouldn’t have done this. I shouldn’t want more. I don’t know if I can do it. I can’t trust myself. I can’t trust anyone. I can’t ever trust him again. I’ve made mistakes in our marriage, so how can I want more? I’m so stupid to not have known this was happening. Other people have happy marriages, but not me. It’s not possible for me. It may never happen for me. I am too broken. I am too messed up. I’m not attractive enough. No one will want me.
Can you hear yourself in any of those? I know plenty of those from my own experience. I remember thinking that I couldn’t really ask for a really, really good marriage because I knew that I was not a perfect wife. And I thought, well, see, I’m not perfect, so how can I expect any be better treatment when I know that I make mistakes? So I allowed behaviors to slip by because I didn’t believe that I could have more. Let’s think of belief patterns you may experience in other areas of your life. How about time management? There is never enough time. There is too much to do and never finish anything. What about money? I’m just not good with money. I will always struggle with money. There’s never enough money. What about health? I’m just always going to be overweight. I’ll always just be tired.
Okay, so I’ve talked in the past episodes about possibility, about belief. Right now, I want you to think about where you are. I want you to pause and look around. Where are you sitting or standing? What can you see? What textures are there? What are you listening to this podcast on? Is it a computer? Is it a phone? What else is in the room? Every single thing that you are seeing, feeling, sitting on, any of it came from somebody’s mind. Somebody had a thought and it turned into some kind of feeling which drove their actions. And then, guess what? It created the thing that you’re looking at.
A quote by Emerson is, “The ancestor of every action is a thought.” So how do you change your thoughts? I’m going to teach you three steps to changing your thoughts and what that can do for you.
Number one, find out what you believe now. So as a kid, I’ve mentioned that I grew up in Oregon and my dad used to lead groups of foreign exchange students out on outdoor survival trips. And I remember getting to go on some of those trips and we would carry backpacks, like overnight backpacks that were very heavy, I thought. And you have to carry them for a long time, and you really hope that what you need is in that backpack. Usually, you pack that backpack very carefully with everything you might need for warmth, for food, for shelter, water, all of the things. We were way out there outside civilization. So everything we needed to be in that backpack. So what if somebody else packed that backpack for me and they’re like, “I really think she’s going to want this food. I think that she’s going to want this shelter. I think she’s going to want to know this.”
What if someone else packed it? This work that we’re doing is we’re taking off this backpack. We all have one. We’re all carrying one. It’s called our beliefs. Sometimes we packed things into our backpack that we thought would be useful when we were like six, and then, by taking it out and examining it, we might see that it’s no longer useful. Somebody else might have put something in our backpack without us knowing, thinking that it was going to be useful. We may have things that we don’t even know are there until we unzip every little pocket, go all the way to the bottom of the backpack, find everything in there, and we might decide that it’s not useful when we see it laid out in front of us in broad daylight.
What if somebody packed food in there and it maybe would’ve been useful, but you didn’t know it was there, and so, it sat there for a long time and then it went bad and it’s not useful now. So, in step one, in finding out what you believe now, you’re taking that backpack off. You are laying it out. You’re opening every pocket, every single thing. Does it feel uncomfortable? Yeah, it can feel uncomfortable because on the other side of that is deciding what you want to put back in and it can feel a little bit scary, but we’ll get to that. Okay?
Okay. Now on to step two. Step two is you’ve got everything laid out in front of you and you’re deciding what you want to put back. You’re going, “Oh, I can see where that maybe came from and where that seemed to be useful and how it’s actually hurting me now. I don’t think I’m going to put that back in. I think I’m going to put something else in or just not put anything in.” The beauty is that you get to believe whatever you want. Our minds are a place where we get all power, we get to decide what to think. It’s this great power that we have. It’s this great privilege that we have, that we get to decide what to believe. We get to decide what to think about ourself. We get to decide what we want with our life. We get to decide what is true for us. You get to believe that you matter and that you can show up and that you can live your life without apology and that you can take up space. You can decide that just the fact that you’re alive on the earth right now is not coincidence and that you’re meant to take up space, that you’re here to show up and to shout to the rooftops that you’re here and that you matter.
Makes me think of a baby. Babies are just worthy. They’re just lovable just because they’re here. And they don’t have a problem being completely, completely dependent. They need everything. They literally would die if they did not get taken care of, right? They would die. They don’t apologize. They make it known, “I need help. I need food. I need someone to change my diaper or need someone to hold me.” As we grow older, we learn to take care of ourselves, but it is optional to shut down the part where we don’t think that we’re worthy to take up space and to just be lovable and worthy just because we’re here. We can be like that baby and have no problem just being alive, saying, “I’m here and it matters that I’m here.” And then we get to create that experience for ourself.
