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Choosing our thoughts about other people

The idea of choosing our thoughts about people sometimes trips my clients up a bit.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

Years ago my boss was being very short with me. I was the president of an professional services firm and I carried a lot of responsibility.

My boss had reverted into nasty micromanaging. I was annoyed and we were stuck.

I could see that his behaviors were rooted in fear. Fear of clients leaving, fear of employees quitting. Fear of the business he had built changing. But it was showing up as anger.

My initial thoughts were…. this guy just doesn’t get it.

But I had the power to choose my thoughts. “He just doesn’t get it” isn’t helpful. That thought made me feel disempowered and victimized.

I could choose another thought because our thoughts about people do not need to be mutually exclusive.

This means that 2 seemingly disparate thoughts about people can coexist simultaneously.

So I tried on a few alternates:

He doesn’t get it ……..AND

· he’s worried

· he’s never been in this situation before

· he’s going to open up soon

· he needs my guidance …this is why I am here