The other day I heard some children talking about peoples’ reactions when they played their game of sweet and sour.
Apparently sweet and sour game is where you sit in the back of a Volvo and wave at strangers in others cars. If they wave back they are sweet and if they don’t they are sour! I heard about how one man had showed them a doughnut and another man did a salute. They thought this was great. Children find lots of ways to have fun for free.
Adults can have fun for free too. You might get some funny looks if you play sweet and sour but here are some ideas of things you can do for free.
Yesterday you met your own mind COP by imagining what you mind COP looked like, sounds like, wears…
Maybe one of these?
Today we are going to look at how your mind COP will catch those criminal negative thoughts and keep your mind safe. For the past week you have been keeping a note of your negative mind chatter in your notebook. Now is the time to have a good look at what you have written and start working on making some changes to how that chatter might make you feel bad.
Let’s see mind COP in action.
Catch them: You’ve been catching mind chatter for nearly a week. You should have a pretty good idea of what yours is saying to you and who your criminals are.
Own them: These are your thoughts. You created them. You can acknowledge them. Consider them and choose whether to discard them or whether to arrest them.
Protect yourself: You protect yourself by arresting the negative thoughts, examining the evidence and deciding whether to charge them or give them a warning.
Here’s an example based on the losing your job example negative thoughts we looked at yesterday. Read each thought from left to right to see how Mind COP works.
‘I should have worked harder’
I did work hard though
Maybe they didn’t really appreciate me?
‘Why didn’t I take that course to learn more’
I did a lot of development in that role
This is a chance to learn something new
‘I’m no good’
Is everything I’ve ever done no good?
I’ve achieved a lot
With those that love me?
I matter to the people that matter to me
I was one of 10
I will find a better fit
‘I’m not clever’
I was the problem solver
I need a new challenge
‘I’ll never get another job’
Have you tried?
I wonder what job I will love?
You can see how Mind COP is examining each thought and looking at it in a different way. One thought does not make a truth. One thought may seek evidence from the subconscious to support it, but Mind COP doesn’t fall for this.
Mind COP is objective and realizes that thoughts tell stories but their alibi is weak when questioned. Mind COP wants to hear from the witnesses and sort out those criminal negative thoughts.
You tell fibs
You see when you tell think a negative thought it’s probably not true and your Mind Cop might make this face!
So the next time those pesky criminal negative thoughts are doing a ‘wrong un’ in your mind, just see them scarper when Mind COP comes along and bangs them to rights.
Your time is precious, don’t waste it
How much of your precious life are you going to spend thinking negatively?
Think about it, how much time are you going to think about negative situations, obsess about the things that went wrong it your life, worry about things that happen or might never happen? Two hours a day? Which is 14 hours a week. Which is 60 hours a month. Which is 730 hours a year. Which is 30 DAYS A YEAR of feeling bad. What could you do in 30 days? A lot! In our example of losing the job, that is 30 days of enjoying the freedom of not working and exploring options for a new career whilst feeling happier.
Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs and change. By learning to manage your thoughts you will be more resilient in the tough times and happier on the whole. You are not your past, your current situation or what people say about you. You are so much more than that and you can shine.
Write your own table of negative mind chatter in the same format as above and set your mind COP to work
Making friends with your mind is one of the most important things you can do. The mind is the power force of you. It can help you in ways you wouldn’t think possible. Who would’t want a friend like that?
Too much information!
As a baby you were born with only 2 fears; falling and loud noises. You then learnt everything else through your experiences. But because there was simply too much information, you ‘coded’ a lot of it with sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings. This coding is held in your subconscious mind (for more information on the subconscious mind see my previous blog https://www.honeylansdowne.co.uk/the-power-of-your-subconcious-mind). So your mind has fears, doubts, worries and beliefs that you didn’t even put there! However the good news is that the subconscious is a ‘good guy’ and always acts in what it believes to be your best interests even if it does get confused sometimes. (A bit like a friend that sets you up on a date with someone that’s not your type, or the kids help you ‘tidy up’ and you can’t find anything for weeks).
So the conscious mind might think ‘I can’t do this, I’m not good enough’ and off the subconscious puppy goes, tail wagging, to get all the evidence from your life to support that thought. There was the time you came 4th place in the competition at school, the time you were in the last two for a job but the other person got it, the time when the person you fancied didn’t fancy you back etc. etc. (I’m using light examples but most people have things more serious than this).
