You Are What You Think: How Thoughts Create Your Reality

Every day we are consumed by thoughts – from the moment we wake up to the time we go to sleep, and then dreams take over. A 2020 study estimates that a person has an average of 6,000 thoughts in one day.


According to Michael Singer, in his lecture series Living from a Place of Surrender, there are two types of thoughts: those you create consciously and those you are not creating. Just as your mind creates dreams, it creates thoughts. Often the thoughts are built around your current mood or chemistry, and the brain is creatively maintaining homeostasis and making sense of the environment.


The brain and its network in your body is a supercomputer that transcends anything man has created. Every cell in your body operates without your conscious thought and every organ maintains its function without you consciously having anything to do with it. On top of this, your brain can solve complex problems, be aware of your surroundings, differentiate between colours, store and recount memories, make connections, and perform other tasks – without you even pushing a button.

Herein lies the problem. Our brain is so effective, we are inclined to take a back seat, and allow it to run our whole life without taking control. This is fine in terms of conserving energy; however, it is like getting into a self-driving car of the future and not giving any input to where you want to go. You would either end up going nowhere or end up where you don’t want to be. With every sophisticated device, there needs to be some form of conscious attention to what it is doing. This goes for your mind too.

Since birth, our minds have been paying attention to everything that goes on around us. According to neuroscientists, until the age of seven, a child’s brainwaves are predominantly theta waves, which means the external world comes in and is absorbed without question so that the maximum amount of information can be stored. So many things you heard and experienced early in your life were retained in your mind without question, including times when you were told you are stupid, clumsy, have two left feet, won’t be good at maths, etc.

Unfortunately, our school years are not geared toward self-reflection, thought control, and critical thinking. The environment is stressful, competitive, and controlling, leaving little time to process thoughts and impressions of the world. And so, our beliefs about the world, others, and our environment are formed and stored mostly from the input of others. We also developed a mental pattern of who we are, what we like and don’t like, without necessarily having experienced many of the things we were making determinations about.

Your mind now has a filter through which it analyses and interprets the world and every moment in front of you. Think of it as an algorithm. You are creating your own reality. If you allow this algorithm to determine how you see the world, you will not see the reality that is in front of you, and however your brain perceives the reality, it will influence your emotions for the rest of your life. Look at when you meet someone new. If they are in a certain profession, look a certain way, or act a certain way, you form an opinion of them based on your experience of all people from your past with similar attributes.

The same goes for experiences you have. Every experience is new, but we believe we have had the same experience before, and we apply the same actions that worked in the past. And so, the reality before you is merely a projection of the reality that is inside your head. According to Dr Joe Dispenza, in his talks about rewiring the brain, 50% of what you talk about from your past isn’t even the truth. Your memory is creative.

Notice how your mind creates stories to make sense of the world. If a friend you had a great day with the day before had to walk past you the next morning without saying hello, pay attention to what happens. Your mind will go crazy developing hypotheses of why your friend never said hello. These could range from she is annoyed with you, upset over a pst event, she is sulking, she doesn’t want to be your friend anymore, etc. The reality is that you don’t know the answer. The only way you will truly find out is if you ask her. Unfortunately, what we often do, is come up with an answer that sounds most plausible, turn to someone else to discuss the situation, and see the drama unfold. Perhaps if you had asked your friend, she would have told you she didn’t see you and was deep in thought herself about an upcoming work presentation.

So, how do we take back control? To start with, you need to realise your thoughts are not you. Furthermore, you need to understand your brain’s capacity and its ability to transform reality according to what you stored without question. With this awareness, you can start noticing the thoughts and questioning them in terms of whether they are true or not.

The great author and speaker, Byron Katie, formulated four questions to ask yourself when you have a thought or belief about a certain person or situation:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you absolutely know it is true?
  3. How do you react when you believe the thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought? In other words, who would you be if you erased the thought like you would erase an app from your phone?

The Sedona Method is another tool one can use to release the emotions and thoughts we have stored.

By becoming aware of the thoughts and emotions you have stored, you can choose what serves you well and what does not. This creates space for you to let go of unwanted thoughts and move on without judgement or suppression. Because you accumulated all this junk inside your mind over a lifetime, don’t expect that as you start releasing, everything will resolve immediately. It is an ongoing process and will happen over time; you will notice the more you pay attention and let your thoughts come and go, the happier and freer you become.