We know who we are, and it ain’t that

The brain might be competent, but it still doesn’t understand context. 

It has no idea which of our thoughts are appropriate, depraved, healthy or bizarre. It just churns them out. Tens of thousands of thoughts every single day until we die. 

For that reason, it’s important not to judge ourselves for whatever weird movies our brain may be playing. Because those thoughts are not who we are. They are not a glaring indication there’s something wrong with us. 

Therapists who specialize in obsessive compulsive disorder will often use a helpful strategy with their patients. Their recommendation is:

Instead of ruminating with the intent of trying to solve the thought, figure out what it means and why it exists, simply accept it. 

Instead of incessantly agonizing over the thought and obsessively worrying ourselves to a point of debilitation, simply let it be. 

People tolerate the intrusive thought and prove to themselves that they can survive it. 

Because the other thing about thoughts is, not unlike feelings, they also have a beginning, a middle and an end. They come and go like weather patterns. 

And so, none of us has an identity that is at the mercy of these passing brain farts. Even if it seems like there is no darker place than our own thoughts, and even if the thoughts that arise in these moments seem like fixed truths, they are not. 

We know who we are, and it ain’t that. 


When was the last time you solved a problem by becoming totally consumed with intrusive, irrational thoughts until you raised your pulse and blood pressure?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  



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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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