Ep #22: Thought Avoidance

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Something I notice in the women that I work with, and something I do myself and have to continuously work on, is a concept I call thought avoidance. Starting to do the work of looking at our minds and working through our thoughts is daunting. We sometimes have to face thoughts that don’t serve us, and we’re often afraid to truly see what our real thoughts are below the surface.

The truth is that avoiding your thoughts doesn’t make them disappear. And when you avoid them, you’re avoiding your opportunities for growth. So this week, my goal is to show you why avoiding your thoughts is a problematic way to approach thought work, and how the model plays into this.

Join me this week as I share why the goal should be to bring all our thoughts to the surface where we can inspect them closer, as well as some thoughts that will help you show up and be present in your thinking. Doing this is the key to creating the results you want, and you’ll be surprised at how practicing this will free you to handle anything.

If you want to take this work even deeper and coach with my in my signature program, Anything but Average, the waitlist is now open. Waitlist members will get notified the next time the program is open, so make sure to get on it and I look forward to seeing you in there!

What You'll Learn on this Episode

  • My definition of the concept of thought avoidance.
  • The problem with avoiding your thoughts.
  • Why we want to bring all our thoughts to the surface.
  • The type of thoughts that will allow you to be present to your thinking.

Featured on the Show

  • If you are ready to take this work deeper and make your dream business a reality, join my Anything but Average program.
  • Click here to find out more information about my Anything but Average Coach Mastermind!
  • Join me on Instagram and tag me in all your Anything but Average aha! moments!
  • Ep #3: The Model

Click to Read Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Anything but Average Podcast, where I, life coach and mindset expert Lindsey Mango will teach you how to master your mind, yourself, and take massive action to create a life that blows your mind. Let’s get started.

Hello, and welcome back to another week and another episode of Anything but Average. Guys, it is early. Actually, I’m laughing at myself because I used to wake up at 4:30am every day before work. Now, that is early. And I’m pretty sure my past self would be rolling her eyes at me because I woke up at 6am this morning, and it’s like, 6:40 right now, so that’s really not that early.

But guys, this is my new reality. I don’t wake up that early anymore and I don’t have to, so it feels early to me. But seriously, we woke up a little bit earlier this morning because we are heading out to Chicago and I cannot wait to see my family.

We just self-quarantined for 14 days so we could go see them and I haven’t seen them in – I was going to say 14 months. That’s a lie. It’s nine months. But that’s crazy. That’s one of the reasons honestly I created my business and I wanted to find my purpose and create something that gave me freedom.

I wanted to feel like I could see my family and spend time with the people I loved whenever I wanted to. Now, COVID put a little wrench in that. But I just cannot wait, and my niece just turned two and I’m just so excited. And I’m not just giving you an update of my life just for the heck of it. I actually wanted to share this.

By the time this episode comes out, my mastermind is closed, like applications are closed. It will reopen again in the future. But so basically, it’s a launch week for me. My mastermind’s open, people are applying, and I’m taking the week off.

And I just want to share that to bring that into your awareness of what’s possible, whether you have a business or not, that really stretching your mind to think bigger and see things in a different way will allow you to create a reality that you really want.

I’m not kidding you guys, six months to a year ago, I probably could not have imagined taking a week off when I’m in a launch. But through a lot of inner growth, I have become an entrepreneur and a business owner who’s really running my business like a high-level business and now things in my business are prepared two weeks ahead of time.

So my assistant and my team is handling the things. So it’s just kind of blowing my mind and I just wanted to share because I think there’s always an option to get everything that you want and launches used to be super stressed and I used to be super involved and used to wake up worrying and stressing and all of the things.

And now I’m literally just going up to Chicago and probably – I’m thinking about the women who are applying, but not really think about the launch at all, which I think is just wild and just is an example of growth.

So anyway, let’s jump into today’s topic. So I’ve developed this – I spend a lot of time thinking about my clients and thinking about you guys and what’s keeping you from creating the results that you want, what’s keeping you from the growth, how to get you from point A to point B.

