If I tell you to picture yourself at one of your dream destinations. You have completely disconnected from work, the weather is perfect and you are having an amazing lunch.
How do you feel?
If I tell you to picture yourself sick in bed, not having worked for 5 days, the electricity just went out and your phone battery died.
How do you feel?
My guess is that in the first scenario you felt some positive feelings and in the second scenario some negative feelings.
But how can that be possible? It wasn’t even real.
Our Thoughts Create Our Feelings
It’s possible because our thoughts create our feelings. No matter if it’s real or not.
You had a number of positive thoughts about that first scenario which made you feel good and a number of negative thoughts about the second scenario, that made you feel not so good.
We oftentimes think it’s the circumstances or what happens to us in our life that make us feel a certain way.
You might tell your friend: “I felt so angry because my client was rude to me” or “I feel so stressed right now because I have so many things that needs to get done and not enough time to do them”.
It seems logical, right?
But it’s not what the client said or your actual to do list that makes you feel angry and stressed, it’s your thoughts about what the client did and your to do list.
I’ll say that again: Your THOUGHTS create your feelings, not your circumstance.
If I told you “You are a pink elephant with green flowers painted on the back”, you would probably think I was a bit crazy. You certainly wouldn’t believe me. Maybe your feeling would be entertained or confused. Why? Because you THOUGHT: “She’s being silly right now” or “what on earth is she talking about”.
When your client was rude, she said some words and behaved in a certain way and then you had thoughts about those words and that behavior. Those THOUGHTS about what the client said and how she behaved caused you to feel angry. Not what the client said or did.
Our Thoughts are Optional
We always have the opportunity to choose our thoughts. To decide what we make things mean.
Most people might agree that your client was rude, but that’s because they too had (probably similar to yours) thoughts about what the client said and did.
“But wait, are you suggesting it’s my fault I got angry? The client was the one being rude” you might say.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have felt angry. All I’m suggesting is to keep in mind that all your thoughts are optional. Maybe you wanted to feel angry with what the client said and did, and that’s ok.
There are no right or wrong thoughts or feelings. We all can think whatever thoughts we want.
The question is: How do those thoughts make you feel? And is there an alternative way of thinking about it?
Feeling stuck in negative thoughts and feelings about your business or life? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll jump on the phone for a free coaching consultation. I’m here to help!