All this evidence then makes the thought feel truer, really real and that thought feels like a fact. The thought creates the feelings and you feel bad because ‘you can’t do this, you are not good enough’. OH REALLY?! What about the time you were a pillar of strength for a friend, or that thing you made/did that was admired by many, or the many other times you were brave, kind, clever, strong or whatever? They’ve been overlooked haven’t they because the conscious thought told the puppy to look for ‘I can’t do this, I’m not good enough’. And quite frankly the puppy has bought back a pile of sticks.
A simple understanding of how your brain works is as valuable as a simple understanding of how your mobile works!
So what I am saying here is when a negative thought comes into your mind, your mind looks for evidence to make it ‘true’. This makes the thought stronger and the bad feelings stronger and more ‘real’. When you’re thinking this way, you are wrapped up in yourself, away from life, away from opportunities of happiness and feeling good.
Here’s the plan:
Continue to catch your negative mind chatter – are you noticing a key theme or time it occurs yet?
Monitor the amount of time you think negatively
Start to acknowledge that when a thought comes in, it may not be true 🙂
I will need to exercise some self-control in writing this blog, or we could end up with a very long blog! I learnt a long time ago to be less judgemental because working with people I know that not everything is as it seems.
A large part of my work is helping people become more confident, increase their self-esteem and cover what I call ‘work of the self’. This is helping people to understand themselves better through uncovering their values and finding their identity so they can be ‘comfortable in their own skin’. The benefits of this are that they can be more confident in and live their life in a way that feels good for them.
It’s much easier to make the right decisions when you know yourself and the world can see the real you. Everything changes.
What happens when we judge others?
So back to judging others… When we judge others it does two things.
1 – It holds that person up against our own values and beliefs. It has nothing to do with who they are! I’m going to give you some scenarios and I want you to just see what enters your head as I say these things.
2 – It puts bad thoughts in your mind which will make you feel bad
Think about how you might judge these people
A married couple that live apart
Someone that loves to socialise to the point where they spend all their money on it
Someone that is very prudent and rarely ‘splashes out’
Someone that works a lot and is often away from home
Some that does not work
Someone that wears revealing clothes
The thing is you don’t know anything about these people. They might be pure of heart or not, you don’t know. They might be generous or kind, you don’t know. They might be gentle, rich, poor, stressed, depressed, worried…..
Don’t hate the rice!
Judging others does is puts thoughts in your mind which damage your self-esteem. I don’t know if you have ever seen the Rice Consciousness experiment, inspired by Dr Masaru Emoto but it’s fascinating.
By labelling one jar ‘hate’ and the other ‘love’, the rice in the hate jar rots away while the rice in the love jar stays fresh. And this isn’t the only time this has been done. It has been done numerous times with different substances.
So if you think bad thoughts, you will probably feel bad inside (even though you might not consciously connect this). If you think good thoughts, you will feel better. Simples.
And when you judge others less, you will feel less judged yourself. Because if you haven’t having those thoughts about other people why would they be having them about you?
Find the gold
Here are my top tips for not judging others:
Listen to what other people say. Don’t judge them on their clothes, hair, car job. Listen and see them for who they are
Be open minded about new people. They might not look like your ‘type’ of person but they might be the best thing since sliced bread
Don’t go on first impressions. I know they are said to be important but they are just a snapshot of someone at one particular time. Everyone is multi faceted and different situations make people behave differently. If someone is suffering from anxiety or depression, you won’t see the best of them at that time.
Don’t let someone else’s opinion of someone get in the way of you forming your own
Look for things you like about someone rather than something you don’t
Find the gold in someone. What makes their eyes light up? A loved one, a hobbie, holidays? Whatever it is, when you see them talk about it watch them shine and see the best of them
Check your words before they come out of your mouth.Just like you would check an email before sending it. Try and be kind.
Here’s the plan:
Be less judgemental and see if it makes a difference to how you feel and your map of the world
Do you need help?
If you feel judged yourself, that is an indication of low confidence and self-esteem so please get in touch for a free consultation to see how I can help you.
The highest rising demand for my services is with teenage girls. I’m finding they really worry about being judged in terms of are they cool enough, pretty enough, thin enough. Social media like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest really feeds these insecurities and affects their self-esteem. I work with them to help them like themselves and become more resilient.