Dr. Rich Patterson

How do you keep going when you’re overwhelmed?  I’m going to give you 5 Mental Models that will help to clarify things when they get a bit muddy.  These five things will absolutely help you to stop and look through your lens of life with greater clarity, calmness, and tranquility.  As I share each one of these in this series, do a mental tryout as I am describing them.  Here is Mental Model #1.

To start with, think of a time in your life when you were overwhelmed.  It might be now, or yesterday, last month, or when you received some particularly bad news.  Find your time now and describe it to yourself.  Close your eyes and feel what you felt then, see a picture of it if you wish, look for the frustration, and wonder about why this is even present now in your life.  We will call this your Place of Contemplation.  Read the text below and then close your eyes and try each of the requests for the 5 Mental Models.

Open your eyes next and hold on to that understanding, no judgment toward yourself, and move with me now through the mental tryout of the 5 Mental Models of Clarity and Understanding.

Mental Model #1 – Take Inventory of Your Thoughts

What is the quality of your thoughts?   Will they bring you closer to where you want to be or further away?  Take a moment and relax into your Place of Contemplation and just feel the quality of your thoughts.  Are they high flying thoughts or low flying thoughts?  Are they inspiring, I can still do this thoughts?  Or are they defeatist in nature?  do they raise you up or bring you down?

With your eyes open, know that it’s OK to feel down or defeated at times, just don’t allow yourself to stay there more than a few minutes and then get yourself back on track.  Gently at first, by asking a few questions:

  1.  What is my biggest fear right now?  Is it realistic or imagined?  Is it even likely?  What if it does come true?  Remind yourself that you have negotiated literally hundreds if not thousands of challenges as big as this or bigger and you are still here.  You are still working toward your destiny.
  2. What would the smallest increment of success in this area look like right now?  What is the tiniest thing that I could of that would begin to move me toward what I really desire, instead of what I’m afraid of?

When we attach to the low flying thoughts it is like trying to fly a plane ten feet above a city.  You will run into all kinds of interference and eventually end up crashing, defeated.  but if we attach ourselves to high flying thoughts–those that inspire, like: “I can do this!”  “I am guided by God (if you’re a faith-based person).”My future is bright, and my best days are out in front of me.”  Ask yourself now, were my thoughts high flying thoughts or low flying thoughts at the time that you have selected to ponder?  How can you change the statements of low flying thoughts into high flying thoughts?  What do you have to lose?

By taking time to notice your thoughts, those default thoughts, you will begin to learn whether your self-talk is positive or generally negative.  Take some time to do this now and leave me a comment below.  –Rich