What if nothing has gone wrong?
What if you couldn't get things wrong? It feels like quite a brain breaking question, doesn't it? Because it seems so obvious and logical to us that there's a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things, when actually these things are not empirical truths out there in the world. "There's the good stuff and the bad stuff." Because if it was an empirical truth, people wouldn't be able to have different opinions about them. And you can find for most outcomes for anything, there's someone with a contradictory opinion about it.
What I invite you to get curious about with this episode, maybe this week, pondering as you go about your days, is what if the idea of getting something wrong was merely just another stick that we use to beat ourselves up with? It is something that we've been socialized into to constantly second guess ourselves, to try and make sure that we don't have enough courage or agency over our own decisions. And so we're constantly having to defer to other people to just check in, and validate us and make sure that everything that we're doing is okay. And really, what we're doing by this is we're handing over our power to other people in other people's opinions.
I believe that whatever occurs and whatever decisions we are trying to make is because we're trying to seek out a feeling or an emotion to try and feel a particular way. So when we try and think about something in the past which may not have worked out according to plan or with a whole load more information, in hindsight, we wish they had unfolded in a different manner. What we are really saying to ourselves is if something else had occurred in the world, or I had made different choices, I would be able to feel a different emotion.
And what I invite you to get a little bit curious about this week, as you bobbing along thinking about whether I'm right or wrong and, is to really think about actually what is the emotion that I was seeking and where is that available to me now? re there any places in my life that shows up? And are there any places in my life where that emotion is available to me that I could expand upon? Because the truth is that no matter what decisions we make, whether it is, I mean, I would use air quotes if I could use them on a podcast, but whether it is "right" or "wrong", what we actually are always seeking is an emotion and emotions are created by the thoughts that we have in our heads. Our emotions are not little puddles that we fall into as we splash about our day. Our emotions are created by the thoughts that we have about things. And so if this is a true thing, that we create our emotions with our thoughts, then no matter what decisions are made, we can choose how we feel about them because we can choose our thoughts.
I know it's a bit of a brain breaking concept, but actually you can train your brain to think things which align you more with your values and more with your mission and more towards the goals that you want to seek out in life. And if it sounds like quite a strange concept to be able to train your brain how to think about things, it's how we learn everything that we've ever known. It's how you learn how to ride a bike, if you can. It's how you learn how to speak language, many of them, some of you. It's how you learned to jump in puddles. Let's stick with that analogy. It's how you learn that, you know, maybe that smile might be a flirt.
It's all of the things that we have ever learned in our lives. It's because we've trained our brains to think particular thoughts. And some of those thoughts come from people around us. Some of them come from schools, have come from our families, some of them come from the times and the society that we live in. But we can take this concept of training our brain into believing particular things, and we can make this so that we are always striving towards building more of what we want and the values we want in our life.
So next time something doesn't work out according to plan, I invite you to use that as a lesson to pause and reflect. What was it that I was hoping to achieve? What did I think of that other outcome would have given me? And what emotion would that lead me to? And when you can work out what emotion you were seeking, you can then work backwards and work out what kind of thoughts would cause that emotion. It's like a little domino effect. It's something that I teach very extensively at www.selfcareschool.co.uk
But I hope with this episode I maybe would give you a little bit of an introduction to the concept that we can write our own destiny by choosing the emotions that drive us and looking for how we can get there.
Our thoughts are our vehicles to take us where we want to be.
I hope that this episode has served you this week, and this is me saying that maybe, possibly, nothing has gone wrong.
I look forward to seeing you next week.