How many times have you had a preconceived notion about the outcome of a situation? Then you find out that what actually happened was nothing like you had expected?
It’s always a little surprising isn’t it? It pretty much stops you in your tracks. You almost wonder what “went wrong” even if it turns out right. Because you had built up a false reality, it can be hard to accept the real. A happy ending is a surprise when you’re ready for doom and gloom.
It’s hard to be positive with a voice inside you saying, “Don’t do this,” or “It’s too big a risk,” or “What if it doesn’t turn out right?”
Sadly, many of us believe that little gremlin voice, and it keeps us from doing much of anything.
It’s called Analysis Paralysis!
Do you play that “what if” game in your head?
You know that game:
“What if I can’t make the grade?”
“What if I oversleep and miss my appointment?”
“What if we can’t buy the house we want?”
“What if I don’t make my quota this week?”
“What will my wife do if I have to work late again?”
“Will I ever be able to pay off that credit card? What if I can’t?”
“What if I really get that promotion? Will I be able to cut it?”
There are all kinds of what if’s in life, aren’t there? And, most of the time, you get through the day, or the week — or the year — in spite of all the things that could, and do, go wrong. Life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to or think it should.
But worrying about it doesn’t help. It’s a kind of stinking thinking. No one is immune — not by a long shot!
A False Reality
We all have voices in our heads — and, you know, a lot of us believe them. And a lot of times those little gremlin voices are wrong!
I don’t know why, but those voices inside our heads often speak a false reality!
The problem is that too many of us listen too much of the time.
I did it — I still do, sometimes. This is how it works:
You know about morning traffic, right? It’s a fact of life. You have an important meeting scheduled and you’re dreading that drive. You’re convinced before you even get out the door that the congestion is going to be especially bad on this day, of all days, and you’re already tense. That gremlin voice keeps saying, “You’d better hurry; the traffic’s going to be terrible. You can’t be late; you have to be at your best. Your future depends upon it.”
You kick the dog on your way out the door; and you’re convinced the morning commute will be terrible before you ever turn the key in the ignition. Does that sound familiar?
Your blood pressure goes up. Your indigestion flares. You just know it will be a terrible day!
Fast forward: There is no traffic, hardly another car on the road. You begin to wonder if you missed the memo about the holiday! But you’re so convinced of that traffic that you keep looking for the single vehicle that is going to cause you problems.
Aha! I told you so! It’s those damn voices in your head. It’s all false — and you don’t have to buy in to false reality.
Make It Real
Do you stay awake at night thinking about what could go wrong? Or worse, do you wake up in the middle of the night trying to play out all the possibilities — both good and bad — about what’s going to happen at work, or after work, or the next evening, the next week and the next month? I’ll bet you lose a lot of sleep!
I know you miss out on a lot of life. And no matter how much you plan for it, life just pretty much goes on, doesn’t it?
So, stop it! Turn off that switch in your head. Tell those gremlin voices to go find someone else to pick on, that you’re not having it anymore! Stop that stinking thinking, and just get on with your life!
Shut those gremlin voices up!
We could all use a little less stress in our lives. There’s no reason to manufacture more in your head!
Here’s my prescription:
Live in the present. Face problems as they occur. Make decisions based on the best possible information you have at the time, and move forward. You can’t change the past and sometimes you won’t be able to influence the future. So deal with the present and forget the rest.
Those gremlin voices may creep into your head sometimes, no matter how much you try to send them packing. But, you don’t have to listen. Listen to music instead!
Your life — and your future — are shaped by the choices you make right now. So choose wisely.
Give up the stinking thinking and turn off the “overreaction switch” in your mind.
We could all use just a little less stress in our lives. Take a deep breath, and get on with it!