What is real and what is your brain making up?

How much of what you think is real and how much is just made up in your head?

Example. You see a neighbour in the supermarket. You smile at them by way of acknowledgement. They walk straight past you and do not make eye contact or speak to you.

The FACTS in the scenario are that you smiled and your neighbour and your neighbour didn’t look at or speak to you.

Your brain on the other hand can create any number of stories around those facts that you may then overthink and ruminate on. You may even lose sleep over it.

Stuff like:

-Maybe they are annoyed you didn’t have them back round for dinner yet. -Maybe they heard your argument the other night and feel awkward.

-Maybe they are angry your garden isn’t as tidy as theirs.

-Maybe they took offence at that joke you made last week.

You get the idea.

Similarly the following may be true:

-Maybe they didn’t see you?

-Maybe they have a million things going on in their lives and were totally distracted.

As a coach I hear a LOT of stories from my clients. When I hear these stories I work with my clients to break things down into fact and assumptions. We “examine the evidence”.

Having an awareness of the assumptions we make and how that impacts how we feel is a great first step. We can then recognise what is happening when we catch ourselves doing this and can then make a CHOICE to identify the FACTS and leave it at that.

We had a similar situation happen to us when the guy next door “blanked” my husband. My husband worried about it for ages. A couple of weeks later we saw the neighbours’ wife who told us their daughter had spent the last few weeks in hospital following complications after giving birth prematurely. NOTHING to do with us – he didn’t see my husband – he had bigger things on his mind and was over-tired from work and hospital visits.

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