Getting perspective on your own thoughts
Do you find that you can drive yourself to distraction?
Today I want to share a really simple tip with you to avoid that – even when the world around you feels like a high-speed merry-go-round.
I really love this quote, as it’s such a simple truth:
“There is nothing in this world that can trouble you as much as your own thoughts.” - Author Unknown
Although I don’t know who originally made this statement, I already know that I like them! No matter the situation; your thoughts have the power to make things so much worse. The antidote to this is perspective – and this is really where looking at how you think is so powerful.
You can coach yourself, or ‘sanity check’ yourself too. Whenever you find yourself overthinking, the first step is simply to be aware of it. This awareness, of course, comes with time and practice. But once you’ve formed the habit of being a little more mindful of your thoughts, it will start to come naturally to you.
The next step is to act on this awareness. But to say ‘act on it’ feels a little strange, because what I really want you to do is not act yet. By ‘act on it’, I mean I want you to take a mental step back from your thoughts, and just take a long look. I don’t want you to go disappearing down a rabbit hole of action-taking yet. Just observe what is going on.
This gives you the perspective and mental space to see which of your thoughts are helpful, practical solutions to your problems, and which thoughts are unhelpful.
So what might an unhelpful thought look like?
Anything that is an imaginary worst-case scenario, or that creates even more problems for you. The end goal is to break down one small piece of your problem at a time, without losing your train of thought to worrying or imagining the worst.
If you are struggling to pull yourself back and gain this perspective, then a friend can really help you out here. Just make sure your friend is impartial to your problem. If your situation affects them in any way, then they may be too biased to help you get perspective.
This is where a coach can be helpful. They are not biased and will not judge your situation and can help you gain perspective in your life, whilst keeping you focused.
If you can recognise where your own thoughts about the problem aren’t helpful, you may well be half way to solving that problem already. We do love to over-complicate things.
Sometimes the best way forward is to begin with a big step back – just for perspective.