If someone had told me five years ago that I could feel happier, more hopeful, and more alive simply by training my thoughts, I would’ve thought they were insane. If they told me that I could completely change my mood and finally free myself of my chronic #anxiety and #depression, I would've straight up laughed in their face and immediately walked away.
You might not know it by looking at me now, but for most of my life I’ve battled anxiety and depression, as well as crippling self-esteem issues. Rooted in early childhood experiences and trauma, I spent most of my existence trying to just get by without feeling terrible on a daily basis. I had no boundaries and allowed myself to be taken advantage of over and over again, in both little and bigger ways, which led to reinforcing this core story I was telling myself: “You’re not good enough and not worthy of being loved for who you are, and look! People are treating you badly so it must be true!”
This is a toxic cycle of self-loathing that both cripples a person’s ability to feel good about anything, while also creating limiting beliefs that end up holding that same person back from their potential greatness.
And when I began seeing clients as a therapist, I quickly realized that this is a theme that is alive for most people, in some form or another. We all struggle with self-worth and that's actually what keeps us from achieving all of the things we want to achieve in our lives.
So how do we begin addressing this in a way that works? Well, the answer is that we begin to slowly re-wire and train our brains to create the reality that we desire. We can have ANY life that we want, but you do have to commit to doing the hard work that will get you there.
A big part of that will mean:
1. Engaging in deep, non-judgmental, self-exploration to identify the negative thoughts and stories you’re creating, which are unconsciously driving your life in a certain direction you don’t want.
Using tools like mindfulness and meditation to stay aware of your inner voice, so that when a thought arises that doesn’t align with the kinds of thoughts you want to have, you can stop and reframe it to serve you better.
Practicing a ton of self-compassion and self-care, and avoiding placing any judgement or meaning on the negative thoughts or stories you’ve created in the past.
Working with a trained professional (a coach or a therapist) who can safely guide you through this mentally and emotionally difficult process.
By gathering the courage to explore these aspects of your psyche, you can gain more control over your every day lived experience.
For example, you could wake up and immediately feel terrible because you’re thinking about that argument you had with your partner last night, or how many bills you have to pay, or what you’re going to say to that difficult co-worker later in the day. Or you could wake up and feel excited because the sun is shining, and it’s beautiful outside, and you’re so grateful for another opportunity to be a part of this world. You’re noticing the thoughts that come up about the stressful things in your life, but instead of attaching to them and letting them dictate your mood, you’re noticing them and letting them float on in your mind’s eye. Your focus is on all the things you’re grateful for, and the knowledge that each moment we have is a gift to be savored. This shift in thought might seem small, but it will completely change the way you live your life.
After practicing this kind of mindfulness-based neurological re-wiring for almost three years now, I can’t even tell you what a HUGE difference it has made for me personally.
I no longer have to chase away the shadows of depression and anxiety every day. They still show up, but I’m able to work with them in a way that serves me. They no longer dictate my worth or my ability to grow, and they can't stand in my way any longer.
I’m happier, so much more confident, and I feel more aligned and with purpose than ever before. I went from working two minimum wage jobs to survive, surrounding myself with emotional vampires and manipulators, and struggling to find meaning in anything, to getting my Masters degree, becoming a trained therapist, discovering my power, and then starting my very own business! I never thought I would be able to have this life that I always secretly dreamed of, where I would feel totally comfortable in my own skin, where I would confidently live in my purpose as a healer and coach, and where I would simply be happy.
And if I can do it, I truly believe that anyone can. It takes work and it’s hard, but it will change your life.
It starts with understanding and training the mind to create the reality we desire, and it ends with being able to completely reprogram your unconscious to release yourself from the harmful, negative thoughts and stories you have been carrying around for your entire life.
It’s time to get rid of the baggage that's been holding you back, and finally reclaim your power!
Sending you Love, Hugs, and Good Vibes,
If this sounds interesting to you, send me a DM on Instagram or shoot me an email. I’d love to help you train your brain and become the greatest version of yourself!
Gabrielle Ortega, M.A.
Owner & Founder of OM Therapy Coaching
Dog-Lover, Ocean Child, & Mender of Broken Things