Happy or sad? Glass half full or half empty? Moving away or Moving toward? Optimistic vs Pessimistic?
Learning your style…
Sometimes it’s hard to fathom that we actually choose what side of the fence we are on. Think about our conversations about the weather as a classic example of how we choose to think and react! One thing I learnt during my marathon training was that I could not afford to adopt a pessimistic view of the weather. Thinking “it’s too cold, too rainy, too cloudy, it might rain, I’ll go tomorrow when it’s finer” wouldn’t have got me moving beyond the door during our winter months!
So why are some people more pessimistic in nature than others and how much does it restrict what we do in life? I recently read Martin Seligman’s book ‘The Optimistic Child’ in which he prescribes that our explanatory styles are learned in childhood and without explicit intervention will remain lifelong. So what does ‘explanatory style’ exactly mean? He describes it as the way we think about the causes of events that happen to us. Do we take on a pessimistic, permanent view of what’s happened or do we make more accruate observations about the event and deal with it specifically, rather than let it have a negative stronghold on other areas of our lives?
Our language and conversations we hold both internally and with those around us provide us with a powerful insight into what we believe about ourselves. They are an imprint of our style and ulitmately a reflection of our essence, our being. So start noticing your internal dialouge as well as conversations you have with people in your life. What language are you using, what style are you adopting and is it an accruate reflection of who you truly are and what you want your life to be? Notice the thread between your thoughts- your language-your style-your behaviours-your actions. Are they blissfully weaving together or zig zagging all over each other!
Not only is another world possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.
– Arundhati Roy