Change of Thinking

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Before joining GROW, I wasted a lot of energy thinking about the past and the future.

My inner critic would analyse what I had done in the past and find a hundred different faults. I did not act with enough confidence and skill, didn’t get on well with others, said something to cause offence, did not say what should have been said – basically any good, ordinary action I did would be torn to shreds.

The inner critic would be relentless in his obsessive desire to convict me of being useless. This critic seemed to have missed his vocation in the Gestapo or Spanish Inquisition. Nearly exhausted from constant analysis of the past, the inner critic will then demand we look at the future and analyse the million different things waiting to go wrong.

CHANGEI’ve learned that an 8 hour hill walk is less exhausting than forensic analysis of supposed wrongs in the past and the future.

GROW has taught me to practice mindfulness – to live in the present.

I only have the power to make better choices in the present, since I can’t change the past and it’s silly to think I can 100% know what will happen in an unpredictable future (when people make plans, God is laughing).

Learning to live in the present means doing as well as I can with the skills and knowledge I that I have. This means accepting present limitations in the belief that I have the ability to learn from my mistakes and gradually do better each time.

My inner critic attacks my faltering efforts and I tell him – ‘I did as well as I could, and since I’ll never be perfect I’ll settle for good enough’.

Sometimes a miracle happens and the critic stops beating me up. He always beats me with a stick labelled ‘perfection’. Settling for a good enough ordinary life enables me to live and not be crippled with the fake illusion that I can be perfect. We can try to be right or we can try to be happy, but we can’t always have both – so choose wisely.

This very insightful piece titled ‘Change of Thinking’ has been written by a South East GROWer.