114. Opinions Are Thoughts Too

In this podcast episode, we explore the concept of thoughts and opinions and how they influence our beliefs and actions. We will have a discussion about the different sources of thoughts, including the brain’s problem-solving function, past experiences, and external influences. I will teach you that thoughts are not necessarily facts and that we have the power to question and challenge them.

There are many common opinions that are often accepted as truths, such as “early to bed, early to rise” and “watching TV is a waste of time.” However, we must recognize that these are subjective beliefs and may not align with their own values and experiences. You have the power to choose which ones to believe and live by.

You will begin to question your own thoughts and opinions, particularly those that may limit your potential or hinder your well-being. Your thoughts are simply sentences in the mind and can be changed or challenged. By recognizing the subjective nature of thoughts and opinions, we can gain a greater sense of empowerment and agency in our lives.

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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 114. Opinions our thoughts to I’m Jennie, 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.

0:56 Hey, everybody, welcome to the podcast. I’m so happy you’re here. I love hanging out with you guys every week. And I love being able to talk about mental and emotional tools and strategies and hopefully give you a little bit of inspiration for your LDS mission experience. This podcast I designed for anybody who’s involved in the mission experience at all. So if you’re a service missionary, if you’re a preparing missionary, if you’re a teaching missionary, if you’re a returned missionary, even I had a strategy call this week with a sister who’s going out as a senior missionaries, or maybe your mission president. mission leaders, I think is what they’re calling them now. Or maybe you’re just a missionary mom and I have been there. And I know what that feels like. And so I always kind of design these podcasts and write outlines for these podcasts with all of you in mind, because the LDS mission experience is so unique. So hopefully you are finding this a place where you can get some help get some information, get some inspiration and get some tools. Now before what I before I jump into what I wanted to jump into today, which is opinions or thoughts too, I had to fill you in on a couple little housekeeping behind the scenes stuff so that you guys kind of know what’s coming up, first of all, for the entire month of August, and I realized that this is going to be coming out pretty late in August. I think this one is set to air on August 25. But if you’re on my email list, you know that we’ve been offering $500 off of all of our coaching programs. And again, our programs are designed, we have individual ones for each aspect of the mission experience. And I’ve worked with Mission presidents, I’ve worked with senior missionaries, I’ve worked with preparing missionaries, I’ve worked with missionaries who have come home earlier than they were expecting. And it’s just a really fun time kind of to celebrate, like a bunch of missionaries coming a bunch of missionaries going it’s a really fun time to sort of celebrate that. And so we’re offering $500 off all of those one on one programs. So if you’re interested in that, you can just go ahead and shoot me an email Jennie at Jennie dildine.com. And remember, Jenny’s always spelled with an IE. And you’ll have by the time this podcast comes out, you’ll have one more week to take advantage of that. I should also mention maybe if your return missionary is coming home, but they’re not coming home until September or whatever it totally fine. We’re just asking for a deposit to hold your spot with one of our coaches. And then you’ll be good to go and be able to get the discount anyway. So that might be an option for you too, so that you don’t miss out on that opportunity. The other thing that I want you to guys I want you guys to be aware of is you have something super fun coming in the next six weeks or so four to six weeks. And I am so excited to share it with you. And I’m not gonna let you know exactly what it is at this very moment. But what I do want to let you know is that we’re going to be needing some RM mentors. Now a lot of you have sort of reached out and said, What is an RM mentor? Is it someone that mentors RMS or is it an RM that’s assigned to be a mentor? And the answer is, in this particular case, we are hiring we will be hiring the first week of September. RM mentors, which is returned missionaries who’ve served in any capacity doesn’t matter whether service mission or teaching mission, doesn’t matter how long or how short you’ve been serving, or that you served, we’re going to be hiring them to come in and help mentor preparing missionaries. And I think that’s all I’m gonna say for now. Because it’s so fun, and so exciting. But just know, if you’re interested in getting more help to mental, like more mental and emotional tools out to preparing missionaries, if you think that is maybe something that would have helped you on your mission. Or if this podcast has helped you, and you want more people to know about sort of these tools that can honestly, I’ve seen completely transform your mission experience. Maybe you want to join my team. Okay, so if that’s something you’re interested, go ahead, send an email the same place, I’ll probably forward it to my assistant, but Jenny at Jennie dildine.com, say, hey, I’m interested in being an RM mentor. And we will make sure that you get to the right place, so that when we drop all of those details, you’ll be ready to go. And