Are you Tired of Thinking Positively?

The Written Blog contains some of the Video Blog below for those who prefer reading;

I don’t think I would necessarily consider myself a fan of the Power of Positive Thinking movement. I find too many Power Speakers get you worked up and then send you back to the fire with no water to put it out. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a positive outlook and I gotta say negative thinking hasn’t helped anything. I find it insulting though when you are going through something really horrific and people talk so positively about it, it seems like a book programmed them to speak that way.

I consider myself to be a more of a realist in that I don’t like to ignore the truth rather I am a fan of facing it head-on and coming up with some sort of game-plan or appropriate action rather than have any emotion interfere with it. I hate offending someone in the middle of something traumatic by suggesting they should look at the bright side. That isn’t helpful. Sometimes people just need a drink of water.

I do, however believe a portion of the problems we get ourselves into are a direct correlation of having negative thinking to begin with. It at least compounds the situation. If we are a negative person, we are more likely to attract negativity.

I remember reading that quote, “you can’t manifest prosperity by the thought, ‘I hate being poor’”. Ok, I would agree with that. Maybe the switch in our thinking should be to just ditch the obvious negativity.

‘I hate being poor’ is not helpful and redundant. However, I also don’t believe that we can manifest prosperity by just the thought either. It simply requires action.

When I used to assist women with their weight-loss, I would hear story after story which always included, “I am so sick of being told to ‘think thin’”. I would always laugh with them, tell them how glad I was they escaped the wrath of whoever told them that, welcomed them to their newly found freedom and we would begin a realistic plan for them. This power of positive thinking can actually be a weight on someone’s neck. For the person who works hard all day long, is a single mom with lots of children, ‘thinking herself thin’ is so unbelievably poisonous to her already crazy day.

Now I when I would hear, ‘I hate being fat’ time after time, my response would be, “I have never heard someone say that before!” I would hold their hand, tell them lovingly that at least that statement signifies they aren’t alone because I heard it from every person and again, we would start systematically coming up with a realistic plan. The idea was to just get rid of redundant statements.

Of course I would agree with the idea that our brain is in control so really, how it thinks will dictate our actions. If this is true, why aren’t we telling our bodies to move? Most of this positive thinking is just one side of our brains telling the other side how to feel. It begins a banter which keeps us in state of inaction, procrastination and ultimately depressed about it all. Our overwhelming feelings are just as exhausting as
Most things can be broken into steps. In fact, nature works this way. If you want to bake a loaf of banana bread, you need to do it in steps. You can’t mix the batter while it’s baking and you can’t eat it while it’s 400 degrees. Then while eating it you have to do it in bite-sized pieces in order to digest it.

You also can’t think a loaf of bread to appear on your counter top, it requires action. What is problematic is when we decide making the bread is too much like work. That negative thought is not helpful and takes up a good part of our thinking space. Our decision to simply not make it would be better than beating ourselves up for being too lazy to get up and do it. Sitting around thinking about our problems can simply absorb valuable time.

What I have been trying to do is cause my body to move. If I have a problem, it’s better to go out for a walk and think about the solutions rather than stare at a wall from a chair. At the very least, we can get the blood flowing so our brain is capable of coming up with a solution.

When these women at the center would say, ‘I hate being fat.’ I would also ask them if they hated that statement more. I would ask them how the statement helps them anytime they’ve said it more than once.

‘Let’s go talk on the bikes’ was something I would do. The initial consult would happen in my office to determine medical issues etc, then we’d go out on the floor.

It’s amazing what people will share while sitting side by side on the bikes. They relax their speech, they laugh more, they confide in you more. Then, they’d leave there feeling good. Part of feeling good came from raising their serotonin levels on the bike but I would always see their glow coming from opening up and being honest with me. To me, if we could identify the hurdles first, we could tailor the plan according to their individual needs.

I love seeing couples going for walks together. I also love seeing friends walking with each other. That sort of action makes a person at least feel like they are moving forward, they are using the power of their brain in a truly positive way by telling their bodies to move instead of just to think positively and they tend to open up to friends or family more honestly.

I would highly recommend the next time you need to chat with your child, spouse or friend; you invite them to go out walking with you.

If you are on the phone with a friend, take the cordless outside or at the very least, walk around the house instead of sitting on the couch. I personally find it keeps things way more positive.

I guess I really just like action with the absence of redundant negativity. Yes, some situations are negative, but we don’t have to keep playing the same thought over and over. Now, I do like the idea of being wildly excited about things and being enthusiastic about life…just not a fan of the regurgitated positive message without a solution. I do consider myself hopeful overall…

Considering a helmet-cam for future Videos,
Karen :)

“I just need somewhere to dump all my negativity.” ~Van Morrison

1 comment:

  1. Karen,
    You and I have been dancing the negative/positive dance since I was fortunate enough to friend you on MySpace. Like me, you have had your trials and contiue to struggle past the old and the new monsters that leap out on your back to put you down. Like me, you put out on your status some of your favorite quotes for others to mull over-we already have, that's why we put them out there.
    The point I am trying to make is I agree with you about those motivational speakers-those who give you the desire to build your life and no tools. Kinda remind me of televagalists. I'm sure you have them in Canada too. My feeling is-do the best you can, seek the most positive and true friends and try not to fall into the pot holes. No one has all the answers but if 'we' band together then we effect a change for ourselves and others.
    You completely and utterly ROCK my friend and it is my pleasure and honor to call you my friend. Some day we will meet and go and hang with Soda Soule. If our worlds all collided at one time...... I shutter to think.
    ROCK ON darlin.