Thursday, April 2, 2009

Think About What You Are Thinking About

In April's Ensign that I picked up today, I came across this article written by Bruce K. Fordham. I'd like to just share a little of it.

"Perhaps it's a familiar scenario: a child repeatedly opens a cupboard door even though you have told her--several times--to stop. A field goal kicker misses the goal even when he has thought to himself, "Don't miss it. Don't miss it. Don't miss it." Or perhaps you eat a piece of chocolate cake even though in passing through the kitchen, you tell yourself, "Don't eat that."

Why does this happen?

Think about how you respond to a negative or inappropriate thought that comes into your mind, either as a result of unhealthy thought patterns or simply because you are a natural man or woman. Perhaps you reprimand yourself. Or maybe you repeatedly tell yourself to stop thinking about that subject. In the case of the first response (reprimanding), you unwittingly weaken your resistance to such thoughts and lower your sense of self-worth and confidence. With the second response (telling yourself to stop thinking about it), you unknowingly give energy and strength to the undesirable thought by repeating its image. This occurs because our brains are unable to replace something with nothing." (pg. 68 in April's Ensign)

The article goes on to explain how we can combat this. But I just wanted to stop here and relate it to writing. I think that sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves. And giving power to these negative thoughts is not productive. For example if I constantly say, "I hate editing." (just an example, I never think that) Then it soon becomes a chore and something I dread every day. If I instead say, "I can't wait to see how I can improve my book today." Wow, what a difference a little change of thought has on my attitude.

This, of course, can apply to many aspects of our lives. But how much happier and more positive would we be by just switching our unproductive, worthless, thoughts into thoughts that would help us accomplish something?

Now, I am not going to eat that piece of chocolate cake in the kitchen.


  1. Oh dear, your talking to me right, Kasie? LOL! (The I HATE EDITS part) Yep that's me! Ok, well I think I will try this new method of madness. I mean, I can be positive...I'm positive I hate edits. Oh wait, that didn't work did it! Don't worry I'll give it a real try! Thanks! I really needed that post...the chocolate cake sounds good too, are you sharing?

  2. Very true. If we replaced every two unproductive thoughts with one productive one, we'd get so much more accomplished. :) Great post Kasie!

  3. Nikki, no really, I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to myself. But we'll pretend like I was talking to you because then I feel better about myself. LOL And come on over, chocolate cake for everyone.

    Jenn, so true. Now, if only I had two for every one. It's so much easier to be hard on ourselves than to praise ourselves. Hence the post. I'm working on it.

  4. YAY! LOVE Chocolate cake! Eeeh! Great post Kasie! And i do try to live by this rule--I try, I don't always succeed but it sure helps! Jenni

  5. My mom once told me if you say something like, "Don't eat that chocolate cake" all your brain hears is eat the chocolate cake. It certainly seems the more I focus on not doing something the harder it is to avoid. I think the key is replacing negative thoughts as you suggested. Coincidentally, I've heard that's the key to getting rid of bad habits too, replacing them with good ones.

  6. That is one of the first articles I turned to when I got my Ensign! You're right. Our self-worth is measured by our thoughts. I can be wonderful or I can be horrible. Whatever I think I am I will be. (For example, the chocolate cake can be loaded with lots of vitamins and nutrients or just empty calories. Whatever you want. The mind is an amazing thing.)



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