Punch 1: Absolutes

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Positive thinking is not just about quotes and happy colours.

Positive thinking is a conscious choice to monitor and challenge every thought to use it FOR YOU. Today has been one of those days where most of my thoughts have been in the opposite: I’ve had to face my thoughts to work for me. Whilst thinking about this process I realised that many other women may also be engaged in this arena without any training. Heidi recently posted about ‘putting her red gloves on’ and over my next few posts I’d like to share some of my favourite punches.

Punch 1: Absolutes

“You never do anything right”
“You can’t even do this!”
“She always looks great, why don’t you?”

What do these three thoughts have in common? Language that I like to call the ‘absolutes’: words like never, anything, even and always. These words create extreme expectations and create the thought or action to be definite and unchangeable. For example: “You never do anything right”. The absolute words are implying that you have never done anything in your whole life right. How realistic is that question? Has absolutely everything that you've done today been wrong? How about last year?

The key to this punch is to identify the absolutes and challenge it with realistic expectations. The most powerful are those that you’ve experienced and are like your evidence to combat the absolutes. “You never do anything right” becomes an opportunity for you to practice your swing.

My punch back would be along the lines of:

  • What did I do right today?
  • How have I made it to this point in my life?
  • I’ve got through my schooling years, have a steady job, got out of bed this morning- they are all things I’ve done right!
  • Everyone makes mistakes- how can I improve what I am doing?
  • What is 'right'?
  • Rephrase the thought- “I may not have done this too well but next time I will be better at it!”

As you collect the evidence against this thought, make sure you write it down. Can you identify a particular thought or phrase that you often think that is an absolute that needs to be challenged? Start to think about what triggers this response so you are prepared before you think it.

It may take you a while to get warmed up and to get your technique going, but each time you swing, the next time will be slightly stronger. And if you do get knocked down, it’s ok, because there are plenty of rounds! Make sure you reward yourself and record your experiences. Being able to read through your past battles will allow you to identify and refine your technique.

By sharing this punch with you I feel like I've given all my absolutes a HUGE KNOCK OUT!!!

Love Emily x