When was the last time you noticed that your mind was drifting into the future or hanging out in the past? Do you remember what it was that you were thinking about? Past and future thinking are great when we can look at them like they a polaroid picture, seeing them as either a direct reflection of the past or a vision for what we could see our future looking. The key here is to not add any additional narrative to round out the story, this is where self-doubt can leak in. Self-doubt is the barrier that lies between us and our fullest potential.
Here’s the deal, just like its impossible to walk by an almost complete puzzle and not put the finishing piece in the right place, the mind also doesn’t like to have gaps or uncompleted pictures; we end up creating stories to fill in the missing pieces. Stories are scripts that are derived from our past or our attempt to conjure up future fantasies. The mind is literally shouting, “tell me a story and make it dynamic with as much detail as possible.” You see, the pieces we are unsure about are left for the imagination to fill in. When we live outside of the present moment, we tend to live in the future or the past, sometimes leading us to ruminate or get swept away by the what ifs or should haves. I call this cycle, the hamster wheel. You keep going around in circles and it feels like there is no exit sign or parachute you can pull.
Guess what? You have the power to find the exit sign and find self-love in the midst of all these thoughts. The practice of mindfulness invites us to stay in the present moment, watching each moment effortlessly unfold. Mindfulness can help you develop an innate wisdom that will lead you back to self-love. So, let’s get real for a minute and identify any repeat thought offenders, they are the occupants of the hamster wheel. Take a moment and write them down. When do you feel self-doubt flood your whole body and mind? What does that look like for you? Identify any thought, word or action that has any lingering of self-doubt is barrier between you and self-love. There is power in being able to identify these thoughts and call them out. Below you will find three ways to connect back to self-love
3 Ways to Connect Back to Self-Love
We All Have Thoughts
How often do we find ourselves thinking about situations, interactions, or previous conversations without realizing we are actually thinking about them? It can be like we are on a thought train that is going a mile a minute down the track. When we start to realize this flow of thoughts that live outside of the present moment, we begin to cultivate self-awareness; an amazing skill that supports us in so many ways but one of them being a guiding light that brings us back to the state of now. The now is where our ability to feel powerful lives.
Try this: next time you are sitting still, this is often when the mind starts to wander, get curious about how fast you can notice the mind wandering and if there is repeated thought theme. The more we can become aware of having thoughts the more possibility we have to nourish our minds and direct it back to the present moment.
When our mind is living outside of the present moment, our body usually becomes detached from the different sensations around us. We might experience a muted scene we are staring at, the delicious beverage we are sipping might not be noticed or the smell of something amazing may just wash over us. Our senses are powerful and can ground us in the present moment.
Try this: next time you notice self-doubt creeping in, begin to notice something you are experiencing. Ground yourself in one of your senses and release any thoughts that keep you from noticing every detail of what you are tasting, hearing, smelling, seeing or touching.
Words are Powerful
Naturally, we have lots of chatter in the mind. Research shows that we have anywhere between 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day. That is a lot! Unfortunately, the mindfulness practice doesn’t come with a magic shield that bats away any thoughts before they come into the consciousness. However, know that you are human and we all have thoughts, life would be way less entertaining without them. The practice of mindfulness allows us to see the thoughts and release it without becoming attached to it. Words and thoughts are the most powerful thing we will ever own. Notice when you are giving your power away and stepping out of self-love.
Try this: Next time you notice a repeat thought starting to monopolize the mind, see if you can bring an affirmation into your practice. Let your affirmation be a word or a phrase that resets the stage for self-love to be available for you.
Next time you experience self-doubt, remember you can check in with yourself and get curious about what is real for you in that moment. Take a deep breath, re-ground, and remind yourself that you are human and the most impactful conversation we can have is with yourself. The words that build our thoughts and occupy our conversations are responsible for shaping the reality around us. Hold yourself able and trust in your innate wisdom that comes with genuine self discovery. The world needs you.
Below is my self-love practice I use when I feel any sense of doubt creeping in. If you find it helpful, let this be my gift to you.
Chrissy’s Self-Love Practice
Softly close the eyes, it’s time to tune in
Feel the natural beauty of the breath as it unfolds in the body
With each inhale, feeling the body remember what it’s like to feel whole
With each exhale, creating space for yourself to soften
Curious about the space between each breath as it has a message it’s about to tell you
Put your hand on your heart and listen closely
A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT CHRISSY
Chrissy Abram is driven by authentic connection and managing creative projects that push the needle of possibility. She gets inspired by listening to top holistic health researchers and people that are passionate about intentionally living a life they love. You will find her leading well-being inspired projects for lululemon athletica’s innovation team, teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses, leading yoga for athletes around Vancouver, BC and running MNDSIGHT, her personalized mindfulness business that supports people in finding a practice.