Do you have someone in your life that is habitually and eternally pessimistic? Everything in their life seems monumental and no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to get them to see the bright side of life.
I sure know I have a few people in my life like this and as much as I care about these people, I have a hard time exposing myself to their negative energy for too long. I find that life is much more vibrant when I’m not around people who act as though they are victims of life and who always seem to find something to complain about.
In my experience whether in school, at work, or with family and friends, an overwhelming amount of people tend to look at the world as glass half empty.
According to a survey conducted by the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), only 6% of Americans believe that “All things considered, the world as it stands today, is getting better.”
That’s a staggering number!
Imagine if you owned a business and only 6% of your employees believed that what they were doing today was going to yield positive results in the future. You wouldn’t get anything done!
What we project is what we get:
Here’s a secret to life:
How we think, act and feel about this world and about ourselves is what we attract into our life.
We are like a radio beacon and if we exude a shitty and pessimistic attitude, then the frequency and vibrations of our life seems to reflect more shit and more suffering. What’s worse is that when we live life projecting a negative attitude we become victims of our own thoughts and confirmation bias creeps its way into everything we do and everything we see. That is, when we project the worst on people and life, we only see the worst people and life have to offer.
What is projecting?
All of us, whether we realize it or not, are projecting something out into this world. Our projections come in a variety of forms but many of us don’t even realize we are projecting in the first place.
For the most part though, our projections come from the stories we tell ourselves about life—whether about what happens to us or about what happens to others. The story’s that we tell ourselves over and over again become our ethos.
If we spend all our time thinking poorly about ourselves and thinking about how shitty our life is, then it's no wonder we can only experience life through the filter of pain and suffering. In the end, what we attend to most, becomes our reality.
So for example, if we were to spend all of our time watching the news and listening to story after story about death and destruction, then isn’t it possible that we would only see life as a threatening proposition, thus substantiating this self-created projection that the world is “fucked up?”
What we say over and over again tends to become our narrative and if we aren’t carful, the negative thoughts we have on a daily basis can be self destructive. This is why we need to listen to the stories we tell other people from one day to the next.
If we leave these narratives unattended, they tend to propagate what we project in that if we are always complaining about other people and presenting ourselves as victims, then we will be sure to experience life as a helpless person with no control over our outcomes.
How we feel about life is another way we project to the world. Our emotional state plays a huge role in our projections and I know for me, I tend to run with a mild sensation of anxiety humming in the background. If I don’t meditate, this background noise becomes deafening and innocuous tasks become difficult because my life is entangled with anxiety.
We must BEHAVE like we are already the person we want to be
So how the hell do we stop with all the bitching and complaining? How do project something different, something more optimistic into the world?
First, we must master our stories. In other words, we must try to notice the stories that consistently come up for us because the stories we tell ourselves over and over again are our life narratives. These narratives are the foundation of how we view and experience life. They are our hidden beliefs about ourselves and our life.
If we can see the negative narratives with mindfulness, when they arise we can choose better narratives—ones that make us feel optimistic and full of life instead of a victim of life.
Unfortunately, not all of us are truly ready to project the best version of ourselves into the world. Sometimes, because of our life circumstances, we feel as though we can only achieve happiness in the future. Whether it's because we’re not emotionally mature enough or because were stuck in an unhealthy relationship, some of us will never feel worthy enough to live a happy life.
So, what can we do?
We must act as though we already are that which we seek. Meaning, if we want to quit our job and pursue a career that’s more aligned with our passions, then we must think, feel and act as though we are a person who is living their best life.
I know this might seem strange, but if we want to be more confident, more courageous or more anything in life, then we must ACT as though we are already ARE that…
Similarly, if we see success as having a supportive family and working for a company that is aligned with our life’s purpose, then we must simply act as though we already are that person and have those things.
To help you get into this mental state, ask yourself:
What would a person like that talk about? Who would they socialize with? Where would they go on vacations? What kind of stories would they tell others? How would they view the world? How would this person interact with other people?
If we can't yet feel the best version of ourselves, then we must first see it. To do this, we can visualize what we want in life in as much detail as possible—i.e. see ourselves driving home to our loving family and working for a company that lights our soul on fire. The more clearly we can see this vision, the more we will feel it, and the more we feel it, the more life works with us to help us create a the better version of ourselves.
This lesson is perhaps one of the most important we must learn as we grow older. We only experience life through one filter and if that filter is perpetually pessimistic our life will reciprocate those expressions.
So, next time you meditate or have a moment to be introspective, think about what success looks like to you.
Step into it and see how it would feel to be successful already. Picture yourself living this life in as much detail as possible and over time, your narratives and the way in which you project yourself to the world will change.
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Until next time,
Many many blessings!!