15 Nov, 2019What is the nature of your mind?
Once, some years ago, my coach asked me that question: What is the nature of your mind?
I thought about this for a moment or two and then gave him a clever answer about consciousness and identity and awareness – lots of science from my psychology background. His reply was: The nature of the mind is to play tricks.
It is a simple answer but an incredibly deep one too.
One of my coaching clients and I discovered something fascinating and incredible about the power of thought recently.
We have regular 121 sessions ad we were exploring a particular issue he has which is rooted in his early childhood. I observed that issues in the past aren’t something that coaching can really address. It is a forward-facing intervention and this issue kept coming up for him.
He came away from the coaching session convinced that I’d told him that coaching couldn’t help him. He thought he was beyond help and that our coaching relationship was about to come to an end.
It so happens that, with this client we have started recording our sessions because he likes to listen to them a second time, when he is able to take notes and think more deeply about what we have discussed. On revisiting the session, he was able to hear that I’d never said that coaching couldn’t help – just that this recurring issue might need a different kind of help.
Yet, somehow his thoughts had distorted what I’d said and turned it into something quite different. His thoughts lied to him.
Get aware of your thoughts
How many of us are caught up in thoughts which are negative, unhelpful and obstructive? How many of our thoughts are the same as the ones we’ve had before? And how many of them are just plain false?
Do you know? Just stop for a moment and observe your thoughts. Step back and see what is really going on.
Take a listen to my podcast from this week too which goes into more depth on the way thoughts affect feelings which affect actions.
Awareness is your superpower. In understanding what thoughts you are having, you put yourself in the position to choose your thoughts. It can be really powerful to carry a notebook with you and write down your thoughts – especially when they seem to be leading you down into a negative space. Or draw a stick man with a thinks bubble and note down what is in that bubble. It can be incredibly educational.
We’ve been working on the Power of Thought in my coaching community over the last month and many of our members have had real breakthroughts as a result. If you’d like to find out how to take charge of your thoughts, watch this short video and then book a call with me to explore your thinking. www.petecohen.com/coaching.