Have you noticed that sometimes thoughts don’t go away? With me it usually happens with some bad thought and it takes some time to get rid of it. But what if it were possible to put a good thought in your head and have that on repeat so you just keep coming back to it when you need a quick boost of positivity?
A Giggle Loop
Yesterday I stumbled on a three second video on FaceBook. The very first time I saw it I laughed out loud. I played it several more times and I laughed out loud each time. And then right through the day every now and again I thought of the video and laughed. You know how you just get something that hits your sense of humour and you just laugh out loud? And then each time you think of it you just feel the feeling and laugh again because of how silly it is. And so instead of the feeling subsiding each time you think it you laugh again and the thought gets bigger.
It probably isn’t surprising that yesterday was a great day full of fun and productivity. That was simply because I didn’t get a chance to be anything other than happy all day.
I’ve also had times in my life where the opposite has also been true and negative emotions have made me feel bad and held me back. Sometimes for a day and sometimes for a lot longer.
A Positive Self Replicating Thought Virus
I’ve always liked the idea that the thoughts that you have, that come unbidden come up for a reason. This is an easy thing to figure for positive thoughts. For example the video I saw yesterday just kept popping into my head because I felt good when I thought about it. And that was enough for my unconscious mind to want to keep doing it.
In essence the more you think good thoughts the better you feel. The better you feel the more you want to think good thoughts.
But What about Negative Emotions?
If I just pick a negative emotion to illustrate the point. We get angry when our boundaries are violated. It is our unconscious mind’s way of letting us know that something is happening that we don’t find appropriate.
This is a useful feeling in the moment. But if thoughts from the past come up unbidden and the thinking of them causes anger then you know there is some unresolved component that needs dealing with for you to let it go.
What people will do is repress the feeling and as a result it keeps coming back with more ferocity. The reason being is that your unconscious mind is seeking resolution and wants you to deal with the issue. So when your mind makes a connection between the repressed emotion and what you are doing it brings up the emotion thinking that this is a good time to deal with it.
Often it is not a good time and so you repress it again adding just that little more to it. Or sometimes it over spills and instead of the little bit of irritation that the situation warrants you let lose, full force of all the anger that may have been years in the repressing.
How to Let it Go
When you take some positive learning from an event perhaps a strategy that will mean you can deal more effectively with those situations or discover something about yourself that gives good meaning to the event you tend to let go of the emotion.
You may already realise this is also a naturally occurring process. Have you had a situation in your life where even thinking of the memory causes some sort of negative emotion? And you carried that for some time, maybe days, maybe years. But then suddenly one day you had some sort of blinding insight and you suddenly think to yourself “that was what that was all about.”
And depending on how strong the emotional impact had been you might almost palpably feel the negative emotions fade, but at least when you look at the memory you feel entirely differently about it. Now that it this process working naturally.
A Worked Example
For example when I wrote The Persuasion Skills Black Book a couple of NLP author’s decided to go on the attack. They didn’t attack me directly but they created fake accounts as well as encourage people on their forum to post negative reviews on Amazon. Some of them are still there and it will take you a few minutes investigating to find the names of the trainer’s involved. They are not very sophisticated including working with a guy that is known for and been publicly called out about these sort of tactics.
The Initial Feeling
When this first happened I felt devastated. Take it the right way I didn’t expect everyone to like or agree with my book. It is something I argue a lot about with some types of NLPers. But I never imagined that I would face people that would try and destroy my business and nor do it in such a cowardly fashion.
For a long time I was struggling with that feeling. Whenever I thought of the situation I felt both powerless and angry. I didn’t release the second book for months after it was ready because I was thinking, “What is the point when they are ready to attack like they did the first?”
As time went on the Persuasion Skills Black Book became more successful. I got to recognise these two trainers for what they are and saw their own books and businesses failing. I found ways of protecting myself against this sort of thing. I found support amongst friends, fans and realised I was not alone.
And as a trainer the best things was I found that there are others that are attacked in similar ways and I have started teaching / coaching others on how to fight back against these bullies. And what started as a crippling problem is now another string to my bow. It would be remarkable disingenuous to say that I am glad it happened but I do think I have got a lot of positive outcomes from it now.
The Key Point
This one negative emotion, based on a real event crippled my ability to move forward with my business. You could say it destroyed my confidence. Once I let go of that negative emotion all of a sudden I was fearlessly productive again. The issue was my unconscious mind was not willing to let go of the emotion until it felt safe that I had a strategy to deal with this sort of thing. And that learning might be specific things like a strategy for minimising the impact of these people, it might be a more generalise learning, perhaps about knowing I always have the skills to deal with the challenges in life. Or like in this case it was a mixture of both.
Once your unconscious mind has the knowledge, information, strategy or whatever learning you need there is no longer a purpose to the negative emotion and you can let it go.
Here is the thing whether it is a positive or a negative thought it has some impact on your performance. But those thoughts are only real in your head. So if you had a mechanism to reframe those thoughts to a positive advantage…how much more could you achieve?
If you want some really cool thought experiments, tools and ideas that can shift you to feeling good and dealing confidently with your life then The Confidence Booster is the place to look. But before you click through and find out more let me make sure you know that currently you can get a £10 discount just by applying this code: KCOP-NDJW-PZCA-LDHO
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