(This is an old blog written while I was still in practice but given I am about to “Gump it up” and launch my dream book, I found it most appropriate)
In my profession, at the simplest level, I help others make positive changes. Working with kids is my passion partially because they are so willing to accept help and put it into action. Autistic kids are, by far, the most motivated to change, yet the most challenged physiologically because something as simple as making eye contact can send them into a panic. Yet time and time again I can fairly easily get these amazing kiddos to burn through and do it anyway. It just makes my heart sing when they begin to pick up on social cues, make friends, or grab my hand, look me in the eye and say “Thank you”.
Fully functioning adults, on the other hand, can be so exhausting. They are well aware of the changes they need to make, yet more often than not they find a reason to stall. So how do we get the motivation to begin? We are creatures of habit, by nature hating change with an insatiable ability to think up excuses. Whether it be helping an autistic child control impulses or an adult control binges, and a million other things in between, there is one thing I know for sure and that is that we ”think” too terribly much. Thoughts can be so detrimental. Ironically my blog is called “That’s what she thinks” but when it comes to making changes, breaking habits, beginning new tasks… I don’t think we should think at all.
The human brain produces something like 60,000 thoughts a day. But the brain at it’s most basic level is simply a survival organ. We are programmed for survival of the species. Our ancestors who survived the cave man days, the ice age, etc, were the ones prepared, having thought enough negative thoughts to be ready for worse case scenario and therefore we lived. Great! But it is 2012 and we still for the most part operate on this same primitive negative brain. Some scientist believe more than 95% of our thoughts are the exact same thoughts we had yesterday!! And a whopping 80% plus of those habitual thoughts are horribly negative. For someone suffering depression, the negative thoughts rule their world. But the reality is that most of those thoughts never, ever come true.
So why then would we give our thoughts so much power over us, halting our every desire to change? It is a sign of intelligence to have so many thoughts, but the down fall is that we can over-think until we talk ourselves out of achieving our goals.
This is exactly why I love the movie “Forrest Gump”. Bless his heart, he did not even possess enough brain power to talk himself out of a damn thing. I mean, come on, he said it himself – ”I am not a smart man, Jenny”. Yet look at all he accomplished (yes, I realize it is fictional, but go with me here). Join the army and earn a medal of honor- check, play professional ping pong in China -check, be a shrimp boat captain, run across the country for 3 years, marry Jenny- check, check, freakin check! Unlike precious Forrest, it seems to me we are too smart for our own good. We desire a goal, our spirit beams, our gut says do it, our heart pleads with each pump, yet we let our habitually negative nugget snuff out the fire in our soul?
Stop and think about it, kiddos and then don’t. Listen to your gut for once while honoring the longing in your heart. There are neurons there too, just begging to be heard. What is it that you want? Feel the answer, really, really feel it. Be more like Forrest approaching life without an awareness of limitations, simply taking action while figuring it out along the way. Tell your negative thoughts to kiss your butt and then go forth and Gump it up! ~ Juls ❤