We have been programmed, trained, if you will, to believe the thoughts inside of us that tell us we’re not enough. This has happened since the dawn of time to serve many purposes. The most prevalent, current purpose is to sell products and services. If we continue to believe we’re not enough, we will buy more, keeping our capitalist society going as it is.
If you’re human you struggle with some aspect of yourself not being good enough. If you’re a woman, much of these thoughts will be around your body. Dismorphophobia – perceiving all or a part of your body as repulsive or in need of fixing, is a symptom of how programmed we are. I don’t know any woman who doesn’t believe some part of her body and or her life needs ‘fixing.’
The Programming Can be Changed
If our thoughts have been programmed to believe painful ideas, they can be re-programmed and trained to believe otherwise. It comes down to accepting some facts:
- We Choose Our Thoughts
This can be a hard truth to accept, but it is essential. Yes, much of what we believe and the actions we carry out are based on a whole system that was handed to us before we had understanding and critical thinking skills. Much of thought work/internal shifting is dismantling the package of programming from our childhoods. Once we experience a breakthrough or two in our thinking, the idea of choosing our thoughts is much easier to work with.
2) Our Thoughts Create our Reality
If we don’t like our current reality, we mistakenly believe changing our circumstances, partners, jobs, place of residences, our bodies, friends, etc. will create a new reality. But that is only rearranging the furniture. Your circumstances may change, but your beliefs are the same. Instead of waiting for something outside of ourselves to change–a partner, a raise/promotion, recognition and even love–we must begin the change internally. We must begin to be the validation, encouragement and love for ourselves. A new reality is created based on a changed inner belief about oneself.
How do We Re-Program?
“The mind can never be controlled, it can only be questioned, loved and met with understanding.” Byron Katie
Simply telling yourself to think something else is not going to work. Our thoughts are not enemies and they do not need to be fought. Our thoughts are our friends and we choose them! They are doing the job that we give them. The painful ones, in essence, are protecting our scared, tender and often times traumatized selves.
Meeting our painful thoughts with love and understanding and then questioning them allows us to get at the truth that is often upside down and backwards underneath them.
The way to tell if any thought is trying to get your attention in order to help you is if it feels bad. It’s as simple as that. In The Work of Byron Katie, we are taught to feel how a thought feels when we think it. Every thought has a corresponding bodily reaction. A thought will either feel bad, good or neutral. If it feels bad, there is information there. You are believing something that does not align with what is true.
It Takes More Than Once
I’ve been doing this ‘work’–examining my programming and implementing inside adjustments–for quite some time. In the beginning, I assumed doing the tool or exercise one time should fix my inner programming. I did not know that in order to change the deeply ingrained training would take daily, sometimes constant exercise. I still encounter ‘not enough’ thoughts. The thing is, they don’t derail me for as long as they used to. I recognize them, we converse briefly and then I’m back on my true track.
The practice of changing our thoughts in order to change our reality is not new. There are millions of dollars being spent in this field. But spending the money, owning the books, programs and tools are ineffective if we don’t use them. Practice them until they are the new normal.