147: Automatic Negative Thoughts... Stomping out the ANTS - Betsy Pake

147: Automatic Negative Thoughts… Stomping out the ANTS


Episode 147


You’re listening to Episode 147 of The Art of Living big.


I want to talk about what you’re thinking about.

So you’re thinking thoughts all day long. And most of the thoughts you’re thinking are actually about yourself. And what those thoughts are actually doing is creating the environment that tells you Yes, I should do this thing. Yes, I should go for the goals I have, yes, I’m worthy of my dreams, or stay small. Don’t try to do that. Keep your mouth shut. It’s not worth the risk. And so I want you to just look around at your life and say, does this life match the dreams

that I have?

Does this life match me going for the dreams that I have? Or is this a replay of yours that have gone on before? Right? So am I creating something new, or am I stuck. And the thing about being stuck is that sometimes being stuck is really uncomfortable. Sometimes you can feel it at your core, and you’re like, I cannot live like this one more minute.

But before you get to that point,

you’ve been stuck for a while. And you’re sort of just moving through it, being okay, being mediocre in your feelings, and just not really paying attention until it gets really bad.

So today,

I want to talk about that. I want to bring it to your attention. You know, back in, I don’t think it was like the 70s. I remember my

mother had the book. It was

Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

And this was a book by a guy named Richard Bach. And I think it was channeled. I’ve seen interviews with him where he talks about it as if it was channeled. But there’s a lot of great quotes. And it’s a really great book about Jonathan, the seagull and how he wants something more. And one of the quotes in the book is argue for your limitations. And sure enough, they’re yours. And I wonder all day long when you’re talking to yourself. are you arguing for your limitations?

We’re gonna get into it on today’s show. Welcome to the art of living big. I’m your host, Betsy Pake. And this podcast is designed to share interviews and new ideas to help you redefine what could be possible for your life. Now, let’s go live big. Hey, everybody, welcome to the show.

So today, I want to talk about arguing for your limitations, and maybe some self talk that you’re not even totally aware that you’re having. Because sometimes we just go through life, and we’re not even realizing the things that we tell ourselves until it comes into our awareness, right.

So I’m all about bringing things into our awareness, and really using the power to shift. Because if you become aware, and you want to shift, things can change change for you. Like I stumbled on that because I want to say like you, miracles can happen today. Today, things could change in your life dramatically. In a day, I actually have a post it note on a big mirror in my hallway that says in one week, everything could be totally different. And it’s true in one week, if you can change how you see things. Give me a day, give me an hour, I’m going to give you an example.

And we’re going to talk

about this today and get a little bit deeper. Okay, so I have permission to share this story. But there is a client that I have had in the past. And she did one on one coaching with me and she did no limits.

So an


student of trying to understand her limitations and really

working towards

building muscle in her mindset, right? So this is not your average person. This is somebody that really has become a student of this and is identifying where things are going wrong and wants to shift them.

Alright, so

it’s Friday, and I get this text in the afternoon. And it said, Hey, you know, I’m just curious if I can, if you can help me with some brain things real quick. I’m on my way to Disney for the princess half marathon. I’ve been training regularly three to four times running every week since November, but I haven’t yet run the full 13.1 miles yet.

I’ve just run up to eight miles. I want to enjoy this time this weekend. I’ve spent a lot of money to come down here and I’ve taken off work, but I keep getting lost and being scared

of getting swept.

So they’ll pick you up and take you off the course. If you don’t keep up with a minimum pace. The minimum is slower than my training pace. But my knee has been bothering me and I’m scared that I won’t finish and it will be so embarrassing. After putting so much time and effort into my training and nutrition.

These are my two questions. How can I stop the anxiety loop in my brain? So I can enjoy my time here until the race on Sunday? And what brain hacks Can I use

during the race to freaking

finish this thing would be a lot of time. Okay. So she’s like, I’m trying to speak exactly what I want into existence, which is perfect. So I texted a couple things. And then I was like, call me. So we could talk this. This took this conversation. I don’t know, maybe I talked to her. Seven minutes, maybe.

So I just tell you that because it’s fast. All right. And so what I did was I asked her, because this is all just her brain. This isn’t. Um, so when you train for a run, I ran a marathon years ago, and the most I had run before the marathon, a marathon is what, 21 miles, 24 miles, 26 miles is 26.1 miles.

That’s how long ago it was.

