But the problem with positive self talk (and it’s a big problem) is that it works like a bandaid over a deeper-rooted wound. Sugar sprinkled over a bitter taste.
- Feel the cold biting fear of poverty and not having enough money? Repeat affirmations about how much abundance you have in your life.
- Feel disgusting/unloved/unloveable? Tell yourself how beautiful and loveable you are.
>> In other words, replace the stressful thinking with the thinking that feels better.
And again, it works… at least for a short while.
The problem with positive self talk is that it is aways temporary. We always hear that saying affirmations is like showering: you have to do them every day. And why is that? Because beneath the rosy affirmation lies a stressful thought that at least part of you believes is true.
(Otherwise you wouldn’t need the affirmation).
And so you must keep reapplying that bandaid, day after day, month after month. And the second you stop, the underlying “limiting” beliefs slowly but surely bubbles back up to the surface again.
Again, while positive self talk lies at the heart of self-help, it also lies.
A better way is to get to the root.
… Because trust me, at your root beyond the stress it’s a bedrock of unconditional love. It’s understanding. It’s peace. It’s mastery over a mind that continually hurts you. It’s rock solid control over the whole process.
A Better Way: Dive Directly Into the Stress (and Question it)
My invitation for you is this: rather than continuing with the same tired old response to stress that we humans have been doing for the past thousands of years – (trying to shut it out) – instead take on the practice to dive into the heart of the stressful belief and question whether the thoughts are *actually TRUE.*
What do I mean by this?
To illustrate, here is a passage I read recently from Steve Chandler’s blog:
A mad man lives in a mental ward. Each day they let this man into the recreation room.
He’s in his pajamas. He sits down at the circular table.
The attendant gives him a big blank pad of paper and a box of crayons.
He takes out the crayons and draws the head of a monster. He stares at the monster, screams, and runs out of the room.
The whole thing looks funny to the attendant. It looks, shall we say it….”Insane.”
The poor mad man is scaring himself to death!
And crazy as that looks, we ourselves do that each day. We use our crayons (our imagination) to scare ourselves with.
We draw worst case scenarios in our heads all day. Until we don’t anymore.
That’s exactly it.
Create SPACE From You & Your Stressful Thoughts
The profound leap occurs when you (1) get distance from the stress from your thinking long enough to question them. Then (2) earnestly search for the truth within, with an open heart.
This is the next step of our human evolution – to make that gigantic (and quite frankly often terrifying) leap from being a knee-jerk reaction slave to what swirls around in our heads…
… to saying “Wait a second. I see that this thought is creating stress/anger/hell within me. Perhaps it isn’t even true.”
This is the root of what Byron Katie’s “The Work” is all about.
“Stress is the Alarm Bell That What You’re Believing Isn’t True”
As Byron Katie puts it, stress is the alarm bell that what you are thinking isn’t true.
I’ll say it again: When a thought causes stress – BY DEFINITION – it means that it isn’t true. Stress means the wires are crossed and you are looking at / holding onto / believing something that isn’t true… at least not for you.
But don’t just take my word for it. Do yourself a favour and test it out for yourself.
(“The Work” has been an excellent teaching for me personally. You can visit the website here)
Shift From “Positive Thinking” to Permanent Resolution
I know what I am saying here isn’t a popular approach – afterall, we humans seek to AVOID pain and hurt… not dive directly into it. And yet, as they say, the way out is through. We must dive into the fire in order to pop up in the cooling waters.
Dive directly into the stress *and investigate*. Feel what wants to be felt. Work with the real shit that comes up. Confront it with an open, vulnerable heart.
… Rather than coating a sweet, temporary sugary layer over top of the whole thing in the form of “positive affirmations.”
This direct approach not only works, it is what leads to permanent resolution.
In other words, if you experientially come to the realization that you ARE loved/desirable/sexy, then you no longer NEED to stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself so. It wipes the whole need for this process away.
Is this stuff easy peasy? Nope. But then again are we here for the “good life” or are we here to transcend and grow and do our part to usher ourselves (and thus humanity) into a more open, awakened place?
But better than all that it leads to peace. This is the exact process that helped me dig myself out of an internal world of hell into one of peace and control over the stress-creation-process of my mind. One inch at a time. After being bathed in suffering for a time by your own mind, that PEACE that you find yourself is sweetness beyond words.
COACHING INVITATION: Could Use Some Help Confronting Your Stress?
As someone who has lived through this stuff (often very painfully!), I know what this is like, but also how to get out of it. And together, I’d like to see if I can be of help to you.
No cost or hidden strings attached – just a chance to help you with this area that I am so passionate about. (Some people choose to continue working with me down the line)
If this is something you’ve been struggling with for a while, I encourage you to give yourself this gift. Simply fill your information in below to get started, and I’ll be in touch with you shortly.
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