I was talking to a lady called Samantha at a Sunday dinner and she said to me, ‘I don’t know why I’m so negative. I talk to people. They ask me about my day and I always end up being negative.’
Use Positive Editing To Change Your Story and Life
After asking her a few probing questions, I discovered it was how she chose to see the events in her life after they occurred. She took the most negative part of an interaction or an event, remembered that and not the good stuff that happened.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you went away for the weekend with a friend. It’s your first time away with him. He was a bit of a pain in the neck. He was fussy and wanted everything done his way. You got dragged to 4 or 5 different cafes before finally choosing one. He’d scrutinize the menu while you waited outside. I mean it took 30 minutes just to find a place to eat – every single time. What’s with that?
He banged around the apartment in the morning. He wanted to make sure you woke up at the same time. He could have gone for a walk and a coffee while you slept. But no… he was determined to get you up and about, so you could start your day together.
Now, on this same weekend, you also did some incredible bushwalks. You got to see the mist lifting and the sunlight striking the mountain tops (you wouldn’t have seen that if you had your sleep in). Kookaburras heralded the morning in with their raucous laugh, and you even managed to spot a Lyrebird that was mimicking traffic sounds deep in the bush. You also ate some spectacular food created by chefs who really cared about their menu.
You get back home from the weekend and rock up to work on Monday morning. What do you tell your work colleagues?
Do you tell them about how this person was annoying and you must have read 14 menus a day on average and you never got that much needed sleep in.
Or do you talk about the early morning bushwalks and amazing food?
Both are true. We never tell people everything that happened. Can you imagine that? At 5.50am he woke me up. At 6.00am we talked, had coffee and muesli. At 6.20am we left the apartment. At 6.25am we got into the car. At 6.45am we…. It takes too long and let’s face it, it’s boring.
Change Your Story To Change Your Life
We always edit our story. Which means we always edit our life. All the time. In our mind and in conversation. If you change your story then you change your life.
What version will you tell?
What you talk about will be laid down in memory tracks.
As time passes you won’t remember the other details.
You will only remember the version you have told people. Make sure you make good memories.
Now imagine what would happen if you have a tendency to mainly focus on the negative? Many of your memories will be negative. This has a cumulative effect on you. You will be carrying around a lot of bad baggage and it causes many other problems. In Part 2 of this series I will delve into this further. We will examine how it stops you making powerful change in your life. There is very interesting scientific research done on university students that backs this up, which I share with you. Change your Story To Change Your life Part Two and Your Inner Critic – Change Your Story To Change Your Life Part Three are crucial accompaniments to this article.
Suffice to say, you’ll be a negative person who likes to complains about stuff.
Now, I’m not saying lie. What I am saying is how do you view the situation? How much of a pain was your friend really? Do you need to mention it at all?
Now, you may make a mental note to yourself that he is not the right friend for a lazy, sunbake by the pool all day kind of holiday. And that’s okay.
Also, you could see that the reason the food was so great was because of your friend’s care and gourmet food attitude. Where as, if it were up to you, you’d eat any old thing. Also, the bushwalks you would have organized would have been a lot more ordinary than the ones he organized. In fact, he took a simple weekend away and elevated it into a special experience.
Positive Editing Is Not About Lying Or Being Fake
Now, I’m not saying all your experiences and everything you talk about should be positive. Being positive all the time is kind of annoying and people soon get sick of it because it feels as if you aren’t being truthful. They will also feel like you are judging them and they can’t open up to you about their problems.
I also don’t want you to gloss over your problems or pretend they aren’t there. We are moving you along the negative to positive spectrum to a more positive and happy you. Positive editing will influence your happiness levels in all kinds of ways. You will see the world in a better way and be more content at the end of each day.
Also, your interactions will improve with people. You will become a more positive person. One that others want to be around. You will also attract, over time, more positive and supportive friends. It’s about loving yourself and loving the life you lead with purpose and direction.
Now, I do quickly want to talk about the release of energy you get when you whinge about things. It can feel good to get things off your chest and vent, and sometimes we need to do this. But it can become a little addictive because it does feel good in a weird way. This addictive energy keeps you going back to complaining when you don’t want to.
Notice how you feel after a positive and uplifting conversation with someone. It feels SO MUCH better than the complaining energy! Remember that feeling. Really soak it into your bones and tell yourself this feels so much better and is a better way to live.
Think about something that happened recently. How you are going to tell friends about it? Consciously choose what you are going to tell them. Be truthful. This is not about lying.
Don’t worry if you automatically tell someone a bad version. The main thing is to notice you have done that. Hurrah! You can see your pattern, which is the first step to changing it. Make sure you tell a different version to the next person. Notice how, when you tell the new version, the interaction changes completely. It feels amazing!
Think about the recent event you whinged about. What good things happened? How can you reframe the story in a more positive way? Could you talk about the positive and negative things that happened, and not just the negative? Or remove the negative altogether. Make sure you tell this new version to someone.
P.S. You may also like my article “Back Home. Now I’m Cocooning and Ascending.” In it show you how I set my intention to elevate my holiday and the course I taught on Rising Regardless. The Mind Believes What You Tell It is a good article for making the mind’s filter or Reticular Activating System work for you. If you need encouragement then read How To Rise Regardless No Matter What