This week we’re breaking free from our mental prisons of victimhood, fear, and hopelessness with help from psychologist and Holocaust survivor Dr. Edith Eger. Listen to hear Dr. Eger talk with Jordan and Alice about how our thoughts create our feelings, and how changing the language of your thoughts can lead you to a more take-charge approach to life.
Dr. Eger is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Choice: Embrace the Possible, which is her memoir about surviving Auschwitz. Her most recent book, The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life, is her guide to navigating life’s most complicated challenges.
On how to change the language of your self-talk in order to start letting go of the thoughts that are holding you back:
[O]ne of the things that I ask people to get rid of are two words: “always” and “never.” “I always do that. I’m never going to find the right life partner,” and replace it, “up till now, I did this. And now I can do something else,” because change is synonymous with growth. I like the idea of changing gears in a car and then releasing the clutch. So this is a good time out period to ask yourself, what am I doing now and how is it working for me? How is it serving me? And maybe some things you’re holding on to and it’s time to let go.
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On the importance of being kind to yourself and starting to observe your own thoughts and behaviors:
[G]ive yourself permission to feel any feelings without judging that feeling. It’s the way you think is what you create. Your feelings don’t come first. You think first. And that creates your feelings. So it’s two things. It’s important to think about your thinking and pay attention what you’re paying attention to. Any behavior to pay attention to, you reinforce that behavior.
On learning to take-charge of your life:
[T]his is what I decided after I was liberated. And I was in that cast, and I realized my parents are not coming back. And I wanted to die. It’s easier to die than to live. And life is difficult. Look up your birth certificate. Does it say life is easy? Does it say that is a guarantee? No. Not even a certainty. But there is probability. The way I think that’s what I create. So be a take-charge person. Your thinking, your feeling and your behavior. So before you say anything, you ask yourself, is it kind? Is it very important then? And if it’s not kind, don’t say it because no one grows on criticism.
To hear more of Dr. Eger’s wisdom, we recommend listening to the full episode.
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