here's why many of your thoughts are harmful

words by Brian Thompson, photo by Jennifer Picard Photography.

i often talk about how people should always question their minds. the reason being, your thoughts are constantly trying to convince you of things that are false, fabricated or untrue.

if you’d like to see proof of how your thoughts are never to be trusted, all you need to do is step on a treadmill, sit on an exercise bike, go to a yoga class, or hit the gym to lift some weights.

once you begin your workout it won’t be long before your thoughts soon start to complain and say, “i simply can’t carry on any longer — i’m done — i’ve got nothing left to give — i can’t last another second!”

but if you ignore these thoughts and grit your teeth, breathe deeply, and muster the willpower to just put your head down and press on, you’ll see that, in fact... you can continue. you prove to yourself that you can run another minute, or five, or ten, or more. you realize you can hold that stretch for one more second, then another, then thirty more. you see that you can indeed lift one more rep, then three — all despite your mind telling you it was impossible.

this little experiment (which many successful people put to the test daily) offers a person direct, hands-on proof that not only do your thoughts betray you, they are often against your greater good. your thoughts do not want you to push past your place of comfort — they want you to always take the easy and safe way, the one with the least resistance.

the only way personal progress can be made is by pushing beyond the static noise from our minds, not only in physical activities, but also in developing every talent, knowledge, creative endeavour or skill. only by ignoring your limiting (and often pathetic) thoughts, will you be able to push past your doubts and go beyond where you ever thought you could possibly go.

by enforcing your strength of will over your uncertainty, your doubt, and your fear-filled thoughts; you defeat them — allowing you to stretch past your current limitations and grow.

now transpose this understanding of the nature of your mind into the rest of your day-to-day life — what do you see? nothing but fabricated stories full of mistruths, gross exaggerations, misdirected assumptions, procrastination, doubt, and full blown lies.

so when your thoughts tell you you’re no good — you’ll know it’s hogwash.

when your mind tells you you'll never succeed — you’ll know it’s a bunch of bull.

when your thoughts want to trick you into reading something subversive into someone’s words — you’ll know it’s nothing but a fabricated conspiracy story, coming from a place of overly defensive worry and hurt.

and when your mind tempts you into second-guessing the validity of your dream — you’ll know it’s your ego’s last-ditch desperate attempt to play-it-safe and not venture to where it’s never gone before.

armed with this knowledge, you become all-powerful — you can do anything you put your mind to.

this is exactly how i quit smoking, without any assistance other than denying the cravings from my mind that said, “i need it now”, which i knew was a bloody, hurtful lie. this is how i lost weight. this is how i quit drinking. this is how i became a vegan. this is how i pursued a new dream. this is how i made all of the changes in my life that saved me from my former helpless self.

this is how you fight inner resistance — you ignore it and press on. if i always listened to my mind, i’d never have been able to grow and move beyond my limitations.

your thoughts aren’t to be trusted — this isn’t madness however, it's simply what it means to be human.

witness your thoughts and acknowledge them for the silly opinions they are, nothing more — they do not reflect truth.

when you’re mindful, you are in complete control; no longer an unwilling passenger who just watches life pass you by — instead you whole-heartedly live it.