Do you believe everything you hear?
Yesterday, I overheard a neighbor telling her son, “Don’t forget to put your coat on, or else you’ll catch a cold,” I was surprised because my neighbor doesn’t worry and is usually a positive person. Even though she is a positive thinker, at some point she must have heard that being cold can make one catch a cold. Then, she believed it without question.
In high school I learned that people don’t catch colds from being cold, people catch colds from germs. It doesn’t matter if my coat is on, or if it’s off. The thought of catching a cold just by being cold just isn’t true. But people keep on repeating the misconception, regardless of the truth.
Just like these misconceptions, not everything we think is true.
Do you believe everything you think?
Before we get into an argument about what is “real” or “not real”, let me clarify something. A thought like, “That car is blue” is a real thought.
Another kind of thought is a worry or a fear. A fear is simply a negative thought about something that hasn’t happened. Maybe it will happen. Maybe it won’t. Both possibilities exist.
Are your negative thoughts “real”? When we focus on negative thoughts, we begin to look around for proof that they are real. Pretty soon, it begins to feel as if everything around us supports our negative beliefs.
When I am aware of my thoughts it’s easy for me to respond to my negative ones. I ask myself questions to help me to become more positive.
For example, I’m getting married in May. My biggest worry now is that our guests won’t have a good time.
“What’s the possibility that this can happen?” Maybe 10%.
“Is there anything I can do to make a difference?” No…well, yes. I can make sure that there is plenty of food and music. Have I done this? Yes. So why bother worrying if there is nothing else for me to do?
Since there is nothing else for me to do, then I’m changing my thought to: “I like the idea that everyone has a great time.”
So, before you believe your negative thought is “real”, you might want to check it out and find a way to change it to a more positive thought.
What negative thoughts do you notice this week? What can you say to yourself instead of that thought?
Please share this positive tip from Powerful Thinking on Purpose!