Understanding Coyote Thoughts: The Good, Bad and Hurtful
I have used my approach to combating Trickster Thoughts widely, from decreasing depression and anxiety to increasing college sports performance with very good results.
Trickster Thoughts are very sly. They try to persuade a person to believe the worst. Outcomes drastically vary between thinking Trickster (negative) Thoughts, thinking optimistically (positive) and thinking accurately.
Trickster Thoughts cause problems for the person who doesn’t recognize them, because the thoughts are often negative and most of all, wrong. Trickster Thoughts make us tell ourselves: “What’s the point? I will never do anything right.” And, “I am so stupid. I am worthless.” These thoughts lead to depression and make things worse. For people who worry, Trickster Thoughts sound like: “I will fail; I won’t get the job.” Or, “It won’t work out well.” In sports, the Tells Fortune Trickster may sound like, “We can’t beat this team. I can’t make this shot. Everybody will hate me if I screw up.” All of those thoughts are possible, but just because you think them doesn’t mean they are true or accurate. They are tricking you. If you don’t recognize these thoughts as lies and you instead believe them, these thoughts will decrease your performance whether it is in sports or in life.
Trickster Thoughts are often the easiest type of thoughts to have. They jump into our heads and are the first in line to tell us what is going on. It takes work to monitor thoughts and think, “Wait, is that true? Are there other options that I’m missing?” Then we have to think of other possibilities that are accurate.
I recently taught a workshop and made up a multiple guess questionaire for folks there that I’ll share. I gave this scenario: Yesterday you met somebody interesting and later you sent him a text. He didn’t respond. You think: A) He doesn’t like me. B) He doesn’t think I’m good enough to be his friend. C) He thinks he is better than me. Or D) I don’t know. For each answer, many people would raise their hand guessing that it was the right answer.
Answer “A” is the easiest thing to think. But how do you know? Would you bet your moccasins on that answer? Not me. Answer “B” is another easy one. I’m not betting on that one either. Answer “C” would take a jerk to believe that they were better than anyone else. So I wouldn’t bet the squished penny I laid on the railroad track on that one. Those three are all possible, but most likely are wrong. I don’t have ESP. I don’t know what my new friend is thinking; I would only have a guess.
Here are the other possibilities of why he didn’t answer: the battery in his cell phone died; he lost the phone or can’t get texts at work, school, or church; he’s out of the service area; he slept in; he got sick. Therefore, I would bet anything that the right answer is D) “I don’t know,” because it is accurate. That is how Trickster Thoughts and accurate thoughts work. Tricksters make you feel bad. Accurate thoughts give you the freedom to not guess, making you feel glad that you’re not fretting about something that isn’t true.
I have found that to recognize and chase away Trickster Thoughts will lead a person to look for the accurate thoughts. It’s the best way to experience life—to look at situations authentically rather than make problems bigger than they actually are.
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