I am a pretty jovial kind of gal and given my line of work I find it easier and easier to focus on the joy, seek out the love, and dwell on the good stuff. However sometimes I can’t help but notice people recoil at positivity, roll their eyes and mutter oh yeah “positive thinking” and seem irritated by it. They are right, it doesn’t work… if you don’t mean it!
How many times have you gone on a spiel about whatever problem you have only to sum it up with some upbeat about face like “but it will all work itself out” or “first world problems” or some attempt to see the upside?
We know enough to get that being more positive is good for us, and we truly want to be.
However ‘positive thinking’ is not the answer, not in the sense that most use it. Because it’s not actually positive thinking that we are doing. It’s positive pretending! If you are tearing your hair out on the inside and spouting some positive rubbish on the outside who are you kidding? Everyone else may buy it but you know.
What we do is outwardly chortle that everything will be fine, while internally believing the contrary.
Natter on about how everything is happy and perfect and all the while on the inside listing all the stuff we are not happy about. Add Facebook, Instagram, and whatever else you are using to paint a rosy picture of your life and we are doing a hell of a job being positive talkers aka positive pretenders. However, on the inside, there is a huge amount of internal conflict. The longer Pinocchio’s nose grows the more uncomfortable it becomes. The greater the disparity between the pretense, and what we are actually saying to ourselves in our head, the greater the feelings of negativity. So positive pretending just creates more bad feelings and “Positive Thinking” gets a bad rap.
You may or may not know that I once sold Tupperware. YUP. Now this company is mega supportive, shares heaps of awesome tools, and offers a great option for earning money. And they know their psychology, the power of positivity, hey one of their catchphrases is “love what you do”. They are so right. (And now I so do!)
So I took it all on and was the positive talking master, however the inward dialogue was the complete opposite. I hated it. Nothing to do with Tupperware, I would have hated whatever I was doing. I had just had my third child and I was resentful that circumstances were such I felt I had to work. Every time I sang the praises of the job it was like another knife to my heart. The more positive I pretended life was, the more dangerous it became for the feelings it generated. I was not honest with myself and the internal conflict escalated. Positive pretending feels really really BAD.
What we need, and are searching for are positive feelings.
It’s not positive talking we are after, it’s feeling positive. And yes our thoughts create our feelings so we want the positive thoughts, however they need to be REAL. You need to believe it! Because you are an amazing, intelligent, creative, intuitive, being and you can’t lie to yourself. Nothing is getting by you! NOTHING!!!! It does not matter what you tell the world, it’s what you tell yourself that actually creates your life. What positive thinking really is, is having the positive INTERNAL dialogue that creates good feelings which creates a good life.
The catch is what we are consciously aware of is just the tip of the iceberg.
The majority of our thoughts are unconscious. They were programmed in mostly as children and we have no idea they are running. Just like the apps on our phone chewing up the battery we have no idea are on. How do we work out what beliefs are programmed in? Bring them to our conscious awareness.
Try this- if you say: I am awesome, I am wonderful and I am beautiful and you feel uncomfortable, uneasy… anything but good feelings, then you have thoughts to the contrary running unconsciously (and possibly consciously too). And day in day out they are driving your feelings and your experiences. This is why many people are not good at accepting compliments, because it highlights a mismatch with their internal dialogue consciously and or unconsciously. What is positive pretending? A mismatch with our internal dialogue consciously and or unconsciously with our external dialogue.
I if you want to find out what unconscious programs you have running your life, then hit me up. That’s what I do, coach people to let go of the anger, sadness, fear, hurt & guilt, and limiting thoughts that run havoc day in day out without them even knowing.
In the mean time work on what is conscious.
Stop pretending and actually focus on what IS good in your life. The more you put your energy and attention on what you ARE grateful for the better you will feel. The better you feel the more good stuff you will notice.
Try this experiment:
- Ditch the pretending and be a positive feeler. For the next 24 hrs, I want you to be conscious of your feelings. If they are not good see if you can work out what thoughts are driving them- they’ll usually be thoughts of things you don’t want. So next- just stop focusing on what you don’t want (aka complaining) and focus on what you do want.
- LOOK for the good and see how it makes you feel. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for and stop joining in the gossip, the complaining, fear-mongering… and everything else that is pouring your energy into negativity. Yes, stuff happens, so take some deep breaths and let it pass. Now list everything that is good and wonderful in your life. You may be pleasantly surprised!
(TIP: Be very, very specific, .i.e. Your child is supposed to be doing homework, instead they are sharpening all their pencils and you have to leave for soccer in 15 min: I love that my son has sat down to get his homework done, I love that he is taking pride and looking after his things. I love that he has great posture, I love that he is focused on a task…. you get the deal. If you’re an overachiever IMAGINE/VISUALISE them doing what you want done ) And let me know how you go!