What Do Your Thoughts and a Salad Have in Common?

A show of hands if you've found yourself in a similar situation: You are out with your family or friends at your go-to favorite restaurant. You sit down and proclaim to all who is with you, "I'm going to order something I've not ordered here before". You take a moment to review the menu, you've got your eye on something new, the waiter approaches you for your order, you sigh and say "I'll just have my usual, the house salad with chicken".  And although you may feel a bit meh in not taking the leap to try something new (this wasn't the first time this happened), you can bet on your "usual" as the safe choice. There's no guesswork in playing it safe.  You've eaten the same salad at the same restaurant, time and time again and you know what to expect. No surprises today!

How is our thinking any different?

Thoughts are just as habitual as our eating habits. We generally stay with what we know and do what we can to limit the guesswork. We like predictable. We don't like to be surprised! Our mind is the same way (after all, what do you think is telling you stories in the first place!). The job of our mind is to make sense of our circumstances. The mind likes predictable. The mind doesn't like new thoughts wrapped up in a pretty package with shiny ribbon that we present to it unannounced. And making matters worse, if you have been bullied by that unkind inner critic of late, trying on a more self-compassionate way of thinking can become challenging. Just like going to a restaurant with every intention to step out of your comfort zone, out of familiar and try something new, you have every intention to try on a new thought for yourself as well. What happened? What prevented you from stepping out of your familiar way of thinking? THINK ABOUT IT - WHAT WAS YOUR THOUGHT THAT KEPT YOU STUCK?

A Case In Point

I used to dislike salmon. My mother made it for me as a child. Again and again. Overcooked and dry (she was an awful cook - she would agree!)  I would cringe when I saw salmon on any menu.  I believed in the story my mind told me that salmon tasted awful. One day while visiting Seattle, I choose ahead of time to order freshly caught salmon that was cooked differently than what I had known. I made a deliberate decision that I would try it and make up my mind afterward. Perhaps, my belief all these years that I had carried with me about how much I remember not liking salmon may change. Maybe my belief wasn't even true! I took the risk and ordered the grilled salmon and today it is one of my go-to fish to prepare.

Think Something New Today

Ready to change your belief in how you choose to think about yourself (or someone/something)? What's one new thought you are willing to try on?  What's one new thought you choose to deliberately think? You may surprise yourself that the story your mind has been telling you and have believed, isn't true! I'd love for you to let me know a thought you chose to give up and a thought you deliberately chose to think. You can also let me know that new dish you have always been dying to try at your favorite restaurant but allowed your thinking to get in the way and stop you!