What Baked Potatoes Taught Me about Renewing My Mind

For nearly two years now, I’ve been seeing a counselor every week. This week, we talked about something I never expected: baked potatoes.

Here’s the context:

Imagine I just cooked a baked potato in the oven. I ask you to hold out your hand to me. I drop the potato in your hand. What would you do? Drop it, of course, because that baby is HOT and likely burned you.

Now, let’s imagine this picture applying to how we think.

My counselor described two kinds of thoughts– resourcing thoughts and de-resourcing thoughts. Resourcing thoughts are ones that are helpful to us, to our growth, to our wellbeing. They are tools, they are constructive, and they are ultimately useful to us. De-resourcing thoughts are the opposite — they aren’t helpful, they are damaging to our growth and wellbeing, and they are destructive.

When we think a de-resourcing thought, the aim is to drop it just as quickly as we would drop that hot baked potato. 

We don’t want to let these unhelpful thoughts burn us. We don’t want to hold on to what is not helpful for us. So when we think a damaging, destructive, hurtful thought, we need to drop it as quickly as we can. The sooner we can let that thought go and do or think literally anything else, the better we will be.

I never thought a potato would be a helpful picture in my self-reflection journey… but here we are.