I had only run, I think 18 miles as my longest run. So I had never run the 26 miles, right. So she had only run eight miles. And she had to run 13.1. So right off the bat, I said, I’ve run a marathon, and I’ve only I only ran 18 miles before the race. So immediately, I wanted to shift what her belief was, because her belief was that she didn’t train long enough to be able to actually finish the length of the distance of the race, right? Because she told me that, so right off the bat, I wanted to get that out of the way.

So I said, so tell me what it is you’re afraid of. And she’s like, I’m just afraid that like, my knee has been bothering me, and I’m with some friends that are like runners, right? And they’re going to kill it. And they are going to go at a much quicker pace than me and I’m going to be left behind and that I won’t finish. So all of the sudden, when we were talking the the issue was no longer that she hadn’t run far enough in her training, right? Do you see how we got a hold of that?

Right off the bat. And so I want to say it again, what did I do is I just showed her an example of somebody else that had done that same exact thing and been successful. So if you’ve got something in your life that you’re trying to do, and you’re like, I don’t know, find somebody else that has already done it successfully, it doesn’t have to be the exact same thing. It wasn’t like I had run eight miles only in was trying to run 13. I told her I’d ran 18 and was trying to run 26, which is actually a bigger distance gap, right? So it doesn’t have to be exactly the same. But it has to just the belief that you can’t do

it because of that has to be destroyed.

Right? So right off the bat, just by me saying that it changed the way she was thinking. So then her limitations were simply that she was with her friends, and they were going to be running faster. And she was going to be left behind and that her knee injury was going to be like bogging her down, right? And then they might come in sweet peel. And then what So I said to her, and then what? And she’s like, then I’d be taken off the race. And I was like and then what?

And she was like, then I wouldn’t finish and all my friends would finish and I would be embarrassed. And then what? And then I wouldn’t fit in with my friends and then what? And then I would feel terrible. And I wouldn’t be part of the group. And then what you could die. That’s if you dig down into fear, I’m going to be discarded from the tribe, which is exactly what she thought, even though her friends weren’t really going to kick her out of the car, right?

But in your brain, because your brain is like, I have never done this before. Holy crap, don’t do it. You’re gonna die, you’re gonna die. You’re gonna die. Don’t do it. And so when she became aware of that, and that that was really ridiculous, right? Her friends weren’t gonna asked her top ostracize her from the

group. She wasn’t

gonna not get a ride back home. Even if the very worst thing happened, which

was that she was swept.

She would be fine. Like, everything would be fine. But I told her

even with that,

then she was like, oh,

like, all of a sudden, now your brain has something it grasps it. Right. So then your brains like, Oh, that’s true. Like, let’s get back into real life. Let’s be logical here. This isn’t I’m not gonna die. So then I was like, but what do you want? And she was like, I want to have fun. So then all of a sudden, it wasn’t like running a eight minute mile

in this race, right? It was like, I want to go to this Disney thing that I’ve been thinking about for so long. And I want to have fun. Well, that it My friend is within your grasp. Absolutely. So do you think if you went out there and you were really excited, and you started running and you just worried about having fun? Do you think you could finish it? And she was like, Yeah, totally. So within moments, we were able to change The direction of her thoughts.

So she was in the car ruminating, right? with all her friends going, I’m never gonna be able to do this oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. And it was heightened, heightened tight. And by the time I talked to her they had like, stopped at a rest stop. And she called me and I could hear it in her voice, right. And so once we got a hold of it, and once we started to change the direction of the thought process, well, then all of a sudden, it was going in a different way. And she managed to control it. So then off she goes. I am at the grocery store on Sunday morning at 1010.

And I get a text all in caps. Betsy, I did it. And I was like I knew her. I’m so proud of you. Way to master your mindset that wasn’t about the training. She had done the training already. Like she was trained by the time she got there. It was just her mindset she had to master. And she said I had to dig deep. I had to dig deeper than anything in my life. And Dino wanna know what I thought as a coach? Good.

Good. Because not only did you finish, not only did you get to do a cool thing, not only did you have fun, but you grew, you got to see how freakin powerful you are. And Chris, like she’s like, thank you, thank you, thank you, I can’t say enough Thank you Is I’m not sure I could have done it without your pep talk. So I think she could have, but I’m so happy that she called me. And that I could be a part of that and like feel a little part of that success. And so I want you to be able to do this too. Because all of this is

what is running through your mind.

