Thoughts and Beliefs Paving the Path Of Your Life
Is your head infested with ANT’s? ANT’s are “automatic negative thoughts”. Are these ANT’s keeping you awake at night? Are they causing anxiety, fear, depressed feelings, feelings of being overwhelmed? Do they impact on the way you think about yourself? Are they impacting on your relationship with your loved ones?
Many of us spend our lives making decisions and choices based upon the thoughts that come to us automatically, without effort. We believe every thought that pops into our heads, without stopping to challenge or test the thought. We don’t stop to ask ourselves, “What is the evidence for this thought”? We don’t stop to examine other possibilities. We simply go with the thought that comes up automatically. Many times, this automatic thought is negative in nature; an automatic negative thought or an ANT.
In reality, just because we have a thought, doesn’t mean it’s true. A thought is simply the product of information we have accumulated from a variety of sources since birth; parents, siblings, relatives, peers, television, commercials, magazines, movies, etc.
Your beliefs are an accumulation of thoughts that you have had over and over again to the point that you no longer challenge them; you accept a repetitive thought as fact and it becomes a belief. It was at one point a well accepted belief that the world was flat. That is what everyone said, thought and believed. Yet, it wasn’t true and seems downright silly now.
Your thoughts and your beliefs are the results of the programing that you received throughout your life. You make decisions, make choices and take actions based on your beliefs. Your beliefs pave the path in life that you will follow.
When you deliberately choose your thoughts, your beliefs and your focus, you manage your life rather than living by default. Just imagine what changes would be possible if you started questioning and challenging those ANT’s and replaced them instead with more realistic thoughts and beliefs. Your thoughts, your beliefs and your choices do not have to be subject to what you have thought in the past or to the whims of those around you. There are techniques that are extremely effective in changing automatic thoughts into deliberate thoughts.
Getting professional help using cognitive therapy techniques to eliminate the ANT’s and replace them with more realistic, more empowering thoughts could alter the course of your life and help you start thinking and acting deliberately rather than automatically.