And I developed this idea a few weeks ago and it’s something I also noticed in myself as well as my clients. And it is profound, and it is so simple, but I think it’s really going to blow your mind and offer a huge opportunity for growth.

And this concept is what I call – I named it thought avoidance. Thought avoidance. So you guys can probably guess what that means, but my definition of thought avoidance is avoiding your thoughts or your mind, looking at your mind and being aware of it because you’re afraid of what you might find or you’re afraid to see what your true real thoughts are because you have thoughts about that.

So you don’t look at them. You’re not aware of them. You don’t write them down. You don’t allow them to come to the surface. Now, some of you guys might be like, why is this a problem? And if you’ve listened to my previous episodes and if you know this work at all, on one of my first or second episodes, I taught you guys the model, which is something that Brooke Castillo created.

And essentially, the model is that there’s a circumstance, that circumstance creates thoughts. We have thoughts about the circumstance. Then our thoughts generate our feelings, our feelings create our actions, drive forward our actions, and then our actions create our results.

And the whole idea of the model is that – I mean, it’s not even an idea. It’s like gravity. But our thoughts are the driving factor for our results. It’s the engine of the car that’s driving forward the feelings, actions, and in turn, the results.

So now that I say that, the problem with having thought avoidance or avoiding our thoughts is that when we avoid them, we avoid our growth. When we are numbing out or not paying attention or even if you’re super into this work and super conscious, like I’ve seen this in myself, but you’re afraid of what a “bad” – there’s no bad thought, but a thought that doesn’t serve you, you’re afraid to see it because you’re afraid of the results it could be creating.

What you’re doing is called thought avoidance. And when you avoid those thoughts, it doesn’t matter if you’re avoiding them. They’re still producing your results, which is why this is so important. So if you’re avoiding your thoughts, you’re also avoiding your results.

No matter how well you hide from them or pretend they’re not there, even if they’re there in the slightest way, even if just a teeny part of you believes the thoughts that you have and you’re avoiding them, then they are still running the show.

I love to use this example of if there’s a monster in your closet – I’m in a closet, I’m talking about monsters in the closet. We’ve gone there, folks. But if there’s a monster in your closet and you keep the door closed and the lights off and you spend your whole life avoiding the closet, even if you never open the door to look at the monster, the monster in the closet is still impacting your actions.

It’s still impacting your every move because you’re avoiding it. And so I think about thought avoidance from that perspective that we don’t want to avoid any thoughts. We want to dig for them and mine for them like we’re mining for gold. We want to bring them all to the surface. We want to be courageous and vulnerable and be willing to see them, no matter how painful or challenging or shocking they may be.

Because when we do that, then we know what we need to work on in order to create the results that we want. So let me give you guys a quick example of this. I want you to imagine if you subconsciously – so subconsciously means below the surface, like I imagine when I say subconscious it’s like a program on your computer. So your brain’s not consciously thinking of these things.

When you subconsciously have the thought no one is listening, I mean, that could apply in life or in business or anything that you’re doing, so let’s just say you have the thought no one is listening to me. And you’re not aware of it. If you think about the feeling that that’s going to create, it’s probably frustrated or annoyed.

And then think about the action you might take if you have the thought no one is listening. Some of you guys might get really loud and frustrated and be like, hey, listen to me. Or some of you might get really quiet. Your action might look different depending on who you are and what that thought generates for you.

But the result you end up creating regardless is that no one listens to you. If you get quiet, no one listens to you. And if you talk really loud and are frustrated, even if you’re talking, people probably aren’t going to listen to you either.

Now, I want you guys to imagine if you’re unaware of that thought, you’re going to keep trying to talk louder or get quieter or change your action to try to fix the result. But you don’t realize the thought no one’s listening is actually running the show.