maybe you’re listening to this. And you know, someone who would make an amazing RM mentor, picture, much like maybe the RMS that teach at the MTC in Provo, maybe you know, someone that would be really good at that, maybe send this podcast their way, send our information their way, so that they can join in this amazing work. And I can’t wait to share more with you. Okay, so what I want to dive into today, is this idea of that opinions are thoughts, too. Okay. So the reason this sort of came up, is because of a message that I got on Instagram, which I am going to share with you in just a little bit. That was really interesting to me. And I just wanted us all to be reminded that just because someone thinks something should be a certain way, or just because someone believes something should be a certain way, or should look a certain way, or that you should do or say or think a certain way doesn’t mean necessarily that you should think that way or feel that way, or even show up that way, or behave in that way. And so the first thing I want to do is I want to talk about where thoughts come from. So thoughts usually come from a few different places. And I will say there’s probably like many, many more options, about how to think about this, about how to think about thoughts and why we adopt thoughts in the first place. There’s probably lots of options. But as I was thinking about this, I kind of narrowed it down to three. Okay, so number one is that usually, our brain will take inventory of what’s going on around us, and it’ll spit out a solution. So I think of our brain like a problem solving machine. And it’s like, always on the lookout for what can be dangerous, what could be harmful, what’s going wrong. And it’s really good at doing this. And so many times, it’ll take in information, a problem, quote, unquote, and it’ll spit out a thought to make sense of that problem. Okay, so that’s the first way. The second way is, maybe perhaps we picked up a thought when we were younger. And a lot of people talk about this kind of in the trauma world, or like the inner child kind of world is that when we were all younger, and we didn’t necessarily have adequate words to describe what was going on at the time, is that sometimes we inadvertently pick up a thought that maybe doesn’t serve us. So if we like, I’ll give you an example. And I know that this, I’ve talked about this tons on this podcast. So maybe you’re like, Jenny, we know you think you’re weak. But that is one for me, is at some point. I don’t know who said it, or when or like the observation that someone made of me and then offered me that that I just started to believe that that was true, that I was weak, or that I wasn’t strong as like, as strong as my sisters are, I wouldn’t be as successful as them. And of course, the longer I believed that thought that someone gave to me at some point, I can’t even pinpoint who it would have been. The longer I thought that the more it just felt true to me. Okay. And so it could have happened from your past. You might just have a thought or a belief that you’ve been believing so long, that it just feels true to you. And then the other thing I thought of is that sometimes even in a current situation, and this is going to apply to the message that I got that I’m going to read to you in just a minute, is someone offers you a thought, like right in the moment when you’re trying to make a decision about how you’re going to do something, or how you’re going to show up. And what we tend to do is we tend to just believe, particularly if it’s someone in a place of authority, or someone who has

10:30 some stewardship over us, we tend to believe that that just is true. That that is just the way it works. And I’m going to give you tons of examples. So stick with me if this isn’t making sense, I know that it’s going to in just a minute, let me give you a few examples of some of these thoughts that either just in society, we’ve sort of just believed, or we heard at some point, or maybe someone has offered it to us, or our brain has just come up with that solution. Many of these might sound familiar to you, Early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Right. Could be true. But it is also just a thought. Now this is also just an opinion that someone decided at some point, this is just the way it works. You go to bed early, you get up early, then your life’s, then you’re healthy, and you’re wealthy, and you’re wise, but I don’t I’m more of a night owl. So this thought doesn’t is someone’s opinion about how it works well for them. But for me doesn’t work as well. You should use a calendar. Right? You if you have goals, you should write those goals down, you should put everything in your calendar. That’s sort of how we believe maybe as a collective that things work best, but not necessarily true. What I’ve found is it works like pretty well for me to not have a calendar, a calendar stresses me out, and then I just judge myself for not sticking to my calendar. Here’s another one, maybe watching TV is a waste of time. I just like you can choose to adopt that opinion, you can have that opinion if you want to. But it’s not a fact. Okay, and there is a difference between something that is a fact something that just is and then there’s also the thoughts that we have about those things. And watching TV is a waste of time, maybe for some people, but what if wasting, like what if watching TV is your job? What if you’re supposed to, like scour all the news channels or, you know, see what’s going on, on YouTube or whatever. There’s 100 reasons why watching TV could not be a waste of time. This one I hear on the mission a little bit if you don’t go to bed exhausted, you aren’t doing it right. You’re not being diligent, you’re