Nothing changed physically for her to be able to do that. It was just what’s in her mind. And she had fun. And she experienced something super cool. And she has a great story. And everything turned out exactly the way she was envisioning. So with all of that, let me ask you about what you’re thinking about all day. here in

Atlanta, where I live, there is

a clinic here called the amen clinic, which is they’ll do scans of your brain to find out certain things about anxiety and overwhelm. And Dr. Ayman actually wrote a book about brain, your brain, how your brain works, and all of these things. But one of the things he talks about is to learn how to stop out the ants, the answer automatic negative thoughts. And so these ants can start to run your

life. And so his three step

process, which I think is a process that is common to coaches, but it is that you have to become aware of them, you have to stomp them out by challenging them. And then you have to replace them with a more positive affirming thought, which is exactly what we did when we were talking about the race, right? So become aware.

So how do you actually become aware? So you’ve got to be diligent of it. And here’s how I want you to start look around your life, does it match what you want? No, then there’s some thoughts running in there, right? So easy peasy, done. We all have them, I have them. I have thoughts negative thoughts are running through my day.

And so learning how to control those can really be life changing. And so the key to this is really about deciding that you ultimately have a decision to make if you want to listen to those thoughts, or you don’t. So just because you’re thinking it does not mean that it’s true. Just because somebody said it to you in third grade does not mean that it’s true.

So you have to decide what will actually be a better thought and what you’re willing to put up with from yourself. So here’s how I do it. I like to notice when I’m saying certain phrases to myself, when I’ve got certain words running around in my head, or if I notice I’m saying Oh, um, but you know, sometimes that happens when you’re scrolling on social media or Instagram and you’re like, oh, but they’re so great that I’m not right. So you’ve got this comparison thing going on. And I also notice when I start to say words, like, I’ll never be able to, or I

no one ever, or

this will never work, like any kind of absolutes like that are typically going to be for the negative. So

really rarely

do we say to ourselves, unless we’re conscious of it, do we say to ourselves, like I always win stuff. Like I’m always lucky, like that is a habit that you’ve created, if you’re saying things for the positive. So let’s think about it this way. Our brains are designed to keep us safe. And so they’re actually hyper focused on the negative there that your brains are designed to look for the negative. So if you’re thinking negative thoughts, your brain is actually working correctly. Alright. So it’s work. It’s doing its job. Great, but then Is 2019. And

we want it to do what we want it to do so that we can live

a big life,

right? So there are a couple things that you can do. And I have seen some books, I’ve read a book that said to for three days to write down every negative thought you have, which honestly, is really difficult to do, because your negative thoughts are so normal to you that you don’t

notice them. And so

what I try to do, I use an app called chime.

It’s a really

simple, simple app. It’s free on the iPhone App Store. It’s a little green app, there’s no like bells and whistles, well, it is a bell. So that’s the only bell. But there’s no bells and whistles like it’s super plain app.

But you can set it up so that it chimes

every couple hours every hour, I have set it when I did my three days on 15 minutes and every 15 minutes, I would chime it’s this little chime where if you’re with somebody, they hardly notice it. But if you have said it, you are aware of it and you hear it. And then I just asked myself what have I been thinking about for the past 15 minutes, it’s shocking.

It will be shocking to you if you do this, how many negative things that you think so if you’re going to do this, do it like two, three days has been the the suggestion. So do it on a weekend and oh, a one week day, right. So run the time and see what you’re thinking, see what your patterns are, and when you can become aware of them. And when you know what your patterns are, then they become really much more simple to fix. So I look for these words like I look for the the absolutes, the Nevers, I also look for the guilt trip words.

So these are words like I should have, I ought to, I need to. So these are words that we use to actually be guilt tripping ourselves into doing something different. And so when I start to notice these words, and when I start to notice that these are the words I use,

once it becomes into your awareness,

then I try to just shift it. So

for example, with the guilt trip words,

I try to switch it so that I say, it supports my goals to work out today. Instead of I need to work out today I should work out today, or I need to work on that project, I say would be really smart for me to work on that project. Even if I’ve already said I need to, if I catch myself, I go back and say it would really be part aligned with my goals for me to do that today. Maybe I’ll do that. Now, that seems like that would really help me reach my goal. That seems like a good idea,

I had a really good idea.

So I actually let I carry it out, I keep going with it. And that can actually be really helpful because what you’re doing is you’re teaching yourself to catch those negative words. And you’re replacing, and you’re continuing, and you’re not dying. So your brain actually is being retrained, you’re actually creating new neural pathways, so that the old neural pathways are being broken.

