Love this visual from a workshop I attended last week. Cognitive therapy helps us recognize the relationship between our interpretation of often neutral/factual stimuli colors our overall experience and feelings we attach. Brene Brown describes this well when she reminds us to consider the “story we tell ourselves” about circumstances or situations we find ourselves in. Generally speaking, peoples’ actions are not inherently good or bad. It is the associations and meanings we attach to their actions that often fuel how we feel about their value/intentions.
Wayne Dyer reminds us: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” This premise is SO empowering when you recognize how much power you truly have over your experience and world. In a most simplified example, if I tell myself your actions caused me hurt by accident or because you were hurting, I’m more likely to show you compassion than if I were to consider you rude, selfish, or unkind.
This below visual from the VA Voices training is a great depiction of how our thoughts tend to create our reality, good or bad. The greyed out sections are what our minds and thoughts create internally, based in large part on our upbringing, personal experiences, and people we’ve been surrounded by in our lives. The yellow highlighted sections are what the world sees, our concrete, observable response to the inner thoughts we let take over. Will your thoughts be driven by grace, forgiveness, and compassion for others’ wounds, or driven by blame, shame, or victimization. I am a firm believe that I am 100% responsible for every situation I find myself in in life — the good and the bad. I make choices everyday that increase or decrease the likelihood of certain outcomes. What will you choose today? Practice changing your inner dialogue using the ABC worksheets I have posted under Invest in Personal Growth: FREE Resources.
Enjoy, and Don’t Be A Stranger as we work on investing in ourselves and in others, creating a kinder world one memorable moment at a time!
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