I usually pride myself on being pretty fab at “Choosing My Mood.”
However this past week I’ve been a bit of a misery guts. To be blunt, 7 tedious days languishing in a “poor me” mindset has me absolutely 100% over me!
It’s time to seize back control of the information I filter into my mind.
In the same way that rubbish fuel allowed into your body is not going to produce a superior result, rubbish information allowed into your mind is going to be equally detrimental to your health and happiness.
Bad fuel be it food or information feeds a vicious cycle. Thankfully the reverse is also true. In today’s show I’m sharing:
YOU Are In Control Of What You Filter Into Your Mind.
It’s about building positive momentum. And crushing negative momentum.
By ensuring the Generalizations, the Deletions and the Distortions you (and I!) make are to our advantage.
I’ll dig in with generalizations, deletions and distortions soon.
Of course this is one of those easier said than done scenarios. However most things worth doing are easier said than done right?
Take exercise. Or meal prep. Or ignoring the addictive yet almost always unsatisfying call of social media.
Here are 3 steps to ensure: YOU Are In Control Of What You Filter Into Your Mind.
A) AWARENESS Of The Effect Certain Thoughts Have On You.
We’ve all been there right? That repetitive thought / behavior you know is going to make you feel bad. It’s almost on auto pilot however that little reminder “this isn’t going to end well” flashes through your mind each time you engage in the destructive thought / behavior.
And for whatever reason you ignore the reminder that has your best interests at heart.
“But, this could be the time seeing what my ex is up to on social media might make me feel good!!!”
“I’ll just talk a stroll down the candy isle because this could be the time nothing is tempting!!”
“I’ll check out the scales even though the weekend was a shocker so far as food, booze and zero exercise… I’m just too lazy and undisciplined. I’ll never be confident in my body… I might as well just give up.”
Awareness, recognizes that’s is normal to have negative thoughts. You can’t block them. In fact, likely you shouldn’t as on occasion they keep you safe and regularly they can help you appreciate all the positive thoughts and experiences.
The key is acknowledge that negative thought – briefly – rather than invite that negative thought into your mind to run ammock. Here’s the difference, you can acknowledge that gorgeous genetically gifted girl who has just flounced into your social media feed. Or perhaps she training next to you at the gym? Hell, she’s probably training next to your ex! She might be anywhere.
My point? There is zero value filtering in every little quality that chick has. Magnifying them. Comparing them to your faults. Imagining the charmed life she must lead. Even as I say this it sounds equally ridiculous and also familiar.
B) BE BRUTAL With Your Focus. Your Filters.
This is where you turn the tables on your filters. As I covered way back in show number one on focus, each moment 3 million bits of information hits your 5 senses. To cope you filter them down to 134 bits and then a further 7 chunks of info.
What you filter in and filter out is based on your unique experiences, values and beliefs… or more so how you choose to interpret your unique experiences, values and beliefs.
Beyond that, you might filter in and filter out by way generalizations, deletions and distortions. For example:
Generalizations such as,
“Everyone here is thinner and fitter than me” and “I always hate cardio” and “All healthy food is disgusting”
Deletions such as,
“I never sleep well enough to get up early” and “There are no good options on this menu so I might as well have the burger”
Distortions such as,
“The fact that I fell off the wagon last night means I’m destined to fail as I’m just the type of person who can’t handle consistency”
Now if you can’t relate to these exact examples they might sound pretty far fetched? On analysis your own generalizations, deletions and distortions – the filters you apply to the MASS of information that hits your 5 senses every moment – are often just as far fetched.
The goal? Filter into your mind as much of the good and filter out as much of the bad as possible. Catch yourself at the point when that little little reminder “this isn’t going to end well” flashes through your mind… and listen! Even go a step beyond to:
Generalize the positive,
“I always feel amazing after a workout”
Delete the negative,
“It’s never been an issue ordering a healthy plant based meal out”
Distort to your advantage,
“Meal prep on a Sunday guarantees my whole eating week runs smoothly” and “I will do whatever it takes to create and keep a fit, strong, healthy body I love.”
C) CARE Most About Feeling Good Long Term. Rather Than Pursuing The Quick Hit Now.
In observing my clients often and myself especially this past week it puzzles and frustrates me how readily we consciously choose the easy quick hit now over the option that’ll allow us to feel better long term.
This final step is about taking responsibility for the way your future is going to look and feel.
It’ll play out – to a significant degree – as a reflection of the information you allow into your mind today. That information, either quality or crap-o-la leads to thoughts, either quality or crap-o-la. Those thoughts, lead to actions either quality or crap-o-la. Those actions, either quality or crap-o-la lead to habits.
If really is your responsibility (and mine!) to give ourselves every chance to create great habits based on high value, quality, positive information rather than the reverse.
Another way to look at it is to always do something to make your future self happy.
Or even (and this resonates more strongly with me), do something to make your future self proud.
In fact that is a perfect place to get actionable today. What is ONE thing you can do today to make your future self proud?
If you’d like a little inspiration I have 6 examples to share so far as YOU Are In Control Of What You Filter Into Your Mind.
It’s been a while since I’ve got my acronym on (and I’m partial to an acronym!) so here goes… let’s see F.I.L.T.E.R. as:
F.OCUS: on filtering in the positive information and letting it stick. Equally, let that negative information slip on by. As cricket lovers might say “let it go through to the keeper.” Or even, imagine you’ve got a teflon coat and that negative rubbish is just slipping straight off you.
I.NVENT: a positive way to interpret your pesky automatic negative thoughts. Perhaps a learning? A warning? A cue to take action?
L.ET GO OF: the habit to compare the blooper reel (even the reality) of your life with the highlight reel (or social media feed) of someone else life.
T.OLERATE: the bare minimum of victim orientated “poor me” thought. It’ll only attract more poor quality information into your mind. Evidence to support the debilitating belief that “this always happens to me.” I think Tony Robbins aims for 5 minutes. Acknowledge it and then switch into solution mode.
E.LIMINATE: those potent spiral on effect habits that you know are not working to your benefit. So that might be the habit of jumping on social media whenever you turn on your computer. Or, on your phone in a que… it’ll expose you to poor quality information and the highlight reels of other peoples lives and every time you do it reinforces the habit of succumbing to a quick Un-fix now rather than the action that’ll make you feel good longer term. All in one unsatisfying, mindless, scrolling session.
R.EFRAME: the negative self talk that you’ve (up until now) accepted from yourself yet hopefully would not tolerate from anyone else.
This last one, REFRAME the negative self talk is a win for me so far as taking control of what I filter into my mind in recent years. I’ve made massive progress. My big to work on is, ELIMINATE those potent spiral on effect habits that you know are not working to your benefit. And Yes, in relation to social media.
Over to YOU: What is ONE thing you can do today to make your future self proud?
If you liked, YOU Are In Control Of What You Filter Into Your Mind you’ll also like: Confirmation Bias
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.