not being successful. I mean, maybe, but this is also just an opinion that someone decided at some point, and then it kind of becomes part of like the culture of the way that we think about things. Okay, and, and it works pretty well until you go you come home one night, and you’re like, actually, I, I took pretty good care of myself today. I don’t feel exhausted, I don’t feel like I want to die. Maybe there’s something wrong, right. But there’s nothing wrong. In fact, my personal opinion, is if you come home at the middle of the at the end of the day, you might feel exhausted, but if you don’t, that shows me that you know how to take care of yourself. It shows me that you took little breaks during the day, it shows me that you’re in it for the long haul and you want to be able to keep performing and keep doing the work at an optimal level. Okay, here’s one more. If your calendar is not booked from sunup to sundown, you are lazy. This is just not true. But it’s sort of like we either got that thought from somewhere, someone gave us that thought. And here’s what’s true, guys, it might be true for some people that opinion, this thought, but it’s not true for every single person on the planet. Right. And so we can’t say that it’s just a fact it is an opinion. And that also means that it’s a thought. Here’s another example. I remember a story of a woman in our ward, and they had moved away from our ward for a few years and then they came back and she came back and she was telling I mean, some of my friends about how amazing the ward was where she lived, because they all of their deacons wore suits, when they pass the sacrament, and how much more righteous that was, and how much more spiritual it made it. And that suits were the way and that she thought we should adopt that same thing here. And again, who came up with this idea, or this opinion that suits are better than just white shirts and ties? It’s not even true. This is not even true, like you could decide that. But again, it’s just someone’s opinion, someone just randomly decided, at some point, like, you know, what I think would be cool. Would if all the deacons wear suits, because what I think is that that makes it more reverent or more spiritual. But that isn’t necessarily a fact. Like we could argue, complete opposite of that opinion, is what if people don’t have money for a suit? What if people don’t have resources to get to the store to buy a suit, then is it more spiritual, probably not, maybe creates more of a hardship. So all of this, to say that just because someone offers you a thought, doesn’t make it true. And all of these opinions are just thoughts. These, everything I’ve shared with you here are just ideas or opinions of what people think that they came up with at some point, or that thought was handed to them. And now they want to share it with you. But it doesn’t mean it has to be true for you. So let’s talk a little bit about what a thought actually is. And then what I’m saying in turn also is an opinion is also these things that I’m going to share with you now. thoughts and opinions are just sentences. They’re just sentences in your mind or sentences in someone else’s mind. They are not good or bad. So like someone’s opinion is not good. someone’s opinion is not bad. It just is. It’s just a sentence. Like I think about how our brain is a problem solving machine, and it like spits out some code, right to solve a problem. And it’s not good or bad. It just is. sentences and opinions are just information. Like they give us information about someone how they think. sentences and opinions are the things that create a motion remember, those synapses connect in your brain, point A connects to point B. And that thought goes in your brain and then sends a motion through your body. Also, sentences and opinions. If we created that synapse in the first place, the first time it connected in our brain, we can uncreate that synapse. Meaning our brains are neuro plastic, or they have been said to have neuroplasticity, which means that just because we’re thinking about something one way doesn’t mean that we can change our mind and think about something a different way. You’ll know if a thought or one of these sentences or one of these opinions is useful for you, by the way you feel when you think it. So if you think this thought Early to bed early to rise, but then you just are mad at yourself because you never do that. It’s not a useful thought for you. Or people who are successful use calendars. That’s just not a useful thought for me because it makes me feel shame. It makes me feel upset. It makes me judge myself. Okay. So you’ll know if a thought or opinion is useful for you by the way you feel thoughts and opinions, we have power agency and influence over them. And then I think the last thing to remember about thoughts and opinions is someone probably made it up. I wouldn’t say that this is true for all thoughts, like many of the things with our, you know, faith tradition and stuff like that. Like no one just made that stuff up. We want to believe that stuff. But in many cases, someone just decided, right made it up like calendars are awesome. It was probably actually ironically, people who make calendars. Right? And the people who decided that watching TV is a waste of time and that you should work out instead properly probably sell like workout equipment. Okay, this kind of reminded me of so my kids started school Last week, and it was just kind of fascinating to me to watch the evolution of their water bottles. So a few years ago, like you had to have a Hydroflask the thought the common thought, at least where we live among the school kids middle school, elementary school, high school was Hydroflask was where it was at.

