107. Sneaky Thoughts

Sneaky thoughts…what are they? In this podcast episode, we explore the concept of “sneaky thoughts” – thoughts that sound great on the surface but actually make us feel terrible. Before we dive into that, it’s important to understand how thoughts and feelings are connected. Thoughts are simply sentences in our minds that our brain uses to try to address what’s happening in the world around us. When a thought connects in our brain, it sends an emotion through our body, which we experience as a vibration or sensation. The key to determining whether a thought is useful or not is to pay attention to the feeling it creates. Does it drive us towards actions that feel good and authentic, or does it steer us away from what we really want?

Trying on thoughts is like trying on clothes – we can see how a thought feels, and decide if it’s useful for us. But some thoughts can be sneakier than others. They sound great in theory, but when we think them, they make us feel terrible. Examples of sneaky thoughts include “I just want everyone to be happy,” “I just want everyone to like me,” or “I just want to be a better person.” As a missionary, you may have some sneaky thoughts such as, “I want to be the best missionary”, “I want everyone in my district to reach their goals”, or “I just want my companion to _____”. These thoughts may seem harmless, but they often create emotions like pressure, overwhelm, self-doubt, and frustration.

So how do we spot sneaky thoughts? One clue is to look at the outcome we’re wanting – if it’s not within our power or influence, we may be setting ourselves up for disappointment. Another clue is to consider whether the thought acknowledges the human experience. It’s unrealistic to expect ourselves or others to be happy all the time, or to be perfect in every way. If we recognize and accept the ups and downs of the human experience, we can cultivate more self-love, self-worth, and self-acceptance.

The bottom line is that our thoughts have a powerful impact on our emotions and actions. By learning how to identify sneaky thoughts, we can create more empowering thought patterns that support our goals and well-being.

