Here’s one thing my therapist asked that changed everything for me.
You know when you meet someone, and for some reason, you just know that that person does not like you? Not sure if it’s their tone, or their body language or just some general vibe. Whatever the reason, you just have a sinking suspicion that that person is not really a fan of you.
I’ve been there and it’s uncomfortable. You start to get really self-conscious like “why don’t they like me?” “What am I doing wrong in this situation?”
I was telling my therapist about this once about how I thought this one coworker of mine did not like me, and here’s what my therapist hit me with…
She asked me What if that’s not true?
I’m sure I just had a blank look on my face. I was like “what?”
She said “yeah, sounds like you have this thought that this person does not like you. But if they haven’t told you all that it is just a thought. There’s no actual found proof of that. You’re just holding on to this assumption. This is a thought and thoughts aren’t facts. So let’s question it. What if it’s not true? Like what if they just were having a bad day that last time do you talk to them? Or what if they just don’t hate you, but they just are indifferent about you? That’s not so bad.”
So am I the only one that didn’t really realize that thoughts aren’t facts and that we have full permission to question our own thoughts?
I’m not saying this is some magical fix, of course. Insecure thoughts are going to come up and a lot of times those insecure thoughts are gonna be real convincing. But asking yourself this question, “what if it’s not true?” puts the power kind of back in your hands. Let’s you actually take a second recognize that the thought might not be factual and allows you to replace it.
Self-reflection question: Think about an insecure thought you’ve been having recently. Maybe you’ve been thinking that someone doesn’t like you. Maybe you’ve been thinking that you’ve been doing badly at work. Now ask yourself, what if it’s not true? What if they don’t dislike you? What if you’re not doing as bad as you think you are at work?
Let me warn you, if this is a particular thought that you’ve been holding on to for a long time, there’s a chance that your brain might still look for evidence to support that original thought. If that’s the case, I encourage you to dig deeper. Continue to ask yourself what if it’s not true? It may seem like it’s true. But what if it’s not? Here’s why it’s not.
Don’t get discouraged. It might just take a few more tries to get your brain to think in a new way. But it’s definitely possible. Just remember that you have permission to question your own thoughts and you have the power to think new thoughts instead. And honestly, how cool is that?