No I don’t mean your family cat or dog or our Three Toed Sloth or even your friendly Wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plains, no I mean performance enhanced thinking or P.E.T’s. Performance enhanced thinking is the type of thinking that moves you forward in a balanced, rational and creative fashion. The opposite is surprisingly performance inhibited thinking (P.I.T’s) that can create a cycle of thoughts that hold you back and can reinforce negative perceptions of yourself. So let me explain this process a little more.
If we look at the P.I.T’s to start with. These break down to a number of ways the mind deceives us to believing this is how the world is for us. For example,
- All or nothing thinking “I’m or its all completely useless”
- Arbitrary Inference “they are all out to get me”
- Mind Reading “I just know he/she doesn’t like me”
- Fortune Telling “I just know I going to get the sack”
- Catastrophising “Everything is rubbish and I can’t stand it”
- Labeling “I am totally useless”
Now we have all been guilty as charged of one or any number of the P.I.T’s above and believe me there are many more. So how do we change the P.I.T’s to more P.E.T’s? Well we may want to balance our thinking to think more rationally and objectively about the situation. In one way give yourself a few seconds to ask yourself what is it about this situation that seems to create these automatic negative thinking patterns. Perhaps its how you feel about yourself at the time, or just have lost a sense of perspective?
So to encourage more performance enhanced thinking then we may want to think about evidence for how everything is useless, what exactly is useless or not right currently? Ask yourself these few questions to balance the P.I.T’s –
- What is the evidence to assume things are going badly?
- What aspects of the event/problem is going or have gone well?
- Who do you have to support you and to speak to about the problem?
- What went well in similar situations in the past – can you use that information to help me now?
- What is the very worse that can happen – if that did happen how important would that be in a few months time?
- What is the preferred outcome and what strategies can you put in place to make this happen?
- How would I help a friend out in a similar situation?
- What do I need right now to move this issue/problem forward?
These self-help questions challenge the P.I.T’s and help you see the event in a more objective fashion thus helping you make more logical and rational decisions about the event or problem you face. Needless to say, balancing your thinking will help the emotional, physical and behavioural reactions to the event and the sense of being unable to influence events within your control.
So step away from the P.I.T’s and try to balance how you perceive the event or circumstance and see it through a different more constructive and rational lens – and most of all get more P.E.T’s! Good luck and should you need some more support I am only an email away.