How to change any thought and start thinking on purpose
April 6, 2023
Episode #96: How to change any thought and start thinking on purpose
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About the Episode:
You are what you think.
Neuroscience tells us, your thoughts and perceptions are what create your reality.
So it makes sense to start thinking your thoughts on purpose.
In this episode, you'll learn how you form your thoughts, and how to change any thoughts you have, so you can start creating the results you want.
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The Empowered Brain
About the Podcast
This podcast is for all women, those that identify as leaders and those that don't, yet. You'll learn how to let go of guilt and self-doubt so you can show up with confidence everywhere you go. No more questioning if your idea is good enough to share, if it's worth it to speak up, or if you're a good enough leader. All that self-critical B.S. stops now. Listen in as masterful educator and Harvard grad physician, Dr. Vanessa Calderón, teaches you how to let go of the things standing in the way of your success as a leader. Get ready, this podcast will accelerate your personal and professional growth.
Dr. Vanessa Calderón, MD, MPP has over 20 years of leadership experience. She is a Harvard grad, ER physician, Life and Leadership coach, and a mother of 2. She's a first generation Latina and is dedicated to uplifting her community. She's the founder of the Latina Leadership Accelerator, where she uses education and coaching to support the personal and professional development of women at all stages of their lives and careers.
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Full Episode Transcript:
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97. How to change any thought and start thinking on purpose
Welcome to the Empowered Brain, the only podcast using science, psychology, and coaching to help you rewire your brain and create a life you love with your host, Dr. Vanessa Calderon, a Harvard grad physician, master coach, and mother of two.
Hello, sweet friends. Welcome back to the podcast. I am so excited to welcome you here today, where we are talking today about how to change your thoughts and why that matters. So you can start thinking on purpose and creating purposeful results in your life.
Okay, before I begin, I want to answer a few questions because I have someone that reached out to me on social media, who says she's been listening to my podcast for months. And she was asking me some questions about the journey, my program, and I was shocked that she didn't know the answers. So I thought, wow if this person doesn't know the answers to these questions, I imagine there are so many listeners who also don't know. So I'm just going to answer the questions for everybody. Question number one, what is the journey?
Listen, the journey is my coaching program for professionals in all areas of life physicians, nurses, engineers, teachers, and lawyers, who want better results in their life. So the purpose of the program is to help you create better results in your life. What is the program, the program has a combination of a few different things. There are online modules that you can watch and rewatch on your own time. Now, this isn't just some digital course that you purchase, like maybe other courses that you've purchased. This is a transformative process that will change you why because it gets to the core of why you do the things you do.
We are literally retraining your brain with the most up-to-date neuroscience that exists in contemporary neuroscience and cognitive psychology to rewire your brain to make it more effective and intentional. So that you are living your life on purpose instead of on default, you will become your most effective and most empowered version of yourself. The people that have done my program tell me that they are so much more compassionate, that they so much more productive, that they are so much more effective, that they're able now to be so much more present with their families and turn off their work brain where they're not thinking about work all of the time, where they're no longer stressed, where they stop procrastinating, where they're able to enjoy their success right now, instead of having sort of that uneasy feeling and always chasing that next goal.
I have people that have done my program that has been CEOs of large organizations and firms who are managing relationships better. The program is awesome. And it works. Why because coaching 100% works. It's evidence-based. Everything I teach in the program is backed by science. And I do it in a way where it's simple, it's easy to understand, and you're able to apply everything you are learning to your own life. And guess what? It's lifetime access, you join you watch the modules, and you can show up for coaching again and again and again, and get everything you need. We also do monthly master classes. So every month I will bring in a new topic that's not in the core curriculum, but a new topic that I know my people need. For example, we did an entire course on negotiations, how to negotiate how to prepare for negotiations, and how to get what it is that you deserve in a negotiation. We talked all about relationships. And so through how we will bring in the monthly masterclass, I lead them sometimes I bring in experts to lead them and we get you the results that it is that you want in life.
So if this is you and you know that this is something you want to do, I highly encourage you to check it out. Vanessacalderon.com/join. I have people in there who are looking for new promotions in life and making decisions about changing jobs or staying where they are. I help people create clarity help them stop procrastinating, and help them get over impostor syndrome. So that's not getting in their way anymore. The program is fantastic. I love it. It's one of my favorite places to go. I just have such high regard for everything we've created in there. And everyone we are helping and I highly encourage you to come to join our community because it is one of the best communities out there. There are people in there that are compassionate and caring and so supportive and will cheer you on and they will care about your success just As much as you do, okay, that is my schpeel of the journey, for those of you listening that had those same questions as that person that was reaching out to me.