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0:00 Hey, what’s up everyone, it’s Jennie Dildine, the LDS mission coach and you are listening to the LDS mission Podcast, episode number 107 Sneaky thoughts. I’m Jenny, the LDS mission coach. And whether you’re preparing to serve a mission, currently serving a returned missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things? Then let’s go. I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose. Again. It’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission, embrace your life, and embrace what’s next. Hello, everyone, welcome to the podcast to all of my favorite people to hang out with every single week. Hey, did you guys know that I share this podcast on a Google Drive. With missionaries all over the world. If you don’t have a missionary yet, you might not know that they do have access to Google Drive, that often missionaries, that’s how they share pictures with each other and documents with each other. And so I share my podcast on a Google Drive link. And so if you’re interested in getting that Google Drive link, either for yourself, or for your missionary or for a companion or something like that, just shoot me an email podcast at Jennie dildine.com. And we can totally get you taken care of. It really is helping so many missionaries, I get so many emails just like thank you so much for this podcast, it’s really changing my mission. And so that is awesome. But as always, I really do try to make sure this podcast covers all aspects of the mission experience because the mission experience is such a unique one that we have to our LDS faith tradition, that I think it’s important that we talk about all three aspects right of preparing currently serving, returned missionaries, also missionary moms and dads what you do if you have a missionary how to feel how, how you want to think about it, all of that good stuff. So I’m hoping that this podcast is helping you and if you want to send it to someone else, just shoot me an email podcast at Jennie dildine.com. Today is the week of my anniversary. So Happy anniversary to my husband. We this week have been married for 26 years. So we’re going strong love the life that he and I have created with our kids and the environment that we have created to help our kids learn and grow. That doesn’t not mean that any of it is easy that we are devoid of any sort of struggle or frustration or anxieties. Of course, that’s always part of it. But I’m just glad that I get to do it with him. So he’s just a good guy. So love you, Mike, shout out to you. Today we’re talking about sneaky thoughts. And before I jump into what a sneaky thought, is, I want to just do a review of what causes our feelings. And if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you know that a thought is that little synapse in your brain that connects and then sends an emotion through your body. Now, when I’m working with clients, the definition I like to use for a thought is simply this a sentence in my mind. And that’s it. Okay, so our brain, it’s a problem solving machine, think of it kind of like a computer, it takes inventory or assessment of what’s going on in the world around you, then it spits out a sentence in your mind, a sentence or a thought or a piece of code to try to address what is going on. Now, when that synapse connects in your brain, it’s going to send a motion through your body. And the definition I’ve always used for an emotion is just a vibration in your body because it actually feels like something. We call it a feeling because we actually notice when we go inside and see what’s going on we do notice that we actually feel sensations, colors, movements, vibrations, chemical hormone, whatever it is going on in our body. So now that we understand the correlation between the thought and the feeling, I want to explain to you this idea of trying on thoughts. So how do you know if a thought is a useful thought for you or not? And that and we’re going to talk about one of those ways, is do you like the feeling that you get? But actually, I want to say it an even different way, not that you like the feeling that’s created by that thought. Here, let me start here. But is it useful? Is that feeling useful? Because the other thing I always teach right, is right after we have the thought, and the feeling that feelings gonna drive a certain set of actions, like fuel in a car. So is this feeling that I’m feeling going to drive a set of actions that I like, and that I can stand behind and that feel good and authentic to the type of person that I want to be? Or does this feeling create a different set of actions and get me further away from what I want? So I like to think of thoughts that we can try them on like clothes. So my daughter, she just use some of her money from working at fizz. She works at one of those soda places in a town close by. And she used some of that money to go get clothes for the summer. And she happened to be in Utah. With family I was here. And so she would send me pictures like, Hey, do you like this dress? Do you like this outfit? Do you like this? And so she was trying on clothes. And I like to think about our thoughts this way as well. We can try it on, we can see how that thought feels, the emotion that’s created, and then decide is this useful? Is this a thought I want to keep? Is this a thought I want to get rid of. But you’ll know if you like the thought, if it’s a useful thought for you by how you feel. Now remember, there’s no good or bad thoughts. There’s no good or bad emotions there. They’re just sentences in your mind that create vibrations in your body, and some of them are going to be useful and drive you to useful action. And some of our some of them are going to be not useful and drive you to not useful action. Okay. So here’s the definition of a sneaky thought. It’s a thought That sounds lovely. But when we think it makes us feel terrible, so on that, like, on the outside, if we were to read a sneaky thought, and I’m gonna give you tons of examples, so just a second. But what I want to say first is, if we were to look at this thought, and it was on a list of thoughts that we were thinking, that we would look at that thought and be like, Oh, that’s an amazing thought. But then when we think it, we actually feel terrible. Let me give you some examples. So I just want everyone in my district to meet their goals. Okay. It sounds like a really lovely thought. It does, like, yeah, that’s an amazing thought. But when we think it, if we’re the district leader, or sister training leader, or something like that, we just like, I just want everyone in my district to meet their goals. Maybe that creates pressure, maybe that creates overwhelm. Maybe that creates self doubt, maybe that creates doubt in other people. So notice, it sounds really lovely on paper. But maybe it doesn’t create the emotion that we want. Here’s another one. I just want everyone to be happy. What you’ll notice is a lot of these start with, I just want it Listen, it’s not even realistic for everyone to be happy all the time. Okay. I just want to be the best missionary I can be. On paper. That sounds amazing. And if you were giving your homecoming or your farewell talk, and you’re like, I just want to be the best missionary I can be. Yeah, everyone be like, yes, yes, yes, that’s awesome. But if we’re on the mission, and things aren’t going the way that we want to and we’re judging ourselves and creating a good, better, best scenario for what kind of missionary we are. Maybe that thought is kind of poisonous.

