Big Trouble In Little…Thoughts


My biggest support tool for working with execs and successful leaders lately?

Taking time to really understand ‘thoughts’ and how thoughts shape our feelings and behaviours.

Did you know we have up to an average of 60 thousand thoughts per day and around 70/ 80% of them are negative?  It’s not as bad as it sounds though.

Known as NATs (Negative automatic thoughts) we have and disregard thoughts in an endless flow throughout the day.

‘Will he just get on with it’ ‘I wonder if there will be traffic on the way home again’ ‘I wasn’t clear in that meeting’ ‘this is so bad’

It’s not the actual thought itself that’s the problem.

It’s actually the weight of belief we assign to each thought that carries impact. The stronger the belief, the stronger the feelings, the stronger the behaviours.

But what if the thought isn’t correct? What if for any number of reasons you are being hard on yourself, thinking the worst or worrying about what hasn’t happened yet? Misguided feelings and misrepresenting behaviours.

But good news. We can manage our thoughts!

Some top tips for this;

  1. Our thoughts are not us. They are separate and can be managed like any information we receive (but sometimes with practice)

  2. Thoughts are not facts. We can choose to consider and disregard thoughts just like we can any information (but sometimes with practice)

  3. It’s easier for some than others but sometimes requires practice! (And for some some coaching and support).

So remember when the next negative thought creeps in. We are not our thoughts, thoughts are not facts and we can choose our path to responding to them.

With this I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite philosophers;

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment” – Marcus Aurelius

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