All right, so what are we talking about? Today, I am a little fired up, because I just launched this huge coaching program for this organization. And I am excited, we had the kickoff today, and I see how excited the people are that are in there, and I know the results they're gonna get because again, this stuff works. And I just can't wait. I can't wait for them to start experiencing all that good stuff in their life. So I'm super fired up. All right, we are talking about thoughts today. Why? Because our thoughts create our world, our thoughts create our world. We know from contemporary neuroscience, that our world is created by the perceptions that we have that two people will see the same exact thing and interpret it differently. Because our thoughts create our world, our perceptions create our thoughts. And our thoughts are informed by so many different things, by our past experiences, our core memories, and by the information, we've gathered as we've aged and grown. So how we've been socialized, from what we see on TV, from the books that we've read, from our parents, or other authoritative figures, from religion, if you're religious, from political views, if you are political, and so many other things, which means two people can have wildly different interpretations of the same thing that they see.
Now, this matters, because as you know, your thoughts will always create your results in life. I'm going to go back to the basics here and just break down the cognitive thought model again. whatever circumstance you see in your life, again, a circumstance or a fact will cause you to think a thought that thought is going to cause you to feel something. And now you're feeling can either propel you forward, or it can paralyze you and keep you stuck. And depending on that feeling, it's going to drive you to take action, those actions ultimately create your results in life. Now, the majority of humans out there over 90% are not examining the way they think we don't just go around thinking about our thoughts. We're not some like metacognition, you know, superhumans, the majority of us don't do that. And that's because our brains are not designed to do that.
Our brains are essentially designed to do two things. Our brains are designed to keep us alive and to do that as efficiently as possible. So keep us alive, and do it as fast as possible with expending as little as much energy as possible. And if we always had to think about what we were thinking, it would take way too much energy. So what we want to do instead is we want to start thinking thoughts on purpose. Because since the majority of human beings are just going about their lives, doing what they're doing, without examining the way they're thinking, what they're essentially doing is living on default. They're just going about their days, not really examining why they're doing the things they're doing. And they're creating results sort of on default. What's available to you, and really to everybody is to do something different. To do something different. Examine your thoughts, and start thinking thoughts on purpose. Because when you create purposeful thoughts, you will create purposeful feelings, and you will start feeling on purpose, which means you take purposeful actions, and create purposeful results in your life, which is what we all want. We all want to live our lives by intention, creating purposeful results in our life, instead of living our life by default.
Okay, so how do we create purposeful thoughts? So the best way to start creating awareness of what we're thinking now, by getting clear on our unintentional thinking, or unintentional thoughts, the best way to do this is by start looking around at your results in life, at your unintentional results in life now, an unintentional result is something you have in your life, that you're not super happy with that you sort of want to change. So if I were to ask you, what area in your life would you love to improve? How would you answer for some people it's health or weight, maybe it's sleeping, maybe it's a relationship, a personal relationship? Maybe it's you know, meditate anymore, whatever it is in your life. Start by looking at that result. Okay, and then what you do is you work backward to find out all of those unintentional thoughts that are creating that unintentional result. Now, here's the tricky thing. If you are an adult, and you're listening to this, which I'm pretty sure all of you are, you have decided that your unintentional thoughts are facts, that that's just who you are that that is your identity. For example, you might just assume I'm just a procrastinator, or I'm just a mess, I'll never have that together. Or I'm just really bad at math, or I'm horrible at relationships. And you say those things as if they're true, but those things are thoughts, and they're just thoughts that you've been thinking a lot. You've been practicing a lot. So you've hardwired them into your brain.
And now you're getting results based on those thoughts. That's right, none of those thoughts are true. All of those things are just thoughts that have been created in your brain. Maybe somebody wants to tell you that you're bad at math. Maybe somebody wants to comment that you're a really big mess. And now it's really hard for you to stay organized. So I want you to start looking at those results in your life and start seeing where am I not getting the results that I want. And what we're going to do right now is I'm going to teach you how to work backward and create an intentional thought. Now, again, two of the most common I hear are procrastination, and health outcomes like wait, I'm going to choose procrastination, just because now if you are someone that struggles with finishing a project or delaying something, and you've decided that you've given yourself that identity, I'm just a procrastinator, what we are going to do is we are going to challenge that.
