You know you are having a negative thought error when you have to satisfy or fix something immediately. It becomes a compulsive need to get an answer. Let’s take Facebook for example, and a time when maybe you broke up with someone or made someone mad for some reason. You find yourself saying things like “I better figure this out. I better make up for that thing that I did. I better make sure this person likes me. I need to see what's on Facebook. I better check right now.” We become obsessed with checking Facebook and staying connected to it so we can keep looking to see if there was a positive or negative comment. It starts to consume your life and your thoughts. Those kinds of messages that are going on in our brain, those thought errors create “feeling” energy behind them. It's like this anxiety that needs to be answered immediately. Most of us have experienced this. It's like the sense of urgency that “I've got to do this right now," and there's ALWAYS a sense of hurry. You know that you're in one of these thought errors because you need to fix something that's going on immediately.
Let’s take the boyfriend issue. Brooke Castillo said this, “I had this boyfriend when I was in college and I got on this thought loop with him. We had broken up and all I could think about was him and I felt compelled to drive by his house and to check my phone to see if he'd called me and to call him constantly. Even though I recognized that this wasn't logical, and I recognized that, "This isn't who I wanted to be," it was so compelling to do it that I just kept doing it. There was some sense of indulgent relief when I did, so those associations that you make, and then of course whenever you get that indulgent relief, then you want to just keep doing it, keep doing it, keep doing it, right?”
The other issue is resisting anything makes it stronger and makes it bigger. It gives it energy, so if you think about somebody trying to move towards you and you put your hands up and resist them, you're pushing energy into your hands and into that thing that's coming towards you which actually makes it easier for them to push back because you're creating that resistance. I think that's true with most things in our lives and any time we're trying to argue with reality.
So, what do we do? When we are feeling this way, we need to acknowledge that this is a thought error and a people pleasing moment. Resisting those feelings won’t help, but just accepting that you are having a thought error and are stuck in the spin cycle of this negative thought and know you are in control of your own thoughts. As soon as you take a breath and recognize, "Okay. This is a thought error.” My brain is telling me that it makes sense to drive by my ex-boyfriend's house to see what he's doing. I need to know what he's doing. I need to know if he's dating someone else. I need to know if there's a girl." But we know that it does not make sense at all. What will you gain in the end? You might feel satisfied for that moment, but ultimately you will be humiliated most likely.
At that point you are obsessed with controlling the uncontrollable. You are arguing with reality and you are trying to control the uncontrollable. Can you see how powerless that leaves you?
The solution is that you have to recognize the difference between allowing the negative energy to be there, understanding why that energy is there and utilizing it versus countering that energy by
resisting it. Here are the questions you need to ask yourself, "What do I think has gone wrong? What is it I really want?" Really ask yourself, "What is it you really want?" Then, notice how you're trying to justify the actions, the compulsive actions that you're taking and redirect
that energy into something more productive for yourself.
Of course, easier said than done, right? But this is where hiring a life coach, like me, comes in. You can contact me to set up a free mini session.