Observing Yourself

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Pay attention to what you think!


Paying attention to what you think means that you practice the process of self-observation. You try and catch that inner voice as it speaks to you. What is it saying? Is it helpful or not? Learn to recognize the critical voice.

If you try this process of self-observation your first experience will most likely be to hear that voice saying, "Well, damn, you did it again." You will catch yourself after the fact. You will catch the voice after it has been speaking for sometime and you are already in the midst of a negative reaction. You may have been severely criticizing yourself for a mistake. You may have been listening to how exaggeratedly "horrible" an annoying but innocuous situation is.

Whenever you hear that voice saying, "Well, damn you did it again." You should congratulate yourself. You have made a lot of progress because always in the past you would have listened to that negative inner dialogue and never even know that you did it. You would think that it was normal. Progress is when you are observant enough to catch what you have been doing. You catch yourself after the act.

Now, you just keep observing and soon the inner voice says, "Here you are doing it again." And, you go ahead and do it. Progress has been made because you now find yourself in the act but are not yet able to stop.

More progress is seen when you hear the voice saying, "Well, you are about to do it again." Once more you continue with the thinking and criticize yourself for the mistake. You are, however, becoming more mindful. You are catching yourself in the act sooner and sooner.

Eventually, with a lot of hard work, you will hear, "Look out. You are about to do it one more time." At this point you choose not to proceed. You don’t begin the negative dialogue but intentionally begin a positive one. You hear, "Mistakes are good. Now you can learn. Let’s try it again and see what happens." You are now getting out of the negative pattern and consciously shaping your reaction to life events.

When you listen to your inner dialogue and choose the more positive and realistic attitude you become a resilient person. Remember: Attitude is the key to resiliency.


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