And that thought might actually be connected to something even deeper, which is potentially why someone might avoid a thought. It could be attached to a belief that you’re not important. And that might be something that’s painful that you really don’t want to look at and that’s why you’re avoiding seeing it.

I see this in all sorts of people. Like people who are just introduced to this work. And people, in fact, I think sometimes the smarter you get with this work, the better you get at faking yourself out. I’ve seen this in myself and this is my work. This is what I believe is the key to the universe and the key to all of my results.

I’ve seen myself avoid it because sometimes we believe that if we see them, then that makes them real. If we open the door to the monster, then it makes it real, so let’s just leave the monster in the closet. But again, they are running the show regardless of whether you’re avoiding them or keeping them locked in the closet or not.

So what I’ve realized is that we actually have to change our thinking to approach our thinking in a way that works. Not to get too crazy on you guys, but we have to have the thought, “I’m willing to see what’s here. I’m willing to see what’s below the surface. I’m going to be okay no matter what. Any thought that I have is okay and allowed. I’m here for them, I want to see them.”

When we have those thoughts, then we’re not going to avoid our thinking. We’re going to be there for the real growth. We’re going to show up and we’re going to write them down every day the way that I do and be like, okay, what are all my truest, real thoughts that I have about what I’m doing right now or about this circumstance in my life.

And then we get to work on them to change them. So here’s a couple of thoughts that I have that allow me to not have thought avoidance. I already named some of them, but here’s a few more. “I am here for it all. I can handle anything. I want to know everything so I can create results. This is gold. There’s so much gold in seeing what I’m really thinking.”

When you have those thoughts about mining and looking at your thinking and your beliefs, you are going to feel free and allowed to open the door to the monster so that you can deal with the monster. You can also have the thought like, “Once I know what’s happening, I can handle anything. I can work through it. I have all of the tools that I need to shift this or adjust this to create the results that I want.”

Now, this is what I’m constantly doing with my clients in Anything but Average. This is why I have a role as a coach because a lot of times, these thoughts are hidden in blind spots, and that’s where I come in to ask questions and do work with the women in there to really figure out what’s there.

That’s why a lot of people are like, I’ve tried a thousand things and I’m still not getting the results that I want. There is a thought, there is a belief somewhere in them that is holding them back.

And so a lot of times, that’s why I’m showing up to serve my clients. Not why, but that’s what I’m doing with my clients is helping them learn how to have a higher level of awareness so they can really be conscious of these thoughts, so then they can change them.

And think about this. If your thoughts are creating your results, every single result in your life, there’s nothing you’re going to want to be aware of and know and be conscious of at a higher level than your thoughts.

So if you’re ready to take this work deeper, if you’re ready to figure out what your blind spots are, that’s what Anything but Average is for. That’s what the process and the modules and the videos I teach in Anything but Average are for. That’s what our coaching together is for.

Because you could spend the next 10 years trying to create a result and have a thought below the surface that you don’t realize is there impacting your results. Or you could be in a program, being coached at a high level, figure it out, solve it, work through it, and start creating results now.

Anything but Average isn’t open right now, but if you go to lindseymangocoaching.com/anythingbutaverage, there is a button to sign up for the waitlist. The waitlist members will get notified the next time the program will be opening, so you get a little bonus for being on the waitlist.

And the waitlist is intended for people who are ready to join the next time the program opens. So make sure to get on the waitlist, but also, let’s make sure that you’re not avoiding your thoughts. Let’s be here for it. Let’s rip the door open to the closet and look at the monster because that’s how you change your life. That’s how you create results.

I love you guys. I’m so excited to hear about your feedback from this episode. Make sure to share it on your story and I will talk to you next week. Bye.

If you want to take this work even deeper and coach with me in my signature program, go to lindseymangocoaching.com/anythingbutaverage. In this program, I will teach you how to take this work and create results so you can have a life that blows your mind in the areas of money, purpose, health, lifestyle, and romance. I can’t wait to see you on the inside.

I love hearing from you!

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