Many of my clients want to know how they can stop their negative thinking around their fertility such as telling themselves they are never going to get pregnant or this round of IVF isn’t going to work.
I often ask them if I offered them a magic pill that meant they would never think again would they take it? Almost without exception when I first start working with a client they say ‘No!’.
We think we need our thinking.
We want to let go of the ‘negative’ or ‘bad’ thinking but not all thinking. We think thinking helps us make the right decisions in life, to be safe, to be happy.
The thing is this not what you’re thinking that’s the problem. It’s not the contents of your thinking that’s the problem. It’s the fact you are thinking.
It is not about changing negative thinking with positive thinking. Positive affirmations can work because sure enough most of my clients have negative thinking they are affecting them in a big way!
Combating negative thinking with positive thinking is very hard work, fighting thoughts with thought in most cases doesn’t work. You try and rationalise or engage with negative thinking and it outwits you, it is too clever! They don’t give up because they have a good intent, they are trying to help you but are misguided in how to do that.
Thinking is looking in the wrong place for peace, happiness and wellbeing.
Thinking tells us our happiness, sense of fulfilment and well-being is dependent on external things. Our thinking tells us ‘I’ll be happy if…’ or ‘I’ll be happy when…’
That’s looking in the wrong place which is why it could be like being on a hamster wheel, we never achieve it and we just keep searching, trying to work harder and harder to be happy or at peace, running faster but going no-where.
When we let go of our thinking (we can’t stop thinking it’s about choosing to ignore it and it fades into the background), we access a better quality of thought – our intuition, our instinct, I like to call it our wisdom.
Our intuition/instinct is based on the here and now. Thinking is all about future things that haven’t happened yet, try to second-guess outcomes or it’s stuck in the past bringing habitual thinking from the past in to the present. Thinking takes us away from the here and now without us realising it.
Thinking paints a picture, an illusion of reality that is just not true – but we believe it. We believe it because our thinking tells us we need to follow that feeling, follow that story to find peace of mind, to be OK.
You can’t stop thinking. You can’t stop feeling because you’re only ever feeling you’re thinking. We have no control over our thinking, it is spontaneous. However we do have a choice whether to go on a ride with it. We have different qualities of thinking.
Imagine a lift the goes to different floors of a building. The basement level is the stories and emotions the lead to fear, anxiety, depression and hopelessness. The higher floors bring peace of mind, clarity and perspective. In this place we can truly sense our sense of well-being within us and truly sense is not dependent on anything external.
Now we have no control or where this lift goes. Sometimes it drops down to the basement and the doors was open. We suddenly become aware of a thought or a feeling, and that’s OK. It may be trying to communicate something to us. For example fear can be a good thing – to let us know whether we are in danger or not.
What can be unhelpful is getting out of the lift and following the feeling, following the story that leads us into a maze of corridors desperately trying to find the exit back to peace of mind. Our thinking telling us the harder we work at finding peace of mind the more likely we are to find it.
But thinking is looking in the wrong place. There is no exit in those corridors of thought and feeling. When we recognise this and get back in the lift it goes up the higher levels automatically – we return to our natural default setting of peace of mind, just like a beach ball bobs backup to the surface of the water when let it go.
It is about trusting this innate wellbeing that is inside us all the time, we are born with it. Trust you can let go of the thoughts and feelings, trust they are based on stories and stuff from the past, they are not about the present moment.
So there will be times when become aware of negative thinking or the resulting feelings of anxiety, grief, anger whatever it may be – as lift doors open. Remember, that’s a thought passing through your awareness. And it will continue to pass through and disappear and doors were shut and you automatically returned to better place without you doing anything – if you stay in the lift, if you recognise you don’t need to do anything to find peace of mind, it is within you all the time. We just lose sight of it when you get caught up in thinking and feeing.