Ruthie Collins

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I live the dream, singing and writing songs in Nashville. My favorite things (besides music) are thrifting, DIY projects, wine, puppies, and anything vintage.

Hashtag HUMAN STUFF: How To Fix Your Negative Thought Patterns

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It’s an interesting process when you actually start listening to the voices in your head… (Uhhhh guys? I think Ruthie has completely lost it…)

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about “Getting Checked into American Horror Story Season Two Asylum Style” voices in your head… Just that nagging, self deprecating mean girl/dude voice that says stuff on the reg like, “Ugh WHY are you so stupid???!!" or “Eeeewwwww you did NOT just say that in front of that person.. What were you thinking???!”

I know I’m not alone in this because as soon as I started trying to make a practice of listening to that voice, I started hearing not only my voice, I also started noticing other people say these things. ‘Cause not only are we saying these things in our head, we’re actually saying them out loud too!

For example, a few months back I was walking into a rehearsal space here in Nashville and the girl in front of me forgot her guitar, or something in her car. She stopped right before we walked in, literally beat herself on the head and exclaimed “God I am SO stupid!” Cause she FORGOT something. Jeez. Way to be so hard on yourself 'chica! Because honestly, does leaving something in the car make you stupid? Not last time I checked… Human Stuff.

Fast forward to the next day. I was having coffee with a pal at The Post in East Nashville and as we were getting ready to leave, a couple was walking up to take the seats where we had been sitting. I’m not even two steps away when I realize I didn’t clear my coffee cup off the table. But instead of simply turning around to get it I say out loud, “Oh my God I am a HUGE jerk… I’m so sorry!”

Whaaaat? I’m not a huge jerk. I’m not even a little jerk. I’m actually a super kind and caring woman. So why am I conditioned to not only have these thoughts but to actually say them out loud? That’s cray. Especially now that I am so aware that our thoughts and our words will eventually, in some way, become our reality. Human Stuff guys.

TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE. I still struggle with this. (Or shall I say this is a great opportunity for me?) Re wiring these “silly” inner thoughts. So here’s a few ways that help me fix my cycle of negative thought patterns. Maybe they can help you too.

1) Cast that shit off.

As soon as you catch yourself saying something either to yourself or out loud, cast it off. It’s kinda like telling the Universe you're taking it back. And the Universe is v cool and forgiving so it’s not gonna no take backsies on ya. Acknowledging it is the first step to self awareness, which you MUST have to change.

For example a friend the other day said something as a joke when our publisher had sent an email out looking for “hit songs” for a certain artist. My friend, trying to be funny said “Sorry, no hit songs over here… Only 6/8 mediocre ballads that will never get played on the radio.” WOAH BUDDY HOLD THE PHONE. I said to him “You gotta cast that off bud”, explained to him what we’ve been talking about and walked him through these steps. (If you really wanna be intense and all King Jamesy you can cast it off in the name of Jesus Christ. Ya know… if bonus points and extra credit are your thing. 😇)

So once again, cast it off. You can literally say “I cast that off.” Boom. Done. It’s like a little T Swift Shake it off cleansing to get those negative nasties off of your bod. (30 second dance party anyone?)

PS did you guys know that prey animals in the wild after surviving an attack from a predator will literally shake off the negative trauma of what they just experience? Shake your tail feather tho. Nature is so cool.

Ok kids… Moving on.

2.) Reframe that Shit.

Take whatever negative thought or comment you just had/said and reframe it in a positive light. For example I called myself a huge jerk. Reframing that would be saying something like “I am a loving and caring person.” Another example would be if you heard someone say, “I just know that I’ll never meet the right guy. I always seem to date assholes.” They could reframe that (after casting it off) by saying something like “I know that I’m worthy of a really great guy and a wonderful love. I’m so thankful there’s so many awesome guys out there!” I know it sounds cheesy but hey, personally, I’d rather be a happy cheese ball than a sad bastard. 🤷‍♀️ Plus that’s what Ryan Adams records are for :)

So my friend with the song example? We reframed his comment by saying “I write songs that are of great value to the world and super commercially viable.” There. Done. Reframed. PLUS we’ve now turned a negative statement into an affirmation. And affirmations… affirmations are game changers. Life changers really. (Mark 11:24 ~ “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”)

3) Number 3 is more of a bonus step cause you’ve done the work already. This step is to help you not keep repeating the cycle. I find it helpful to pick a word that works to replace all of the negative words we might say with something a little more neutral. The one I usually use is silly. So instead of saying “I’m a stupid stupid woman…” (I’m having Rachel McAdams a la Notebook vibes anyone else? It still isn’t over guys, just saying…) you could say “I’m a silly woman” instead. Not negative and if you really work at it, it means you can skip the whole casting off and reframing bit! Unless you don’t want to be silly and then you’re probably just a weirdo.

I’m started to use the phrase “Human Stuff” to describe this whole process and also give myself a break in a moment of negativity.That girl wasn’t dumb cause she forgot her guitar. She was having a human stuff moment. I’m not a huge jerk because I spaced out and forgot my manners for a sec. We’re just human, we aren’t perfect beings, we’re forgetful and we make mistakes. Hashtag Human Stuff dude. Let it go.

I hope these tricks help you to clean up negative thoughts/habits that you might be trying to get rid of. They’ve been really impactful in creating a much happier and positive reality in my life. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Hope you are all having the most happy and positive day.

All my 💖,

Ruthie

She's Gonna Listen To Her (Messy Car) Heart

She's Gonna Listen To Her (Messy Car) Heart