Overcoming Your Negative Addiction

Yesterday we talked about why it sometimes feels so good to be negative. We learned about how negative emotions can feed the pleasure center as much as truly pleasurable things. As it turns out, pain and negative emotions (e.g. self-pity, anger, guilt) also activate the beta-endorphin and dopamine pathways. So negative is addicting, now what?

Today let’s talk about how to change our negative thinking.

Your addiction to the negative is serving a need. What is that need? The first step is to discover the perceived deficit in you that creates your need to diminish someone else. Perhaps you look at others and are negative about their appearance because you are unhappy with your own image. Perhaps you are targeting yourself with your negative thoughts. Again, you must dig in and find the root and understand why you feel the need. Find the courage to determine what you need that you’re not getting.  It may help for you to list three things that you feel you’re running from in your life. What are you using your addictions to avoid? Get to the heart of the matter. You can not truly change without getting at the heart of the matter.

If you’ve tried to overcome an addiction before and weren’t able to, the biggest barrier to your success is the belief that you cannot succeed. Suddenly this seems like a vicious cycle. Our biggest obstacle to overcoming our addiction to negative thought; the thought that we can not succeed!

Let’s imagine you wanted to teach a kid how to ride a bike. You’ve taught lots of kids and you’re sure this kid can make it; however, he doesn’t believe he can. He tried to learn before but was not taught correctly. Now he’s sick and tired of failing. You know that the only thing holding him back is his belief that he can’t do it.

Imagine that the kid in the above example is you; and the bike is your negative thoughts and attitude. How do you convenience yourself that you can succeed? As strange as it may sound, behave your way to success. Instead of being afraid to be who you are. Instead of trying to diminish others build yourself up. Learn how to own your positive feelings. Celebrate your positive feeling.

If you want to get rid of negative behavior, you have to replace it with something positive – something that will make you stronger instead of weaker. Work on identifying positive behaviors that would make good replacements for your addictions.

Spend some time today alone with you.

 

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Overcoming Your Perspective Crisis

“We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of these assumptions.” ~ Stephen R. Covey

Have you ever been angry or upset with a situation, only to learn later that you had made an assumption about someone’s motivation or their world that was wrong? You expended unnecessary time and energy based on a perceived slight. Are you living your life harboring hurt?

Tragically, assumptions and misunderstandings happen in all types of relationships; between friends, family, lovers, co-workers and even someone you know only casually. It is easy to assume that the person with whom we are interacting has all of the life experience, and information we bring to the table; when in fact they are not privy to either our thoughts or personal perspective.

Remember there is always another viewpoint.

The famous story of blind men touching an elephant is a classic example. The story goes that six blind men lived in a village. One day the villagers told them, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.”

They had no idea what an elephant was. They decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.” All of them went where the elephant was. Each of them touched the elephant.

“Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg.

“Oh, no! it is like a rope,” said the second man who touched the tail.

“Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree,” said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.

“It is like a big hand fan” said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.

“It is like a huge wall,” said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.

“It is like a solid pipe,” Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.

They began to argue about the elephant and each insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, “What is the matter?” They said, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.” Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched a different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features what you all said.”

“Oh!” everyone said. There was no more fight. They felt happy that they were all right.

You are not blind, but you must remove the blinders of your assumptions. We must accept another’s perspective. Once we have seen the world from their viewpoint we can begin to let go of our hurt of pain from the misunderstanding and move toward our goals and dreams.

 

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Are you hearing voices?

We have all heard the saying that goals are dreams with feet but the reality is that even when your dreams have grown feet you still need motivation to get the feet in motion.

For most of us we have a voice that plays in our heads. It may be your own voice; the voice of a teacher or past coach or maybe the voice is your mother or father. For me, that voice is my mother.

My mother was a negative motivator. She believed in motivating by telling you just how you had not measured up to her expectations. Good enough did not exist for her (still doesn’t). This form of motivation works for some people. For others it is a reason to quit.

Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is shut off the voice in our head! Your dreams have feet; let us help you keep the motivation to stay moving forward toward your goal. Call us today to hear a positive voice.

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