“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ~ Anais Nin
In the last blog post that I shared, I presented an inside-out understanding of life that I’ve found super helpful to me and those I work with.
The basic gist is that we experience life through the lens of thoughts that are moving through our mind in each moment and not directly from circumstances.
If we are stuck in traffic (a circumstance) and the lens of thoughts that show up are about how much we are enjoying the music we’re listening to than we will feel enjoyment.
If we are stuck in traffic and the lens of thought that shows up is about how stupid it is that there aren’t more lanes on the highway then we will feel frustrated.
Thoughts create feelings and subsequently the way we experience life in the moment – not the circumstances themselves.
Can you see the difference? In both scenarios above, the circumstance is the same, but the different way we experience it is created from the thought lens that shows up for us in the moment.
You may be thinking, “Great, that’s interesting, but why is knowing that helpful to me?”
It’s helpful because we often take our thinking very seriously, as if it’s the absolute truth and that our feelings are coming from life outside us, but in reality it’s not.
The thoughts that show up in our head are highly subjective and biased depending on what limiting beliefs show up in the moment. Or another way to think about it is that your mind is like a sports commentator, always giving its opinion and story about what you see throughout your day.
But its reports about your life and the world around you doesn’t necessarily equal the TRUTH. Not by a long shot.
The good news is our feelings and emotions are guides that help us to determine how accurately we are seeing life in the moment and how much we should trust the thought lens that is showing up. If we are feeling anxious, frustrated, or upset, it’s a pretty good indicator that our mind is stirred up and we should be cautious about believing what it’s telling us.
On the other hand, when we are feeling more relaxed and peaceful that’s an indicator that we can trust the thought lens that is present in the moment.
Please don’t take my word for it though, play around with it yourself.
Maybe like me, you’ll notice that thoughts that seem really true when you’re upset don’t seem so true or serious when you’re in a better frame of mind.
I’d love to hear what you’re seeing. Feel free to comment here or send me a note if you’d like to share or have questions.
If you find this post interesting and you’d like to learn more about the thought-feeling connection and how it shapes our life, please check out the What If? Program that my wonderful friend and colleague, Melissa Wirt, and I are offering in August – we’d love to have you join us!