Maybe Negative Thinking Isn't So Bad?

Being negative might be good for you. Maybe  there’s nothing wrong with negative thoughts.
I was reading an interesting article in the New York Times today called “The Power of Negative Thinking.”
The writer Oliver Burkeman sited his example of 21 people having been treated for  burns after walking barefoot over hot calls in an event called Unleash the Power Within. This event stars Motivational Speaker, Anthony Robbins.
According to my understanding, the purpose of the event is to unleash your power and conquer your greatest fear. If you’re a positive thinker, it’s said you won’t get burned.
Actually it has more to do with how fast you can get across the coals.
Maybe negative thinking is more about being proactive?
When does negative thinking help you and when does it get in your way?The only way to move forward is to doing something you’ve never tried. There’s also an interesting article in Scientific American about this subject. I highlighted the link for you. Check out Oliver Burkeman’s blog and his new book,  The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking
I read that Oprah walked the coals; she said it messed up her pedicure. Did it burn her feet, I think so.
An then there was Stuart Smiley played by Al Franken on Saturday Night Live.  Smiley would look in the mirror daily and say, “I’m good enough, smart enough and everybody likes me.” It never seemed to work for him. It’s probably better than saying you’re a jerk and deserve nothing.
Thinking that nothing will happen to you if you think good things really is hogwash. Walking alone at night in a “not so great neighborhood” or parking in an out-of-the-way parking spot when you know it’s dangerous  is not particularly smart. Paying attention to reality is smart, not  negative.
I think negativity gets confused with reality and being proactive. Water skiing  is one of those sports that can bring fear to those who’ve never tried it.  When you become fearful for no good reason, the fear  prevents you from trying new things.
Fear in itself can also move you forward. The fear of losing your house because you’re contemplating taking your mortgage money to the track is probably a good fear. It’s also reality.
For years I suffered from what I call the “bag lady symptom; I was often frightened by the thought that I would lose everything and be out in the  street with a grocery cart and my cat. Actually, according to my mother, when I was four I actually packed up my doll and cat  and head for the nightbor’s house. Apparently I was looking for bluer skies across town. Possibly the  thought of being on the street  has kept me from overextending my checkbook.
Many people scare themselves away from life. Fearful of drowning, my friend refuses to go in any kind of boat including  Carnival!  I guess she spent too much time watching the movie ” Titanic.”  I certainly can understand had she been on the Titanic that she might be still suffering from PTSD. Many years ago I suffered a debilitating ski accident which involved an out of control 14 year-old and a tree. I missed both but in doing so broke several bones. Try as I might, I seemed unable to get over the terror of the event .
Can you enjoy your life while thinking negatively? Why not? Again, there’s a difference between thinking negatively and dealing with reality.
Question your thoughts: is this reality or am I trying to get out of trying something  I’ve never done?
Am I fearful about everything new?
Do I run anything that’s out of my comfort zone? Is this my excuse for not stretching myself?
Successful people usually live on the edge often taking risks. Professional athletes sit on the edge.
When my mother was in her 80’s she rarely went out of the house. She was in good physical condition she was just worried that something would happen to her. She said “I’m just playing the odds, Lissy,  my house is safer than the streets!” She was probably right.
Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers through customer service and sales training.  To have her speak at your group, contact her at 518.495.5380.

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