Step number three is to practice. Practice and practice some more, all day long. Sticky notes are awesome. You’re literally reminding your brain what to think. You are being the boss of your brain. We’re talking about the difference between listening to yourself and talking to yourself. Listening to yourself is where you hear the buzz of your brain, like this chatter. That’s all the stories that are in the backpack buried deep. They’re just way down there. You don’t even know they’re there. That’s the chatter. That’s the buzz. Talking to yourself is where you hear the buzz and you’re telling yourself what to think instead. You’re swinging the balance. You’re giving more airtime to the talking to yourself part instead of listening to yourself. Our brains are naturally wired to be negative. Did you know that? They’re naturally wired to look for problems, to look for danger, and when we’ve been hurt, it just 10xs that, to where we’re like scanning for danger all the time. If we don’t know better, we’re going to be on alert all the time. And the problem is that it’s a hard way to live, right? It doesn’t feel very comfortable. And we’re forgetting our own power to change our own life when we’re just living at the effect of everything around us.
Start talking to yourself. What do you want to believe? What do you want to believe that you’re capable of? What do you want to believe about your life? Start giving airtime, at least equal airtime to the stories that you want to believe.
So one of the concepts that I teach my clients is called the thought letter. So if you have paper in front of you, I know some of you like to take notes, I want you to draw a ladder. At the bottom of the ladder is your current thought about yourself. I also want you to write the word I can’t, the bottom of the ladder. The next rung up is I could. The next one is I will, and the next one is I am.
Now, let’s say that somebody has a thought of, I’m not smart enough to figure this out on my own. A client of mine got that thought because when she was young, her mom would hover over her when she was doing homework and was right there with her while she did all of those things. And she just assumed that it’s because her mom didn’t think she was smart enough to do it by herself. That was never said to her. It’s just the story that she packed in her backpack. I’m not smart enough to do this on my own. So when she was faced with divorce and all of the things that came after that, it was very scary for her to think of making decisions that would affect her children, that would affect her life, because there was this underlying current of I’m not smart enough to figure this out on my own. And then she was deferring her wisdom to other people. She was saying, “Please tell me what to do. Clearly, you’re much smarter than me. Tell me what to do.” And that ultimately felt very uncomfortable to her because she knew she wasn’t really tuned in to what she wanted.
So in this thought ladder, what this looks like for her at the bottom of that ladder is, I am not smart enough to figure this out on my own. The next rung up would be, maybe I am smart enough to figure this out. The next one is, I will trust myself to figure this out. And then the last one is, I am smart and I’m figuring this out. I’m doing it, done. So the beginning step is I can’t, like I’m just not smart enough for handing over our own wisdom, our own decision-making abilities to other people. And then it’s going to, maybe I am. This is where we crack the door open to possibility. Maybe it’s possible. Maybe I could. What if I could? And our brains starts scanning for ways that it’s possible.
Remember, our brains are very efficient. You give it a thought to think, it’s going to try to make it true. Whether it’s a destructive thought that hurts us or whether it’s a thought that’s going to bring us lots of joy, our brains don’t know the difference. It just wants to be efficient and bring back evidence that it’s true. So if you give your brain a thought that maybe it’s possible, it’s going to get to work, looking for ways that it’s possible, does cracks open problem-solving, really going into yourself and your own wisdom and answering questions for yourself. And then, guess what happens? You climb up that ladder because you’re showing your brain, oh my gosh, I’m doing it. It is possible. Look what I’m doing. I’m doing this. I’m practicing it. I’m trusting myself. And then it’s done. I made these decisions. I’m smart enough to do this. I figured this out, done. And you’ve gained this level of trust in yourself that you can take care of yourself.
Another example would be a thought, I’ll never trust anyone again. Sometimes that feels very factual, right? How can I ever trust anyone again? I don’t think I can. Of course, that thought is there as a protective measure to not get hurt again. But ultimately, when we close ourself down to trust, we’re hurting ourselves. It’s keeping us in fight or flight mode, scanning for evidence that something’s going to go wrong. And like I’ve said before in other podcasts, sometimes it’s good judgment to not hand trust over to somebody who is not trustworthy. But this is just, I’m talking the default, fearful, I will never trust anybody again. Climbing up the first rung would be like, I could open up to trusting again. It’s possible. I guess it’s possible. How is it possible in starting to look for that?
