Why Do We Continue to Cling?


Brooke – as a Life Coach, I’m curious what your thoughts are about clients ability/inability to “get” the concept that thoughts, not circumstances, create feelings. For example:

Client: Someone did something really bad – and they made me feel horrible. I don’t know what to do – because they won’t change. And I continue to feel horrible. What can I do?

Coach: Your thoughts create your feelings, not the circumstance. Feel your feelings – but then let’s also run a model to find the thought(s) creating those feelings – if you wish to find some peace.

Client: Ok, I “get” that thoughts create feelings – but THIS person really DID do something bad. And they really DID make me feel terrible. And I know they’ll keep doing their bad thing and I’ll keep feeling bad – so how do I get them to change?

I realize that there’s a difference between an “awareness” and a “skill”. You can know HOW to do something without actually being able to DO it (Knowledge vs Skill). But why do you think there’s such an internal “blind spot” when it comes to this realization. Is it because the Circumstance > Feeling path seems so “instant” – like it’s a direct cause/effect – that it’s hard to understand that the mind is interpreting this circumstance in nanoseconds? Does a person’s experience seemingly counter what the underlying reality is? (“Since it feels like my Mom causes my anger, my Mom must cause my anger.”) Or is it because that’s what we’re taught by everyone we trust – so “it must be true”? Or is the mind protecting itself – because if it suddenly realizes it’s been incorrect all of these years, how can it trust itself to make seemingly “life and death” choices based on perceptions?

I’m curious – because moving this notion from a “concept” to a “belief” seems to be pivotal for all of the other work. If you can “get” the fact that bad feelings are happening because YOU are punching yourself in the head (or, as that old thriller says… “The calls are coming from INSIDE the house!”)… then the rest become a bit easier. This concept is the foundation to everything else.

So I’ve just been doing some thinking on why, as humans, we seem to cling to this notion – even in the face of scientific evidence and social proof. And I wondered what your thoughts are – because this seems to be the nut to crack.

Thoughts?