Throughout my career, I have learned that much of what is thought, is only in your own head and is not necessarily true. Yep. Humans make up a lot of stuff about the world. But creating clarity of thought comes only if you decrease the amount of our own interference with the information you take in.
The brain has been described as a pattern-making machine. It looks for patterns everywhere (even where there aren’t any). You have many THOUGHTS that come together in patterns, which eventually form BELIEFS about everything. And although you like to think of yourself as a rational, logical being, you typically don’t investigate the objective TRUTH of those THOUGHTS and BELIEFS. In fact, most of our beliefs were formed before you were 7 years old.
Based on the way the brain is designed, the more you practice a belief, the more you see it in the world around you. And if you don’t examine what is going through your mind, you can end up making decisions about or reacting to situations and people in ways that can look wacky to others and that don’t serve you in the long run.
In other words, you have filters in place that color what you see, hear, and experience. The more you use these “filters”, the stronger the neural connections become around a belief. In turn, these “filters” shape how we interpret our experiences.
To get clearer about your interpretation of things around you, become aware of a few of the negative thoughts or beliefs you hold about a situation or another individual at work. Something for which you don’t have much of a factual basis. Own up to the fact that the stories you tell yourself are often merely your interpretation of what happened and may not fully describe the entire situation.
Explore processes like The Work by Byron Katie to help you question beliefs that especially cause you to react negatively with frustration, sadness, or anger.
As a leader, question a negative belief you have about someone at work. Is it true?
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