Next up, I will choose to open up to trust. I will choose this. I will actively practice trusting. And then the last one is, I trust again. The beautiful thing about that is the person you’re trusting the most is you. You’re building a sense of trust in yourself that you can take care of yourself.
I’m going to give you a personal example. I remember, not long ago, hearing about people with podcasts and having this thought, “Other people have podcasts, but not me.” I just took myself out of it, not me. And then I had this thought, “I guess I could, maybe I could have a podcast. It’s possible.” So my brain started looking, well, what would I talk about? What would I name it? Who would listen? I guess it is possible.
Next up on the ladder, I’ll start creating podcast. I got to work. I decided on the name. I decided on the cover art. I decided on what I was going to have my first episodes be. I decided on, am I going to produce it myself or am I going to hire somebody? All of those things. I’ll start creating a podcast. And then, lastly, I have a podcast and people listen to it. How cool is that? It’s done. This thing that I thought was impossible is now done. Isn’t that awesome?
Every result in your life came from a thought. It started from a thought. What result do you want? You are very powerful and you can create whatever result you want. If you want to live happily in your marriage, you can create that, regardless of what your spouse is doing. You can create it by your mind. If you want to learn how to provide for yourself, it begins with the possibility that maybe I can.
Now, I want to point out one really important thing. Oftentimes, we try to do things like going from this thought of, “I’m not enough,” to “I am so worthy.” Things like that, like where we’re trying to go from the bottom of the ladder to the very top, things like, “I hate my body, to “I love my body. I’m so grateful for my body.” Our brains will kick that out immediately and go, “No, we know that’s not true.” Well, no, we’re, we’re onto ourselves. When we’ve had these thought patterns for so long, our brains are onto us. They’re like, “Whatever. No, we’re not doing that.”
So this thought ladder is how you outsmart your brain. You start by taking one step up because your brain can get on board with that and go, “Oh, okay, I can get on board. I can do that. Yeah, maybe it is possible.” And you’ll start to feel that feeling of possibility, of openness, of creativity, of looking for solutions. And then you’ll start taking action from that place. And then you’re going to see the results. So that’s why, rather than just positive affirmations, which can be awesome if your brain believes them, but if your brain’s rejecting it, go back down that ladder and start with the first rung. Maybe I could. Maybe it’s possible.
Now, I have mentioned before that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know not all of you are, that listen, but one of our books of scripture, it’s called The Book of Mormon, has the scripture. And whether you read the book of Mormon or not, I just want to share this with you because it’s really wise.
It’s from Alma 32: 27-28. “But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words. Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, and if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves it must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul, yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.”
Okay, so I love that because, in that scripture, he’s talking about just possibility. I want to step on that first rung of the ladder and just see what happens. And if you don’t resist it, if you don’t take yourself off that first rung and just hang out there and open up to possibility, you’ll feel expansive. You’ll feel yourself growing. It says, “It beginneth to enlarge my soul, and it beginneth to enlighten my understanding. It beginneth to be delicious to me.” Isn’t that awesome when things enlighten us and feel delicious and like possibility? Possibility.
My friends, anything is possible. I truly believe that. I believe that the glimpses that you have had of what your life can be are yours for the taking. It might require some growth. It might require some pain. It might require some discomfort. All growth does. But I believe that you can have it, that it’s possible for you. And as I was preparing for this podcast, I had a moment of just gratitude because I am living a life that I could barely dream of not many years ago. I’m living it. I have it. I have a husband who adores me and I adore him. We’re genuinely best friends. I have a home that is beautiful and comfortable and in a beautiful setting where I feel peace. I have kids that I love and who I love being around. I have a business where I get to help women. How awesome is that? And you know what? All of it came from the possibility of thought going, “I wonder. I just wonder if there’s something else. I wonder if I can have more. I wonder if this is possible.” And then I got to work making it happen. And you can do the same thing. My friends, you can do the same.
I hope that this is helpful to you. I would love to hear from you. You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear things that you would enjoy in a podcast. What are you wanting? What are you to hear more of? You can shoot me an email and let me know. Thank you, my friends. That’s all for today, and I will see you next time. Love you. Bye.
Thank you for listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast. If you would like to be kept in the know about upcoming free classes, new podcast episodes, and other ways of working with me, go subscribe to my weekly email. You can subscribe at andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. Again, it’s andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. I will see you next time.