Mind Reading – The Negative Voices in My Head

“I’m always worrying afterward if I’ve said the wrong thing. It haunts my mind on the way home. My worry voice niggles away telling me how I could have phrased it better, or that I should have kept quiet. May be other person might be upset about what I’ve said?” All this worry is for no reason because the other person is always okay afterward and I realize that I just invented it all in my own head!” – Jenny, Manager and Coaching Client.

We’ve all experienced situations where we’ve said something and then on the way home found ourselves re-playing the conversation in our heads over and over. Our inner critic picks up the microphone and broadcasts that we said it wrong, we should have worded it differently or beats us up because we might have upset someone.

The longer you listen, the worse it becomes. The greater the intensity of worry and you begin to lose self-confidence and feel bad. This is all you think about that evening, tirelessly re-playing the loop.

These thoughts manifest themselves as phrases such as: “He thought I was talking rubbish…” “She’s angry with me…” “She feels I’ve let her down…” “Because I said it this way I must have upset him.” The longer you listen the more you believe some of these thoughts to be true.

Our thoughts have such a powerful effect on us.

Here’s the thing…

The reality is that we don’t know what the other person is thinking unless they tell us or we ask them (…or unless, of course, you’re a psychic!).

The voices in your head aren’t true. They are replaying assumptions based on your own imagination of the situation.

We automatically default to negative thinking and get stuck in the loop

If you’re prone to mind reading try the following to help you to break out of the loop…

1. Recognize your negative thinking. Just because you’re thinking it doesn’t mean that it’s true. Make a list of your negative thoughts. Energy goes where attention flows. Putting them on your radar enables you to recognize and challenge them whenever they show up.

2. Challenge your assumptions. What do you know? How do you know that this is true? You can choose whether to listen to or believe any thought you have. Is this thought helping you or blocking you from where you want to be? Learn to challenge your thinking by letting go of those thoughts that no longer serve you. Replace the negative with a positive thought that you know is true.

3. Ask for clarification. You don’t know what someone else is thinking unless they tell you. So ask the question and test your understanding of the situation. Clarify you thinking.