by: George Tannous, PhD
Become a Certified Life Coach
Important: Before you study this lesson please watch this video, “Why?“. Example: If you or your client are in a relationship and the other person displayed an attitude of not being “Truthful”, you’ll need to master, and you’ll need to educate your client the following: “Confront and Level!”, “Assertive Communications!”, as well as “I Feel Good, PST!”.
Make sure to answer the questions at the end and follow the instructions for submission!
One of the most common tendencies we share is seeking what’s best for our survival and existence. We often search for safety and security. We all want to protect our loved ones and to be protected from the outside world and at the same time, we seek comfort and a sense of belonging.
In the pursuit of achieving what we all long for, we form a thought process that supports our best interests We form a way of thinking. The thinking process is often based on experiences, reasoning, religious beliefs, etc.. Sometimes we unconsciously pick thoughts that influence our way of thinking.
Our thinking process not only shapes our lives but also plays a crucial role in determining our actions. One can easily observe a difference between the lives of an optimist and a pessimist. One can also spot differences between the lives of a violent and non-violent person. No two lives are the same because of the difference between the way of thinking.
While our way of thinking helps us learn, plan, define, reflect, and make decisions, the problem arises when our thoughts become facts. When we fixate on a particular thought then this thought cannot be altered no matter what. The problem arises when you become an unconditional thinker.
You may have heard people say, “the Earth is flat” or “Vaccines don’t work,” despite the fact that research is widely available to support that these statements are untrue, some people believe them to be facts. They are not willing to accept any other explanation.
They are not even willing to consider ideas opposite to their beliefs.
This is unconditional. For an unconditional thinker, the world is either black or white. It’s either good or bad, things are either right or wrong and there is no room for any grey area.
The thinking of an unconditional thinker gives birth to a rigid thought process. They resist change, new ideas, deny established facts, and often, a new thought or new way imposes serious threats to their beliefs. Since they become so confined in their own world, they not only set unrealistic expectations for themselves but also for others.
They project their unconditional thinking on others, and they unconsciously distance themselves.
“I am extremely socially awkward,” “My life is ruined,” “You should always follow my instructions,” or “You must avoid that project no matter what,” are examples of unconditional thinking.
Why unconditional thinking is harmful?
Sometimes, it might seem like unconditional thinking is helpful. It might enable us to generalize things, form stereotypes and by helping us differentiate between good and bad, it’s making our lives easier. But the reality is different.
An unconditional thinker confines themself to a set of very limited ideas and thoughts. When they encounter new ways, get introduced to new thoughts and ideas or face a situation that doesn’t align with them, they feel attacked. Sometimes the unconditional thinking serves as a cornerstone for biases, prejudice, and even discrimination.
In 1984, Susan Fiske, an American psychologist coined the term “The cognitive miser.” She described it as humans, we all have a tendency of seeking the most convenient ways. We try to avoid anything that requires effort, and we choose to stick to our biases. We form habits and we stick to them because it’s easy and accepting change is hard.
Isn’t it true that after some time we all become so comfortable with our own biases and stereotypes that we incorporate them into our comfort zone? Can you ditch a stereotype that you’ve been holding for years?
As unconditional thinking develops further, it starts affecting our relationships, goals, and health, as well as fundamental areas of our lives.
Our tendency of seeking easy ways to make our lives easier actually makes our lives harder. An unconditional thinker not only labels others but also labels himself. He is either a successful person or a failure, either a bad person or a good person, either a good parent or a bad parent. And there is no middle ground.
Now think about some of the most successful people you’ve met in your life. Think about those who are always thriving no matter what. Are they also unconditional thinkers?
We all have met people who are highly flexible. These people don’t seem to be affected by anything and it seems like they have never experienced any misfortune in their lives. But misfortunes take place in everyone’s life. So how is that possible?
The difference between these people and unconditional thinkers is that of a flexible outlook. Flexible thinkers are always welcoming to new ideas, and they ditch and adopt new thoughts easily. Even in case of bad experiences they never fixate on negative thoughts, and they let things go once they are out of that situation. Their flexible outlook helps them adjust and adapt to the situation, which further helps them learn and grow.
