#111: Question Reality

Welcome to the mindset for life podcast. This podcast is for you, if you’re interested in being a better version of yourself more confident, happier, feeling better about things. Now, well, I can never guarantee that through a podcast, you’ll actually become happier. But when we adopt a healthy mindset that’s going to help us move forward, it can bring more happiness, it can also help us realize how wonderful it is what we have right now.

Today, I want to talk about questioning reality. Have you ever had an experience where you just wondered if how you thought things really are was true? Well, I have, sometimes I can see someone else’s reaction or response or the way they’ve come about doing something. And I can assume that I know what’s behind it, I can believe that I know their motive or their intention or what they’re trying to do. Sometimes if I know the person really well, that’s a good thing. But if I don’t, and even when I do, it can be especially helpful to question my assumptions about what’s really going on.

And, you know, the more I have thought about coaching people, the more I realized that questioning reality is a good thing. What I believe is true about other people, or about why they do things, is most of the time not true. And if I don’t know why someone is doing something, if I question it, I’m gonna give myself the space to think differently. And that’ll give me enough time to slow down and pause and just figure it out without getting too emotional too quickly. Now, I’d like to give you an example of that.

I was in the store earlier this evening, and my husband and I were there because we love to go camping and fishing and hiking and do all those wonderful things. And we were buying a new camping shirt. So something lightweight, that’s breathable, we’re going to wear it camping, and we’re in this store. And there was a husband and wife shopping in the store with us, not with us, but in the store at the same time as us. And these people were kind of milling about, they were just slowly moving from aisle to aisle, touching things, looking at things not talking to each other. And as I watched them, I noticed that they really did not communicate out loud.

They were both looking down. Physically, they both had drooping shoulders kind of hunched over forward, and they were moving slowly. They just didn’t seem to have a purpose to they’re looking. So they looked from one thing to the next without any obvious plan. And I started to wonder about these people. I thought, maybe she’s mad at him. And he knows it. And he’s following behind her because he’s wondering if he just hangs out with her while she goes shopping, maybe she’ll get happy again at him. Or maybe they just lost a child or something terrible happened in their lives. And they are not feeling very hopeful. And they’re just down there to pass the time and try to find something to do.

Maybe they’ve been sick for a while. And they’re just trying to get out of the house to refresh and try to wake up from that haze of being sick. Or maybe it’s something else. Whatever it is, there could be a million reasons why that couple is walking through the store not communicating and slowly passing from thing to thing with no obvious change of an effect or emotion. And as I watch it, I cannot possibly know, unless I ask them. Hey, what what’s going on? And can you imagine that if I were to just walk up to these strangers in the store and just ask them what they’re experiencing right now, they would probably not openly answer that. I mean, that’s a little out of the blue.

But I am curious nonetheless. It’s only one example. Right? Everywhere we go.

We see people every day. And we might have an assumption or a thought about them. And we have no idea if it’s true. And just like that. We can also observe our own experience whatever’s going on with us right now and we can question the reality that we feel we are experiencing.

One day I woke up and I was just exhausted this past week. And on that day I thought maybe I’m getting sick. Maybe I’ve got a cold or something And I don’t know what’s going on, I just feel like I’ve been hit by a truck or run over. Just, I didn’t feel very good. And there might be any number of reasons why that is the case. But I can question that reality.

Perhaps I just woke up in the odd place of a sleeping cycle, maybe I just need to get up and get moving. Maybe I need to drink some water, take a shower, shake it off, and throw some energy behind what I’m doing. Whatever it was, in that moment, when I was feeling exhausted, I could just roll with it and kind of follow the feeling and sluggishly go through my day. Or I could do something else and question that reality that I was experiencing. And in that situation, what I did do was try to liven up my attitude and my energy, I got dressed up for work and professional clothes. Even though I only work in the next bedroom next door to my room.

In the house, it takes me about 10 steps to get to work every day. So I got all dressed for work, and I even put my nice working shoes on, I skipped the other casual clothes I might be wearing. And I also put some prioritized items on my agenda. And I drank a lot of water, and I had some healthy snacks. And before long, I was feeling quite energetic and I changed where I was headed. That might not always be what I can do.

But on this day, it was questioning the reality that we’re experiencing could have to do with a mental story, a mindset that we have, and a disposition to think certain things or assume certain things about ourselves or about other people. Or it could also have to do with physical things that are going on with us, whatever that might be, we can always question it, play with that a little bit and try something different that might help us stretch and get into a new space.

So what can this do for you this coming week? If you’re interested in questioning the reality that you’re experiencing right now, one little thing to try would be to begin thinking about whether or not what you’re perceiving or what you’re thinking, or what you’re experiencing is absolutely true. Could there be any other explanation for it. And as you play with that, it could even get fun to make up very diverse, very different stories, kind of like those people I saw in the store shopping earlier in this podcast episode that I described, you could come up with a lot of different rationale, explanations for things.

You could come up with questions about things. And also if you’re physically having a moment of low energy or some difficulty, it could be to question whether it has to continue. Is there anything you could do right now, to add energy to the moment that you’re in?

Is there anything you could do that, you know, puts you in the absolute best state of mind with your mindset, but also physically, when you feel really great? What conditions have to exist for you to feel that way?

And can you bring those into the moment that you’re in? As you go about the coming week, I just want to invite you to think about intentionally playing with the story, or changing up the conditions to question the reality you’re in and see what happens.

It just might bring new opportunities, new energy, and new thinking that helps you break free from something that might be keeping you stuck. And it’s okay to be stuck once in a while. But when you’re ready to change directions, and feel better, and keep moving.

I’m with you. And I hope you have a great week, and I feel for you if you’re having a hard time. Especially if you’re working really hard to help others to serve others to lead and you’re struggling day to day. It’s a tough journey you’re on and I’m in it with you. And we’re gonna get there, where we where we’re trying to go.

We just got to keep at it every day, every week, and when we hit the turns in the road, keep moving forward and get back on track. Hang in there and have a great week ahead, being the best version of you.

This season’s theme song is “Training Day,” by Infraction. Used with Permission.