Sunday, September 2, 2007

Thinking gone wrong

How to know when you are out of line?

Just last week I had a phone call with a friend. During the call I made a few assumptions and blew some things out of proportion…..Not good. My reaction reminded me of something I was taught by a psychology professor back at university. She talked about cognitive distortions. Here are three we frequently use:

  • We Blow UP and magnify things out of all perspective.
  • We Suck UP and take everything that happens around us personally
  • We Make UP catastrophes and conversations without really checking whether they are true or not.

Recognising these as unhelpful is the first step towards getting my head straight. The second step is having some reminders about how to avoid them.

Ros Tasker, a Thought Leader and ENERGY coach who helped me put together the Personal Leadership program bought my attention to The Four Agreements by Miguel Angel Ruiz. This book provides four reminders that I like. You might also find them useful.

The four agreements

  • Be Impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take Anything Personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best.

So next time you Blow UP, Suck UP or Make UP you may want to remind yourself of the Four Agreements. I have a bookmark with these on it to remind myself daily.

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