So I want you to just you do this for yourself whatever results in your life, I want you to work backward right now look at that result, and say, what thoughts are causing me to create this result in life? If it's a relationship, ask yourself, What am I thinking that's causing me to have these relationships, and better relationships, relationships suck, I'm just not good at them. Bad, I'm a bad communicator, whatever it is, now we're going to use procrastination again. So what I want to do is I want to work backward here.
So if you have a thought, I'm just really bad. I'm just a procrastinator. I had a student of mine the other day told me I'm just a procrastinator. This is what she said, I know, I'm gonna get this project done. But I'm just a procrastinator, so it's gonna take me a really long time. And it was fascinating to hear her say that she was reporting it like it's just a fact. But again, it's a thought. So here's what I want to ask you. Is that really true? And I want you to ask yourself, Is this really true? Where in my life, can I find evidence of the contrary, where in my life have I not procrastinated? Where in my life I've had been great at relationships, where in my life, I'm actually really self-disciplined? And then as you do that, what you want to do is say, Oh, look, I have evidence of the contrary, which must mean this isn't true. Because the very first thing your brain needs, is to disprove the thought.
Now, just proving gods is really uncomfortable. Because I want you to imagine your brain and the connections, your neural connections, neurons are the cells in your brain. Now the connections of those neurons, when you've been practicing the thought, for a long time, those connections get so hardwired, that it's like a superhighway. And so your brain is just like, Yep, that's true. That's, that's a fact. I'm a procrastinator. And when you start breaking that truth, breaking that by showing evidence that it's not true, your brain was like, Wait for a second, if that's not true, what else isn't true, and it's really uncomfortable. So in the beginning, what you're going to feel is a little discomfort. And that is neuroplasticity. My friends. Neuroplasticity is a fancy word to mean your brain is plastic, and it will shift and it will shape and it will mold for the rest of your life based on what you experience. So the good news is that your brain is malleable. And you can keep changing it to create the results you want in life. You don't have to stay stuck with the life with the result you have now that you're not happy with. Okay, so you disprove it by finding evidence to the contrary. And then you want to create a thought that serves you so that that initial thought that's what we call an unintentional thought. an unintentional thought is a thought you've been thinking that's giving you an unintentional result in life, a result that's not serving you. What you want to do instead is think a thought On purpose.
Okay, so to think a thought on purpose, you've got to say, now what thought do I believe here? Because if you're a procrastinator, my question for you is, are you really a procrastinator? Or are you just afraid to start? Or are you just afraid to start, because most people that procrastinate, are afraid of starting for some reason, they're afraid of starting because they're afraid to do it wrong? They're afraid of starting because they don't want to mess up. They're afraid of starting because they don't know how. And so what they do, is they just procrastinate. Or they've developed another identity. Like, I just delay everything. I always delay things. Is that really true? Do you always delay things? So I want you to look, and I want you to see what's that butter. And now I'm going to have you create a thought that you believe.
So just follow this procrastination example a little bit further. And an intentional thought, for example, would be I'm not a procrastinator. And here's the thought, even though I'm scared, I'm going to start anyway. Because maybe you procrastinate because you're just afraid to start. So the thought you want to think instead is, even though I'm scared, I'm going to start anyway. And when you think that I want to ask you like, how does that feel in your body? Because if you think a thought, a new thought, and it feels really uncomfortable in your body, then that's the thought you want to start practicing. Because the reason it feels uncomfortable is that you can believe it, your body's starting to believe it. Again, this is neuroplasticity. And the more you say it to yourself, and the more you practice, the more hardwired those neurons get your brain because, in the beginning, they're not hardwired at all. So it takes a lot of practice to keep saying this thought over and over again. Because in the beginning, that other thought I'm just a procrastinator, that is your speed superhighway super hardwired, it's well paved, it's a superhighway. And this new thought is kind of like a dirt road. But in order for this dirt road, to get hardwired, you need to invest in it, you need to invest in it.
The more you invest in it, the more paved it will get, the more beautiful it will get, and the more easy it will get. And eventually, it will become your superhighway. It will become your default thought which is what you want. Because the more that you create default thoughts that are intentional. Like even though I'm scared, I'm gonna go for it anyway, that is now going once you practice that for a few weeks, maybe just like 10 days, that will now become your new subconscious thought. Even though I'm scared, I'm gonna go for it anyway. And now you're no longer a procrastinator, you're someone who is so brave, who is so courageous. Who does things even though they're scared? Do you see what I'm saying here, which is what you want? Because when you start doing things, even though you're scared, you get more stuff done, you stop wasting time you stop procrastinating, and you create results on purpose, and intentionally. So that's what you want to do.
