I find it fascinating how each of us creates our own reality. Not from a manifestation mumbo jumbo perspective, but from the perspective of the lens we’re looking through as we view the world.
None of us sees the world as it is. We see the world as the lens we’re looking through shapes it. If you have a deep feeling that people are fundamentally friendly and good, guess how you’re generally going to experience people? Or if you have a deep distrust of people’s motives, how do you think you’re likely to interpret that random smile from a stranger?
The exact same situation can be experienced in vastly different ways, depending on the lens we’re using. Sometimes that lens can be enhancing and affirming. Other times it can drag us down and hold us back.
There is no actual lens, of course. It’s all in our minds. And if we’re using limiting lenses, it can create humongous self-inflicted obstacles.
One way we create those limiting lenses is through cognitive distortion. For a better sense of what those are, check out this article with an excellent overview of 50 common cognitive distortions that get in people’s way.
Do you recognize yourself in any of them?
Try this: Go through the list of 50 cognitive distortions and jot down which ones apply to you. Keep that list with you as a reminder and, for the next week, just pay attention. As you notice those distortions come us, ask three questions:
- When do those things color your experience?
- What effect do they have?
- What possible alternative ways of experiencing the situation can you see?
You might just be surprised at how the world starts to change.
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