Parenthetical Thoughts

If you were to Google “How many thoughts do you have per day” you would get a varied response.

Some experts say it is 50,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day while others say it is more like 6,000 to 20,000 thoughts per day.

If you look further into it they estimate that 95% of those thoughts are repetitive and 80% of the thoughts are negative.

Is it any surprise that we don’t notice all the thoughts our brain is giving us? If you are like me, I attempt to write down some of those thoughts, and more often than not my brain goes blank!

It’s like walking into a dark room and flipping on the light switch only to see all the cockroaches scatter and disappear. (Just for the record…That visual makes me very nearly physically sick but it sums it up pretty nicely :))

The thoughts that I can manage to start with usually seem to be well intended; somewhat motivating ideas that can sounds good but still leave me feeling not that great.

As I take time and look at what is really going on it is not these first thoughts that seem to be slowing me down. It is the thought that comes from those thoughts. Some coaches call them “parenthetical thoughts”.

Some examples:

“I am getting better (but I am still not where I should be)”

“I want to be a good mom (and I am not being a good mom)”

“I finished many of the things on my to-do list (but there are still a lot undone)”

“I will figure this out (but I should know this already)”

“I am making this work (but I should be going faster)”

“I just want everyone to be happy (and if they aren’t it’s a problem)”

“She can do it her own way (but my way would be better)”

Many times the parenthetical thoughts have some layer of judgment involved. It could be judgment for others but often it is judgment of ourselves.

When we see the world in some unspoken standard of excellence that we or those around us are not meeting in some way, we tend to focus on the lack and think that there is something wrong with us.

What would happen if we showed up with more compassion and curiosity for ourselves and for others?

How could we reframe these thoughts?

Maybe they could look something like this….

“I am right where I am meant to be, and I am excited to see what comes up for me.”

“I am a good mom, and sometimes I am a mess of a mom, and that’s okay.”

“Even though I want everyone to be happy, I want each of them to feel however they are feeling and I can support them in that.”

Sometimes when we see the underlying thoughts we can see them for what they are and just let them go entirely. Like the undone things on our to-do list, our brain will tells us there is always more we could do.

Is it any surprise that we don’t notice all the thoughts our brain is giving us? If you are like me, and I attempt to write down some of those thoughts, and more often than not my brain goes blank!

Hello Friends!

I’m Michelle. I am learning how to minimize my overwhelm, perfectionism, and people-pleasing and I am ready to help you do the same. I’m a certified Life Coach and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Come with me and learn how.

When we see the world in some unspoken standard of excellence that we or those around us are not meeting in some way, we tend to focus on the lack and think that there is something wrong with us.

The trick is recognizing those thoughts as just sentences our brain is offering and not making them mean anything. If there is always something more we can do, then there is no way we can ever be done. We get to decide what we want to do, and decide when it is enough.

I can help you find the parenthetical thoughts in your life. Noticing the underlying thoughts we can decide if they are serving in some way or if they can be reframed or even just be let go. I can help you let the thoughts go and move you closer to a lighter feeling overall. “Contact Me” and send me a quick email and we can find how you want to move forward. If you prefer, you can “Schedule a Consult” for a free session to see if coaching is helpful for you.

And as always…..Remember…..It’s ALL good!!

Published by mrkeil

I help women face the overwhelm of parenting, family and multiple schedules, let go of the shame and people-pleasing perfectionism they place on themselves as women of faith, and create a life they love with intention and purpose. I can help you find your own answers for any problem, reach for any goal, and discover how to be more of yourself as you learn tools to use your own gifts to strengthen yourself emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually. In choosing to design your life and live into compassion and lessen the guilt and judgment, you can teach your family to do the same. Find the real you by showing up authentically for yourself and the ones you love. And remember... It's ALL good!!!

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