If unconditional thinking causes more damage than good, wouldn’t it be beneficial to take an alternate path?
Overcoming unconditional thinking
These simple steps can help you overcome unconditional thinking. But before we begin, a disclaimer; it won’t happen overnight. It’s important to understand that change is going to be hard, but you don’t have to be hard on yourself. Take it easy, take baby steps.
Talk positively: Not only to others but also to yourself. Instead of labeling others and yourself, talk to yourself politely and lovingly. Tell yourself that it’s OK to not be perfect and it’s OK to make mistakes. You are also human just like everyone else.
Be empathetic: Before projecting your beliefs on others, ask yourself, how would you feel if someone did the same to you? How would you feel if someone tried to restrict you or label you based on their beliefs?
Explore more: Give yourself the freedom to explore a situation from different perspectives. Allow yourself to witness alternate aspects and allow yourself to take diverse paths. It will be hard at first, you might feel restricted, but give yourself some time and be patient. There is no need to rush.
Seek support: If you find yourself fixating on an idea or magnifying a problem, talk to someone you trust. Ask them how you can lessen the impact of the situation.
Do you struggle with unconditional thinking? How has overcoming unconditional thinking improved your life? Share your story with us in the Forums!
Our advice is for you to practice open mindedness for at least a week. Tell others around you to point out any event in which you didn’t. Have them hold you accountable. Visit the Forum and do a CONFESSION.
What is a Confession? A Confession is when you’ve displayed a wrong behavior and were held accountable by one of your family members, peers, or even yourself. Visit the Forum and tell us about it. We will give you feedback! Make sure to watch the video about Confession for more details! Furthermore, become a member of the Forum and give feedback to others!
Read the article? Time for introspection!
Please answer the following:
1. Have you also transformed your thoughts into hard facts? What are those thoughts? How are these hard facts affecting your life?
2. Would you say you are an unconditional thinker? How do you feel when you get exposed to diverse perspectives and new ideas?
3. Do you welcome change, or do you resist it?
4.What steps are you taking to overcome unconditional thinking? What challenges are you facing while doing so?
Please write an essay, up to two pages, about a past experience you had unconditional thinking. Tell us in detail, who, what, when, where, why, to whom, the place of what you did. The outcome! And tell us in detail how you could have changed that use from what you learned today so the outcome would have been good. Internalize this lesson. Make it become a part of you. Please write it in your workbook.
‘All-or-Nothing’ Thinking More Common in People with Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidal Ideation
This module includes the following:
- Why Become a Life Coach
- Thinking the Worst
- Unconditional Thinker
- You Should
- I Can’t
- Grandiose Questions
- It’s Them
- Loaded Words
- Making Assumptions
- Have to Need to, Must
- Attitude Check & Confession
- I Feel Good, PST™
There is no way any relationship will survive without having the qualities mentioned above.
Make sure to read each article carefully at least three time. Print your workbook (will be available per lesson.) Answer all questions and enter them in your workbook. Once you have completed this entire journey, you will be issued a Life Coach Certificate so long as you’ve been a member of the “Forums.”
Also, follow the instruction for sharing your story in our Forums as well as participating in our “Forums,” especially our unique “Confessions Forum” so you may gain practice, knowledge, experience, and expertise!
I am thankful that you have given me this opportunity to share all of this with you. May God bless you and bring prosperity and peace into your life.
George Tannous, PhD
This is Where Confessions, Attitude Checks, Accountability, Give and Receive Feedback Comes in. Practice for Your Own Practice!
Well, you might be asking yourself “How am I going to get practice for my practice?” Great question and I thought you’ll never ask!
#1 You are part of a group with the same interests.
#2 You have a question in regards to one of your clients and we are here to help you.
#3 Others have questions and you can give feedback and help them.
#4 You need to do a confession.
#5 And much more.
You Are Never Alone! Join the Forums!
Once you have completed this entire journey, you will be issued a Life Coach Certificate. Must participate in our Forums to get certified! You’ll achieve your internship by joining and partcipating in our “Forums”.