2014 was significant for me. It was the first year in many that I haven’t had cancer…. Well, the self diagnosed one that I’ve had in my head. The type of cancer that presents as a headache and self diagnoses as a malignant tumor, or starts as a weird lump in my leg and then becomes melanoma or may be fatigue that could easily be leukemia, in my mind.
At the time, it is no laughing matter. I am confident many can relate to the dramatic thinking that I had engaged with in the past. In fact, for those that have experienced the trauma of cancer for themselves, or those around them, this is not to be taken lightly.
This type of thinking started when I was young. It was exacerbated when a few close to me had died of cancer. Knowing where it came from is one thing, identifying and learning to ‘disrupt’ this unhealthy thinking is the next step.
Whether it is ‘catatrophising’ or ‘blaming’, ‘black and white’ or even ‘perfectionist’ thinking; it has an impact on your decisions and behaviours. In the case of self diagnosing with cancer, I would call this thinking ‘catastrophising’. It would create anxiety in my mind and cause me to be anxious and even make me short and grumpy to be around – until the doctor told me things were fine. Unhelpful thinking patterns affect what you say and do.
We tend to go to the same places, in our mind, over and over again. It is the same route and it is often unhelpful.
I call our unhealthy thinking habits the ‘Board of Directors’ that live in our head. Recognising they exist and that you can fall trap to them is a significant start to building better relationships and having healthier conversations. After all, what we say comes from what we think.
To learn more about the Board of Directors and having remarkable conversations grab yourself a copy of ‘Fixing Feedback’. Or come to our public program in April to learn how to change your thinking patterns.