When I was just a toddler wearing little red pajamas complete with feet, getting ready for bed, Mom would regularly let me choose a story book.
One of my favorite children's stories to choose was called “Chicken Little.”
Chicken Little was in desperate need of retraining for his (or her?) brain.
Here’s how the Chicken Little book starts:
And one day while Chicken Little was out walking, up in the sky a bird flew over and it dropped an acorn, and the acorn fell down and-- bip-- bopped him on his head.
Chicken Little said “AWK!” and looked up, and didn’t see anything, and he looked down and didn’t see anything.
So, he said “Help, help the sky is falling! Help, help the sky is falling! I have to tell the King!” And he went running down the road, looking for the King.
As the story continues, Chicken Little goes to all his/her friends spreading his message of catastrophe and most even believe him!
Whether we think “Chicken Little” or not, our brain can be tempted with our own version of an “acorn bip-bop" and to believe “the sky is falling!”
And in doing so, we can allow our brains to create false stories and narratives that may not be helpful to us. We do what's called "catastrophizing."
In Psychology, they call this “catastrophizing.” Think catastrophe. A terrible and totally destructive event.
"Catastrophizing" is an irrational thought a lot of us have in believing that something is far worse than it actually is.
Catastrophizing can generally take two different forms: making a catastrophe out of a current situation. Or imagining catastrophe in a future situation.
Here’s where we go with things as taught by noted psychologist and author, Dr. Henry Cloud.
Just consider a circumstance where you don’t feel like you have full control. Or consider something that happened, and you can start to let yourself think, these 3 P’s.
When you take it personally, it’s all about you. Life is out to get you. Someone’s out to get you! The universe is conspiring against you!
Or you might be tempted to repeat phases like, “I’m no good.” “God doesn’t care about me “I’m a cursed.” “I’m a failure.”
Question to ask yourself when an acorn hits: IS THIS REALLY PERSONAL?
If you allow your brain to believe something is pervasive, you think it’s spread through every part of something. It will affect your WHOLE life, your WHOLE business, EVERY relationship, your WHOLE career…
For example, if something didn’t work out while making a sale, you think everyone will says “no.” “No one wants this product!” “The market stinks!”
If something didn’t work out in a relationship, you believe every “guy” or “woman” will reject you. “All women don’t want to go out with me.”
Question to ask yourself when that acorn hits: IS THIS REALLY PERVASIVE?
Finally, it’s possible to allow our brains things will always be this way. “The sky will always fall.” “Things will never change. ““I’ll never grow my income.” “I’ll never make another sale.”
Question to ask yourself when that acorn hits: IS THIS REALLY PERMANENT?
So, in conclusion, when your version of an acorn hits, “don’t believe everything you think.” And when you have a fearful and catastrophic thought DO ask yourself.
Have a great day!
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