Now the opposite of I'm just a procrastinator is I'm not a procrastinator. And if that's what you're trying to replace that first thought with that might not work. And the reason why you may not believe it yet. And you want to choose the thought you believe even just a little bit. Because if it's a thought you don't believe your brain won't expend any energy at all. And the way you know the difference is you say that thought out loud. And then you wait to see if you feel anything in your body. If you don't feel anything in your body, then you know, you probably don't believe it at all. You want to feel a little discomfort. That discomfort is you getting ready to experience courage as you think a new thought. And again, when you think of new thoughts, you create the feelings that you want, which drives you to take actions that you want, which creates the result or results on purpose. Now here are a few things to look out for. First of all, when do you practice a new thought, when you are first learning a new thought? You want to practice it all the time. So I will put the thought on a Post-it note and put it on my laptop. I will put it on my phone, I use an app called Sync. I think there's a free version and then you can pay for like a paid subscription. But the free version is probably fine. It's called Think Up.
You can go in there and put that thought and you record your voice saying that thought and then I just schedule it to deem me and I listened to the thought once or twice a day. I listened to it every night before I go to bed because that's the thought I want to practice and I will see it around me all the time. And then I will say out loud to myself that even though I'm scared I'm going to do it anyway. And eventually, it just becomes who I am. I'm someone who does things, even though I'm scared. And that is such a powerful thought way better than I'm just a procrastinator, as you can imagine. Okay, so what to look out for?
Number one, it's not easy to remember to practice the thought you might not want to do it, you might think it's silly. Listen, this stuff seems so simple. But the fact is that it is so effective, and it works, it is effective, and it works. So don't take my word for it, go out and try it for yourself, and you will see the difference. Now, the second thing is that other thought that you're working through the, I'm just a procrastinator thought that's gonna keep coming up for you, it's gonna keep showing up because you've been practicing it forever. however old you are, you know, times that by maybe three, like you've probably been practicing this for 10 20 30 years, which means it's a superhighway in your brain, and it's going to keep showing up. And when it does, you get to choose what you do with it.
So this is what I recommend, I recommend that when your old thought comes up, you just notice it and say, I noticed that that old thought is coming up. That's it, you notice it, because when you can say I notice, what you're doing is you're separating that thought from your identity, it is no longer who you are, it is just a thought floating in the air, you notice it, and it goes away, you take away the power of the thought, that that is no longer who you are and how you identify. And that my friend is a super powerful practice. Alright, so you identify the thought, you know, you notice that it's there, and you let it go and just know it's gonna keep showing up.
It's like those apps that come pre-programmed on your phone that you can't get rid of, but you hate and so you kind of move them to other parts of your phone. And sometimes when you're scrolling, that app shows up again. So what do you do, you don't create a lot of drama about it, you just keep swiping. And that's what you're going to do. When that old thought comes up, you don't create drama around it, you just notice it, and you will let it go. Alright, so you practice the new thought practice it all the time. And when the old thought comes up, you notice it and you let it go. I would say it takes about two to three weeks to create this thought when you practice it regularly. So again, I practice the new thought about three times a day, and I put it around me. And I only change one thought at a time. So if you're doing this in the beginning, I'd recommend only choosing one thought at a time just so you can get used to it. When I first started, you know old school Vanessa super perfectionist high achiever, and like, oh, let's change all these thoughts. But I will tell you that it becomes a little bit more complicated.
So just start with one thought at a time, and notice that it's going to work for you. And then after that, you can choose another thumb. So it takes about I'd say do it for about 14 days or so. And you will notice a huge difference by about day 10 It will become routine for you that you will just start noticing that this is who you are. And it is so powerful. All right, my friends. I hope you enjoyed this episode. This is huge, simple and so effective. This is one of the most effective tools that you can use to start creating results on purpose. And again, if you want help doing this, I invite you to join us on the journey. VanessaCalderonmd.com/join. If you're enjoying what you are listening to here, I would really love it, I would really appreciate it. If you were to rate this podcast as soon as it's over, go over and rate it and drop us a review. It really really helps other people that are looking for this kind of stuff, this kind of information. It's really helpful. So rate the podcast and review it and I will see you next week.
Hey, sweet friends, if you love what you're learning, then you've got to join us on the journey. It's my all-inclusive program and the best community out there giving you the education you never knew you needed to help you create a life you love. Join us at www.VanessaCalderonmd.com/join. I'll see you there.