Bad News About Your Thinking… It’s time for a Reality Check!

By , February 8, 2012 2:27 pm

“Most of us are confused about what is real. Even though we sense there is something more, we attempt to settle for a reality based exclusively on feedback from our physical senses. To reinforce this “reality,” we look to what our culture defines as normal, healthy, and therefore real.”

~ Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD

A few weeks ago I was talking with a client who was locked in fear.

Sarah was preparing to deliver a presentation to some senior executives. She knew her topic but fear was distorting her perception of reality.  She was confused as her mind was comparing this future situation to a presentation she’d delivered badly four years ago.

Her mind was locked into the old reality of that bad presentation. She was replaying this past movie in her mind over and over again. The more she played it, the clearer the old movie became in terms of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic experience. She was back there and the feelings were real. Sarah was projecting this failure onto her future presentation!

Here’s what was going on…

She was creating self-imposed noise and interference that was keeping her stuck in an old belief system from four years ago.

When you get locked into the movies playing in your mind you are experiencing the past and often projecting it on to how you believe a future event might play out. As a result, you are blocking out the reality of the situation: You’re not seeing or hearing it as it is. Sally was getting an occasional glimpse of the present but through a lot of noise and interference from the distorted re-runs of her old movie.

We have the ability to recall and replay memories from the past that are sometimes distorted by time. We also have an ability to create memories of the future, of things to come. We are very good at doing this with potentially negative scenarios and the more we play the memory of the future, the stronger we are setting our negative intention.

Your imagination is a powerful tool that can help you to dissolve the old movie and help to visualize a different outcome. To use this effectively it requires letting go of the past experiences of fear and guilt, and creating a circuit breaker to stop you re-playing those old movie reels again and again.

Here are some ways to do this…

Stop predicting doom!

Are you the type of person who wallows in predicting a bad outcome and then finds a sense of pleasure in saying ‘I told you so…!’ afterwards?

Sarah was locked in her own self-fulfilling prophecy of doom! She predicted that her future presentation was going to destroy her career. She was miserable. She’d already failed! Sarah was predicting her future from a PAST event and worrying about what was going to happen in the FUTURE. She missed seeing the opportunity of the PRESENT to change the outcome of her story.

Put down your crystal ball!

Step back into your present and decide a new outcome for the situation. The present is where you can influence change and do things differently.

Write down the three headings: Past, Present and Future. List the source of your current thoughts under these to determine where your influences are coming from.

Choose your own reality

YOUR THOUGHTS CREATE YOUR REALITY – Good or bad. You can change your thoughts.

You really do have a choice over experiencing the truth of any situation. Learn to be curious and question the past and your future. Challenge it. Refuse to be hypnotized by the movie playing in your head.

Identify your limiting beliefs and re-frame each one. You can change the future because it hasn’t happened yet. The future is a fantasy of your own thinking. Our minds have no boundaries. Challenge your thinking and choose a better feeling thought. Go deeper and look for the truth.

What do YOU want the outcome to be? What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like?

Pause and re-define your intention in the NOW. Set a single positive goal for success and put all your attention into it.

Get the resources you need in the PRESENT to create the real outcomes that you are intending.

For Sarah, this was our coaching session! Sara set her mind for success and she learnt some new skills on how to deliver her presentation with confidence and passion.

Her fears evaporated. Of course, she was a little nervous (aren’t we all in this situation!) but she delivered an excellent presentation.

…Time for a REALITY check?!

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