(This blog was originally posted on December 6, 2016)
|Photo by Rick Hustead|
Perhaps someone has said this to you—or you used this expression, yourself—when making a suggestion: “It’s just a thought.” In fact, this statement is probably used most frequently if the reception (openness) to a particular idea seems likely to be rejected. In this case, that particular thought is symbolically dumped or thrown away. “It’s just a thought” is the excuse we make for ever having entertained the idea in the first place.
I have two thoughts about this situation.
On the one hand, most of us have had to deal with some kind of negative chatter (self-doubt) in our mind when we are trying something new or are in the middle of an important project at work: I have never been able to do X before; what makes me think I will be successful at Y? Or, I have no business wearing this outfit; it was obviously designed for someone with a completely different (better) physique. More common, a thought pops into our mind just as we are drifting off to sleep: Did I remember to lock my office door? Does my boyfriend/girlfriend remember that tomorrow is our one-month anniversary of dating? Why is my acne flaring up now? In these instances, it is very helpful to remind ourselves, “It’s just a thought. I can control my thoughts. Since I can control my thoughts, I can put this one aside for a little while and do what I need to do.”
Conversely, our thoughts originate in the subconscious mind. To automatically reject a thought or idea as a way to deflect possible criticism from other people could mean that you miss (or at least delay) the chance to experience a creative opportunity. As Thomas Edison famously stated, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” What if that “thought” you have at your next business meeting could save your failing company millions of dollars and/or several employees’ jobs, create the next great video-game or script for a blockbuster movie, etc.?
Thoughts and ideas are products of our life experiences and feelings about them. The moral of this story is, before you reject one of those throw-away thoughts remember that you can control it and ultimately even use a behavior the idea inspired to benefit you in the future.
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.