December 18, 2012
We think thoughts all day long and sometimes these thoughts cause us great dismay and worry. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and nervous it’s important to practice the skill of listening to your thoughts. By doing this you will often discover that what you have been doing, in your thinking, is making the proverbial mountain out of very little…out of the proverbial molehill. When you realize this, you can take immediate steps in your self-talk, you can say something to yourself that will re-proportionalize your description of reality. When you cut the mountain down to size all of a sudden you will more feel powerful and the worry and dismay will shrink.
This self-talk strategy is important for each of us to practice. It has six simple steps.
Step one is to develop the awareness that you, along with most people, have a long-standing powerful unhealthy habit of automatically exaggerating the size of a problem. It’s also important to realize that we have a second habit… the habit of telling ourselves that we are not capable of dealing with difficult situations. In combination these habits throw us for a loop. Once you notice that these thinking habits are a part of your habitual thinking, and understand that just because you have had thought these thoughts for a long time does not mean they are accurate, you can move on to the next step.
In step two you replace your old self-statements about the gravity of a situation and about your incapabilities with more energizing ones. You describe the situation as less catastrophic and you tell yourself that you can deal with it or that you will do what is necessary to get help to deal with it.
The final four steps are to:
– Notice that you feel better.
– Remind yourself that this new kind of thinking is helpful.
– Commit yourself to practicing this new skill.
– Respond to the situation a new, more constructive manner.
When you follow these steps you will realize that your well-being and momentum are principally in your “Thinking Hands”. With practice and commitment you will learn to lighten your load and boost your momentum by cutting the false mountains down to size and increasing your estimate of your capabilities. The result will be more forward and upward movement in your initiatives and your life.