Calling out Negative Thoughts
”Why does this feel so hard??” I find myself wondering this sometimes when I’m faced with a decision that seems simple, but for some reason it feels so emotional.
When having an emotional reaction to something, take a moment to journal by making two columns labeled “truth” and “fear”. As you identify your thoughts try to place them in each column accordingly. Calling out the thoughts that are based in fear takes their power away from them.
I find this strategy helpful when it comes to decision making and noticing how your emotions and thoughts might be playing a role. An example of these columns could look like:
Deciding whether to go on a trip with my friends next month...
Truth Based Thoughts
Part of me really wants to go and have a fun weekend.
Part of me has been tired lately and it would be ok to stay home.
I’ll be sad if I don’t go and miss out on time to bond with my friends. It’s ok if I need to grieve this later.
My friends will still be there for me whether I go or not.
I need to look at my financial situation and take that into consideration in my decision.
Fear Based Thoughts
If I don’t go they’re going to think I’m never down to do anything fun. I might not get invited next time, and then I might lose them as friends.
My friends will be mad at me if I don’t go and I can’t handle that kind of confrontation right now.
I don’t deserve to spend money on something like this that is just for me.
As you can probably tell, there is no right or wrong decision in this scenario. However, a decision made out of the fear column will not feel good either way. It might be based out of a feeling of guilt or anxiety that something bad is going to result.
A decision made from the truth column will likely feel like a sense of relief after the emotions have passed. The truth column is rooted in your true values and is likely the key to what you truly want to do.