How to stop yourself making another classic thinking error.
Can you read minds?
Do you know what other people are thinking?
You might guess, but do you know?
Of course you don’t. You can’t, unless they tell you. Even then you have to trust that they’re telling you the truth.
Mind reading is a classic thinking error.
We assume we know what people are thinking based on the way they look at us, their body language, tone of voice and what they’re doing.
We also assume that these thoughts are negative and critical of us in some way.
The trouble is that we don’t know what they’re thinking. We are just guessing. But we tend to act on that guesswork and it stops us doing things.
Clients tell me stuff all the time.
There isn’t much I haven’t heard to be honest. Yet they will still say ‘I know what you’re going to think.’ They don’t. Even I don’t know what I’m going to think. And when I do think it, I might choose not act on my first thought.
When you find yourself mind reading learn how to interrupt the process.
Here are 5 steps to doing that:
- Tell yourself you’re mind reading.
- Ask where is the evidence for your assumptions. (Hint: there never is any. A look or tone of voice is not evidence.)
- Come up with three possible things the person you’re worried about might be thinking. If you can, make one of them funny.
- Choose to believe the most helpful of the three. If in doubt choose the funny one.
- Get on with your day.
Don’t let random thoughts stop you being happy, successful and fulfilled.