As humans, we’re privileged with the ability to think about what we’re thinking by utilizing our prefrontal cortex. Our thinking creates an emotion. That emotion fuels an action (or inaction) that contributes to our outcomes — desirable or not.
Why does that matter? Because by mastering our mindset, we ultimately master our life. The first step is learning to pay attention to our thoughts and emotions, and becoming a conscious (and compassionate) observer.
Luckily for you, here’s my really easy process to begin your mastery. If implemented fully, you’ll make lasting changes that reflect the desired outcomes you’ve always wanted — in life and in business.
Step 1: Become the ‘Watcher’
The power to change our minds and master our life starts with self-management. As the ‘Watcher’ of our mind, we discover the power we all have. When we see, understand, and redirect our thoughts into alignment with what we want, we reveal the outcomes we’re aiming for.
But how do we do this? We become the Watcher with a tool I call a “Thought Drop.” It’s a simple way to be more consciously aware of what’s going on in our minds. By taking 5-10 min of intentional writing, we separate ourselves from our thoughts by freely releasing all thoughts onto paper.
The subconscious mind takes up 97% of the brain’s processing power — leaving the conscious brain at 3%. A Thought Drop allows us to witness the subconscious thoughts in a tangible form as they land on the page. If you’re like me, your conscious mind will likely be surprised by what shows up. This exercise quickly shows its efficacy right before our eyes.
With over 60,000 thoughts per day — most of them unconscious — use the Thought Drop to uncover dozens of thoughts happening without supervision. Some thoughts naturally seem negative, but don’t worry. It’s completely normal! And the good news is now you see them.
I like to relate this exercise to letting your brain take a bath. Think about it for the rest of your body; bathing or showering is part of our hygiene routine. Inevitably, we get dirty, and cleansing keeps us happy and healthy. It’s the same for our brain.
After the Thought Drop, review what’s looking back at you from the page. I can’t stress this enough: becoming the compassionate observer of your released thoughts maximizes your growth. As hard as it might feel, try not to judge yourself. Look at it differently. Trust that your subconscious mind is offering you insight into something important. What if you miss the root thought because of judgment, and that one adjustment holds the key to your success?
Suggestion: As you observe your thoughts on paper, identify the emotion you feel because of the thought. Work with the subconscious mind. Allow it space to express itself, as if you’re in a conscious conversation with a loved one — aiming to understand the root of their belief.
Step 2: Align your feelings, transform your thinking
When we feel intelligent, we think, act, and radiate intelligence. Our mind expands to accommodate intelligent thoughts and strategies. From the simple act of volunteering to present at a conference to creating a new business, we tap into more ideas aligned with the energy of intelligence.
When we feel good, we align ourselves with elevated thoughts. In turn, those thoughts trigger more aligned actions, which then create more desired outcomes. See the chain reaction? Starting to observe and align our thoughts, we get back in the driver’s seat of our mind and move towards our desires.
…Now it’s time to transform our thinking.
After reviewing your Thought Drop from Step 1, identify the ‘root thought’ that triggers a negative emotion. By illuminating the malaligned thought & emotion combo, step into our power. You can start making the conscious shift to transform that root thought to create a desired emotion. Once we adjust the root thought-feeling, we trigger a new inspired action. That contributes to a new, more desired outcome. Hence mastering the mind!
Let’s start identifying some good-feeling emotions so you can begin aligning them to new thoughts.
Ask yourself the following questions:
01. How do you want to feel in your life? List them out.
02. Study your list of desired feelings. Read it a few times. What jumps out at you? Which feel warm, or really important? Circle the words that feel the best, and write a new list of your top 3- 5 core feelings.
03. What thoughts could you think to help you feel those core feelings? Let yourself relax and invite new thoughts in. There’s no right or wrong here. It’s just you and your conscious mind, working together to realign your thinking to match the emotion you desire.
04. Which 3 things can you do today to generate these feelings? Explore and let yourself play with options. Then, decide you will take those actions before you go to bed.
Step 3: Practice
Creating new neural pathways requires time and practice. Consistent practice. Like going to the gym, if we just practice a new thought once, we can’t expect long-term results. True progress comes in repeated action that becomes a habit over time.
01. Look for evidence proving the new thought. Make it true.
02. Sprinkle reminders of the new thought in your life. Post sticky notes on your bathroom mirror or set a reminder on your phone.
03. Express the new thought into life. Speak it as often as possible!
Most of us never learned to witness our own thinking, to compassionately observe our subconscious mind, to understand how our emotions and thoughts are linked. We haven’t learned to see that our thoughts and emotions trigger our actions and that practicing new thoughts is how we create new neural pathways. Let yourself off the hook for not knowing, and now that you do — use these steps to guide yourself into the life you’ve always wanted. You’re only a mindset shift away.