GAILs stands for Gremlins, Assumptions, Interpretations, and Limiting Beliefs--the key energy blocks that reflect how we think about our challenges. This four-part series is designed to help us face our GAILs head-on.
Today, we tackle:
An Interpretation is an opinion or judgment we create about a person, event, situation, or experience that we believe to be true.
An Interpretation looks like this:
My agent hasn't called. She must have hated my new book.
My editor hasn't followed up since I sent in my revisions. They must not be what he expected.
My critique partner won't return my emails. He must not want to be friends anymore.
*BIG NAME AUTHOR* just unfollowed me. I must have offended her.
Random guy on Row F hasn't clapped once. He must hate what I'm saying.
The problem? Interpretations automatically make us think the worst of ourselves (and others).
My agent sucks because she hasn't called. I suck because my book sucks.
My editor sucks because he won't follow up. I suck because I suck at revisions.
My critique partner sucks because he's MIA. I suck because I need a critique partner.
*BIG NAME AUTHOR* has a BIG-@SS head. I suck because she hates me.
Random Guy sucks because suck sucks and I can't do anything right.
Do you see what's happening here? Our Interpretation of events is distorting our viewpoint, causing us to think something is wrong with them or us, when agent/editor/critique partner could really just be busy, or out of town, or dealing with a family emergency; and BIG NAME AUTHOR was hacked and had to open a brand-new account and re-follow people from scratch; and Random Guy has tingling in his right hand due to carpal tunnel which makes it hurt to clap.
The truth doesn't usually show up in our Interpretations, so these can't be trusted. If we want the truth, we have to seek it out: follow up with the editor, agent, or critique partner. It's not always as bad as our imagination makes it out to be, and if we act on our insecurities we're likely to make some pretty ill-informed decisions.
Because there's this thing called The Law of Attraction: what we imagine, we create. BIG NAME AUTHOR unfollows us, Interpretation gets in the way, we announce she has a Big-@ss head, she re-follows, sees the post, and BOOM.
We just created what we feared.
The key? Recognize when an Interpretation may be distorting our world-view.
To do this, we should ask ourselves:
What is my Interpretation of what's happening?
What's another way to look at this?
What might someone else (with a completely different viewpoint) say about this?
Is this me or my Interpretation talking?
How do I know this to be 100% true?
What concrete evidence do I have to back this Interpretation?
What price am I paying for believing this?
What step could I take today that challenges the Interpretation and moves me closer toward my dreams/goals?
Other posts in this series: