What else could this mean?

As human being we interpret the truth as we see it to be, this can sometimes lead to misunderstandings, especially if communication is by text or email. What we do naturally is interpret the message that best fits with our understanding. If we asked the question “What else could this mean?” we could avoid lots of misunderstandings when we communicate.

By asking ourselves “What else could this mean?” we can learn to re-frame our thoughts and broaden our perspectives. In addition to this, if we add “The story I’m telling myself is…” as a prefix to troubling thoughts, we often get to those “aha” moments without the stress and anxiety that misunderstanding can cause. Let me explain…

You have agreed with a prospective client that they will call you at 12.30 on Monday, it is now 13.30 and they still haven’t called. You are feeling upset because obviously you are not a high enough priority to them. When you catch yourself feeling this way, use the phrase:

“The story I’m telling myself is that they didn’t call me because I’m not a high enough priority to them.”

Then ask yourself the following:

  • Can I be absolutely certain this story is true?
  • How do I feel and behave when I tell myself this story?
  • What’s one other possibility that might have happened?
  • Give yourself the time to think it all through, carefully.

I bet your answer to question 1 is no, and your answer to 2 is not great. And I hope question 3 gets you doing more of…
“I don’t know why they haven’t called yet, but maybe…”

  • They’re extremely busy at work today and have got held up.
  • They are in a meeting which has ran over.
  • There was a misunderstanding and they were waiting for me to call them. etc.

Challenge Yourself to Think Differently!

The three questions above give you a tool for revisiting and reframing the troubling or confusing situations that arise in your daily life. You can challenge the stories you tell yourself with a more objective outlook, which ultimately in turn allows you to make better decisions about everything.

So challenge yourself to think differently.

When you stop acting as the truth as you believe it to be you start seeing things with more clarity. You will see things that you have never seen before which will lead to richer, better experiences.

These techniques work no matter what your current situation is, or what you’re up against going forward. Even if you have limited experience with personal development and = you don’t know what you really want for yourself yet, have a go, you never know what you will find!