A farmer once planted a young tree.
He wished one day to be able to harvest beautiful, delicious and deliciously sweet juicy apples.
In joyful anticipation, one summer he went to his beloved tree.
But when he saw what first fruits the tree bore, he became very angry.
The tree did not bear apples, but pears.
He insulted the tree, became angry.
How could the tree do this to him? He was supposed to be carrying apples after all.
In his rage, he grabbed the axe and struck down the tree.
Aren’t we all like that farmer sometimes.
Be it through carelessness and lack of presence at the moment of choosing the seed.
That we do not pay attention to what tree we are planting, what seed we are sowing.
But it is worse when we buy the young pear tree with our eyes open and then complain that it does not bear apples.
Sow, and you will reap. But you will only be able to reap what you have sown.
So choose wisely what you sow. And do not carelessly reach for any seeds.
Because you can’t blame the crop if it doesn’t bear the fruit you didn’t sow.
As it is in sowing, so it is in the interpersonal and also in the conversations with ourselves.
Be it that we call ourselves “Lazy” or “Stupid”.
Our mind is highly efficient and works excellently selectively.
You may have heard of Selective Perception.
Our mind seeks confirmation for what we think.
The moment when you buy a new car, and suddenly you see exactly your car driving around everywhere. 😉
So tell yourself bullshit stories like “I can’t do this”, “I’m stupid” or “I’m lazy”… your mind will confirm exactly that. And with every confirmation you run the risk of giving up earlier and believing your own crap.
Whether you think you can or can’t do something, you’re right.Henry Ford
You are not your thoughts! (Buddhism)
Your identification with your thoughts is the origin of suffering. It leads you away from your true self. By identifying with your thoughts you believe to be something you in reality are not and make yourself dependent on this thinking.
The crux: If you think “I’m lazy,” the thought “Now it doesn’t matter anymore” quickly follows.
When this has gone on for three days, they suddenly say, “Yup, I was right. I could have done something three days ago. I am lazy”.
(Self-)sabotage in dealing with others
The following story may illustrate how much we can maneuver ourselves into extinction with the seeds we sow and suffer as a result:
Bettina, a middle-aged woman, has had very bad experiences in her life.
She’s been through a lot of crap with a lot of partners in the past.
Bettina now gets to know Martin.
At the beginning she is totally enthusiastic about Martin.
He’s different than anyone before. She can’t let go of him.
But as she falls in love with Martin, her fear comes up again.
“This is too good to be true. All men so far have screwed me over, been insincere to me and lied to me. Martin will also show me his true face at some point.”
Bettina’s selective perception and her subconscious go on a search without her knowledge.
Your mind is so trained to find even the smallest inconsistencies that potentially indicate a lie that even Sherlock Holmes would be green with envy here.
It is understandable, given the pain Bettina has experienced in the past, that her mind seeks a way to protect her from the pain.
After a few weeks, a situation arises which her highly attentive mind interprets as a possible indication, as a possible warning sign.
Bettina sees it as the first confirmation that she is right.
But that was just the beginning.
Her fear grips her. Her painful memories come up.
She confronts Martin.
Her tone is harsher than she realizes.
He doesn’t quite know what’s happening to him.
She accuses him of insincerity.
Martin does not understand, feels it is an unfair accusation.
What had happened was that he couldn’t come, had canceled on her because he had gotten an appointment in between and then posted a photo from a bar on his WhatsApp status in the evening. A bar where he had gone with people from his appointment after the meeting, but Bettina did not know that.
It hurts Martin because trust is his second highest value and openness and honesty are his fourth highest values.
Bettina apologizes – this first time. But the doubt is sown in her.
In the course of the weeks, smaller incidents of a similar nature occur again and again.
Instead of asking questions first, Bettina keeps rumbling out.
The doubt grows in her more and more.
Martin is being approached more and more frequently and more and more aggressively.
Martin is slowly breaking away, as the relationship has not been good for him for a while.
Again and again he has to justify himself. He realizes that Bettina is not able to trust him. But at the same time, he had not been guilty of anything and had to justify himself again and again for insinuations of any kind. He realizes it’s Bettina’s issue. He feels sympathy for her, but also realizes that he cannot help Bettina.
Because with everything he says Bettina fears that he is lying to her or trying to manipulate her.
Now that he is starting to distance himself, Bettina sees this as further confirmation that Martin was just taking advantage of her and feels it as confirmation that Martin was also an asshole like all the other men.
I have also experienced the phenomenon with friends.
The partner had such bad experiences with men cheating on her and leaving her that she pushed a good friend of mine into the justification corner every time he was online at 03:00 at night (just to bad that he often has to work until that time at night for his business) or when he received a message from any other female person. Then, at some point, he too started to distance himself. This fueled the fear of being abandoned. She then clung all the more and at the same time became all the more aggressive whenever he was online in the middle of the night without writing to her and she even insinuated that he was cheating, although this was not the case.
The phenomenon occurs equally in men vice versa.
We have this sabotage often enough in other areas of life, too.
In the job, for example, “XYZ wants to take advantage of me” or something else.
It is this thought that often lays the foundation for WE to behave towards the other person in such a way that he will at some point display behavior in which we then believe to see confirmation of our apprehension.
I myself almost fell for this pattern just recently.
I am very grateful that I had a good coach by my side, with whom I spoke regularly on the phone in the middle of the hot phase of a negotiation and who straightened my horizon. It was only because of this that the entire negotiation ended up going as positively as he predicted and not as crappy as I would have implied.
Every thought is a seed that we sow. The more we think it, the more we sow of it.
Mindfulness meditation and self-reflection are a good way not to sow blindly but to observe ourselves what we are about to produce.
Also helpful are coaches or a good environment and people with whom we can reflect before we act blinded by emotions.
Let’s stop sowing it and instead ask ourselves:
- Is that really true?
- What would be a more constructive thought?