9:42 Here’s another one. I just want everyone to like me. I heard that from a client and RM client just this a couple of weeks ago. She said, I just want lots of friends and I want everyone to like me, which again, sounds like a great thought but it’s a sneaky thought because If we look at our list of friends, and we look at the list of people that like us, and we look at the list of people that may not like us, that’s reality. And so when we think I just want everyone to like me, and yet in parentheses, we sort of know that not everybody does, then maybe that thought makes us feel not as good. Okay, let me give you an example of what more of these might sound like, I just want to meet all of my goals and always succeed. I just want to be working in my in a job that provides well for my family, I just want my family to support me in this certain way, while I’m gone on my mission. Again, like, maybe there’s thoughts going to create an emotion that feels good, but most likely, especially if they’re not supporting you in the way that you think that they should, that’s gonna make you feel terrible. I just want lots of friends. I just want my companion to blank, you guys can fill in the blank, I just want my companion to be more dedicated to scripture study, I just want the spirit to be more present when we’re teaching the lesson or whatever. And then this one, I just want to be a better person. Okay, so there’s a couple things I want us to notice about these sneaky thoughts so that you can take inventory of your thoughts. And notice if there’s any sneaky ones in there, ones that sound lovely on the surface and on paper, but actually are making you feel terrible. Now, before we get into that, why does it even matter that you feel terrible? The reason is, is because if you’re feeling sad, overwhelmed, frustrated, irritated, angry, full of doubt, it’s not going to drive your most useful action. Okay, so here are some of the things that I noticed about this list of sneaky thoughts. Many of these thoughts, the outcome is not even within our power. It’s not within our agency, it’s not within our influence. Okay? Like, I just want the district to meet their goals, that’s totally not within your power. I want everyone to be happy, again, not your business. I want everyone to like me, I wish we could be in charge of that. But we can’t. Okay, do you see what I’m saying? I want my companion to blink, we don’t get to be in charge of your companion. So that could be one clue that you are thinking a sneaky thought that might make you feel terrible is that the outcome itself that you’re wanting is not within your power? Number two, the other thing I noticed about these sneaky thoughts is that it doesn’t acknowledge the human experience. Man, if I had $1, for every time I mentioned the human condition or the human experience on this podcast, I’d have a lot of money. Because it’s so integral integral to awareness, and surrender and acceptance to, to being a missionary to being a human in this world. It’s so necessary for your own self love, self worth, and self acceptance is acknowledging the human experience. So here’s a couple of those that don’t even acknowledge the human experience. I just want everyone to be happy. That’s not real. No one is happy 100% of the time. So in fact, if you go back and listen to episode number 50 of this podcast, the 5050 rule, I teach you all about that, and why it’s just not even humanly possible for us to be happy all the time. And we wouldn’t want to be if that’s, I mean, that’s actually the truth. Okay. So that one that thought doesn’t acknowledge the human experience. I just want to be a better person, that one might not acknowledge the human experience, because sometimes we’re going to be better and sometimes we’re going to be worse, and it’s all totally fine. The other thing I noticed about this list of sneaky thoughts, is that they often go against what is actually happening. So I think that’s why they all start with I just want what it does is it kind of shows that we want something different than what just is happening right now. Like we wouldn’t have to say, I just want everyone in the district to meet their goals, if we weren’t a little bit worried that people might not meet their goals. And so a lot of these sentences are sort of going against what is actually happening. Okay, I want everyone to like me. Okay, that’s fine. But it’s a sneaky thought because you’re not for everybody. It’s, it’s going against what could possibly be happening, which is maybe half the people are gonna like you and half the people aren’t. Or, like, I just want my family to support me, okay? It’s like a, it’s like we’re going, we’re resisting just what is, is your family might not be supporting you. And when we’re in resistance to what’s actually happening, we’re actually in resistance to sell. Or when we say I just want to be happy. Well, okay, but you’re not going to be all the time. And when we when we’re feeling sad, and we’re like, I just want to be happy. I’m so done being sad. We’re in resistance to what is happening in that present moment. The other thing I noticed about this list, is it usually comes from a place of lack, instead of abundance. So again, if we have this thought, like, I just want everyone in my district to meet their goals. Sounds really lovely on paper probably makes us feel terrible, because it comes from lack. It insinuates that we’re not where we want to be. It insinuates that we should be doing better, that we’re falling short in some way. Or I just want everyone to be happy. That also insinuates that if we’re not happy that we’re falling short. I just want everyone to like me, it also insinuates that if people don’t like us that we’re doing something wrong, that we’re falling short. And so picture like this way is these thoughts are acknowledging the gap that we need to make up to, quote unquote, be better people, instead of just allowing and accepting that we all are amazing people just right now. That’s abundance. So I had my Great Aunt Millie, she was a sister to my great grandma Lyman. And people would ask my Aunt Millie, like, how are you doing? Millie? And she would say, I’ve never been better. And I’ve never had more. That’s abundance. Okay. And that doesn’t mean like that her life wasn’t hard. And she had really challenging things and, you know, stuff that happened to her that she wished hadn’t happened. But she decided that she wanted to be abundant. In that process, I’ve never been better. I never need anything more than just what I have. Right now. Whenever we’re in lack, and chasing after something that we think we should have, that we don’t have. Feels really yucky. And I think that’s why this is also a component of this list of sneaky thoughts. So listen, a thought when you try it on, you just have to see, you have to see what emotion is created when you think that thought.

