I hear so many people, both clients and friends, catch themselves and say ‘I just need to be more positive’.
I call BS for a couple of reasons.
Firstly I know hidden in that sentence is a ‘Should’. And frankly ‘Shoulds’ give me the sh*ts!
They’re a clue of expectation, pressure or force (internal or external) driving us forward. And we all know that is the least good feeling way to move forward.
I am always looking for the pull of feeling good rather than the push of a ‘Should’. And it’s ok for you to be too.
So next time you hear yourself say ‘I just need to be more positive’, take a breath and create a little more space around you. Because there’s something important to know.
We are storytellers, all of us. We make meaning of our world by the stories we tell about ourselves, the people around us and our life.
Listen to how you speak about your day, partner, children, time, body, friends, family, health, work. They are all stories. It doesn’t mean the story is untrue. What it does often mean, though, is the story is unconscious. We automatically tell the same story the majority of the time.
Don’t worry, we all do it. It’s part of the design of you and me.
So the first step is intentional awareness.
What story am I telling about myself/this person/life?
Next question –
Does this story serve me?
If it’s an easy NO and your toolkit is overflowing with ways to rewrite the story (my favourite is Trust and Surrender), then you’re good to go.
However if this question feels too much like a ‘should’ (I should be more positive), then the next line of enquiry is
What are the feelings that are asking to be acknowledged, felt and possibly healed?
Let’s face it, we all know you can’t polish a turd. And this is what the ‘should’ of being more positive is telling us to do.
Take those real and valid feelings and dump a whole load of fairydust sparkly unicorn rainbow turd polish all over them.
Now, this is where the real work begins. The whole BS of ‘I just need to be more positive’ is a con job but it’s also seductive. It’s the shortcut around the potentially messy scary confronting work that is calling you.
Calling you to be courageous and possibly vulnerable. To sit in the shit of the feelings and find the way through.
This is the Work of Life and it deserves bucket loads of self-compassion. But the rewards far outweigh the temporary diversion into the land of ‘Should-ing’ on yourself and Just Be More Positive.
Need more help? I work with men and women to create a life free of ‘shoulds’ and full of possibility and joy. Contact me to arrange a complimentary 30-minute Discovery Session today.
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