GET OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S MODELS
How often do you find yourself obsessing over what another person is thinking?
Whether you “need to know” why your boss didn’t like your idea in a meeting or why your crush stopped liking your Instagram posts, you may think you have to understand their motivations in order to know how to think and feel about their behavior.
This thinking is especially common in people socialized as women, because we’re taught that what other people think of us matters more than what we think of ourselves.
We’re taught that it’s our job to make everyone like us all the time, and that our value comes from being able to care for those around us. Give that premise to a primitive brain and it deduces that our boss doesn’t think we’re doing a good job, it’s our responsibility to change their mind or we will have failed as a human and possibly will be left by the side of the road to die alone.
Sometimes it can be helpful to imagine where other people are coming from – particularly when we want to understand or empathize with people who don’t share our thoughts or values, or when we want to challenge our brain to go beyond its first assumption (which is often “this person is out to get me!”).
But when your imagination runs wild and it feels like you’re stuck in a cycle of agitation and frustration?
Not so helpful.
Because it’s a telltale sign that you are placing your own emotional well-being in the hands of others.
You are making your own thoughts and feelings contingent on how another person is thinking of you.
And because you can never truly understand another person’s brain, you’re creating a recipe for uncertainty – which is a recipe for anxiety in a human brain.
Thankfully, there is a cure: learning to get out of other people’s models.
If you’re new to my work, a “model” is a tool that we use to understand how your circumstances trigger your thoughts, which create your feelings, which then determine what actions you take, and how your actions create the results you see in your life.
Ultimately, it is a tool that will help you gain power over your life by allowing you to consciously choose how you want to think about a given situation. This is why it’s so important to learn how to redirect your brain away from obsessing over another person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions…and back onto examining your OWN thoughts, feelings, and actions.
When we fixate on what other people are thinking and doing you know what we’re not examining?
Our OWN thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Our OWN power to consciously choose how we want to think and feel about a given situation.
Because while there are certain circumstances in your life that you can’t control – such as when or how much a new love interest texts you, or how your coworker leaves the coffee pot – you can ABSOLUTELY control what you make those things mean.
This is where all your power is.
Regardless of what someone else is thinking or saying or doing, you always get to decide how you want to show up.
To do this, ask yourself:
- How do I want to feel?
- What would I need to think to create that feeling?
- How would that feeling make me act?
- What result would I get?
When you focus on someone else’s model, you reject your own.
When you focus on their mind, you neglect your own.
When you focus on someone else’s life, you’re neglecting your OWN life.
You never have to know what someone else is thinking in order to decide what YOU are going to think.
You can set yourself free at any time, in any situation, just by focusing on your own mind.