Stop the Train – I Need to Get Off!

“Stop the world, I want to get off” is something we say when we feel overwhelmed or like life is racing by entirely too fast. I’ve said it a few times, myself. Recently, I was thinking about what I call the “thought train” that runs through our heads all day long. Some days, it feels like the train is stuck in a repeating loop going over and over the same thoughts.

One reason you get on that repeating track is because something inside of you is working to hold you back from moving forward. A fear or thought of lack of some kind has you believing it’s better to stay right where you are instead of moving forward. The next time you notice that your mind is caught in the repeat cycle, stop for a moment, then notice what you are working on or what you were thinking about right before the cycle began. This can help you figure out what intention or action is triggering the desire to stop the forward movement. When you figure out what action or forward intention caused the thought train to enter its loop to derail your progress, you can work on getting past the fear or thoughts of lack. Then, you can get back on track (so to speak!).

So, here’s an example of what I mean. It happened to me just this past week.

I’m working on a new program that I want to release soon. There are quite a few steps to completing it and making it successful. It requires me to learn and create some things that are entirely new for me. This particular day, I was working out some of the details while I was taking a shower — some of my best thinking comes in the shower! Sometime later, still in the shower, I noticed that I kept thinking about something that happened in a movie the night before. The scenes kept repeating themselves — quite nonsensical, actually. I noticed it and refocused my thinking on my new program. Before I realized it, my thoughts were right back at that movie scene! I actually had to refocus my thinking at least half a dozen times before I could keep my mind focused on the details of my program. It eventually worked, though, and I had some good planning as a result.

Here are a few things I’ve noticed about keeping on track:

  • the harder it is to stay focused on something tells me that what I keep getting distracted from is either important or scary to some part of me
  • when I keep refocusing myself — over and over — I do get myself back on track
  • it is often valuable to notice what the repeating thoughts, images or songs are — it can be a clue to what’s actually behind the fear or lack thinking
  • be patient and persistent with yourself — the rewards are worth it: progress, action, results, peace, joy, etc.
  • the practice of refocusing takes practice — be patient with yourself
  • refocusing is a habit — it takes 21-28 days to make it so solid that you can call it your new habit

Getting your thoughts back on track — i.e. getting off the thought train speeding around in circles — helps you stay focused on your vision and do what it takes to make it real.

Coach’s Challenge:

Take a few minutes and think back to the last time your mind was racing in circles about something.

  • How effective were those circles of thought?
  • How far along the track towards your visioned life did they take you?
  • What tools do you use to get past or through the obstacles and keep moving forward?
  • What else could you do the next time you get caught in the repeating cycle?

Suggested Resource:

Focal Point by Brian Tracy book coverThis book has helped me to more clearly focus on getting what I want in my life. If you’re looking for some help finding what to focus on and then staying focused, this practical guide is sure to help you along your way.