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February 3, 2016

I’m Positive I’m Negative

“I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.”

(Winston Churchill)

I must confess: positive thinking does not come naturally to me. At all. For a myriad of reasons my therapist and I will be discovering and dissecting for years to come, I have to work hard to turn my default frown upside down. (And I mean that literally–I apparently suffer from Resting Jerk Face, according to my family).

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying I’m always unhappy. Quite the contrary. I just have a baseline, slightly-pessimistic outlook on the future–one that I have to work hard to manage.

Believe me, I’ve tried all sorts of methods to rectify my predilection towards negativity. But the only success I taste is when I stop resisting it, and start listening to it.

See, as Churchill outlined above, pessimism actually doesn’t make much sense. It just cannot stand up to logic, or fact. Think about it: how often does the worst possible outcome actually occur? Hardly ever. The odds are downright incredible. Moreso, how often has pessimism put anyone in the right frame of mind to actually take the steps to build a better future? Never.

So, I listen to my pessimism. I ask myself, “What’s the absolute worst that can happen?” and then I let it have its say, sometimes even writing my feared outcomes in big, bold letters. More often than not, I don’t even have to offer a rebuttal, because their illogic is self-evident.

I sometimes even smile at the thought.

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