Just because you think something doesn’t mean it’s true February 21, 2022 – Posted in: Advice, Confidence, Leaders and Teams, Personal Development, Relationships
As a specialist confidence coach for the last decade, I’ve come to see that my job is really very simple; I help clients to manage their thinking because just because you think something, doesn’t mean it’s true. Here’s an example of my own life…
Just before I graduated from university in my twenties I spent a fruitless day shopping for an outfit for the end of term prom. Fruitless because I had very limited budget, and also because I was full of self-loathing back then which meant I hated how I looked in everything. But that’s another story, for another day…
Towards the end of the day I suddenly noticed my friend, Karen, walking towards me and I waved, glad to see a friendly face.
She blanked me and walked on.
Here’s the narrative that fired in my head immediately:
“Oh my God, how RUDE was that? Who does she thinks she is blanking me? Wait… Maybe she’s just had enough of me. Maybe everyone’s had enough of me? Maybe everyone thinks I’m boring and sad? Have I done something to upset her? Come on Jo. Think. Think! What have I done or said in the last week to upset her?”
I translated her actions through my own lens of mistrust, self-centred fear, competition, separation, judgment and shame. I thought her not waving meant that she didn’t like me anymore. And because I thought it it became true for me and I spent several hours in a pit of panic and self-doubt.
But, of course, there’s more to this story. Later that same day Karen and I were at house party. She walked in and greeted me before offering to grab us both a beer from the kitchen. “Honestly,” she said rolling her eyes, “I really need a drink. I’ve been in town all day shopping for the bloody prom next month, but I forgot my glasses so I could hardly see a thing. I’m as blind as a bat without them. Back in a moment!” and I watched her head to the kitchen.
The events of that afternoon over twenty-five years ago turned out to be perfectly innocent. Just because I thought she was ignoring me didn’t make it true.
And this lesson can be applied across our lives. Here are some statements (thoughts) I’ve heard many times over the years:
‘I’m not as good as everyone else at work because I don’t have a degree.’
‘My sexuality is wrong.’
‘I am too fat.’
‘I am too old to change career.’
‘Good people don’t get divorced.’
‘I’ll never meet anyone.’
‘Being alone at Christmas means I’m a failure.’
’This headache is definitely a brain tumour.’
All the above statements are thoughts my clients had that they believed to be absolutely true but which have all turned out to be untrue. But, believing they were true was what was destroying their confidence.
So, to build your confidence you need to challenge your thinking. I have no spaces for one-one coaching at the moment but I do have two online courses and a book to help you.
My latest course, 21 DAYS TO LASTING CONFIDENCE involves me in your inbox daily for three weeks as together, we slowly but surely challenge your thinking and show you how to be free of the tyranny of critical, negative thoughts.
Graduates of the course tell me they have far more awareness of the workings of their mind now, consequently, feel more in charge of their lives.
One lady emailed last year to say, “Jo, this course has changed my life! I feel lighter, brighter and more positive than I have in years! Thank you.’
I also post regular confidence boosting content over on my Instagram. Why not connect with me there?
And please remember
Just because you think something doesn’t mean it’s true. You don’t have to believe everything your mind tells you.