During a coaching session with one of my clients today, the idea of something “making sense” kept coming up. This got me thinking… why are we so attached to the idea of things either making sense or not? Why do we prefer for our thoughts to not make sense instead of the other way around?
After we ended our call, I kept thinking about these questions and I have now been able to boil it down to three thought errors that perpetuate this habit. A habit of sorting our thoughts and feelings into “sensical” and “nonsensical” buckets. A habit that is actually slowing down your progress and making it harder for you to change how you think and feel.
1. I have no reason to feel this way
This is one of the most common thought errors that my clients bring to me. I have no reason to feel this way. It feels so true, yet the feelings also feel so true. So how can both things be true at once?
The reason we think this thought so much is because we’re constantly comparing how we are feeling on the inside to what is happening on the outside. We grow up learning that the source of our emotions is outside of us, and when we, as adults, feel something that doesn’t correspond to the world outside of us… we say “I have no reason to feel this way.”
But this is never true. Not literally, at least. Because the reason for your emotions is not outside of you. The world outside of you can never validate or invalidate your internal experience. Why? Because your feelings come from your thoughts. Your feelings are generated inside of you. Not from the outside.
So if you feel something, you’ll find the reason for feeling that way in your brain, not in the world around you. When looking at it like that, you always have a “reason” for feeling the way you do.
2. It doesn’t make sense
I always tell my clients about the two parts of their brains. You have them too. The primitive part of your brain that is responsible for all the jealousy, insecurity, doubt, fear, and grumpiness… this part of your brain is only concerned with your immediate survival. And then there’s the intelligent part of your brain, the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for reasoning, logic, planning ahead, seeing consequences, judging, and drawing conclusions.
The problem is that we are so used to prioritizing and using our prefrontal cortex in all situations to come across as evolved, smart human beings. We “make sense” of everything, we look for the logic in everything, and we observe and judge, and draw conclusions.
This is a problem because it’s not your logical brain that is the problem.
When we say that something “just doesn’t make sense”, we are dismissing the part of our brains, the world in which it does make sense. Because trust me, I can find the logic and the sense in every single little thing your brain comes up with.
It’s all logical. It all makes sense.
But the reason we are so quick to label it as nonsensical is that we think that makes it go away. If we reject the “logic” behind our weird, negative, unhelpful thoughts and feelings… it should be easier to just let them go and stop thinking them, right?
The logic is there whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. And as long as your trying to fight a belief or a thought pattern by calling it illogical, you are completely missing the point. You cannot impact your beliefs in any meaningful way until you find the way in which they make complete sense.
And here’s why we are so afraid of making sense of them…
3. Logic = Truth
This is the third and probably most subconscious thought error that is preventing your progress. The belief that if something makes sense or if there is logic behind it, that means it’s true. It means that it’s real.
This is why we are so quick to label things are nonsensical and illogical. Because what we’re really saying is that this isn’t true. My point here is that truth and logic are two separate conversations. And it’s not until you are able to hold those two thoughts at the same time without mixing them with each other that you are going to be able to change what you think and believe.
Finding the way in which your crazy, grumpy, insecure thoughts are 110% logical according to your primitive brain does not validate those thoughts and make them true. It just means that you can see why your brain is interpreting things the way it is and why you feel so strongly about it.
And when you can understand why your brain is thinking the way that it is and why you feel the way that you do, you can meet your brain there. And that is where change starts to happen. Not by slapping your brain and saying it makes no sense and thinking that’s going to make a difference.
What I want you to see here is that it’s not dangerous for your crazy thoughts to MAKE SENSE. I encourage you to make sense of them. I want you to understand exactly why your brain is obsessed with thinking about your partner cheating or leaving you and why you feel so strongly about it. Because when you understand it you can change it.
Finding the logic does not mean you are validating your crazy thoughts and that they are in some way true. It just opens up the door and turns on the lights to the world inside of your brain where it is true. If you can step into that world WITH your intellectual brain, without judgment, you will make much faster progress than if you’re constantly shutting the door and turning off the lights.
Need help? We can work on these things together so that you can finally enjoy your good relationship. Click the button below to read more about my private coaching program.