Our life is a result of the thoughts we’re thinking. The thoughts we think cause us to feel certain ways. When we feel certain ways, we do things (actions, inaction, reaction). The actions we take or don’t take create the results we see in our lives. If this is new to you, please grab my Podcast Roadmap so you can deep dive into this empowering information. Learning that we do not have to believe every single thought our brain hands to us is revolutionary and a part of becoming an emotional adult.
If you’re still reading, you’re ready. Many will go their whole lives not realizing that the thoughts in our head are optional. Most will not learn that thoughts are merely sentences our brain is handing us and we can choose whether to attach to them or let them pass by.
I’ve done many podcast episodes and blog posts on the power of our thinking and how one of the best skills we can develop is deliberate thinking. If you’re reading this and thinking, what? Here’s an article describing the importance of becoming aware of what you’re thinking about and then choosing to think on purpose. Read it and come back here. Once we understand the importance of deliberate thinking and the power our thoughts have over our realities, most of us want to jump in and “thought shift” immediately. This doesn’t work without today’s tool of bridge thoughts.
CHANGE OUR THINKING
When the human brain is left unmanaged or monitored, it generally goes to a negative place. The brain has a negativity bias. If left unmanaged, it looks for threats to us and our survival, it creates drama. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to live like that. That sort of living feels very out of control to me. It feels as if I’m riding a roller coaster of craziness: flipping one way or another based on what my brain decides to focus on. And so, I use bridge thoughts to bring some calm and order to my brain.
Once we gain awareness of the thought we’re thinking, most of us humans tend to want to though switch right as fast as possible. When we realize the thoughts we’re thinking are creating the results we are seeing in our lives, we feel this urgency to change and stop that.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. The brain doesn’t have a back space or a delete button. We can’t move from the thought “I’m so lazy” to “I’m amazingly productive” with a snap of our fingers. Our brain will fire up what’s called cognitive dissonance. Essentially, it will put effort into resisting the new thought by finding evidence it’s not true. Overall, it’s a lot of wasted effort on your part and as a busy mom of 5, I’m all about efficient thinking.
What are Bridge Thoughts?
Bridge thoughts are thoughts that get us from the thought we’re currently thinking to the thought we want to be thinking. We are currently thinking a thought that’s producing certain results in our life. When we want different results in our lives, we do that by thinking different thoughts. Bridge thoughts literally create a cognitive bridge from thought A to thought B.
Imagine yourself as a stick figure on one side of a piece of paper, currently thinking the thought that’s getting you the results you’re getting. Some call this your unintentional thought. And now, imagine another stick figure, on the far side of that paper thinking the thought that will get you the results you want. Some call this the desired or intentional thought. A bridge is needed to get from one figure to the next.
You are currently thinking one thought that’s getting you one set of results in your life. You want to be thinking a different thought to get you different results. Many magazines and possibly even some other life coaches will have you believe that all you have to do is find an affirmation and practice it over and over and VOILA! Magic! Unfortunately that doesn’t work to rewire the brain long term. Bridge thoughts do. I use them every day in all different areas of my life.
Starting Point with Bridge Thoughts
In order to use bridge thoughts, you need to know where you’re starting from. I do this by thinking of an area in my life where I”m experiencing results I don’t want to currently have. Maybe in my physicality, or my marriage or my parenting. Then I sit and dump my current thoughts on paper to see what I am thinking. From there, I use many of the tools I speak of in this podcast and in past posts about thought drama and cleaning up my thoughts until I find that one golden thought that seems to be driving the rest. That’s the one I put under the first stick figure. Then I think of the results I want. What would that woman who has those results be thinking? Write that thought under the second stick figure.
Hooray! Now we have a working model and path for our thinking that has been proven time and time again to work! We have one stick figure with my current unconscious or undesired thought and our other stick figure with that best case scenario desired thought that’s too far away for us to feel and believe right now. It’s time to make a bridge! To get from stick figure A to stick figure B, we need to cross a bridge, which in coaching language means, we need some bridge thoughts to bridge us from where we are now to where we want to go.
Build a bridge with thoughts warriors! Truly! Listen in to the podcast episode to hear specific examples of stick figure thoughts from my and my clients lives. Essentially, you get to take the thought you’re thinking and choose to think a thought a teenie tiny bit better. You get really clear on what that practice thought is on the bridge to your desired stick figure. Finally, you get to work practicing it. When your old, undesired thought comes up you catch it, pause, and choose your new thought.
MAKE THE EFFORT
Please dear warrior. Choose to use this tool. I know first hand it has the power to change lives. It is how we change our realities. I’ve seen it happen in my life and I see it happen in clients’ live weekly. Please also choose to do it this year. You are here for a reason. If you’re not feeling lit up and energized by the life you’re living at least 50% of the time in your week, take my Finding Joy in Everyday Life Program. Life is too short. You matter to me.
I am always going to be here to argue for you. To push you for your bigger life, the one that feels sooooo good on the inside. And we get there by bringing awareness to the thoughts we’re thinking questioning whether they’re moving us towards or away from our goals and the life we want to be living, and then practicing bridge thought after bridge thought until you look up one day and you’re like, what? I believe that now?
Notice one or two thoughts this week that aren’t supporting your best self and choose a bridge thought to practice. Double bonus gold star points if you share your bridge thought with me personally below in the comments here or inside our free Warrior Woman Group on facebook.
Practice those thoughts and they soon become your new way of being. It is possible that you’ll look back this time next year and be like, oh wow, remember when I thought that Susie? And we can have a chuckle together. Big love to you warrior. It all starts with a sentence in your head.