Focus On the Negative 

Why is it that when the phone rings we assume the worst?

Ring ring.

“Hello, Rakeeb, I need to talk to you about a patient you saw yesterday.  Please can you see me after your clinic is over?”

The narrative in my mind started immediately.  “I must have done something wrong…I hope they didn’t end up in the hospital…oh gosh even worse in ICU!  That means I’ll get reported to the General Medical Council and I’ll end up losing my job, my house, my life and then I’ll die!”

It’s interesting how we as human beings are great at making up a narrative, which most of the time has no basis in reality.  We take a small part of the truth and then fill the rest of it with fear.  We tell ourselves all sorts of stories all the time which keep us down and stifle us immensely.  When the phone rings and it’s your boss you never think “Oh!  She’s ringing to tell me what a wonderful job I’ve done!”.

As it turned out my supervisor just wanted to give me an update on a patient I had seen who was perfectly well, but she thought that I’d be interested in knowing how she was getting on.

Steven Pressfield calls it the Resistance.  Seth Godin calls it the Lizard Brain.  Brene Brown calls it fear.  Marcus Aurelius calls it stoicism.

I call it irrationally stifling yourself.


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