When we make big changes in our life due to recognising the toll that negative self-talk and other habits that are working against us take, we have to be careful of the I’m being more positive now so why aren’t people and life doing what I want? trap.
A classic example of this is when we finally start practicing having boundaries and expect people who typically behave in boundary busting ways to respect our boundaries with zero resistance.
Another is being in a positive frame of mind but not realising that we basically expect the next date and in fact any date (or opportunity) that we go on to work out well and basically be The One. It’s as if we think that a message went out to the universe – You know your one Jacinta that lives on blah blah road that used to go out with jockstrap after jockstrap? Yeah well she’s seen the light now and realises that she needs to treat herself better, so next time she’s on Match.com, make sure you hook her up with The One. You got me?
After I went through my major epiphany, I went out with three more Mr Unavailables that put my new found positivity and boundaries to the test, never mind being put to the test by work, family and the hospital who thought they’d be putting me on a lifelong course of steroids once I realised how pursuing other options was a waste of time.
Each ‘testing’ experience I’ve had over the almost eight years of writing Baggage Reclaim has been a ‘practical test’. As standalone tests, some might seem insignificant but they all count for something. I guess it’s life’s way of keeping me on my toes, keeping me on a low bullshit diet and ensuring that I keep my faith in me ‘up to date’. You’ll be familiar with this if you have one of those professional qualifications that you have to do top-up courses to keep your various accreditations up to date.
I regard treating ourselves well as something that has a very positive, cumulative benefit if done regularly and consistently.
Sure, treating you well for a day or a few weeks will have some short-term benefit but if you have a rough day or few, it will be harder to recover from than if on a general basis, you try your best to treat you with love, care, trust and respect. Some days you’ll win, some days won’t be your hottest, but overall, you remain committed to you, even in the down times.
It’s unrealistic to expect to be positive all the time but if you get into the habit of not thinking the worst of you and differentiating you from Other People’s Behaviour, you will not be living the misery that happens when you give away your power, you try to control other people’s behaviour, and you’re essentially waiting for something or someone else to make your life right for you.
The purpose of changing your relationship with you by reducing negative self-talk, reducing the bullshit you think about others, treating you with love, care, trust and respect, and ultimately challenging your beliefs so that you change your perception of your capabilities, worth and options, is to enable you to ascend into being you so that you be the driver of the journey of your life .
If you think that being positive is going to give you the power to basically mind bend people into doing what you want, it’s time to question where your ‘positive energy’ is going because that sounds like fantasising, assuming, and setting you up for a fall with excessive expectations.
No matter how positive you are, not only will you be unable to Jedi mind trick people, but you will still experience the inevitable aspects of life such as disappointment, conflict, and criticism.
Life will still keep you on your toes with the unexpected plus if you accept people for who they are, not who you’d like them to be, expect the ones that take the piss to continue to do exactly that and then do what you need to do for you so that you minimise their impact.
Practicing healthier habits of thinking and behaviour improves your resilience to these aspects of life. You won’t be exempt but you will be better equipped.
If you’re trying to improve the way you feel about you and life, it’s great to be positive but it’s unrealistic to expect that every situation you’re in will be positive nor should you expect that each person will be greatly influenced by your positivity even when they’re not on the same page as you. The person who will be greatly affected by your positivity, is you.