Pushing Against Transition?

Focus NYT

The skills of positivity, which really means evolution, enable us to more easily deal with negativity and defensiveness.

At the root of our negativity is the way we self-sabotage, our defensiveness, the things we do when we feel threatened. The part of us that brings us down, that is convinced that we are not worth much.

It is the part that lives in wherever we reject who we are.

These mechanisms and systems of defense are entrenched, but they can be changed by the tools of positivity.

Self-sabotage is often what people do when the feel good for a while. Self-sabotage is what we do to in avoiding the change and transition that life is pushing us toward.

We balk at growing and being better and stronger.

It can seem too good to be true and unfamiliar.

You are evolving always toward higher and higher levels of reasoning and creating.

The structures of your brain are changing and growing, and you are always growing smarter, if you allow it.

Intelligence is not fixed. It grows if we allow novelty to happen.

Living in an UpSpiral is like lubricating your brain to grow, to learn, to be open and to have more options.

Our own self sabotage wants us to stay put, doubt ourselves, be safe, take no risks, shut down, and shut off.

It is out for nothing less than our self-destruction because its grounded in our self-rejection and the sense in us that we don’t deserve the best things in life.

Self sabotage exists is how we believe that we don’t have the right to be happy.

You cannot deal with self-sabotage by using negative tools or by digging up negative memories and talking about how hurt you have been.

That just reinforces the negative memories the brain is trying to heal. But you also can’t deny the negative.

Recognize it without reliving it.

Try this. Take a good look at the negative, take a good look at any negative memories that seem to be following you around and simply pulse peace, peace, peace.

That’s what you learn in our Emotional Gym- the agility and facility of emotions that serve your good.

Get yourself to an emotionally peaceful place and then look at these negative things through one of your strengths.

For sure, if you are more positive, you are going to shine a light on your negatives. But you do not chase negatives with negatives, you chase them and spotlight them from the positive, from a higher place and then you apply the tools of positivity to squarely deal with them.

You learn to have a hero for each of your strengths and how that hero with whom you identify will tell you how to use the strength it represents.

Yes, your hero will talk to you inside your head.

You have a strength for every negative that occurs in your life.

In fact, it sometimes seems that the negatives in life, the problems are tailor made to get us to practice using our strengths so we grow them.

If you are more focused on your negatives that on your strengths, which ones do you think you are growing?

© Dr. William K. Larkin

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin
  • Alan Cohen

    For me, self-sabotabge is a learned pattern of going back into the past, and remembering how things didn’t work out, It is that “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” It can be a lack of
    acceptance or appreciation that I am resilient and able to handle what is given
    to me. Positive feelings can at times seem unusual to me, that I
    question them,, how long can they stay? And even if it is fleeting, do I have the right to enjoy it. We are uncomfortable believing that happiness can be a natural and enduring state, regardless of the circumstances. When situations occur as negative, looking at them through one of our strengths seems a great alternative to moving into the downspiral.
    I am going to make my strengths the hero in my story, and rely more heavily on their power when I am facing struggles. Pulsing in times of challenge is also a great way to resist the habit of self-sabotage, both dealing with the situation in the moment, but also building more a more positive brain to take on future challenges.

  • Dr. gloria wright

    I’m currently taking a class on Byron Katie’s “The Work.” (thework.com) Her book is “Loving What Is.” It’s a challenging and meaningful process to use when you get upset. To grossly oversimplify, you look, examine and own how your upset is a projection of your own perceptions, beliefs, etc. If you don’t have these judgement and beliefs to begin with, you don’t get upset…. It’s really all about us.

    How we deal with transition is certainly about us. I worked in the Republic of Panama for 17 years as a consultant and helped them downsize from 25,000 to 2,500. That major transition gave me a glimpse into how differently people view and handle transition. When they could move into “what’s in this next phase of my life?,” they began to move forward and not resist this part of their evolution. When we are truly evolving in our personal development, we are always in a modicum of transition. When we embrace transition as a way of life, (where we don’t stagnate) we can move away from self-sabotage.

    Self-sabotage can be very insidious. It just creeps into the crevices without our notice. So to notice is vital.

    When we are aware of our reactions, we can choose to be more positive in our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Doing the same ‘ole, same ‘ole doesn’t lubricate our brains nor broaden our horizons. Giving air time to our old negative tapes will inhibit our flow, our zest for life and deepen the already worn neuropathways. OR we can meditate on the positive, manage our internal dialogue and utilize our strengths to thrive rather than just survive.

    Whatever you focus on, (feed) is what grows. Positive or negative – it’s up to you! Me, I’m going for growth and happiness. Hope you are too!!!! 

  • Kelsey Abbott

    I recently went through this very process. I got uncomfortable with how good things were, self sabotaged and then crawled my way out of the self sabotage hole with my strengths (particularly adaptability, gratitude, zest and positivity).

    I’m currently reading “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks and the discussion of self sabotaging when things get too good echoes what he writes about the Upper Limit Problem.

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute