What are you spinning about?
Where does your mind land when you’re not busy with work or other life activities?
What happens in the silence?
Most of us have a group of worries and scenarios that play constantly in the background. When we have down time, they become front and center… and so we engage with them.
But is it USEFUL?
The answer- NO. Never.
That auto-pilot stack of anxiety-inducing thought patterns does not serve you, the person you want to be, or the future you want to create.
It’s also optional.
See, it’s just a habit.
One that was formed unintentionally over time.
It’s formation was so subtle that you may not even realize you aren’t required to give it your attention, let alone know that you can banish these useless thought habits once and for all.
To ever create a life and career of joy and fulfillment, this is work you must do.
There’s no fast way around it, but you can do it! We can start together in the Strategic Life and Job Analysis Workshop… 4 hours where you’ll define what you want, and discover what’s been keeping you from having it all along.
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This transcript is auto-generated and may contain typos. The one question that can help you quickly interrupt a thought pattern so you can change your perspective and move forward. That's what we're talking about in episode 94. I'm Dr. Cari Wise and this is the Joyful DVM Podcast. Hello my friends. Welcome to episode 94. Today we're gonna be taking a look at those sneaky little habit thought processes that pop up whenever you have a moment of silence. They're the kinds of things that for many of us who wake up in the middle of the night and our brain just turns on, it's those stories that tend to repeat on autopilot. So you and I all have in the background of our subconscious movies that play, for lack of a better word, they are thought patterns that have been created over time and they're constantly back there on a loop. And when we're engaged day in and day out in our lives at work with our families doing the things that we need to do with daily living, when we're busy, if you will, those thought loops are quieter. That running circuit isn't front and center, but when we slow down for many of us, it becomes front and center. It pops right up in front. It becomes the thing that we focus on. And it's not that you're intentionally choosing to focus on it. So let's just be really clear about that. The things that you're worrying about, the things that you dread, the things that are anxiety inducing, whatever those thought processes are that seem like you just can't stop focusing on it, I want you to know that that's not your fault. That is absolutely just a function of your brain and it's something that has been taught to your brain even though you didn't intentionally teach it that. So one of the quickest ways that you can identify these thought habits, if you will, they're patterns, they're loops, but they really are. Habits is when they come front and center. When you find yourself looping, when your mind just won't shut off, that's the way that most of us describe this. It just wouldn't, will not shut off. Sometimes it's you wake up in the middle of the night and here we go with the whole list of the things, whatever they may be. The thing you wanna ask yourself in those moments is, is it useful? So whatever the thought pattern is, whatever you're thinking about, whatever your mind is offering you, is it useful? That question can really help you switch the entire process and move it into another direction. Now many of us, when we are caught in these habit loops that aren't serving us, that aren't moving us forward, we identify or we connect the thoughts with actions in our lives. So with circumstances, quite honestly. So with things that are going on and work is a really common common thing. So a lot of us worry about work or we're running scenarios about work or about any, you know, job, career, future in our our minds and what we, the conclusions that our mind is drawing. Cuz remember, the mind loves binary, black and white, this and that, right and wrong. So it's drawing conclusions about the things that need to change in your external reality in order for you to stop feeling the way that you do and thus stop looping on the thoughts that you're looping on. So it keeps offering it to you, it keeps coming up. These thoughts keep coming up to you kind of as a way to ignite action if you will. It's a sneaky little thing that's happening because it's convincing you as it continues to offer you these belief systems around what's going on. So maybe it's a crummy coworker or a bad job or you're not getting paid enough or maybe it's something to do with where you live and it needs some repairs. And so that comes up and you worry about that and just keep playing over the scenarios. The what ifs. Cuz that's what happens, right? So let's just be really clear what I'm talking about here. Something pops up and especially when it's anchored in worrying, most of the time it is the worry then leads to a what if. So it's a, you know, what if something happens at work or with a coworker or because of something that happened, what if then something negative happens to me? What if we don't get this thing repaired at the home and then these things happen? What if I don't go home for the holidays and then you know, all these things, right? So the worries always then tend to lead us down these what if trails which just stacks on worry. Cuz the thing we need to remember about worry is that worry is never about the present. This is a really important worry is never about the present. Worry is in the future always. The things that we worry about are not happening today. The things that we worry about are things that we suspect we predict are going to happen in the future. And so we're trying to figure out with our mental mind, our mental capacity, what we can do in the present moment to assure that that thing that we are catastrophizing about does not come to be true. So it create, it's like sucks in all of your energy and it sucks in all of your, your focus when that habit loop jumps from the background to the forefront. And so as we start to notice that we're in that loop again, the way we interrupt it is we ask ourselves, is it useful? So is it useful right now in this moment for me to be on this thought pattern again for me to be worried about and predicting what's gonna happen next? Is that useful? And that answer to that is always going to be no, it really is always gonna be no, especially when we are looking at the the, the patterns, the loops that are the common ones, the ones that you're really familiar with at this point. And once we realize it's no, then we can ask ourselves a different question. That question is, is it something I can control? And this is where it gets really interesting because for most of us we think, we believe that there's something within the scenario that we're looping on that we can control. And sometimes there is, but most times there isn't. So if your, the thing that you loop on has anything to do with other people, you can't control that. If it has anything to do with a student loan balance or some other kind of debt that exists, you can't control that because today in this moment it is what it is. If it has to do with the job that you're in, you can't control that either because in this moment it is what it is but you can make new choices. And so this is where it gets really interesting because when it comes to to other people, that's a very black and white, like here's a binary for you, your brain will like this one. So when it comes to what other people are doing, the answer of can you control that, that's a no. Now outside of if you happen to be in a management or a leadership or an ownership role in where you work and that has to do with work, you might have influence there. But that's, that really is like something that we need to make sure that we compartmentalize into work function and we let the work procedures, policies, evaluation, process, all of that work and we utilize those things to then deal with whatever the other person is doing. So if it's in the workplace and it has to do with another person and you are in a role of leadership or management or ownership, you do have opportunity to influence the behavior of that person in the workplace as part of their job. That's a whole different conversation. I'm talking about just people in your life, they may be coworkers but if you're not in a management position or if they are above you, then can you control them? No, they may be friends, they may be family, they may be strangers. All of those you know people you don't even know. Can you control what people do? No. Is it useful then for you to spend your time focusing and worrying about and catastrophizing and what if on what they do? Absolutely no, not useful. Not useful at all. Now what about the where I was talking about debt. Do you, can you control it? Well you can't control it in this moment cuz in this moment it is what it is. But can you influence it? Can you do things to reduce it if you want to, the answer to that is yes, but this is a double edged sword here. So I wanna make sure that we look at this really closely because anything that you actually do have influence over, so like debt for example or things that need to get done around the house could be even even personal things like your, the status of your own health, those kinds of things you absolutely have influence over. Can you control them? Well you can't snap your fingers and change them in this moment. So we have to be really clear about that in this moment. They are what they are, but what they are six months from now, 12 months from now. Now there's where you have influence and this is where the brain really sometimes works against us because it starts to offer you a story that once you lose 50 pounds, once you pay off the debt, once you, you find a new job, then you can be happy, then you won't be worried. And my friends, I want to just cut to the chaser. That's not gonna be true. It's not gonna be true because it has you in this moment now trying to figure out with your mental capacities how to make a change so that you give yourself permission to feel better. You don't have to wait. What creates the way that you're feeling energetically and emotionally has nothing to do with the circumstances of your life. It has to do with your belief systems around the circumstances of your life. And this is where those old crumby, crummy habit thought patterns are really useless and they're really not your fault. We have to look at this. This is work we all have to do. What's happened is that over time we have all been taught things about the world. So we've been taught things about what makes people good people and bad people. What what is required for happiness about what is possible for the future and as we live our lives through all of these rules that we have been taught and it, it wasn't malicious. So let's just take a moment to to honor that. It was none of this was malicious, it's just what happened. Your brain gathered these little pieces of information and it put these things on autopilot for you. And so you're trying to live your life through the function of these rules that you've never even looked at, let alone identified and chosen for yourself. So these thought loops that pop up, the stuff that comes to the front of your mind in those quiet moments. And for those of you who really struggle with this, you know, you know here it comes again. Like you wake up in the middle of the night and you'll be like, and I'm done sleeping now because here it comes. And, and this was me for a long time so I totally get this, but there's a gift in this for you because it shows you the opportunity for you to do something different to change that. Cuz here's the great news, it's just a habit. Like any other habit, it was something you learned, it was something that you repeated on such a regular basis at a point in time when you didn't even realize what was happening. This is was a very unintentional habit that was created and so it's been on autopilot in your mind and that's why your mind goes to it. It's just easy for the mind to drop into that. It doesn't require a lot of energy because it's got its own little neural pathway. And as soon as everything in your external reality settles down, it doesn't require your immediate focus that drops in. And so like any other habit, what's wonderful about this is you have the ability to change it. You can't change it though until you identify it. So we can't change anything that we don't understand. So when we take a look and ask our, give ourselves the permission and start creating the habit of asking ourselves when we're looping is that useful, that automatically starts to disrupt the pattern. Then from there, remember question number two is, is this something that you control most of it? Most of it is gonna be that you can't, it's not something you control. So then we just want to redirect like if, if you can't control it, it does not require your focus if it's something that you influence. So that's where I gave you the examples of like your amount of debt or your body condition where you work, those kinds of things. So something you can influence, something where you personally can make some new decisions that will then create some different results for you. The next question you ask yourself from there is, what am I afraid of? Because if there is actually something that you can influence to create a different reality for yourself, there's something stopping you from doing that. So what are you believing? What are you afraid of? What is, what's holding you back in that area? That's something for you to explore for sure. But we also wanna keep in mind the if or the win and then that's, that goes right along with that. So making positive changes for ourselves to create what we want for our lives and our future, absolutely useful but not so useful. If we're doing it through the lens of when I attain whatever the thing is, then I will be happy, then I will be peaceful, then I will have joy because all of this, everything we've talked about is just a mental game. This is all just a mind game. And the game here to win is the one of controlling what you're thinking about, of stepping in and intentionally deciding for yourself of disrupting the habit loops which have been created throughout your lifetime unintentionally. But are there giving yourself the opportunity to recognize that these unintentional thought loops exist? I'm gonna find them and I'm gonna replace them with something that's useful for me. This is so important because the way that the brain works is what you focus on is what it, it brings into your conscious awareness. So the things that we pay attention to, literally wire in program what we notice, it's just the way the computer system if you will, within our brains work is the way the circuitry works. So you focus on something and then all of a sudden you start to see it in your reality. The problem is that most of us focus on bad stuff. Things that are that are going wrong, things that are catastrophes. And it's not intentionally this, it's absolutely not intentionally that we focus on the negative. We focus on the negative for a few reasons. Number one, every news and social media outlet out there that's trying to create viewership is going to show you something catastrophic because it taps in to your innate survival instincts and it gets your attention. It can interrupt your attention almost better than anything if it scares you. And so we as a society put that stuff front and center and so as that's what programs our consciousness, then we see more and more of it. Number two, we do have instincts. So we have survival instinct within us. And so there is a component of the human experience that involves always scanning your external reality for things that could be dangerous for you. This is really useful if you're about to step out in traffic or if an animal lunges at you like very useful in those moments because you will react before you're even aware. But 99.9% of the time it's alerting danger. You're about to die at things that actually aren't even true. They're just thought processes. It's using your survival instinct on a thought process and a thought process will never kill you. So we have to be aware that that is happening. And then the third thing that is programming that is the environment in which you've grown up in and which you live. So there's a really well-intended way that we teach our children and our friends and our family and our loved ones, which is learn from my experience but learn from my experience is almost always packaged within a kind of a caveat which is learn from my negative experience, don't do this thing or this bad thing's going to happen to you. And so what that has taught us over time is a whole list of things that we must avoid or that we must rise above or be better than in order for us to be happy and is what even though it was well intended, it's total nonsense because your journey is your journey and their journey was their journey. And we have to learn and grow through our own actions and experiences. That's part of the deal. Now there are some times when yes, it's, it's very useful like learn from my experience, they'll step out in traffic, You're gonna get hit by a bus, okay, maybe we'll use that one. But you know, that one's kind of also universally accepted, like don't step out in traffic. It's kind of what we learn about traffic in general. So it's, it's kind of a well-intended things like that that have gotten added on to other things like don't say that or somebody's gonna have their feelings hurt, don't do that or they're going to be angry with you. That's the kind of stuff that's not useful. We have no way of predicting how anybody's going to react where, where emotions come from or not from in the actions of other people. And that's an entirely separate conversation that comes right in back into what is useful, what rules are you living by, what are you believing? There comes a point in every life that you have to decide these things for yourself and you have to find the, the crumms, the old crummy thought patterns to begin with because they're there. They're there for every single one of us. We have a whole collection of habit thinking of thought loops of things that we believe that we have simply adopted throughout our human life. It's not a problem, it was unintentional. It likely doesn't serve us. So even though it's there, it doesn't have to stay there. That's the most important thing for us to recognize. And as we get stuck in loops, that is a really big indicator that you just have a really great opportunity in front of you to adjust your belief system to serve you better. And when I say serve you better, some of you're gonna repel with that. You're gonna feel like that feels selfish and I want you to know no, when I say serve you better, I mean to be get you more aligned in who you actually are, what you're here to do, who you're here to be, the goals for your life are yours. The person you're supposed to be is already inside of you. The the purpose of your life is your purpose. It's not one you have to figure out. It's not one that somebody tells you you. All of these things get blocked when we try to live within a inside a box inside of the rules of what we've been taught about the world. And it's our efforts to try to conform and live up to these expectations that we didn't choose for ourselves that lead us into these looping anxiety spells of where we just keep trying with our mental mind to figure out what can we do to change how we feel And it's never going to work because how we feel, that's a big word that encompasses a couple of things. But how we feel is never created by what we do, how we feel. We're talking about emotion, the emotional part of feelings, how to do with what we believe. And as you choose that for yourself, as you break the habit cycle, then you start to have expansion, you start to have more peace, you start to have more joy, you start to experience more possibility. And as you live in that new area, that new frequency if you will, you rewire what you focus on. Because as you intentionally shift your focus away from the negative, from the scary, from the catastrophic, which is not, most of it, you can't control and none of it's useful. When you shift it away, you actually rewire that human brain to start to show you more of actually what you want. More peace, more joy, more happiness, you know, more abundance, better health, life, work, balance, whatever the things are. Where we're trapped, many of us is that because we tend to stay so busy in our culture, we don't take the time to consider how our reality is created. What we create in our reality for ourselves is simply the reflection of our thoughts. I know that's a really big statement, but it's true. And it's because of the way that, like we already talked about, the mind gets programmed by what we focus on and it brings more of that into our reality. So if we continue to focus on the negative, if we continue to buy into belief systems that I'm never gonna make enough money, I'm never gonna have a job I enjoy, I'm never gonna lose the weight, I'm never gonna be outta debt, then guess what happens? The emotions you create from that habit thinking create an emotional bundle or a net emotional state is the way that I like to talk to talk about it. That then drives actions to keep reinforcing that truth. Those actions are not gonna have you dropping pounds, eating better, paying off debt, seeking another job, any of that stuff. And inside of that there's also fear. So even if you recognize what you need to do and this, pay attention to this cuz this is where a lot of us get stuck, even when you recognize in the moment what you need to do. So let's just use the like weight and and money. So let's say that you want to lose 50 pounds or let's say that you want to pay off $50,000 worth of debt. You, you see what you want, you've got a belief system, I'm never gonna be able to lose the weight, I'm never gonna be able to pay off the debt. So that is there, but you, that's hanging out there. But you, you also simultaneously see if you put exit up $50 a month toward debt, the debt will come down. If you change what you eat and you add an act exercise, you have a relatively confident belief that you could start to lose some weight. So you, you kind of know the actions that you need to take, you know those actions because somebody else has done that before you and gotten the results that you want. So you're learning from their experience in a positive way that in that way, and you've got an example, you're learning from their example I think is a better way to look at that. So you think you know the actions that you need to take to do that, but you're trying to take those actions without cleaning up the belief system that created the situation in the first place. So you're pushing back against your own thought processes, which is your brain, which is your internal wiring, which is the most powerful part of your entire being. You're pushing back against that, trying to create a different reality, a different result. And that's why it doesn't work. Or if it works, it isn't sustainable because you haven't energetically aligned with it yet. So before we ever take the actions that are needed to create the results that we want, even when we think that we understand what the actions are, we have to not shortcut the thinking part. If we don't change in advance what we believe about those different situations, we will not take sustainable action or create a sustainable outcome. So if I don't clean up what I believe about my ability to lose weight, I'm never gonna sustainably take the actions that I need to take to lose the weight and then to keep it off. If I don't change what I believe about my body, about, about what I, what I'm supposed to look like, about how what I look like influences my other opportunities in the world. So anybody who struggle with weight, you know exactly the kinds of things that pop up around that. Then if you don't change that first, it doesn't matter if you, you know, white knuckle yourself and force yourself, shame yourself into a bunch of actions. You might drop weight for a while, but it won't stay off. It's gonna come back because the weight is not the problem. The thinking is the problem. Cause the thinking created the weight in the first place. Same thing with debt. If you have a lot of debt and, and you've got a mindset around that, a belief system around that, that debt is bad, that you can't live your life, you can't enjoy your life until you, that debt is gone, that you can't spend money until it's gone. That that money that having debt is irresponsible. If your story around debt is any of that, putting money toward that debt, it's going to pay down the debt. But you're not gonna feel any better about any of it, even if you get to the point that it's all gone because you're still gonna be living in the shame and the fear and this tangled responsibility around money. It's so it's not gonna give you any kind of freedom financially. I would also say that you're gonna be less likely to aggressively pay down the debt if that's what you want. Like once you clean up your thinking about it, maybe you'd realize, oh, I don't even care about this. I don't mind making that payment every month, month, they can just stay there. I wanna use my money in a different way. That's totally fine. But if you're shaming yourself around all of that and you're believing that it's holding you back in your life, we've gotta clean that whole thought pattern up first so that when you do take actions and start to create different results, it actually keeps propelling you forward. Otherwise you're just gonna keep forcing yourself to make these payments because you're believing, you're believing, you're believing, you're believing that as soon as that debt's gone, then you're gonna be free. And my friends, I was gonna tell you, you're not gonna be free. You're gonna repeat the same cycle. It's gonna happen over and over again. So bottom line, I've kind of gone on a little longer than intended here, but bottom line is that when you get trapped in a thought loop, when you have a moment of quiet and the old, the fears, the worries, the anxiety, all that pops up, I want you to pay attention to what it's related to. What are you thinking about? What are you believing? And then I wanna ask you to ask yourself, is it useful if it's, and how would I know when would it be useful? Well, probably never in these scenarios, Never would it be useful. It could be useful if it's something that you can influence and you can make an adjustment for today. And you, you are aligned energetically with that change today. So lemme give you a very, I know I was doing a summary, but I think this is really important because if what you're worrying about is I need to get a new job, I need to get a new job, I need to get a new job. You, we could argue that you could influence that today. You could simply resign today. But if you don't clean up all the beliefs that you have about the current job and the influence of the current job on your wellbeing, you're gonna repeat the same thing in the next job. Trust me on this one, many of us have been job hoppers trying to find the place where we can find peace and happiness. But peace and happiness isn't in the job. When we are already struggling to find peace and happiness, the job simply becomes a reflection of our inability to create peace and happiness. It's because that's the way that our brain is wired. Remember to what I've talked about already about how that all works. Your consciousness is programmed by what you focus on. So we have to do that work first. So we all come to a point in our lives where we have to investigate all the old crums, the habit thoughts that come up and and recognize with compassion and curiosity. These are just habits. They're not habits that you created intentionally. They're not influences that were ever meant to be malicious. But at this point it is what it is. You have an entire set of rules that you're living your life by and we have to look at those rules. We have to look at those perspectives. You have a whole belief system that you don't question. A belief is a thought that you think so often that you don't even realize it's optional anymore. We have to look at all of that. And once we start to untangle all of that, and you start to insert in intentionally what you wanna believe, what you wanna do and the rules you wanna follow, then energetically and emotionally, everything shifts upward. From there, you begin to take new actions in your life to move forward. And when fear pops up and it will fear up, fear will pop up. Whenever you wanna do anything that's gonna have a high value impact in your life, you will feel fear. That is not a problem, that's not a problem. Problem do it anyway. This is what I call the puke on the shoes moments. When you recognize that you've got this anxiety and this fear, but this kind of, this underlying excitement right along with it, that's always an indicator that that's probably something really good for you. And so until we start intentionally investigating what we feel like energetically, what we feel like emotionally and what is going on in our brain, we're gonna have a hard time creating anything different for ourselves. But as soon as we start that process, just allow ourselves to become curious, then everything starts to move forward toward what we want. I know this sounds like a huge job. I know this sounds like a huge hill to climb and I totally get that. I've created a workshop, the Strategic Life and Job Analysis workshop over on Joyful dvm, and it's open to everybody. And we're gonna spend four hours going through different areas of our lives, identifying what it is that we want, what it is that we have, what, what's the gap in between, what's keeping us stuck where we are. So it's really the jumping off point for a lot for this exact work in a lot of different areas that workshop's coming workshop is coming up on the 13th of November. If you can't make it live, you can get the replay. So if you just jump over to joyful dvm.com/workshop, you can get signed up. The early bird registration expires on Monday. But we will continue to then accept regular registrations clear through the time that the workshop starts. So the workshop is the 13th, which is a Sunday from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM Central time. It's a great jumping off point for diving into all the things that I talked about today. I want you to just be aware of what your mind offers you, where is it taking you? And as it takes you on these mental journeys that are really familiar to you, I want you to make yourself like, notice that it's the habit and then ask yourself, is it useful? From there, you're gonna start to recognize all your opportunities to make some shifts that are gonna, mental shifts, that are gonna make some massive physical shifts in your reality as you follow through. All right, my friends, that's gonna wrap it up for today. Help see you in the workshop. Bye for now.