What makes someone see the world in the way they do? And why is it when we see things in a certain way, sometimes others struggle to see it the same?
What about when you achieve great success on a low carb lifestyle, but your family and friends are not interested in what you’re doing?
Simply put, all of this comes down to ‘thought systems’. Understanding what they are and how they work can help reduce the frustration we feel when someone sees the world differently from how we do.
The problem is, most people are unfamiliar with thought systems, which means they are also limited by them.
But when we understand a little of what they are and how everyone is operating from a different thought system, we will start to see (and expect!) that everyone else sees the world in a different way to us!
Thought systems are the combination of our entire life experience to date. It’s all our past thoughts clustered into a self-contained unit through which we see the world.
Every decision, reaction, interpretation we have is coloured by our individual thought system.
In short, there are currently 7.7 billion different thoughts systems, one for every person on the planet, because no two people will ever have the same past experiences or responses to those experiences.
What thought systems do is filter information as it comes to us. It is absolutely self-validating. You will innocently seek out people, places, things and information to match your current thought system. Your ‘tribe’, if you will.
This is why people rarely change their political party or their religion. And there is nothing wrong with any of this. But when we lack awareness of our unique thought system colouring our existence, we will find it hard to hear someone who is operating from a different one.
When you rely on your thought system without awareness of how it works to filter your view, your thoughts (and thus reactions and behaviours) will be habitual.
So, when we come across someone with a different view, we tend to dismiss what the other person says, think they’re wrong, become even stronger in our convictions, get offended, judge them easily, or completely close ourselves off.
In short, our thought system will convince us that we are right, and they are wrong.
But with awareness of thought systems, we find ourselves with access to a much wider pool of responses. We can choose to see that what the other person thinks isn’t personal to us, that their views are their opinion. We can be curious as to why they think that way, and we can see beyond to the fully amazing human being that lies just beneath.
Overall, we will be far less affected and more open in our response, which means our world will naturally look wider and more enriched.
How you react to any situation is always your power. Why do we render ourselves so powerless to the outside world by giving this up so easily? Because we innocently misunderstand thought systems. And our brains are still in tribal mode for our survival.
It’s thought systems that dismiss new information and leave us stuck in old thinking and old ways. It’s thought systems that keep us from stepping out and making changes.
And it's a misunderstanding of thought systems that is responsible for people disliking others who don’t see the world the way they do. It’s thought systems that tell us it's safer to stay where we are than to step out into the unknown.
The point here is not to change your thought system or your ideas about life, but to see the arbitrary nature of them. This is all we need to do to reduce the frustration in our lives.
So how will you react when you come across a differing thought system? Will you follow your habitual thought system down the path of telling yourself they’re wrong, they’re less of a person than you, they’re dumb, or whatever might come up.
Or, might you stop and pause, smile and see that you don’t have to react to that same old stuff anymore? That you can instead be curious about the other person and try to understand their thought system and connect on a level that goes way beyond our heads?
Where could that possibly take you if you did that? I think there would be endless possibilities, and our happiness level would naturally increase.
If you want to see this work in your life, be curious and see what follows. Play around with it, and start to see that acting on the thoughts that come into our head really is optional. I promise you there is an endless supply coming up behind.
Tracey McBeath is a qualified health and wellness coach, working with clients to transform their lives and unlock their limiting beliefs for better health and stronger relationships. Learn more about Tracey here.
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