20:27 But that only lasted a minute. But guess who probably decided that Hydroflask was where it was at probably Hydroflask. Isn’t that funny. And then we just like look for social proof that we’re doing it the way that we should be doing it rather than just deciding if we even like a Hydro Flask. It is just an opinion. It is just a thought. So then, after Hydro Flask, it was the yetis everybody had to have a Yeti. And I want a yeti water bottle and I want to Yeti cooler and I want to Yeti anyway. Then we went to Stanley’s everybody has to have a Stanley, everyone has to have a Stanley water bottle. And now this year, they wanted a wall of water bottles. And my point in saying all of this is someone made it up. Who decides that a wall is the best water bottle Hydroflask is the best water bottle. It’s all opinion. It’s all a sentence in someone’s mind that they decided to share with you. Or a sentence that we created in our mind when we saw all of the cool kids at school with a Hydroflask or within a Wala. And it’s totally fine. If you want in a wallet, it’s totally fine. If you want to wear a suit, when you’re a deacon and you’re passing the sacrament, it’s totally fine if you want to believe that watching TV is a waste of time. But what I want for you guys is to choose it intentionally to understand that it is just a thought and not a fact that you get to take the information that someone gives you, you get to observe the world, you get to observe what’s going on in your mission. And you get to make your own sort of judgment or idea about what is best for you. Okay, now I’m going to read you this message that I got from this person on Instagram. She said first I want to thank you for all you do. I love you, and especially your podcasts. So thank you, which is so nice, thank you for that kind kind message. And she said I’m pretty sure I’m getting my call this coming Tuesday, which is 815. So she probably has her call by now and she said way exciting. And I love your I’d love your help with something as I’m already getting ready to receive it. She said basically, as I’ve been preparing, my state president gave me a suggestion to simplify the whole leaving for a mission thing. He suggested making it all look less look at me quote unquote, as so many missionaries tend to usually unintentionally do. He even suggested doing away with the big mission call opening. I completely agree with his mind his mindset here, it is very important for me to realize the true meaning of missions and recognize Christ at the center of it all. But I also love mission call openings. Hahaha she said. So I guess I need your help with coming up with ideas on how to still have a mission called opening, but make it more Christ centered and maybe less traditional. What do you think? Okay, so here’s what’s interesting about this is, and I’m going to read you my response to her in just a minute. But what’s so interesting about this is this is one state presidents idea. This is one state presidents thought that he was given at some point or he observed in the world and decided to make a judgement about that, which is totally fine. But just because the state president doesn’t see like sees it this way doesn’t mean that this girl has to see it this way. He gets to think about it the way he wants to think about it, which serves him and she has to think about it the way it serves her. You don’t ever have to take someone else’s advice. You don’t ever have to adopt someone else’s opinion. Even if it seems like that person should quote unquote know better, or they seem like maybe an authority figure their opinions or thoughts too. Now I’m not saying like let’s all completely disregard our leadership and not take their opinions into consideration. Like forget what our parents are telling us forget what that’s not what I’m saying at all. I just want you in situations like this. Like this girl when it comes to her call and her mission call opening to decide on purpose what you want, rather than being in conflict because it’s not what this stake president wants, you get to form your own opinion. So here’s a couple questions, I would love for you guys to sort of consider when stuff like this comes up. When someone’s like, well, you really should be using a calendar, or our Deacon should really be wearing suits. Or you really should like, open your mission column on your own without anybody there. We could also argue the exact opposite of any of those opinions, because they are just thoughts. They are just sentences that we picked up somewhere, someone or someone made it up. Okay. So, here are a few questions to ask yourself. Number one, is this an absolute fact? Would this be the case for every person and in every situation? It’s just good to reflect on that for this girl? Like, is this an absolute fact that there’s just this one way? That’s the most spiritual or the most Christ like to open a mission call? Maybe? My guess, is probably not. Number two, is it possible that there’s another way to look at this? Number three, how do I feel when I think about it this way, for this girl, when she thought about it, when she was trying to like think about it the way her state president was thinking about it, she actually it made her feel confused and unsettled and unsure about what to do. Number four, ask yourself, what makes more sense to me. So