I’ve been thinking a lot about Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Many of my clients are dismayed that their brains offer them so many negative thoughts about the world around them.
They believe these negative thoughts, so much that they start to believe those negative thoughts are facts. And then, unknowingly, they create results in their life that they don’t want. And they struggle to create results they do want.
Eventually they start thinking something is wrong with them. Why can’t they figure this out? Why can’t they lose the weight? Why can’t they get things done? Why can’t they make their relationship work? More negative thoughts.
I’m going to tell you the secret. You are not your thoughts. Your brain offers you between 60,000 and 80,000 thoughts per day. I’m using the word offers for a reason. You don’t have to believe any of them. Your brain offers them to you, and you get to choose.
Here’s where Eeyore comes in. Eeyore sees the negative side of every situation. He has a very bleak outlook on life. But his friends love him for exactly who he is. They don’t tell him he should be different. They just allow him to be Eeyore. And he replies with “Thanks for noticing.”
I’d like you to imagine that you have an Eeyore living in your brain. He offers you thoughts like “you’re not good enough,” “you can’t do this,” “this is going to be hard,” and “why even bother.”
You don’t have to believe Eeyore ( just as his friends don’t). But you also don’t need to beat him up either. You can allow him to be there with you, acknowledge him so he feels heard, love him exactly as he is, AND choose to believe something else — something that actually serves you.
This is what I do with my clients. I show them their thoughts are NOT facts. They are just thoughts. I teach them how to let go of those thoughts and how to believe new thoughts that will get them the results they want in their life.
As I was pondering this Eeyore connection, I started to notice that all the Winnie the Pooh characters can be used in this way. If you struggle with anxiety, you may want to imagine Piglet in your brain. When Piglet offers thoughts that create anxiety, you can calmly reply, “I hear you. It’s ok. I’ve got you.”
Pooh Bear might be the one who wants you to eat something you don’t want to eat. Rabbit may have some OCD thoughts to offer. Tigger will for sure offer some ADHD producing thoughts. You get the idea.
Which character resonates the most with you and the kinds of thoughts your brain offers regularly?
The point is to understand that you are not your thoughts. You have a choice. You can believe ANYTHING you want to believe. Believing what Eeyore tells you will almost certainly result in pain. He doesn’t offer facts, just thoughts, no matter how much he tries to tell you otherwise.
Try this little trick out and let me know how it goes.