Originally published on 2-12-11
As a child, I was taught and functioned quite well (until I didn’t), by envisioning a proverbial downward spiral, making a plan, and setting in motion a course of action that would keep me at the top.
Here’s how the downward spiral started playing out for me sometime around 10 years old:
C on a testàGoing to have a bad GPAàNot going to get into collegeàNot going to get a jobàNot going to be able to provide for myselfàGoing to end up homeless on the streets!! (Not an exaggeration, this is very true).
In the end, school worked out for me and I am not homeless. Because it became habit for me to analyze life through this fear based paradigm, I can do the downward spiral better and faster than most. Although it started as a strategy to motivate myself, somewhere along the way I let the fear of the unknown settle in, and then it got ugly. (The life Boogeyman if you will).
Downward: If I don’t get offered this jobàI’ll never be able to moveàI’ll be stuckàI’ll never be happy .
Rational: What?! There’s only 1 job out there? I may be mortified if I’m not offered the job and it may take a while to find another one, but in each situation there is a learnable moment.
And for the record, I try to remind myself that I have ALL that I need, right here, right now, to be happy. Happiness is a choice.
Downward: If this hot sexy guy doesn’t like meà No one is going to like meà I’m going to be an old spinster ordering sushi to-go for 1 (sometimes they give me an extra roll, because they feel sorry for me)à I’ll become a cat ladyà I’ll die alone in an apartment and people will only realize I’m dead because of the obnoxious smell seeping through the walls.
Rational: If hot sexy guy doesn’t like me, it may be embarrassing and even sting my ego, but because this “1 hot sexy guy” may not declare his love for me; I’m going NOT going to end up an old cat lady dying alone.
Learn to re-script, (I work at this daily) stop at thought #01, and take action.
* You receive a C on a testà You can handle it. Study harder next time.
* You don’t get offered that jobà You can handle it. Try harder. (I have a little of Orwell’s 1984 “Boxer” in me.)
* Hot Sexy Guy doesn’t like youà You can handle it. Move on, you’re in control, you’re fabulous.
Don’t spend time stewing and lamenting on things that: haven’t happened, you’re not sure will happen, probably will never happen. Don’t downward spiral. Be aware that you become your thoughts and intentions.
The life Boogeyman does not exist. Trust yourself; you can handle whatever comes your way!!