if someone’s like, you should really be booking your calendar, from the time you get up until the time you go to bed. Hmm, okay, maybe. But what makes more sense to me. Number 5am, I adding meaning to something that doesn’t necessarily have meaning. So this goes to like the examples of the water bottles, we add meaning to, if you have this water bottle, then you’re cool. Or if you have these shoes, then you’re cool. Or if you open your mission call in this way, you’re more Christ like, or if you you know, where are these certain suits, then your word is more spiritual or more elevated or something like that. Let’s be careful and not about not adding meaning to something that just doesn’t have meaning. I’m pretty sure if Christ was here himself, he wouldn’t care whether the boys were wearing suits or not, when they’re passing the sacrament game. So be careful about adding meaning. Number six, is it possible that both ways could be effective? Is it possible that we could have a mission call opening with tons of people here, and that would be just as Christ, like, as if I opened it by myself? Maybe. And so that’s why I like you, I want you guys to think about these questions. Or maybe you’re at a district meeting, like, and your district leaders, this has to be done this certain way. And everybody needs to do it this way. And we all need to think about it this way. I mean, maybe. But is it possible that we could be effective another way, and just be open to those ideas and thinking about it the way that works best for you? Number seven, what feels like the way I want to think about this. So they’re totally allowed to think about it how they want to, that makes sense. I understand where they’re coming from, they pick that thought up somewhere, they pick that opinion up somewhere. Totally amazing. I love it. I admire you. That’s amazing. But what feels like the way I want to do this. Now, let me redo my response to the scroll. I’m so excited for you. I said I mean, your State President is looking at it one way. But there are 100 Other ways to look at it. If I’m being honest, I think if Christ was here himself, he would want you to do what you want. And what feels fun. There isn’t a quote unquote, right way to open a mission called just like there is no quote unquote, right way to serve a mission. You just get to create the experience you want. Our heavenly parents trust you, and they want what you want.

29:08 I said, I think the mission is about Christ, and it’s about serving others, but it’s also about you, you are the one going you are the one serving you are the one that gets to make this experience whatever you want it to be. My personal feeling is that if that Christ would want us to be excited, he would want us to be joyful. He’d want us to bring other people to experience the same joy and excitement. That’s the way I see it. Right? This is just my opinion. And she gets to take it or leave it and decide what she wants. But what I said finally, as I said, so do what you want. Your state president doesn’t need to understand it only you do. And that’s the truth. You guys, if you understand it, it won’t matter if other people understand it or judge you. The belief and trust in yourself is going to be so important on the mission. So you could start practicing it now. I’m so glad you liked the podcast. Thank you for your very kind words. You guys, the way you’re thinking about something matters, the way you see the world matters, the way that you perceive what’s going on the way your brain likes to solve problems, the way that you can see things that other people don’t see things matters, the way you do things, really matters. You know, one function of our brain is that it likes to feel safe by making us all the same. Our brain really believes if we were just all the same, and we all felt the same. And we all thought the same, and we all acted the same, it would be safer, because we’d know what to expect from everybody. So it can feel scary sometimes to be like, Oh, even though my state president said this, I kind of feel like I want to do it a different way. I want to do it different, I want to think about it different. So that can feel like almost even threatening to our brain. But you can. And I highly suggest that you do. Because we need everybody. We need you. We need your opinions, we need your thoughts, we need the way that you’re showing up in the world. We need everyone’s way of doing things. And we don’t even need to like convince the stake president or convince the deacons quorum advisor or convince the people that are telling us we need to use a calendar or whatever, we don’t need to even convince them to see it our way. But we do get to choose on purpose, the opinions we want to have, because opinions are just thoughts to. Alright, I hope this helps you all. I hope it gives you a little bit of reason to feel empowered to think that thoughts that you want to think and feel brave enough to share them and to create the life that you want to create and the mission that you want to create. Alright, everyone have the most amazing week we’ll talk to you next time. 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’ll want to grab the free training for preparing missionaries might 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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