You might have noticed I have a tendency to exaggerate sometimes. No, really! I’m pretty sure I’ve never eaten a million calories in a day. Nor has the humidity ever been recorded at 1000%. I might not have actually careened down a mountainside. I say these things for effect and assume that people will separate the real from the dramatization.
Sometimes, though, I get caught up in my own exaggeration and find myself on the verge of accepting something as fact just because the thought flitted through my mind. Here’s a wee example:
I don’t have time to exercise today becomes I don’t have time to exercise today. I can feel myself gaining weight. Are these pants fitting tighter? OMG, If these pants are tight, how am I going to fit into my business-y pants to meet with clients?
And so on and so on. With me being me, these types of thoughts can lead to a negative thought pattern that will, eventually, have me living under a bridge in a cardboard box. A really, really big one because I’ll be 100 pounds overweight again.
Okay, so this is a bit of a simplistic example, but it’s fairly indicative of the pattern. The good news is that these little “episodes” are usually short-lived, now that I’ve learned one simple little question to ask myself:
In Excuses Begone!*, Dr. Wayne Dyer offers a series of questions to stop or avoid such negative patterns, but to be honest, I’ve never needed to move beyond question #1: Is it true?
I might NOT have had time to exercise on a particular day, but chances are good that a missed workout here and there aren’t going to put 100 pounds on my body. Not overnight, anyway.
Or maybe I DID have time to exercise, but I chose to
read a book or check out Pinterest put some other important activity ahead of it in the priority list. Nothing wrong with that every now and then, but instead of making a false excuse or spending time going though a dozen possible, but not probable, repercussions, I need to be honest about what happened and either come up with a contingency plan or plan to accept an occasional missed workout without a major meltdown. Or a minor meltdown, for that matter.
I’ve found that taking a moment to pause and ask, Is this true? is helpful in many situations: moments of self-doubt, family/friend dramas, or any time I’m feeling some sense of unease or overwhelm. It might not solve the problem of the moment, but it does cut down on the number of false leads so that I can focus on what’s real.
Do you ever catch yourself making false excuses? Or a downward thought spiral? How do YOU turn things around?
*Amazon affiliate link for which I receive a tiny commission