Positive Thinking blocked my ability to be objective.
Why I needed to think positive and set goals.
Thirty years ago I fled a marriage from domestic violence.
Alone with a toddler I felt guilty about the predicament I’d landed us in.
I was ashamed I’d ended up a single mum.
And worried about what the future held.
The Power of Positive Thinking offered the perfect solution to transition from victim of circumstance to a confident woman in control of my destiny.
I learned how to control life so life couldn’t control me.
Inspired and motivated I strove forward to create a bright and happy life.
No longer a victim of circumstance.
Visualization helped me create goals, form plans, then write to do lists.
This guaranteed my focus on success.
Smart goals assured a fast route, increasing my sense of achievement.
My contribution would be valued. From mid-life I would luxuriate in all my success.
My mid-life reality.
By mid-life I was so embedded in creating positive outcomes, it became me, the finder of the perfect solution.
Whilst this had excited me earlier in my career/life I now felt drained and ready for others to provide their own outcomes.
Though all of my positive goals had eventuated in the form of meeting my perfect man, my daughter growing into a fine young woman, a job and home which I loved, in my fifties I began to develop doubts. I suspected that all of that ‘looking on the bright side’ may be hiding a different version of reality.
So I began my journey to uncover my truth. First step was to look behind my positive thoughts to uncover my dark side.
The hidden truth behind my positive facade.
Let me be clear, I did not have an intentional facade, the power of positive thinking hid my truth from myself.
A new reality slowly unraveled.
Positive thinking had kept me so focused on solving problems,
I’d never noticed that my original problem had long ago resolved.
Instead of being satisfied I was looking for solutions to prevent every bad outcome.
This disassociated me from my present reality, increased my fear of the future and left me with an inability to be objective.
Working toward successful outcomes was ingrained in my psyche, an insatiable master, always wanting. No matter how hard I tried, I would always need to do more.
I was now out of control trying to be in control.
There was no time to enjoy life as I was too busy keeping everything in order so that life would remain secure and predictable.
Externally all appeared fine, internally life had shifted. Acquiring predictable security also left no room to enjoy the loving predictability I already had. Instead, I spent most of my time working for others who were not so secure or predictable.
The pursuit of happiness requires concentrated effort with short-term rewards.
- The relentless pursuit of positive outcomes requires that you continually keep moving along the treadmill of life, there’s no getting off.
- You feel depleted so you need something to sustain you.
- You seek the quick reward of a feel good item such as a great night out, junk food, alcohol, a new gym outfit.
- This type of reward is short-lived. After consuming you feel guilty for letting down your guard and allowing short-term gratification to impede on achieving your positive outcome.
You can’t save money if you spend it and you won’t get healthy if you don’t eat right, you feel bad for not living up to expectations, back on the treadmill, now you need to work harder to undo the damage.
Short term goals help you stay focused but being positive over a long period is not sustainable.
Just as continual growth does not sustain the planet, continual striving will not sustain you. Just like the planet, you need time out to rejuvenate and replenish.
This includes time to recover from hurt, disappointment, rejection and pain. Just as the planet needs time to recover after a wild storm we need time to recover from our own storms in life.
Your paying a high price emotionally and physically.
The law of attraction states that our thoughts create our reality, when things go wrong we feel overly responsible. This places stress on our bodies and we know what that does to our health.
Accept that at some point, each of us will take a wrong turn and fail.
Give up self-improvement and Practice Loving Kindness.
Step off the Self improvement treadmill. Take a break and relax. Be kind to yourself by accepting that life has been difficult and you’ve done your best. Jack Kornfield has a wonderful Loving Kindness meditation to help get started. This is a powerful meditation on forgiveness and self acceptance.
Emotions add depth and quality to our lives. Suffering opens our heart to empathy for ourselves and others.
Your quirks are what make you unique.
Replace controlling your thoughts with observing them.
Practicing self-awareness is an alternative to using affirmations and positive thinking.
Instead of trying to produce positive thoughts, allow all thoughts to flow through.
Mindfulness uses an analogy of you being the sky and your thoughts are the clouds.
This helps you detach from your thoughts as you notice them flow by like clouds in the sky.
Separating thoughts removes their power because they no longer represent who you are. Your not your thoughts, your having a thought. You may have made a bad choice but that does not mean that your incompetent, you may have a thought that your incompetent, you now can decide to make another choice.
Self acceptance and non judgment.
Replacing self-improvement with self acceptance brought about profound change.
The belief that I’d been the instigator of bad karma disintegrated.
I was simply a naive and trusting young woman who’d stumbled on one man who mistreated her.
From this perspective it was far easier to forgive, feel empathy and recognize young innocence.
I’d been overly zealous attributing The Law of Attraction to a bad outcome.
I was just a young woman who’d made a bad move.
I now forgave that vulnerable young woman.
And accepted her as a part of me along with her fragility and shame.
I now truly understood despite her fear she had acted courageously.
Accepting the dark side broadened my ability to be objective.
And discovered life was better than it had appeared.
Today I’m participating in everyday life, there’s no need to worry about future outcomes, they can take care of themselves.
Let’s boom on with an open heart.