This article is part of a series called
Antivirus For Your Mind.
NEGATIVE thoughts you have and your (occasionally) mistaken explanations
of setbacks seem completely natural. The explanations do not
appear in your mind as A Possible Explanation For This
Setback. You just seem to know what caused
the setback, usually without giving it another thought.
Your explanations feel natural, but remember
this: They only feel natural because youve been thinking
that way for a long time. Your explanations are familiar. When
you change your explanations, when you remove some of the mistakes
in your thinking, they will not feel as natural at first because
and only because they are unfamiliar. But after
awhile, they will feel as natural as anything.
The assumptions that flit through our minds
with the greatest of ease and make us feel demoralized are common
assumptions like these:
I blew my diet because Im a pig with
I didnt exercise this week because
I need to face the fact that Ill
never be able to do this.
Thats the way the economy is going;
its getting harder and harder to make a living.
Im a loser.
There arent enough hours in the day.
I dont have enough motivation.
I dont have enough self-discipline.
Im too old.
Nothing can be done about it.
Everything is a hassle.
Nothing comes easy.
These statements are demoralizing. Do the
statements contain mistakes or dont they? Well find
out soon enough. But I cannot emphasize enough were not
talking about looking on the bright side or trying
to cover ugly reality with pretty thoughts. The fundamental point
we are making is that if you think a situation is hopeless and
you believe you cant do anything about it, you should look
carefully at that assumption because it is usually wrong. This
idea is powerful and effective, and it works with everyday setbacks
as well as major disasters.
Read the next chapter: Disaster