john assaraf

Rescripting Negative Imagination

“I AM A POSITIVE PERSON”
Not 100% sure, but I suspect most people, when asked if they think they are a positive person, will indeed think they are generally a positive humanbeing.  For those who don’t sign up in the “Positive Paulina” camp, there’s likely a group that will say, “Well, positive is good, but I am also realistic.” (This is a limiting statement that allows them to dabble their feet in both sides of the pool. Wait a second… what does a negative pool and a positive pool really look like?)  Then, you will get a group that says they are as negative and cynical as possible. Then there’s people who say they are positive and go home and cry in their pillow every night, realistic people who wonder why they are depressed, and cynical people who wish the world didn’t have to be the way it is.  Is that all the categories? Surely not.

Point is, when someone SAYS they are positive, it isn’t likely the whole picture, and even if it was the whole picture, it only applies to that moment because through space and time everything is in fluctuation. So, the label (like so many) is not nearly as valuable as our actions.  But where it gets fun: it’s not just the actions we take mechanically, or the words we say, it all starts in the thoughts we think, in how we perceive our world (and how we allow ourselves to change how we choose to perceive… ).  If I want to say “I am a positive person,” that’s fine, but if I want to make that my reality, I have to be positive. That starts by thinking positive.

WHY THAT WEIRD INTRO?
I was going to start this post by saying I was a positive person, and then started to think about that statement, because the whole point of this post is to ponder the concept of rescripting negative imagination. So, even a person as ridiculously positive as yours truly, I still have a post to write about my negative energy! I can get into all the fun details about neuro-plasticity and all the theories of positive thinking, positive energy and riding positive waves towards our goals… someday…maybe in another post. Overall, I am subscribing to this positive energy thing.  People like Rhonda Byrne (The Secret), Bill Harris (CenterPointe Research), John Kehoe (Mind Power), John Assaraf (NeuroGym) and many more are making a gazillion dollars explaining how everyone can be making a gazillion dollars (or achieving their dreams, in the event a gazillion dollars is not making the list of things to do in order to achieve their dreams).  I’m not going to evangelize these approaches right now.  I’ve simply made a personal decision that I value positive energy, and I’m welcoming more of it into my life every single day.

THE NEGATIVE IMAGINATION CHALLENGE 

So, ergo this post. I am in the middle of a life change.  There is a lot going on, and there is a lot of disagreement and strange influxes of distrust that have been making their way into this life change. Now, of course, it is all to easy to say I cannot control everyone, and this transition is supposed to be difficult and the way it went down was unfair to me and boo hoo hoo, poor me a victim of the big bad universe, or fate, or maybe some life form that looks like a giant Kermit the Frog declaring my happiness is none of his business. That’s all hogwash. (Someday, I will Google how the term “hogwash” came to be…are we not supposed to bother washing hogs because they love the mud? Maybe that’s it.)

So the positive energy approach is to see your reality up front.  OK, I would then phrase my reality like this: this life transition is going very smooth – there’s abundance in my life, and through my abundance I can help the other folks involved in this life transition. But, when I am not paying attention, my brain has been doing a couple things I find fascinating.  First, it will wander into random places… so instead of dwelling on my goals, achievements or other zones that will move me forward, I will snap out of a thought and say, “Why am I using my time to contemplate the different ways I trim my fingernails? Or replaying the scene in that action movie and changing the endings around?”  Those situations are fairly benign, but then we add said “second thing.”  I will see my goal in my mind, and the conversation with a key person will go poorly, or a step I take will be met with devastating failure…entire ventures will fail.  That’s exactly the opposite of what I want.  I am not scared when it happens – this is not the same thing as a fear response (which puts us in survival mode and shuts down our contemplation). I am contemplating the scenario, but I am going at it exactly the opposite of what I should be doing, and I am not present in the thought – it is just playing back without my intervention.  After the “failure film” finishes playing, I snap out of it and I have to stop myself and then rethink, re-visualize and try and re-feel that scenario in a positive way.

That’s generally how it goes down. And here is the silver lining… I have achieved, in this situation, what Bill Harris calls “awareness” – that is, I see the impact of my actions as I am doing them.  I am now aware of this behavior, and I can now rescript it. So here is what I am going to do… this is going to be epic.

BEFRIENDING THE HISTORY ERASER BUTTON

There’s this episode of Ren & Stimpy where Stimpy has to guard the history eraser button. (spoiler alert) Stimpy eventually gives into the narrator’s badgering temptations and presses the button. The history of everything is erased.

Here is my plan, since what I want to do during an unhealthy negative imagination sequence is to stop it, erase it and replace it with a positive healthy version, I am going to spend time imagining that (take a swig of coffee friends): Whenever I imagine something, I will always have a history eraser button with me.  I am going imagine myself caring this little button with me whenever I am imagining, and I am going to practice pushing the button and erasing negative memories, rescripting them with positive ones. Buhbam, right? It’s crazy… redoing how I imagine.  maybe later I can imagine how I will change how I imagine about changing my imagination. Wut?

Anyway – let me see how that goes.  First step is to make sure I practice having the button with me, so that it becomes a habit.  Such a strong habit, that when my mind wanders into a negative thought, my own brain will be like “where’s that button?” and I will press it.  Then, here is the awesome part – the POWER of that button is to immediately erase that negative thought as though it never happened, and then I am free to imagine the positive version.  In fact, just becoming aware of this ability to press that button during a thought immediately pulls me out of the “film” and makes me a cognizant observer that can then redirect the whole scene as needed. Heck, I can stop and ask why someone is talking to me that way, or think about how to deliver an eloquent response that would help the situation, or imagine my yacht pulling up and allowing me to go on a vacation…whatever I want! It’s like double the self-programming. Nice.

This could be just the beginning of my mental tool belt.

That’s the theory anyway. Wish me success, and I’ll be back with an update….at some point!

TheRage3K