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45. And it’s wonderful!

I encountered yesterday a blog post from one Russian psychologist, who invented a nice technique!

He says, that when some people say a sentence, they think they mean a period to be at its end, but actually there is a comma there, with an unpleasant unconscious continuation.

For example, for a simple statement “Sun is round, grass is green, trees are high,” such people would actually say:

“Sun is round! (Horrible!)
Grass is green! (How sad it is!)
Trees are high! (And it promises nothing good..)”

And they will find an explanation, why it’s sad, that the grass is green.

The psychologist says, that it’s hard to dig up these beliefs, and it can be solved differently: these people can take on a habit to finish every sentence explicitly with “And it’s wonderful!”, sometimes replacing it with “And at the very least, it’s not bad.”

(He then proceeds with a recommendation to use the arguments, rising within, when saying so, as a possibility to make some inside rearrangements.)

And I loved it! And got inspired to add here an adapted version of it. :)

Here’s how we’ll do that:

  1. we’ll make a statement;
  2. we’ll add to it something like “And it’s wonderful!”
  3. and then we’ll give a rising explanation, why it’s so (why it’s wonderful or at the very least not bad) – sometimes such an interesting challenge! :) When I filled the examples below, I felt how I was training myself to think in this different direction, not obvious to me. It was fun! :)

I found two different uses for this process:

  1. to list only the beliefs in which we want to change our perception;
  2. to list all the rising thoughts, like in Morning pages, and add to every thought the “It’s wonderful” or its variations, so that we could notice, how positive actually are the thoughts we usually have, and direct them into a better feeling direction.

To play with the beliefs we can also in two ways:

  1. to list statements about the things happening (outside or inside), and find to them a positive, empowering context, sense, purpose;
  2. to list our characteristics we used to think are bad for us, and find for them, why they actually can enable us to live the life we want to live.

It reminds me of an exercise I saw in Marianne Cantwell’s book Free Range Human:

“So how can you find your strengths?

Simple: identify your weaknesses. Weaknesses are just strengths in the wrong environment.

This is such an important point: it is quite possible that the very parts of your personality that you try to hide away at work are the parts that hold the key to your hidden superpowers.

For example, before I changed career back in the job world I thought I had a huge weakness of constantly wanting to change how things were done. I came up with new ideas all the time for how we could improve the status quo. My boss wasn’t interested: he wanted me to focus on the job at hand, which had nothing to do with creating change. My constant need to make things bigger and better – and never settling for average – was a weakness when I was supposed to just keep things ticking over quietly.

Then, I changed career into consultancy. Suddenly my job was to see how things could be done differently, push the status quo, to come up with big ideas. That old weakness, which I had spent years trying to keep down, became a strength that businesses were paying a lot of money for! Plus, I got better results from the first month than I had got in years of painstakingly trying to ‘get good enough’ at something that was against my nature. This was fun.

You have several masked strengths in your life, too. Let’s say you have been kicking yourself for having the weakness of not being able to focus on just one thing: you bounce between projects too fast, and feel like you can’t focus. However, your job tells you to settle down, do one thing at a time, so you are always berating yourself for being too scatty!

Now imagine an environment where that exact trait is a benefit.

I’ll tell you a place where this would be an advantage: a brainstorming session. Being able to move between options fast – and not get bogged down in details –is a huge advantage in brainstorming. Turns out that weakness (‘being unfocused’) was masking the strengths of being able to be a fast-moving, adaptable, big-picture thinker with lots of ideas.

Voila. We have just turned your weakness into a strength.

EXERCISE: Flip It

To find your hidden strengths follow these four steps:

1. Write out five things that you currently think of as weaknesses. Include things you can’t help doing, tell yourself you should stop doing, or wish you could change and do better.

2. Next, ask yourself: ‘What is really behind this weakness?’ As in the example above, if your weakness is ‘I can’t focus on one project at a time’, the driver behind that might be ‘I love constant stimulation and my mind moves fast’. Getting to the personality trait behind the ‘weakness’ lets you think about it in a more balanced way.

3. Now scribble down two situations where each of these traits would be an advantage. In the example above, this was the brainstorming session. Remember these situations don’t have to be ‘viable career options’, the point is to know they exist. This step gets your mind moving to discover possibilities where you can add value by being you.

4. Finally, write down the hidden strengths you have just unmasked. For the example above, the strengths listed might include ‘big-picture thinker’ and ‘adaptable’ (among others).” ~ Marianne Cantwell

Something to boot from.

It reminds me also of one Abraham’s process.

In short, there’s a lot of fun to be had here. :)

I’m starting with 5 my examples, and then the table is all yours! :)

Statement:


Why:
Statement:


Why:
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Why:
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Why:
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Why:
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Why:
Statement:


Why:
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Why:
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Why:
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Why:
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Why:
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Why:
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Why:
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Why:
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Why:
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Why:
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Why:

“The potential is always there,
for anyone to find their way
at any point that they decide to.

There’s never any
“Well you should’ve done it differently before,” –
none of that.

There’s never any
“You’ve missed your window”
because the window follows you around!

In any moment in time
there’re 20 or 30 viable probabilities
of good outcomes for you
on every subject in the world.” ~ AH


Now, if you’re feeling any better, celebrate it! :)
Give yourself credit for it.
Bask in this sweet relief, this renewed confidence, this easiness of being.
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