Ep 5: Change your life by changing your thoughts

The way that you think has more influence on your wellbeing and confidence than anything else. The thoughts you have about yourself, your job, & your relationships profoundly impact how you experience them and the results that you create within them.

For many of us, however, our thoughts just happen. And because they feel like the TRUTH, we don’t realize the agency we have to change them. 

In fact, when you learn to have an empowered relationship with your thinking, you can change your life.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What thoughts actually are and where they come from
  • How they create your current problems
  • How to use your thoughts to create what you want
  • A simple practice to create change


If you’re looking for support to create change in your life, sign up for a complimentary call at: heidijandel.com/call


Hello, my beautiful introvert friend. Welcome to episode number five of The Empowered Introvert Podcast. I am back at work today after a fabulous staycation last week where I gave myself permission to do as little as I felt like doing. I had no real schedule. I did a lot of reading and relaxing. I was also doing an Ayurvedic cleanse, so I really ate very simply, very helpfully, did a lot of yoga and meditation and journaling and wow, I feel brand new, I f my digestion feels reset. My emotions feel reset. I feel so much more grounded and empowered. So, I am thrilled to be here now in my cleansed version. In fact, the day that you listen to this will be my last day, which is amazing, and then I will be back into the world of normal eating. Today's topic is such an important one, changing your thoughts to change your life, and it really, really matters because. The way that you think has such a profound influence on your wellbeing, on your confidence, on your success, more than probably anything else. And also, most of us are at the whim of our thoughts, of our minds. There's the term, the monkey mind, the idea that we're just easily distracted and our minds go from one thing to the other. Of that, or we get really fixated on certain ideas of how the world works, of what we are capable of, of who we are, and which lead to suffering in the various forms that we as individual introverts suffer. So that might be self-doubt, loneliness, anxiety, overwhelm. Feeling isolated. All of those amazing things. So that's why it's so important to give your thinking attention because when you build the muscles of awareness, being aware of your thoughts as separate from you, detaching your identity from them, and able to redirect the way that you think your thoughts to. Thoughts that are going to change your experience, change your results in your life. You can, when you do this, you can make change in your life right now as your life is without changing anything outside of you. The change comes from your thinking. So we're gonna unpack this today. So in today's episode, we are going to define the thoughts. What they are and where they come from. Then we're gonna look at how they create your current problems and how you can use your thoughts to create what you want. The content in this episode can truly change your life. It has changed mine, it's changed my career trajectory, how I show up in relationships. It's been a lifesaver in helping me to manage self-doubt, anxiety and burnout, all of the human things. I apply this work on a daily basis in my own self-coaching practice. I've also worked with a lot of coaches along the way, which have helped me to create profound shifts like deciding to sell off my former business or most of it. And jump into the great abyss of an unknown career path where I had no idea what I was gonna do with myself. But by doing so and worship with coaches, I found my life's work. I found coaching, which is my life purpose, helping people like you, and I love it. So if you are looking for support on that level, you can schedule a complimentary call with me. To do so, you can visit my website at heidijandel.com/call and choose a time and date on the calendar. Fill out the form with just a few questions that help me know what is important to you and then you're good. You are in. Alright, let's get to it. Let us look at what the heck a thought is. But first, we've been talking a lot about the nervous system these past couple episodes, and so short of thinking, it happens where, yes, in the brain. So the brain is the controller, the master, the filter. The computer program that takes data, interprets it, and then spits more data out. And our nervous systems are the pathways that bring data into the brain and then out of the brain and within the brain, there are neurons. And I'm not gonna go too much into the science here. There's lots of information out there on this now. But there's neurons that are little pathways inside the brain. Little storage centers for memories and for the movement of thought quotes around thought. We don't have a firm idea of what exactly a thought is on a mechanical level. You know, we can say that it's an electrical impulse, and that right there is helpful. So thoughts are electric impulses happening. In your brain. There's no real value to them. One's not gold versus silver versus copper. They're all just the same things firing off. What is super important though, is that the, the neurons are grouped according to relationship, so when we have experiences that are repeated, we learn and. Our brain gives meaning to those experiences and it stores them. They're almost like books in a library. And so when we have similar experiences in the future or the present in the future, our brain turns to the library that it's already collected and chooses a book and decides that, Hey, this book is relevant to this. Experience that you're having right now. This doesn't mean that there's only one book or one story for the experience you're having now, but it's the one that's the most familiar and most accessible to your brain, so it's more likely to pull that out for you. In life coaching, we say that thoughts are sentences, they're words in your mind. Just like they're just electrical impulses. It's just words. They actually have no real value in and of themselves, yet we give tremendous value to our thoughts, to our stories. We take them as our truth. We have a thought that I am a shy introvert and so I can't have a podcast, and we take that as our truth, and so we don't create a podcast. But really that thought, it's just electrical impulses. It's just words in your brain. In yoga, I, I love, I, I love yoga philosophy because, It really, it fits all of the life coaching and personal growth stuff into like that is a small chapter in the larger library of yoga philosophy. There's so much there for us to help us have healthy, vibrant lives. But in terms of thoughts, yoga sees thoughts of Richie's. As fluctuations that in the mind that just arise and there are u useful thoughts that are the thoughts that are clear, that clearly observe something that bring in information and and on various levels. But there are also thoughts that create suffering. Which almost always come from a misinterpretation of the way that things are of, of you choosing a certain sentence or a certain book that creates suffering, that creates self-doubt, that creates a lack of safety thoughts, creates create many of our. Problems on a personal level and, and really on all levels, because we believe them so deeply, we connect with them as our truth. And it often feels like, or it seems like we're just describing the world the way it is, but actually we are having a certain thought about it that comes from one of our, our stories that we've had before. For example, if you're feeling stuck at work, you might find yourself placing blame on all kinds of things, on the quality of your relationships with your colleagues or your boss, with the amount of time you have in the day, the amount of work you have. With how you feel. You might feel exhausted, you might feel unseen. You might feel like you're not living up to your full potential, and that just feels like the truth of the world. And so the obvious solution is for you to change your job. However, yes, maybe changing your job might help with some things. The problem, the real problem is not at the level of your job. Because if you look at your thinking at your old job, the one that you're feeling stuck in, you're, what are you thinking? You are thinking, I am stuck. I have to be here. I don't want to be here. This is just the way my work is. There's nothing I can do about it. Those kinds of thoughts. Your brain will, it has them. That's your brain will see them as negative, right? Which will create a stress response. It will create overwhelm, exhaustion, defensiveness, and then you show up to work from that place, from feeling defensive or from feeling exhausted, and then, What you do, the actions that you take, how you work. Then create results that are not great and say you do so. You change your job and initially like you like it, things are going well. Look at your thoughts. What are the thoughts that you're having? I like it. This is going well. I made a good choice, right? Most important to notice here is how you place responsibility for your satisfaction in something outside of you, in your job, and in actuality, when we are unsatisfied. It's an amazing opportunity for us to take a step back and look at what we are doing to create this lack of satisfaction or this suffering. Because when you pull back the, the wrapper inside, there's a lot, oftentimes a lot of disempowered thinking that is running the show. It's that the monkey mind that's happening. And it's happening quite unconsciously. So when you take the time to really understand what you've been thinking and where that has come from, and then decide if this is what you wanna continue to think and believe about yourself and the world, then from that place you can choose, you can choose your thoughts, and you can choose your, your job. You can choose whatever it is that you want. So where do your thoughts even come from, those stories that you have in your brain? Um, like if you actually ask yourself like, how did this thought get into my brain? Where did it come from? Where did this belief come from? Does it look similar to other peoples that I have contact with to my. Culture, whether that is like being American, being Alaskan, being outdoorsy or something else. Your family, your friends, M, much of the thoughts that we have, we absorb from everyone around us. And these are thoughts. These thoughts include values. They include beliefs about us and what we are capable of. Beliefs about the way that work should be the way it shouldn't be, that overworking is normal, that it's not nice to say no, that you need to be productive, that taking time off for yourself is bad, that there's never enough money, there's never enough time. That this world is for introverts, or sorry, extroverts, and that introverts just hide and are quiet and are not as valuable. All of those are thoughts. All of those are just sentences, just stories that have no real intrinsic value or base. And also the brain has a certain way of functioning that affects the thoughts that you think. For example, a negativity bias. Our brain is designed to keep us safe, to keep us from getting eaten by wild animals or run over by a car, and so it is always looking for the problem. It's like if you took your hand and made a, what is this? It's like a, uh, I don't know. I wanna say like a periscope for your ha. Like a little telescope if you're a kid. So you could, um, like look through it Let's, through that circle that your thumb and your pointer make, and then you look out into the world. So you just see what is within that circle of your hand and you don't see everything else. Your brain is like that. And with the negativity bias, it's always looking for the the wrong for the problem. What is wrong? So as you're looking around, whether you're looking at your light at your work or your relationships, it's gonna have a tendency to over focus on the negativ. This creates fear. The, the brain is always trying to decide whether something is a threat or not. So the negativity bias, it creates fear and its various manifestations for you, it's the self-doubt, the low confidence, all of that. The brain also has confirmation bias, so it's looking for, Information to prove what already knows. It's more likely to accept and focus on information that makes sense to it already, right? That is familiar. That is comfortable. However, this is also a filter. It's also just that little telescope where there's so much, there's so much more out there to the big truth of things. That don't come through with confirmation bias. And also the brain likes to do things on repeat because it is