So anytime that I’m becoming aware of something, and then I’m shifting the way I’m doing it, you’re breaking the old neural pathway and creating a new one. So you can actually create this whole idea, you know, how you have people. And I actually have been a person that has often said, I’m really lucky,

like things always work out. For me,

that is true, things always work out for me.

But I must have trained myself to think that long ago. And so I started to see experiences where that was true that started to enjoy reinforced. So that is an in deep, deeply ingrained neural pathway for me that things always work out for me. So when I get like, ah, things are stressful, this is awful.

I, I automatically, I think, but this will work out because things always work out for me, or I’m really lucky. And when you become when you can switch that neural pathway, and you become the kind of person that thinks that you actually become the kind of person that gets that outcome. Why? Because when I switch my neural pathway, so that I’m creating this positive neural pathway, my brain does what it always wants to show me how what I think is correct.

And so

I have a system in my brain card called the RAS the reticular activating system. And so if I tell myself things always work out for me, my I my ra S is going to actively be looking for opportunities that could help me so that this always works out for me. If you’re if you tell yourself you’re always lucky, your neural pathway is formed and your ri S is going to be supporting the fact that

you’re really lucky and

it’s going to be looking for opportunities. Could this be how she’s lucky? Could this be how she’s How do things always work out? Right, so we can train our brains, we’re not, we have neuroplasticity, we’re not stuck. And if you’ve always thought, if you’ve always thought I’m just not good enough, or there’s a little voice in the back of your head, where you never dare to really try stuff, that doesn’t have to be your future, you, you can’t change it. science shows us that you can change it.

And so you just need to start noticing and becoming aware. And then you can become an active participant in creating something new. And, you know, I’m so glad that kk reached out to me, and I could help her to redirect and find that neural pathway. But she knew she knew how to do it. Sometimes, though, when we’re in the panic, we need help. Right? Sometimes we need somebody else, I always have a coach. And that’s why because we don’t see our blind spots.

And it’s always helpful to have somebody else go, Wait a second, what about this? Look at this, right? So I want to ask you, are you ready to start talking to yourself like a winner? Are you ready to start shifting your thoughts? Because you are where you are right now? Because your thoughts brought you there? And so you can go somewhere else? And your thoughts can bring you there, too? And what would happen? Like what would happen? If you started thinking, positive thoughts?

What if you started thinking you are a winner? What if every time something challenged you you knew it was going to work out? What if every time you wanted to take a leap you knew and you had faith that even if it didn’t work out exactly the way you want it, it would work out in the best way that supported you for your greater good and the greater good of everyone around you? What if that was truly your belief? How would your life be different? How could things shift for you?

Alright, so I want to tell you about another thing that I found that may support this transition to not be negative thinking. Alright, so you remember, I was sick. earlier in the month, right? I had pneumonia and all that. And one of my girlfriends told me about a supplement called NAC. Now, before I go any further, I’m not a doctor, I’m not telling you to take this. And I don’t know what other medications you do take. So I’m just going to tell you about it.

And I’m going to tell you about my experience. And then you do your googling yourself, and you figure out what works. But here’s what I found. Um, she told me to take an it’s it is an amino acid supplement is what it is. I got it on Amazon. It’s called NAC. And I just because I know y’all will ask me I got a brand called now, I don’t know that one is better than the other, but that’s what my girlfriend took. So that’s what I got. It has a purple top. And I got a 600 milligram dose of NAC.

And it’s supposed to help when i when i she told me about it, and I googled it. And I found that it helps they give it to people lots of times in the hospital so that they don’t get pneumonia. So if they have bronchitis, so that doesn’t turn into a pneumonia. So that’s what I had I had bronchitis that turned into pneumonia.

But then I as I was googling, I was finding that they use it for a lot of things. And it was sort of interesting to me because I found that it helped with detoxification to prevent kidney and liver damage. And then it got really interesting for me because I like the Brain Stuff. And I found that they have done studies and there is a an abundance of studies on this supplement. It’s not like there’s like forced, I mean, there’s a ton of studies out.

So if you like all that stuff, you can go down the rabbit hole. Like for hours, I’m here to tell you, you can be up till four o’clock in the morning, like looking at studies and reading stuff. But what I found was that they found that it could improve psyche psychiatric disorders, but then I thought addictive behavior. And they have done so many studies where it has helped specifically with cocaine addiction. So they’ve done a lot of studies with cocaine addiction, and they’ll give it to people now

remember, this is an amino acid supplement. So

so I mean amino acids are in our food, right? So it’s not, you know, you do your googling, but

as I was going through I was like,

so cocaine addiction. So then I started reading more and more about other addictive behaviors and how they use NAC to support this. Okay, so what is our negative thought patterns?

