How to stop suffering in yourself

Two weeks into the Direction Seminar now, and here is a topic which has come up for several of the participants.

It is human nature to collapse thoughts, feelings and facts together when under stress. Under stress, humans tend to act on autopilot, using their previous experience and conditioning to react to circumstances. This is an unconscious process.

Imagine something happens that you don’t like. You will almost immediately have thoughts, feelings and judgements about the situation.

‘He did not call when he said he would. He’s unreliable, he doesn’t care, I’m not important to him, he is selfish’.

‘I can’t decide on what to do. I can never decide, I always make the wrong decisions, I cannot be trusted to make good decisions, I’ll get it wrong, and then I’ll look stupid’.

Notice the basic information – the facts, or ‘what’s so’? And the rest is thoughts, feelings and judgements about the facts.

If you adopt this reactive process, you will experience suffering. Your ego has cut in to protect you, and it does so by preventing you feeling that you are powerless.

If you follow this reactive route, you will survive until the next occasion. But you will never move beyond this limiting thinking process, and will always react in the same way when faced with similar situations in the future, and will thus create more suffering.

Some people are addicted to suffering. Whatever happens in their lives, they will view it as troubling or stressful. They unconsciously choose to experience suffering, perversely as a way of protecting themselves from the responsibility of making choices, and using the personal power they do not believe they have.

If you do not want to endure more suffering in your life, when confronted by situations you do not feel safe, comfortable or at ease with, stop for a moment. Separate the facts from your thoughts and feelings about the facts. Notice that as you do so the feelings and thoughts of panic, disappointment or suffering ease, giving you space to replace them with another interpretation.

A different interpretation may give you space to choose the thoughts and feelings you want to engage with rather than your ego automatically taking over and deciding for you.

‘He did not call when he said he would’ could become ‘I’ll call him instead’

‘I can’t decide what to do’ might become ‘on this occasion, I’ll dig deep and listen to my intuition for guidance’.

You exercise choice, and gain back your personal power.

And the suffering stops.

About theclaritycoach

Paul Stonehouse is an experienced coach, educator and speaker, and is completely committed to helping people perform at their best. His particular passion is helping people move forward when they are stuck, enabling them to live and work a in a way which is a confident expression of their true selves.
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