Day 9: Your Circumstances are Neutral

by | May 20, 2020 | Train Your Brain Series

Day 9: Your Circumstances are Neutral

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Circumstances and people in your life are neither good or bad. They are neutral. This may be the hardest concept for you to really accept. You have been trained your entire life to believe that you feel and act in the ways that you do because of the people and things in your life. 

Think about how we talk to kids. “Did Tommy hurt your feelings?” “What you said made mommy sad.” “I know you are upset because Sally pushed you.”

You think you feel and do things in response to the things other people say and do to you. You are angry because your coach said something mean. You felt unappreciated because your teammates didn’t talk about your contribution. 

You think that you feel and do things in response to the situations you face. You ate that cookie because you had a hard practice. You were disappointed and cancelled your game because it was raining.

The reality is, you feel and do things based on what you think about the circumstance. The circumstances themselves are neutral. How do we know this? Because different people think, feel and act differently in response to the exact same circumstance. 

Your coach could say the exact same thing to another person and they would not feel the same way you feel. Or their coach could say the same thing to them and they would not feel the same way. Another person may feel relieved their teammates didn’t notice their contribution because they want to lay low. Some people meditate after a hard practice. Some people play in the rain and think it’s awesome. You get the picture.

How can people react and feel so differently in the same circumstances? Because it is not the circumstance that causes your feelings. It is your THOUGHTS about the circumstance. Circumstances mean nothing until we think something about them.

Reflect

  • Can you think of a circumstance that you responded to differently than another person in the same situation?

  • Ask your brain to find evidence of when you have seen this to be true.

  • What are your initial thoughts about this concept? Do you agree? Why or why not?

Take Action

Spend 5-10 minutes downloading your thoughts in general or about a specific circumstance in your life.

Choose one thought and write out a model on it. 

Now go back and think of what other thoughts someone else might have thought about the same circumstance. 

What are other ways you might think about it.