Life is hard. People are dumb. Money is evil. My mother-in-law is…
Stop right there. Isn’t it time to see whether these opinions are really true? Some of these claims make a big impact on the way you live. The opinions you have affect your ability to relate well to others and your attitude. If you believed your whole life that “work is hard and boring”, how might that impact the time you spend at work?
Your opinions become self-fulfilling prophecies. If your attitude towards work is that it is hard and boring, then that’s all you will feel. If you believe people are dumb, that will show up in the way you treat others. And if you think a belief like that doesn’t affect your relationships, it may make a lot of sense to ask the people closest to you what it’s like to be around you.
Humans create self-fulfilling prophecies in a lot of areas in life: personal finance, romantic relationships, friendships, career, spirituality and religion, and so on. When you stay attached to those prophecies – those opinions– like they are real, it can become very hard to see that your experience of life can be any other way.
But it can- only if you start questioning how accurate your opinions really are. Sure, you have a point. Sometimes, life feels hard. And yes, sometimes we judge people to be stupid. But it gets worse: if we start to believe that life is hard, we look to evidence to support our belief. Our mistake as humans is that we take one or two or many experiences and then decide that’s how it always (or usually!) is…even if those experiences happen pretty infrequently. Those few bad incidences strongly influences one’s attitude. That is how an opinion becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Three bad days in a row at work has now become a job you can’t stand and your spouse overlooking the same detail for the fourth time means s/he is stupid.
Here’s a great exercise we do that opens a lot of doors. Take an area of your life where you are experiencing a great deal of difficulty or stress. What would it be like if things were easier? Some folks say, “It would be great, but it can’t happen!” Says who?
That’s exactly the point about self-fulfilling prophecy! If you believed you could bring ease to that area, you would start asking yourself a whole bunch of different questions- questions like “How could I make this easier?” or “Who can I talk to that would help me get the results I really want here?”. But telling yourself that something is impossible stops all lines of inquiry. Instead of having a can-do attitude towards fixing that area, you can only think of the negative.
I asked above, “What would it be like if things were easier?” The next question to ask is, “What would it be like if things were stress-free?” Ease is a state of mind you bring to what you are doing. You know what ease feels like because you’ve been there before! So what’s getting in the way of producing that state of ease in the area you are concerned with?
Call us at (732)385-1522 to schedule a strategy session to see if we can help you chance your current attitude and lead a more stress-free life.