In Life Coaching we have this concept of circumstances being completely neutral.
Our thoughts about those neutral circumstances make them good or bad.
Last time I used this to get me out of trouble, here’s how I did it:
After meeting with a friend for a coffee I spent the whole day beating myself up for what I said, how I said it, etc.
So the trick to feeling better is this. You write down the facts and only the facts of what happened. Facts everyone would agree on.
And in this case it looked like this:
Me: blah blah blah
Them: blah blah blah
Me: blah blah blah
Them: blah blah
You get the point.
The facts are only what has been said in that conversation.
When I wrote it down – I didn’t see any negative remarks there, i saw only what was said.
Looking at the facts on paper, I heard the voice in my head:
“what you said was so weird”
“oh you sounded so ESL in this part”
“why were you talking so fast? They thought you are a fool for saying that!”
All of those were my own thoughts about what I had said. They were not part of the circumstance. But I was getting so upset with myself as if they were the TRUTH!
By writing down the facts i was able to see that was getting me so stressed out was my own thoughts about it and not the facts!!!
Once I saw that I couldn’t help but question – why would I CHOOSE to think this?
Nothing more powerful than separating the facts from your thoughts.
So if you ever find yourself spinning out about something that happened in the past – strip it down to the bare minimum.
Take away the drama. Leave the facts.
And see that what’s causing you to feel a certain way is not the facts but the way you are choosing to think about them!
Circumstances are neutral. We have a thought about that circumstance which makes it positive or negative.
Yes, even the most horrible things in life are neutral until we have a thought about them. And I’m not suggesting that we make them mean something wonderful. Rape, death and murder are some of the circumstances we WANT to feel horrible about. But they are still neutral.
Stay with me here.
I know you must be thinking I am nuts here but I’ve experienced the effects of this so many times, I’m excited to share it with you!
Let’s say the news are broadcasting this horrible school shooting and you are watching it at work all day.
Every time they give you an update you have a thought: “this is horrific, this shouldn’t be happening, poor kids and their parents… “ on and on you go.
This causes you to feel extremely upset.
Here’s another scenario where you work in a place without TVs.
You are busy doing your job and you don’t hear the news until you are on your way home. The whole day while you were at work and didn’t hear the news – you were thinking regular thoughts just like any other day.
And you felt fine.
Even thought there was a horrible shooting going on that day.
You weren’t upset because you didn’t know about it yet. Once you found out then you got upset. You felt upset because when you heard the news you had thoughts that caused you to feel upset.
If the event of school shooting was horrible in it’s own fact – wouldn’t everyone feel horrified at the same time no matter where they were.
The event happened, it is horrible, we are all upset.
No, it doesn’t work that way.
WE make the event negative with our thoughts about it.
The same way the shooter has different thoughts and feelings about the same event. His experience of it is not the same as anyone elseS. WHY? Because he has different thoughts about it. Why? I don’t think we’ll ever know that.
But the point is this – no matter what the facts are – they are always 100 percent neutral UNTIL we have a thought about them.
And the thought we choose is what determines how we feel about that event!
Until next time when we will dive in to the feelings caused by our thoughts! FUN!