What To Do When Unhelpful Thoughts Get In The Way

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Did you know that we each have about 65,000 thoughts a day? And that 90% of these are thoughts we had yesterday, the day before and the day before that?

Because the thoughts that run through our mind affect our decisions, behaviours and actions, it’s imperative to be as mindful and aware of those thoughts as we can be.

One of the quickest ways to break negative or unhelpful thought patterns is to reframe the thoughts. In other words, to offer ourselves an alternative perspective.

Imagine the following: You’re preparing for an important interview, and the thoughts that run through your mind are along the lines of, ‘I’m never going to get this job,’ ‘The other candidates will be so much more qualified than me,’ ‘Why am I putting myself through this?’ etc.

Considering alternative perspectives then, what might the following people say to you?

  • A friend who is accepting and trusting
  • A playful 5 year old child with an enquiring mind!
  • You — 10 or 20 years younger than you are now
  • You — 10 or 20 years older than you are now
  • Someone who is the opposite to you in every way

You may also like to ask yourself:

  • What is the bigger picture here that this is only a part of?

Having ‘tried on’ these new perspectives, what insights do you now have? What are you going to do differently as a result of these insights? How do you perceive the situation now?

If you find that unhelpful thoughts are getting in your way, try the exercise above.

Tania Watson is the founder of Creative Coaching and an executive coach, organisational consultant and leadership specialist. Creative Coaching is a successful company dedicated to the development of senior leaders in organisations through one to one coaching, intact team development and group facilitation. If you or someone from your organisation would like to have a no obligation conversation about how Creative Coaching may be able to help, please email Tania directly at tania@twcreativecoaching.com.

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