Have you ever imagined the outcome of a situation before it happened? Think about that question for a moment… You will know if you have, if I remind you of a classic scenario – John has an interview next week, he has been preparing for a few weeks and is becoming anxious about it; without full awareness, he has begun creating full-coloured, vibrant moving images in his head of himself walking into the interview room with sweaty palms, stuttering his way through the questions, and next, opening an envelope that has just fallen through his letterbox, that begins: ‘We are sorry to inform you that on this occasion you have been unsuccessful…’ He hasn’t even been to the interview yet! Does any of that sound familiar?! Many of us create distress within ourselves by imagining a future of disastrous, disturbing, fear-filled images and ideas…all of this comes from imagination and this is a destructive use of imagination. A longer-term habit that is beneficial to develop is one where you use your imagination positively, by using visualisation to programme your sub-conscious to see yourself, in the above case, performing excellently and succeeding before you even reach the interview room!
Many of us stop ourselves from trying new things, meeting new people, going on an adventure, changing a job or a comfy routine through the way that we think about it and visualise it, as above. We disturb ourselves into thinking how awful, how difficult it will be and so to avoid this pain…we avoid trying it altogether! We are fortune-telling and not in a positive way! You will know if you are putting the brakes on any action is you find yourself using the phrase, ‘But…what if I …?’ You have imagined failing or feeling uncomfortable before you even attempt anything.
Here are some classic, everyday examples of being a fortune telling:
But…what if I enrol on a course and I find it difficult?
But…what if I go out with him/her on a date and I don’t get on with them
But…what if I go to that new restaurant and hate the food?
But…what if I change my job and hate the new one?
But…what if I go to the dance class and can’t follow the steps?
But…what if I change my hairstyle and don’t like it?
This thinking creates a state of mind where you feel FEAR, ANXIETY, NERVOUSNESS….and it STOPS ANY ACTION that could be beneficial to you.
It is important to get into the habit of taking just a few more calculated risks. These risks may improve your physical health, your mental health, your social skills and social life, your relationships, your career satisfaction and your income.
To start developing a risk-taking consciousness, work on getting into the habit of thinking differently.
Here are some examples of ‘SO WHAT’ THINKING to counter the fortune-telling statements above:
So what if I discover the course is difficult, I can ask for help – it’ll be a good challenge for me.
So what if I got out with him/her and we don’t get on, I’ll give it a try anyway, it might be fun!
So what if I try that new restaurant and don’t like the food, next time I’ll try something different!
So what if I hate the new job at first, I need to give myself time to settle in, it could be great!
So what if I go to the dance class and can’t follow all the moves, I enjoyed the company anyway!
So what if I change my hairstyle and don’t like it, it’ll grow back or I might get used to it and really like it!
If you practise changing how you think about the opportunity of new things it will have a positive effect on your state of mind; you will feel freed up to give it a try, and you’ll take a a more rational and light-hearted view where you are more likely to bounce back from initially uncomfortable situations; this ENABLES ACTION, practise it!
- Interview tips that really work (freeandlovingit.wordpress.com)