There’s something liberating about admitting a fear. The bad thing you’re scared of may recede if it’s named. Yet, once some light has been shed on the proverbial boogey-man, it’s time to move on from fear to hope. Where you wish to go is where the focus ought to be. As skiers say, focus on the path, not the trees. If, for example, an actor is afraid he’ll forget his lines, he may benefit from recognizing that fear. But then it’s time for him to take a deep breath and pivot his focus towards his desired outcome. He might close his eyes for a moment and envision and feel himself remembering all his lines, delivering them impeccably, and nailing the character on stage.
With awareness, we can all cultivate an environment that supports solutions, rather than problems. For starters, notice the content of your conversations. Get in the habit of staying positive. Hear yourself tell others about what you want, rather than what you fear. First, clean up your own act. Are you inspiring others with your appreciation for the present and enthusiasm for the future? Or do you bring them down by rehashing mistakes and projecting more of them for yourself down the road? Try to be upbeat, not just because it makes you more fun to be around, but because it helps you habituate the happy place.
Once you become conscious of the vibes you put out, have a look around. There are people in our lives that make it a full-time job to complain. Swapping stories of woe has become a sport to these folks, yet you can’t win. As soon as a solution arises, it’s squashed, or a new problem is served. Is that losing game worth playing? Nah. It’s fair to make an assessment now and then of the quality of your conversations with others. If complaining predominates, consider whether that relationship serves you. Sure, friends are great for sharing ups and downs and processing hard times, but if that’s the basis for the friendship, it may not be much of one. On the other hand, if supporting each other through hard times is balanced with plenty of inspiration, positivity and laughter- cool. There is light.
Finally, I want to give a shout out to Solution Focused Brief Therapy— an underutilized form of therapy that puts “customers” in the zone for positive change. Rather than rehash the past and dwell on problems, this type of therapy lives up to its name, by focusing on solutions. Even today, therapy often gets a bad rap. People imagine that it’s a desperate measure taken in dire times. The truth is, a good therapist rounds out a team of healers for healthy people. Just as you visit your dental hygienist regularly and may get an adjustment from your chiropractor, it’s good to have a therapist to check in with when your mind needs a purifying massage. A Solution-Focused Therapist makes a good addition to your wellness team, because he or she leads you to the thinking that allows you to be your best self and lead your best life.
I hope you’ve found this helpful. 🙂 Comments are valued and responded to. Thanks for engaging!