Skipping The Positive/Negative TrapJune 19, 2022
When things don't go the way we want, we often hear the advice to "look on the positive side".
The approach is understandable. But it encourages a habit of labeling all things as good or bad, positive or negative.
Most of our anxiety, frustration, resentment and fear in life comes from resistance to all the outcomes we've labeled as bad. Focusing on the positive may soften the symptoms when things don't go well, but it doesn't address the underlying issue: to some extent we're unwilling to face the negative.
Here's an alternative: accept what is, without assigning it a label. Feel what you feel. Then proceed from there.
- My pet died, and I feel sad.
- My child hit a home run, and I feel happy.
- My client cancelled our contract after all that work we put in, and I feel angry.
Ok. Now, what's next?
When you're willing to face any outcome, that is freedom.