It’s an addictive behavior,

it’s it which is why we can become aware of it and change it

and then have positive

thought patterns, right?

So it’s a habit. If we become addicted, we become addicted to feelings, emotions. So our brain has a pattern, something happens. It creates an emotion a chemical reaction in

our body, we can get addicted to that.

Okay, so I started going down the rabbit hole. And I found a lot of research that shows that it can help with this addictive patterns. And so based on the research, I changed the dosage so that I was taking more. And I will tell you that when I take NAC, I need to take it in the morning, if I take it at night, it keeps me up, not like my body up, I’ll be tired, but my brain is very alert.


I do believe for myself, there is an alert

component to it.

But it has changed my, the way my brain works in terms of these negative repeating patterns. So I am still experimenting with this. But I wanted to share it on this show, since this is what we’re talking about, specifically do your own research. Like I said, I’m gonna say it again, I’m not a doctor, I don’t know you. And I don’t know what you medications you take or anything like that.

But it has been so profound to me that I reached out to my daughter’s doctor to see if she could take it to just to help support as a teenager, especially like, my gosh, the negative thought process is going on in a teenager, and especially when that’s a sensitive little creature like mine, I know that this could really help support her.

So I share that with you so that maybe you can do your own research. And you can look it up and see how that might start to impact or influence your life. And if you Google it, you’ll find that it’s sort of remarkable that this isn’t a supplement that’s talked about more, because there’s a ton of research about it. And it seems like it helps I mean, it can help with fat loss, infertility. I mean, it helps immune function, it helps reduce heart disease risk, because it helps like prevent oxidative damage.

So there’s a lot of different components to it. And obviously, you get it in your food, too. So what I’m talking about is an additional supplement. So there are pills, there are sprays, there are lots of different things. But do your research, I just wanted to share that because it might be something interesting for you to try and see if you can kind of biohack that yourself.

All right. So now that we have a plan, I want to know are you going to take this challenge, take three days, really identify where your negative self talk is, stop in its tracks and start to create a new neural pathway, you can do this, you can start to change. And when you do,

you will shift things very rapidly. So

let me ask you this.

One last question. Before we go. If I were to tell you that I was going to give you a million dollars, if you could take 90 days and focus only on the positive for 90 days, would you be able to do it? I asked you that because I think it’s worth a million dollars. I think that if you could stay focused and shift your positive thinking to your negative to positive thinking for 90 days, and be consistent, I think so many miracles would start to happen, you would

more than a million dollars would come into your life,

your career would improve your relationships would improve, you would have opportunities that you never even knew were available to you. And your whole life could shift.

So one last thing before we go,

if you are feeling this, if you know as I’ve been talking, that you have this pattern in your brain, and you have this as a habit, where you’re constantly beating yourself up, and when you look around your life, it’s not really what you expected or intended, or even where you want to be. But maybe you’re feeling a little bit stuck.

And I’ll tell you what, if you don’t get unstuck, you just create the same patterns over and over again. And it’s sort of like Groundhog Day. But when you can have some tools. And when you can start to understand how to shift things, then it becomes much easier and it flows much quicker. And then transformation and then hitting goals and then manifesting what you want. The turnover for that becomes less and less and less. And you start to create momentum around what it is you really want your life.

So if this is you, and if you’re like I really do want something different in my life, I want to invite you to just jump on my calendar. I’ve opened up some spots over the next week. That is going to be a time for us to have a strategy session and really pick out some places where you can start to shift your life and get some leverage.

So if you’re interested in grabbing one of those spots, they’re going to go quick. So jump over to my calendar. If you go to Betsy Pake comm backslash, let’s talk just one word. Let’s talk, you’ll see a link to my calendar and there should be some spots available. And we can have a strategy session and really figure this out and figure out

where you can start to shift

so that you can start get back on that track and start living those dreams. Right. And I think that that’s how you live a big life. So thanks so much for listening to this week’s episode. I’ll see you guys next week. And as Always here’s a little message from my husband.

That’s it.


Meet Betsy!

I'm Betsy Pake!

*Ocean obsessed

*Probably hanging out with my dogs


*Deep thinker

Hey There!

About Betsy

Hi I’m Betsy and I’m a subconscious change expert.
By day you can find me digging deep into the unconscious beliefs and identity of my clients so they can move past self-sabotage and lack of confidence and gain traction in their career and life.