Top 10 Time Thoughts
This post is inspired by my favorite podcast ever by Kristen Boss - Success Thoughts, episode 7.
If you haven't listened to it yet, you need to listen to it. And even if you have, listen again.
That episode got me thinking: what are the thoughts that I cling to that help me feel calm and in control of my time? And what are the thoughts I most frequently coach my clients on?
First, a little primer: your thoughts about time are what create your experience of your time. If you believe your day is busy and crazy then your experience of your day will be a crazy busy one.
Here's a great example: You know when your morning starts off rough and the day just keeps getting worse and worse? This is why. Unless you purposefully redirect your thoughts, odds are you'll have the lens of, "this is just not my day" and therefore, you'll find allll of the evidence that supports that thought.
This is because our brains are constantly gathering evidence for our thoughts (this is why confirmation bias is a thing), and our brains also have a negativity bias. This is why it's so important to #1, be aware of what thoughts you're gathering evidence for and #2 understand that on default, most of your thoughts will be gathering negative evidence.
This is why you want to start noticing your thoughts about time so you can see what kind of day you're creating for yourself. And then you're going to want to pick one of these thoughts (or a version of these thoughts) to try on, so to speak, and make it your own.
And more than just try it on, you're going to want to practice it and really settle into it. This takes time and effort. You can't just slap on a thought once and have it "stick." This is also why mantras aren't super effective.
At first, you've got to put in the work to believe these thoughts, until you believe them in your bones.
You'll know when you start to do this when it elicits an emotion that makes you feel calm, instead of frantic. Or productive, instead of defeated. Or decisive, instead of overwhelmed.
Without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite thoughts about time that have radically shifted my relationship with time.
1. There's nothing I have to do.
SO many of us only know two tools to get into action: pressure and force. Pressure and force actually slows you down. Significantly. This is why I'm such a big fan of fun and downtime! When you're having fun, when you take the pressure off, when you're feeling refreshed you get to access such a higher level of your brain.
You'll come up with solutions faster and easier. In order to get there, you need to bring yourself first down to a relaxed, calm state. "There's nothing I have to do," always brings me back down when I'm spinning out in frantic energy. When I'm calm, then I ask myself: what do I want to do? How could I accomplish that in a way that feels really easy and really fun? What might that look like? If you open yourself up to possibilities, there are SO many options.
There's nothing you have to do.
2. There is no rush.
When you feel in a hurry, you're often overwhelmed, frantic, and frazzled. And when emotions are high, intelligence is low. This is why when you're rushing out of the door at the last second, you end up forgetting important things like your lunch or keys.
Bring yourself back down to calm first, even if you're in a hurry. Being calm will end up saving you time in the long run.
There is no rush.
3. I have plenty of time.
What you focus on, grows. This thought can be one of the most powerful in your thought arsenal. If you want to see time expand and you want to step into flow, choose this as the thought you want to practice.
You have plenty of time.
4. I know what to do.
The opposite of this thought is probably one of my most commonly coached on thoughts: "I just don't know what to do." The truth is, you do. At the very least, you have access to the only two tools you need to figure out exactly what to do:
Google & trying something and failing and learning.
These are the only two tools you need. Especially in entrepreneurship.
When you stop at, "I don't know what to do" you shut down everything you DO know. There is so much more waiting for you on the other side of, "I don't know." You just have to do the hard brain work of not letting yourself get away with, "I don't know."
You know what to do.
5. I always get the most important things done.
This thought is the adjacent-opposite of a thought I coach on so frequently, "I have too much to do." The subtext to that thought is, "and I can't get it all done." This thought combo will create instant overwhelm, analysis paralysis, confusion, doubt and will ultimately have you shut down and do even less. Hello, Netflix and scrolling.
You always get the most important things done.
6. I know where to start.
The opposite of the last three thoughts all really tend to go together. "I don't know what to do. I have too much to do. I don't know where to start."
This particular thought of, "I don't know where to start," often stems from #1 thinking there are right and wrong places to start and #2 a lack of clarity around why you're doing what you're doing. This happens most often when you aren't using reverse engineer planning (start with the goal or result or outcome you want, and working backwards).
You know where to start (especially when you know specifically what you're working towards).
7. I can trust my decisions.
The sneaky reason why decision making is hard for you is you don't trust that you'll make the right decision. That there will be big, negative consequences for making the "wrong" decision or you'll be found out that you actually have no idea what you're doing. You will do your best and learn as you go. Admitting that you don't know or that you need help actually exudes confidence - not insecurity.
You can trust your decisions.
8. I can handle anything.
I want you to imagine you run into a problem you didn't anticipate. In one scenario you feel really equipped and capable of handling it. You calmly work through and problem solve until it's fixed.
In another, you instantly feel stressed out and overwhelmed. You start to sweat and feel really panicky. You think, ugh, here we go again. I'm just so bad at this. I'll never figure it out. You research and try a solution or two, and then you start to procrastinate & then you give up.
The ONLY difference in these two scenarios is what you believe about your capability to handle anything and figure it out.
You can handle anything.
9. I know what's best for me.
This one is sneaky, sneaky. You may even be tempted to think, well duh Gretta. Ask yourself: Do you make decisions on your own or do survey other people? Who do you turn to for validation or confirmation you made the right choice? Where do you look for answers when you don't know what to do?
If any of those answers involve other people, you're deferring to others to know what's best for you, what you're "allowed" to do, allowed to believe about yourself, and what you're allowed to have access to.
I coach women OFTEN who are seeking permission to do things their way. They say things, like wait, what? I can just DO that? I can SAY that?!
You know what's best for you (because SERIOUSLY who else would know better than you?).
10. I am responsible for how I spend my time.
You are always deciding what to do. In any given moment. When you believe anything to the contrary you will feel constantly at the effect of your life.
Life will feel like it just happens to you. & you will feel completely powerless to change it.
One of my favorite quotes is, "You always have a choice. You may not love your options, but you always have a choice."
Even if you feel miles from where you want to be, you can start to choose to move in the direction of the life you want. Small steps ARE the big steps. If you stay committed to those small steps, you will get to where you want to go. 100% of the time.
Remembering this can bring you so much relief and freedom and empowerment.
If you're responsible for your time, and no one else, it means you have the power to change how you spend your time.
See you next week,
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