I’ve noticed, when I’m chatting with my friends or family about their concerns or struggles, I’ll suggest an alternative, or offer a solution and they automatically shoot it down. They give me multiple reasons why ‘that’ won’t work. Then, I notice, I do it too! All. The. Time.
Why So Negative, Nelly?
Anything ‘new’ introduced to our environment or our consideration is automatically deemed a threat to what we have going on right now. Same, predictable is ‘good.’ Even if it’s not ideal or even enjoyable, it’s familiar, and is considered better than ‘unknown.’ This is a defense and protection. It is not wrong or bad. It’s what has kept us alive long enough to evolve.
But, if we stop at the why ‘that’ won’t work part, we don’t get to the evolving part we—we limit ourselves and shut down growth and opportunity to expand.
But, even more interesting, Watson, is that if we don’t first consider the negative—the why ‘that’ won’t work part, we can’t get to what could go right! Huh? You say.
The But, IS the Gate
In my own personal work, I have gone to some deep, dark valleys where I believed things would never change and that I would never feel light and happy. I tried and failed at many ‘therapies,’ and ‘self-helps,’ until I started succeeding! I became aware, not that long ago, that if I try to jump over my negative thoughts and feelings to ‘fix’ my problem or negative feeling, it simply doesn’t work. I self-sabotage. I see this with my clients too. It is only when we are brave enough to be with the doubt, fear, and negative beliefs that we can get to the transformation, the transfiguration, and the evolution of them.
The only way to the ‘good’ stuff is through the ‘bad.’
Try This Exercise:
Think of an area of your life that isn’t working right now, or where you feel stuck.
List all the ways it can’t change or what/who, exactly, is the reason you’re stuck.
Now feel, in your body, the situation, and why it can’t change, feels.
Now look at each of the things you’ve written and ask yourself, what’s the opposite of this?
List all the possible opposites.
How could this go right?
You don’t have to DO anything and it’s not about fighting with the thoughts and feelings you are having. We’re just introducing thoughts and ideas alongside the ones you already have.
After you’ve listed your ‘how could this go right?’ ideas, stop and feel how that feels.
It’s this openness to possibility that will begin to move you forward.
Now, are there any ideas or thoughts you feel you can ‘act’ upon? Is there one small change you could make or step you could take?
Congratulations! You made it through to the other side!
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Certified Martha Beck Life Coach
What Now Life Coaching