Category: Truth

Mind Reading – Negative Voices in my Head!

By , October 16, 2010 6:02 pm

“I’m always worrying afterwards if I’ve said the wrong thing. It haunts my mind on the way home. My worry voice niggles away telling me how I could have phrased it better, or that I should have kept quiet. May be other person might be upset about what I’ve said?” All this worry is for no reason because the other person is always okay afterwards and I realise that I just invented it all in my own head!”

Jenny, Manager and Coaching Client.

We’ve all experienced situations where we’ve said something and then on the way home found ourselves re-playing the conversation in our heads over and over. Our inner critic picks up the microphone and broadcasts that we said it wrong, we should have worded it differently or beats us up because we might have upset someone.

The longer you listen, the worse it becomes. The greater the intensity of worry and you begin to lose self-confidence and feel bad. This is all you think about that evening, tirelessly re-playing the loop.

These thoughts manifest themselves as phrases such as: “He thought I was talking rubbish…” “She’s angry with me…” “She feels I’ve let her down…” “Because I said it this way I must have upset him.” The longer you listen the more you believe some of these thoughts to be true.

Our thoughts have such a powerful effect on us.

Here’s the thing…

The reality is that we don’t know what the other person is thinking unless they tell us or we ask them (…or unless of course you’re a psychic!).

The voices in your head aren’t true. They are replaying assumptions based on your own imagination of the situation.

We automatically default to negative thinking and get stuck in the loop

If you’re prone to mind reading try the following to help you to break out of the loop…

1. Recognise your negative thinking. Just because you’re thinking it doesn’t mean that it’s true. Make a list of your negative thoughts. Energy goes where attention flows. Putting them on your radar enables you to recognise and challenge them whenever they show up.

2. Challenge your assumptions. What do you know? How do you know that this is true? You can choose whether to listen to or believe any thought you have. Is this thought helping you or blocking you from where you want to be? Learn to challenge your thinking by letting go of those thoughts that no longer serve you. Replace the negative with a positive thought that you know is true.

3. Ask for clarification. You don’t know what someone else is thinking unless they tell you. So ask the question and test your understanding of the situation. Clarify you thinking.

What Happens When You Tell The Truth…

By , August 21, 2010 8:18 pm

I’m finding it really hard to find a way to tell the truth and let John know how I really feel about the situation. I’m torn between letting him know and not hurting his feelings. If I tell him – it hurts him. If I don’t tell him – it hurts me! I feel really bad about the whole thing.”

Jenny, Coaching Client

Most of us feel uncomfortable in situations where we have to tell the truth. The easier option is to avoid it.

Why?

Because we are afraid of the potential outcome or response:

  • Hurting the other person’s feelings
  • Letting someone down
  • The risk of being on the receiving end of someone’s anger or aggression
  • Because we might be judged or perceived in a different way than we were before

Here’s an observation…

What we are actually trying to do here is protect ourselves from the dis-comfort of our own feelings of how we might feel when they react.

So we believe that withholding the truth is helping them.

Wouldn’t you rather know the truth?

Telling the truth is so valuable yet hard for us to do when we feel uncomfortable. Instead, we hold back our own true feelings to the detriment of ourselves. We ‘water-down’ our response or avoid the situation altogether and allow the hurting to become internalised.

The longer you avoid the situation more energy is used to withhold the truth, keep up the act and pretend that everything is okay. This is hard work to maintain.

Withholding doesn’t work because the truth will always find a way out eventually. The longer you avoid the situation the more pain you will create for everyone involved. I know this from experience in my own life. It actually makes things worse!

Here’s what happens when you tell the truth…

  • Freedom -You release energy and get to share your true feelings
  • Authenticity – You’re being true to yourself from the inside – out
  • Reality - You become closer to the person you have told the truth to because they get to understand your reality of the situation. You can then deal with the situation based on that reality  (you’re not wriggling and avoiding the reality!)
  • Less Pain – You don’t hurt their feelings by lying, acting, pretending or withholding
  • Integrity - You get to keep your own!
  • Clarity – People know where they stand with you

Being truthful is an important habit to develop if you want to live on purpose and be successful.

I can’t make the uncomfortable feelings go away and I can’t guarantee a positive reaction from the other person. But I know that being truthful is the right thing to do if you want to lead a successful and authentic life.

And finally…

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything!’

Mark Twain

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