One of my guilty pleasures is watching trashy reality TV.
I’ll sit popcorn in hand and watch all the fake drama unfold like a long-lost, crumbled-up love letter.
It’s like a car crash you can’t look away from. And I don’t know why, but when I watch other people having problems, I feel high and mighty, like I’m a sorcerer with all the answers. For me, all their answers pop out like a red square on a green painting.
But it’s not just TV.
Ever noticed how it’s easier to untangle your friend’s love life than to figure out your own? Or how you can give your friend career advice, but for some strange reason, you can’t give yourself the same.
It’s like trying to read the fine print on a contract without your glasses – you’re just squinting at a bunch of blurry words.
And I guess it’s because it boils down to one thing: You can’t read your own label when you’re stuck in the jar. But there’s a way to uncork yourself and get out.
And it’s called third-party thinking. Here’s how to use it.
Pretend you’re on the TV. (who’s that fat guy on TV? Oh no… it’s me!) There’s a secret camera that records everything you do. What would the camera show?
It would show you in the third party.
And that’s what you have to do if you want to give yourself great advice, view yourself in the third party and watch your actions like a nosey neighbor peering through the blinds.
Pretend the person you’re watching isn’t you, just someone new telling you their problems. What would you tell them? What would you say to help them in their situation? Remember, it’s not you, so you don’t have to let your emotions cloud your judgment.
For me, I even go as far as writing everything down with a new name and just see how I would respond. As in:
My name is John; I am XYZ years old. I like doing XYZ, I’m good at XYZ, but I’m wondering what I should do next.
And for some strange reason, it works. Because for whatever reason, It’s easier to give other people advice and not yourself.
So flip the script and make yourself the other person. And start giving that great advice to someone who deserves it.
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