“Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.” ~~Joyce Brothers
“We only see what we want to see; we only hear what we want to hear. Our belief system is just like a mirror that only shows us what we believe.” ~~Don Miguel Ruiz
“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” ~~Zig Ziglar
#5 I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.
Addiction fuels a circle of deception, especially with our thoughts but with Statement #5 in action that circle can be broken and new patterns of thought embraced. The WFS New Life Program encourages self-examination, and this Statement where we examine our thoughts resides at the core of that exploration.
In our WFS Program booklet it asks “Do you know why you think your thoughts? Are you aware of the mental place in which you live, the real environment that you create for yourself by your thoughts? Or do you just let thoughts happen at random?” Answering these questions can direct our thoughts and build a stable platform for further growth in our New Lives.
Here are a few ways to help identify and shift thoughts:
- Sit in stillness: Each day give yourself permission to sit without distraction for 5 minutes, shut off the tv or phone and close your eyes. What thoughts are coming to mind? Are your thoughts hurried? Are your thoughts centered on contentment or do you have worries? This is the time to notice and identify what you are thinking. This may be a new concept (it was for me!) and new does not mean bad or wrong. It can be the first action to managing thoughts.
- Create a thought diary: Jot down some of the major thoughts that you noticed in those five minutes of stillness. Give yourself time to do this, write down your thoughts for at least a week, more is helpful. Do you notice a there to your thoughts? Maybe of not enough or too much or maybe thoughts of the future? Are thoughts fearful or simple uncertainty? Be specific.
- Examine your thoughts: You can gain deep insight by reviewing your thought diary. Do you see a pattern? Where are you doing well and where do you need to shift your thought process? Is there something driving your thinking? Is this thought taking me closer to or further away from sobriety and recovery? Be honest with yourself.
- Shift or reframe unhelpful thoughts: You can redefine a long held thought or belief and concentrate on changing your internal dialogue. If you have thoughts of “I’m not good enough” challenge that thought and repeat affirmations such as “I am a competent woman” or write out ways that you have achieved something, no matter how small. This simple shift can help redirect thinking and over time help you to recognize thoughts that do not empower or embrace you. Make this a daily part of your recovery routine.
Hi 4C Women,
I remember the first time I read Statement #5 and thought, wow, do I really want to share with others what I think of myself? For so many years, I questioned my confidence, my competency. I found it difficult to say I was a competent woman. Finally, after introducing myself as a competent woman at the WFS meetings, it felt comfortable, almost believable! As I began believing, I began behaving. I finally understood that my self-esteem was almost non-existent, that even when I was praised for doing something well and appreciated it, I didn’t feel it within myself.
At one of our WFS meetings, the question was asked as to how we show up for ourselves. Do we show up seeking approval from others and still not have faith in our own accomplishments, compassionate acts, capabilities? Do we let our self-care evaporate so we can prove ourselves worthy by always doing for others? I know that was me at one time. This is why I so desperately needed the guidance of the 13 Statements to change my thinking, my actions, to do more than just stop drinking. Rather than saying my extremely negative mantra every day, I began to replace it with one of the 13 Statements. Each one became a ladder of personal growth. I was no longer digging myself out of a hole of unworthiness, incompetency and insecurities. I became a 4C woman.
Write about a moment you were brave and just went for it. I came across this question and gave it great thought. It reminded me that there have been many times in my life that I was brave but discounted it or never gave myself credit for it. How about you?
I plan to do the sitting in stillness exercise. It is new for me and I’m so curious as to where my thoughts will go in those 5 minutes of stillness, no tv, no phone! Of course, an exercise of this kind requires the follow through described in 2-4 and that will be the key to learning how I am authentically feeling, thinking and handling my current situation. I’m hoping you will try it and share your outcomes with others with whom you trust.
Bonded in believing, behaving and shouting out loud that we are 4C women who bravely went for it, Dee