We can all be quick to jump to conclusions about situations, particularly when our emotions are running. For example, as soon as the fire alarm goes off in your office or home, startling you as it does so, your initial thought might be to wonder where the fire is, how big it is, what has caused it and how quickly you need to evacuate the building and call the fire service. This is all sensible thinking, as it pays to err on the side of caution when safety is concerned.
Consider a different setting: you’re in the middle of presenting to your boss and team in a meeting and are feeling a little apprehensive about it. You wonder what people are thinking about what you’re saying, whether your boss thinks you can do your job properly. Picking up the slightest of movements in others’ body language and making it mean that they don’t like you and, as a result, you’re going to be passed over for promotion on the basis of this one presentation helps to reinforce the unhelpful negative emotions you are already having.
Is any of this true? These are only emotional thoughts, which, if left unchecked and unqualified, can continue to cause havoc. Thoughts are not facts. Where’s your evidence?