As a recovering negative thinker, I’m always looking for ways to change my perspective. I know that my habits of thinking are just that – habits, although some are quite entrenched.
One habit that annoys me is that I anticipate negative interactions with others. I know it’s a practiced belief that keeps me thinking that if I can see danger coming, I can deal with it. Therefore, I must always look for danger.
Now that I understand how law of attraction works, I see that this looking for danger actually creates it. Bummer. I’ve been creating the exact opposite of what I’ve wanted to create.
This isn’t just theory for me anymore. I’ve been paying attention and it is really how my world works. For example, I may be concerned that a co-worker will be cranky and I may try to figure out how to avoid her crankiness. If I think about all the different ways she may express her crankiness and plan out how I’m going to deal with each and every scenario I can imagine, I’m practically guaranteeing a conflict with this co-worker in some new way that will totally take me by surprise.
However, if I concentrate on imagining this co-worker and I getting along, I will create that situation too. She’ll be in a good mood or I’ll be in a good mood or we won’t see much of each other or she’ll be on vacation. It’s interesting to see that when I soothe negative anticipation, the situation I dreaded, often doesn’t even happen. The meeting was cancelled. Someone calls out sick. The good feeling will prevail and the details of the situation will morph to accommodate that good feeling.
I know all this, yet the habit of looking for danger persists. It’s a very old habit. I was thinking about this in the shower the other day and I got an insight about how I could start countering this old habit. My new mantra for anticipating unpleasantness? “I’m making that up.”
It’s undeniably true. When I’m visualizing negative future outcomes, it’s definitely something I’m constructing with my thought. The thought is totally my creation and the reality will totally be my creation if I don’t move my focus elsewhere.
I love the childishness of my new mantra. I’m like a kid in a playground calling out herself, but not in a mean way. I’m not bullying myself. It’s just a reality check. Nothing that I’m imagining has happened yet, so clearly, I’m making it up.
When I expect negative experiences, I believe I’m making accurate guesses based on past experience. There are some flaws in that train of thought. First of all, it assumes the past will constantly repeat itself. That’s not true. Eventually, everything changes. In the short term, my attention and expectation are what encourages my past to repeat itself in ways I’d rather it didn’t.
So, next time I imagine something bad happening, I will remind myself that I’m making that up. Next time I’m afraid, I will acknowledge that I’m making up the reason for the fear. And when I anticipate with joy, I will also acknowledge that I’m making this up. I’m creating when I’m feeling hopeful. I’m creating when I feel happy. When I think of all the wonderful experiences I want to have in the future, I’m making this up. Or put more simply, “I’m making this.”