familiar, because it is easier. It takes less energy to think something that you have thought before than it does to believe something that you have not believed before. This comes back to the, the neurons in the brain, in the little groups, right? What fires together, wires together, what already has a relationship tend to stay, stay, um, together. So if say making a, a recipe that is familiar to you, it feels very Yeezy. When you make a recipe that is new, it can feel hard, and if in the past you've done hard things and felt frustrated or made it mean that you're not good at cooking, then it's likely whenever you do a new recipe that is a little bit more complex, you're going to trigger those exact same thoughts and feelings. But it doesn't mean that those thoughts and feelings are the truth of things. It's just a pattern that you are familiar with, and most importantly, it has absolutely nothing to do with your capacity to cook to with your capacity to create that new recipe and make it delicious just because your brain thinks it's hard just because your brain is telling you that. You are not good at it. Doesn't mean that it's true, but your brain will try and keep you from doing the new recipe because it's hard, right? And it, and it does that by creating resistance, by creating, by bringing up those old stories, the self-doubt, the frustration. And so all you wanna do is get away from the the new recipe that's like, you wanna get away from that old job, right? But really what's happening is your brain is just telling you things, and you're feeling things and taking it as your absolute truth, which is normal. We all do it. No judgment. Zero shame. Zero shame, just. Awareness. Awareness is incredibly powerful. It is how you begin to change. So when you can see your thoughts and understand how, like, how this whole thing of thinking works, you can start to distance yourself detached from your thoughts. And see how, oh my gosh. Like whenever I try to do a new recipe, I get frustrated and then I don't wanna do it, and then, then I think I'm not a good cook. You can see that actually that is just a pattern and I can, I can change that. I can choose to change it because I want to, because I actually wanna be a better cook. I'm excited about that. It's worth it to me and not just is it worth it to me to become a better cook. But it's worth it to me to learn this process of, of not having my thoughts lead the show, but of having me and my desires on my innate deep inner yearnings to be bigger, to be more connected, to live fully in this life, lead the way. When you change your thoughts, you change your results. If we look at our crappy job example where you're thinking, I can't stand this. I gotta get outta here. When instead you think I got this for now, I can handle this and I'm gonna figure out something even better. That the my next step is going to be amazing. If those are the thoughts that you're thinking at your crappy job, you are going to feel better at your crappy job. Your crappy job is going to seem to be less crappy, and that's just better for you Plus, Then when you are getting a new job, you are moving towards what you desire, what you want, versus trying to get away from a crappy job that just puts you in a disempowering position where you are running, trying to get away from crappy feelings by getting a new job versus going towards a new job to create. More of what you want. All right, so in order to do this in your own life, really what you need to start with is noticing your own thoughts, because this is how you are going to begin to create new results. First, you have to notice what you're thinking. And then you choose something that if you want to choose something that will serve you better, that will create a different experience for you and lead to different results. So when you're looking at your thoughts, and I recommend that you do this at home, you do this at least as a daily practice, a check-in. I like to recommend people do it at, you know, maybe just as you're out and about in the car, you can. You can check in with your thinking or have a journal, which is the way that I love to do it, cuz I like to see and write things down so I can see all my crappy thoughts. So do some detective work. Take a look at the thoughts that you're having right now. What are they? So they're, it's pretty much everything that's going through your brain. Separate out the thoughts from. The story rather from the facts. So a fact might be like, oh, it's cloudy today. A thought is it's a crappy day. A fact is my car has a flat tire. A thought is, this is so annoying. My car is a stupid flat tire. Can you see the difference? Can you see some of the judgment and emotion that is put into the thoughts? So as much as possible, identify, make bullet points of the thoughts of the observations note, which are facts. Very few will be. And. Then ask yourself like, where did this come from? Where did this kind of thinking come from? Is there anyone in my life that I might have absorbed this from? Is like, what is this kind of thinking, making me feel when I think this thought? What is it creating for me? And above all, have compassion for? Whatever you discover, cuz sometimes we can beat ourselves up at this point that is not helpful at all. We don't wanna have more thoughts about our thoughts. We're just trying to get clear and create awareness. So awareness is the beginning of transportation, trans transportation, transformation. Awareness is where you create that detachment from your thoughts, from identifying so closely with them. So spend loving amounts of time here. Really think about this as a process of love, of, of unfurling, of getting to know your amazing brain and what it's doing so that you can. Help it to serve you better, right? And then notice the thoughts also that give you pleasure, that you love, that that light you up. And perhaps begin to more consciously choose and cultivate them. And we're gonna talk more about that practice, but just giving you. A, a glimpse into what is possible, what is to come. Because when you wanna have new results in your life, having new thoughts is going to create new results. So a big takeaway for today is that your thoughts create your results and you are in charge of your thoughts. All right, friends, that's what I have for you today. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care, and I'll see you next time.