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Taming Paper Tigers

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about taming paper tigers. So you might've heard of this term before, paper tiger. It's a term that refers to something or someone that claims or appears to be powerful and threatening, but is actually ineffectual and unable to withstand challenge. So as we go about our lives, there are many things that invoke fear in us that are actually just paper tigers.

Most of them are our fear inducing thoughts. So for instance, we worry about things that will probably never happen or things that we really can't control. We worry about what other people might think of us. We catastrophize, that is, we play out worst case scenarios in our minds. And we sweat the small stuff.

Right? So in all these ways and more, we create paper tigers in our mind. Giving things much more weight and substance in our minds so that they seem much more scary and stressful. So as I'm saying this, you might already be beginning to think about what I'm about to ask you. And that is, what are your paper tigers? You know, everybody's different. What are the thoughts that tend to tip you towards fear, stress, and anxiety? Perhaps you find yourself playing out a lot of what if scenarios in your mind.

You know, what if I lose my job, what if my partner leaves me, what if I have cancer right now and I just don't realize it. Or maybe your paper tigers come in the form of worrying about what people think of you. Did I say the right thing? Am I fitting in? Do they like me? Am I doing anything that could get me rejected? Am I beautiful enough? Am I successful enough? Or perhaps it's a sense of making mountains out of mole hills. When small inconveniences or setbacks, when they happen, become quite big in your mind. So for instance, something like, you're going to be late and you think, oh my God, they're going to hate me.

They're never going to invite me anywhere again. Or you might have a headache and think, oh gosh, my mom had a stroke around this age. I could be next. So whatever your particular paper tigers are, even though they might claim to be big and scary, in reality, they're simply thoughts. Bits of language that arise in the mind and dissolve.

They're really just mental events. So even though they can induce a lot of stress and fear, they really have no power to hurt you. This reminds me, there's an old acronym for fear, F E A R - false evidence appearing real. And that's a really good acronym to remember when the paper tigers arise in your mind. So today and ongoing, I invite you to be attentive and on the lookout for your paper tigers when they arise.

And when they do, see if you can take a pause, take a breath and then examine them closely to see if they're simply false evidence drawing you in to unnecessary anxiety. In this way, you can let go of stress, reclaim your inner strength and peace and enjoy a more mindful and meaningful life. As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here. Let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

Taming Paper Tigers

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about taming paper tigers. So you might've heard of this term before, paper tiger. It's a term that refers to something or someone that claims or appears to be powerful and threatening, but is actually ineffectual and unable to withstand challenge. So as we go about our lives, there are many things that invoke fear in us that are actually just paper tigers.

Most of them are our fear inducing thoughts. So for instance, we worry about things that will probably never happen or things that we really can't control. We worry about what other people might think of us. We catastrophize, that is, we play out worst case scenarios in our minds. And we sweat the small stuff.

Right? So in all these ways and more, we create paper tigers in our mind. Giving things much more weight and substance in our minds so that they seem much more scary and stressful. So as I'm saying this, you might already be beginning to think about what I'm about to ask you. And that is, what are your paper tigers? You know, everybody's different. What are the thoughts that tend to tip you towards fear, stress, and anxiety? Perhaps you find yourself playing out a lot of what if scenarios in your mind.

You know, what if I lose my job, what if my partner leaves me, what if I have cancer right now and I just don't realize it. Or maybe your paper tigers come in the form of worrying about what people think of you. Did I say the right thing? Am I fitting in? Do they like me? Am I doing anything that could get me rejected? Am I beautiful enough? Am I successful enough? Or perhaps it's a sense of making mountains out of mole hills. When small inconveniences or setbacks, when they happen, become quite big in your mind. So for instance, something like, you're going to be late and you think, oh my God, they're going to hate me.

They're never going to invite me anywhere again. Or you might have a headache and think, oh gosh, my mom had a stroke around this age. I could be next. So whatever your particular paper tigers are, even though they might claim to be big and scary, in reality, they're simply thoughts. Bits of language that arise in the mind and dissolve.

They're really just mental events. So even though they can induce a lot of stress and fear, they really have no power to hurt you. This reminds me, there's an old acronym for fear, F E A R - false evidence appearing real. And that's a really good acronym to remember when the paper tigers arise in your mind. So today and ongoing, I invite you to be attentive and on the lookout for your paper tigers when they arise.

And when they do, see if you can take a pause, take a breath and then examine them closely to see if they're simply false evidence drawing you in to unnecessary anxiety. In this way, you can let go of stress, reclaim your inner strength and peace and enjoy a more mindful and meaningful life. As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here. Let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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