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Stop Being Victimized by Your Thoughts: a lesson from my grandma

You may not realize it, but Self-Coaching can show you that you have a choice not to be hammered by worry, rumination, anxiety, panic, or depression. My grandmother had a wonderful expression, “You can’t stop a bird from flying into your hair, but you don’t have to help it build a nest.” Translation: you may not be able to control a destructive thought from popping into your mind, but you don’t have to passively allow a second thought, a third, a fourth, and so on, to fill your head. If, for example, you think, “I can’t do it; I’m going to fail,” you need to take a step back and recognize how insecurity is attempting to “fly into your hair.”

The simple act of recognizing that you have a choice puts you in the driver’s seat. From now on, every time you find yourself stressed, anxious, moody, or depressed, take a look at your internal ‘chatter’ and ask, “Who’s doing the talking in my mind? Is it me, my mature, rational self, or my immature, insecurity-driven self?” Once you separate mature-rational thinking from immature-insecurity-driven thinking, it becomes rather obvious what you must do–you must actively cease and desist destructive, insecurity-driven thinking.

This is what I call Self-Talk. Although you may not be used to actively intervening in your thought process, once you recognize that certain insecurity-driven, hysterical thoughts are, in fact, an option, then you’re in a position to make a firm, authoritative assertion: “NO, I will not allow insecurity to tell me what to think!” Remember, you may not be able to stop the first thought from percolating up into your mind, but you damn well are in a position to stop the runaway train of ruminative, destructive “nest-building” that follows.

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