Don’t Believe Everything You Think


Did you know the human brain makes up stories to explain everything?

It’s true!

It’s also true that the majority of those stories are negative.

My extroverted husband spent over 30 years reffing high school football games. Early in my marriage, before I figured out that I needed to double or triple his time-to-arrival estimate if there was any chance he’d run into someone he could talk to (and before cell phones), I made the mistake of waiting up for him on game night.

Of course he was hours later than I expected, and of course before long I was “awfulizing” – envisioning a horrible car accident or any number of other grizzly possibilities. I felt the stress building up in my body, and I was becoming less and less rational as time ticked on.

Eventually something kicked a rational part of my brain back in gear, and I had the sense to have this conversation with myself.

“If he is dead somewhere, how’s this going to play out?”

“It’ll probably be mid-morning before anyone gets around to notifying me.
What good am I going to be if I sit around from now until mid-morning steeping in this awful stress?”

“Huh. I guess if he’s dead, I’ll find out in the morning!”

The stress was gone. I went to bed and fell right to sleep. My husband showed up sometime in the wee hours, safe and sound and pleased with life. And I never waited up again.

The story my brain was telling me, the negative one, wasn’t serving me well – even if it had been true!

Choosing to believe a different story changed my life. We’re still married; I can’t begin to count the hours I’d have spent awfulizing by now if I hadn’t figured it out!

The moral of the story, of course, is “Don’t believe everything you think!”

Pay attention to each negative story – by choosing a new, more positive one.

It just might change your life.

Lorri Anderson

Lorri Anderson

Lorri Anderson is an expert consultant to businesses and a powerful coach to individuals. After a long and rich career as a strategic HR executive, she is driven to give back by changing the Human Experience in today’s workplaces, one business or human at a time.

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