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Don't Believe Everything You Think

Man sitting at a desk with his hands clasped behind his back. He is staring at a computer screen.
Jason Strull/Unsplash

Our minds are filled with the thoughts, stories, and beliefs that we’ve been carrying our whole entire lives.

They are so much a part of us that we never stop to ask ourselves if these thoughts that we are using to make decisions about our lives are actually our chosen truth (or if they’re even helpful).

It's time to shine the spotlight on our minds to see if the things we believe to be our truth and make decisions about our life, are actually true at all, or if they are just stories we tell ourselves.

Thoughts Are Not Facts

I was well into my 40’s before I learned something that changed my life and brought me to where I am today – thoughts are not facts.

We are all walking around believing that every thought our brain sends us is a fact, but they’re not. Sometimes they are true, but sometimes, they aren't.

For something to be a fact, it has to be a universal truth. EVERYONE needs to agree that it is true.

If a thought is not factually true, it is just our opinion, and our opinions can be changed.

Let me give you an example:

I’m the firstborn in my family. For years, I carried around the thought that the firstborn had to be the most responsible one in the family. They had to be high-achieving and not disappoint others. I believed these thoughts to be the truth and they influenced a lot of the decisions I made in my life. This led to a lot of people-pleasing and doing things I thought I ‘should’ do, and not what I ‘wanted’ to do.

But when I learned that thoughts are not facts, I began to question these beliefs. These were beliefs that I thought were my own, but really were infused into me from the way I was raised, the messages I received from society, and my education. I didn’t realize that I could actually disagree with them and even reject them if I wanted.

And the key here is – if I wanted. We have a choice in what we choose to make our personal beliefs and what to reject.

Become a Thought Watcher

The key to learning how to separate thoughts from facts is that you need to learn how to become an observer of your thoughts. Kind of like you are standing across the street from them and watching what they are doing.

Meditation is a very powerful practice for this and so is journaling. Meditation is simply the quieting of your mind and letting thoughts pass like they were clouds in the sky. Not attaching to them at all. Simply observing them. 

Journaling is another excellent way to observe your thoughts to see if you are believing them to be the truth or not. 

One of the ways to do this is to do a brain dump onto a journal page. Write down everything you are thinking about something that is bothering you. Once you’re done, go back with a highlighter and highlight any sentence that would pass the Fact Test (which means that everyone would agree that it is true). 

Once you have taken over the role of thought observer, take a look at the thoughts that you are using to limit what you’re capable of and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this thought a fact or does it just FEEL true? (There is a difference!)

  • Do I agree with this thought and want to make it MY truth?

  • What is this thought protecting me from?

  • How is this thought limiting me?

  • What do I want to believe instead? 

If you find that a limiting thought is indeed just a thought and not a fact, you can choose to reject it and pick a new thought. (Want a list of my 25 favorite powerful thoughts? Download it here.)

YOU Get to Decide

Remember -- YOU get to decide your truth. Examine those thoughts that you’ve spent your life believing and making a conscious decision about what you want to believe. 

We use our thoughts and emotions to make decisions about how we live our lives.

Make sure that those thoughts and emotions are ones you have CHOSEN for yourself and you can’t go wrong.

Looking for support, accountability, and a community to help you become a goal-getter? Join us in The Goal Getters Club here.

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Jen Laffin wearing a brightly flowered dress, glasses, smiling at the camera

Jen Laffin is an Accountability & Success Mentor for people who like to finish big goals, a master teacher, host of The Flight School Podcast, a possible thinker, and a recovering procrastinator. She helps goal-SETTERS become goal-GETTERS. To learn more, visit, or find Jen on Linkedin.


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