Stop a minute and “catch” what you are thinking. Who is really thinking? Are you thinking? Or, does your thinking think for you? What thoughts portray reality? And, which ones make up stories about what you see? If you peel-the-onion on these questions, I am certain you will find that what we experience as thinking and feeling is often completely “made-up” yet we operate as if it is real. You might say, so what?

The so-what has to do with your personal power. Imagine if you were not thrown off-track when you have a thought that produces a feeling of annoyance, anger, upset, or confusion. Instead, you could be intrigued by what events or data along with your historical pattern of seeing the world led you to that response. Simple example: late from one appointment to another yesterday, I started driving faster and talking to myself about disappointing a client, blah, blah. Suddenly I stopped and thought, “what difference does it make…this thinking I am doing? It doesn’t get me there sooner. Continuing on this track will only make me nuts, which is not how I want to show up.” I took a breath, called the client and drove there in peace. If we had some more time, I could tell you about being late in my family and all the messages that trigger me to anxiety when late. While a simple example, think about the bigger ones in all of our lives and how much energy we lose or power we give away.

Try this! From time to time today, especially if your emotional reaction grabs you, stop and ask yourself “What have I just ‘made up’ through my thinking?” If you like the feeling and think the emotion will be productive, go with it. If you don’t like it and think it will be unproductive, see if you can make-it-up another way or let go and think about what you want to create instead.