November 4, 2023 by Molly Patrick
Scripts to help you NOT give up
I have been learning French for the past 11 months.
I’ve never learned another language, so at 43, this is a first.
I gotta say, it has been très difficile.
The other night as I was taking a shower, a few thoughts popped into my head loud and clear:
Maybe I can’t learn French. Maybe it’s impossible for me. Maybe I just have a brain that can’t learn another language.
My heart sank as shampoo dripped into my eyes. And then I remembered something:
Not all of our thoughts are true.
So, I rinsed the shampoo out of my eyes, and I used my go-to script for when I realize a thought is just a thought:
Thanks, brain. Not helping.
Some variations of this script are:
- Thanks, brain, but that’s just a thought.
- Move along, brain.
- That isn’t helping, next.
- Oh, brain, you’re so silly.
- You might be right, but I’m going to try anyway.
- Thanks for trying to keep me safe, but I got this.
After talking about this with one of my weight loss clients, she emailed to tell me that after her brain had offered her many bullshit reasons why she could not complete her run, her script for calling herself out went like this:
THANK YOU, UNSUPPORTIVE.
And then she completed her run. Boom!
The brain wants to keep us safe. It can’t always tell when we’re actually in danger, though, so sometimes when we’re doing something new and unfamiliar, it thinks we’re not safe. Even if that’s learning a new language or going for a run. The brain has good intentions, but if we believe every thought that pops into our head, we would be paralyzed with fear, self-doubt, uncertainty, and dread.
So we gotta call that shit out as soon as we recognize it. That’s the trick. To have enough awareness to realize it’s just a thought instead of being so wrapped up in it that we take it for the truth without getting curious and digging any deeper.
The day after I called out my thoughts in the shower, I continued with my French lessons. If I had believed those thoughts the previous evening, I wouldn’t have practiced the next day because what would have been the point? If my client had believed those thoughts she was having about her run, she would have quit midway through her run. And neither of us would have moved closer to our goals.
Calling out your thoughts and recognizing that they are, indeed, just thoughts is a powerful shift. It helps us keep going when we would usually give up.
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Not for those offended by the F word.