I’ve practiced noticing when I’m feeling stressed and following that feeling, like a detective hunting for clues, back until I discover the thought triggering the stress. Then, I’ve found it helpful to ask questions: Is this thought true? Or, is this a useful thought?
I discovered this tool of discovering and questioning thought when I was searching for healing from postpartum depression and autoimmune disease. This is when I realized that my thoughts were the roots of so many of my so-called problems and stress and that my sickness stemmed from my toxic thoughts. Most everything that I talk about on this podcast comes down to what’s going on in our heads. If there’s one thing you get out of this podcast, or any of these podcasts, if you learn to question your thoughts, that skill alone will launch your life in powerful ways.
Let’s do it. Let’s question these thoughts.
Thought: “I don’t have enough time.”
There are so many ways your brain can verbalize this. I’m so busy. I can’t do it all. I have too much to do, thus I don’t have enough time.
Challenge: Is it TRUE that I don’t have enough time?
Instead of going into a huge existential discussion about what is TRUTH, let’s skip to the understanding that when it comes to your life, you get to create your truth. It’s a gift called Free Agency. So I would ask, Do I want this to be true for me that I don’t have enough time?
I can choose to believe that it’s true and my brain will be extremely skilled at finding evidence to support why I don’t have enough time. Or, I can choose to say it’s not true. I can choose to think that I have plenty of time. I have SO much time. Time is an unlimited commodity. I can use time today and I will have more tomorrow. I can use tomorrow’s time and I will have more time the next day. It’s amazing!
For so long, self help people have pushed this idea, this “thought” that time is a precious, and limited commodity. Get it done today because there are no guarantees for tomorrow! And it’s true you could die at any moment. But still, I believe that death is not the end of me, that I will go on living and have, get this, even MORE time! More time to learn, progress, experience, etc. When my brain throws up that idea that I don’t have enough time, I challenge it and I argue for all the reason why I have an abundance of time.
I’ve never found a scenario where the thought “I don’t have enough time” is a useful thought. It doesn’t serve me well. The panic of running out of time makes my insides contract, it freezes me up, and it drains my power to take action. Ironically this thought of not having enough time actually leads to procrastination rather than prevents procrastination.
Replace: What to Think Instead
I have plenty of time.
I have exactly enough time.
I have an abundance of time.
I have exactly enough time to accomplish all the things that are important to me