The Roller Coaster Principle
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
OK, I admit it…I overthink almost everything. I sometimes feel as if I can’t help it. Something happens and my brain just kicks in. I dissect what happened into a million pieces, think of every scenario, come up with every possible solution, and create an entirely different reality in my head. Thank God I have good friends who give me “reality checks” when I need them! Over the years though, I have learned how to be my own “kick in the pants and get back to reality” girl. I realized it had to do with what and how I was thinking.
Thinking is a powerful tool. It can serve the good or serve the bad. Our society is taught that logic rules. We are taught that if we think about something long and hard enough, we will find a solution. We often believe our thoughts even though, at times, we don’t even know why we think what we do. Did our parents teach us to think that? Did we hear someone we admire on the internet say it and adopted that same thought? Thinking a thought does not make it true. A thought only becomes true when we tell ourselves it is so. The brain simply receives information from the environment and it is our job to process it in whatever way we choose.
You and I could witness the exact same scenario and both walk away with different versions of what happened. Why? Because the scenario filtered through our thoughts, our values, our beliefs, and our experiences. We all live in our own version of reality, all based on what and how we are thinking.
If you and I decided to ride a roller coaster and sit in the front row and I love roller coasters but they terrify you, our thoughts about the reality of the ride would be very different. I would think it was exhilarating, my heart was pounding out of excitement, I loved feeling the wind whip through my hair, and it was over too fast. You might think it was terrifying, your heart was pounding out of fear, you hated feeling the wind on your face because it reminded you of how fast we were going, and the ride felt like an eternity. Same experience…two different thought processes…two different realities.
The next time you catch yourself upset because you are overthinking something and cannot make a decision, pause for a moment and ask yourself these three questions:
What am I feeling right now?
What am I thinking right now?
What am I doing right now?
This pulls you into the present moment and tells you the reality of the situation through your own eyes.
Once you answer those questions, ask yourself these three questions:
What would I rather feel?
What would I rather think?
What would I rather do?
This is the reality you would like to create. What do you have to do to go from your present moment thoughts and feelings to those you want to create? The answer to that question is your next step.
Remember, a thought is just a thought until we give it meaning. All we are is the result of what we think.
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
Thinking (as usual),