18:24 No, you might think some of these thoughts and you might feel totally like it might create an emotion that you like. But just be honest with yourself. Usually when a thought comes from lack of something that we’re lacking, and we’re not like where we want to be, it usually creates pressure, frustration, shame, annoyance, overwhelm self doubt, self loathing, something like that. Which, as you can imagine that those emotions aren’t the best fuel. They’re just not the best fuel for you to get what you want in the future. So just test them out, be aware of how they’re making you feel. And then ask yourself not Is this a good thought or a bad thought? But is this a useful thought? Is this a useful feeling? Is it driving me closer to the kind of person that I want to be to have the kind of experiences that I want to have? Okay, so if not, if you try on the thought you don’t love the feeling, you don’t have to totally switch it. Like we don’t have to go from I just want everyone in my district to meet their goals to it doesn’t matter at all. If everyone in the district meets their goals. We can just switch it a little bit. Like maybe something like this. I don’t get to be in charge. If people make their goals and reach their goals But I am going to help in the best way that I know how. Or instead of thinking, I just want everyone to be happy, we could just decide, you know, what we actually want is we want everyone to have the experience they’re having and feel the way that they’re feeling. This reminds me of when I go on vacation with my kids. I just decide, You know what, everyone gets to feel however they’re feeling, there’s no expectation, they can be grumpy, they can be sad, they can be overwhelmed, they can be feeling lazy, they can be feeling excited. It’s all welcome. So my thought, instead of thinking, I just want everyone to be happy, like that’s not realistic, on vacation. Right, I’d sometimes think they called Disneyland, the happiest place on earth, except for there’s people crying and frustrated and hot from standing in line. And that’s okay. Because that’s accepting the human experience. And so we can just decide, I just want everyone to have the experience that they’re having. Or instead of believing, I just want everyone to like me, we can just change that thought just a little bit. So it’s not a sneaky thought we can change it into, you know, it’s true, some people are gonna like me, and some people don’t, I get it totally fine. Or, instead of thinking, I just want my family to support me while I’m gone. And then in parentheses, we believe that they should be doing it differently. It could even sound like this. I, my family is not in charge of supporting me, I am in charge of supporting me. Or instead of thinking this sneaky thought, like, I just want my companion to show up better at our companionship scripture study, just decide a different thought just switching it just a little bit is like I think I’m in charge of how I show up at scripture study. And so I want to just show up with love and compassion, no matter how my companion is showing up. Okay, so do you see how we can just switch these thoughts a little bit, we don’t have to totally throw them out the window, we can just shift them a tiny bit. It’s totally possible to believe a list of thoughts that are not sneaky. And all it takes is to want what you have right now. Even if it’s harder to isn’t looking the way you thought it was gonna look, just want it. Just be like, you know, what I want is a messy laundry room, because that’s what I have. And if it’s going to be a messy laundry room, or no laundry room at all, I’ll take the messy one. So just want what you have right now. Want who you are right now. Okay, so if you’re sad, just like, you know, what I want to be right now is sad. Totally fine. I’m human, actually feels kind of good and cleansing to be sad sometimes. And just want everyone else to have the exact experience that they’re having. We don’t get to be a chart in charge of it anyway. Right. So maybe take inventory of your thoughts. And especially kind of look out for those sneaky ones that look really good on paper, that make you feel terrible, because if you’re feeling terrible, it’s never gonna get you closer to the kind of person or missionary, or employee or girlfriend or boyfriend or husband or wife that you want to be. Okay. So look at those sneaky thoughts. Switch them just a little bit. Try something else on to create a different feeling. And then go from there. Alright, I hope this helps you. I hope you guys have the most amazing week sending love to the missionaries RMS missionary Mamas and Papas all over the world preparing missionaries. Love you so much take care. Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can present a unique set of challenges. And many of those challenges you might not even see coming. So you’re gonna want a unique set of solutions. It’s easier than you think to overcome worry and anxiety serve the successful mission you’ve always dreamed up and navigate your post mission experience with confidence. That is why I created some amazing free goodies that I’m sharing in my show notes. Maybe you want to grab the free training for preparing missionaries, my video course for RMS or maybe you and I should hop on a free strategy call. If you’re ready to take your preparedness to serve or your preparedness to come home to the next level. Then go grab one of those freebies. And in the meantime, no matter which part of the mission experience you are involved in Just know that Jenny the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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