If you talk to any of my former students they will tell you this is one of my favorite motto's:
"Positive in....positive out; Negative in....negative out". Most of you might be wondering, what does this mean exactly?
Some people call it, good and bad karma. Some call it the Law of Attraction. Some call it, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (The Golden Rule). I call it positive perspective vs. negative perspective about how you feel about yourself (self-esteem) and how you view the world and people in your world. A person's self-esteem is made up of all the thoughts and feelings one has about the self. These can be either positive or negative.
Positive people continue to feel enriched in their lives because of their perspective on life. The more positive about the self - the higher the self-esteem - which allows the individual to develop abilities to move past the challenges they face in life, which allows a person to grow.
Change is inevitable. However, there are many people out there who are resistant to change.
Life is about continuous change and challenges. If you are resistant to those two C's....life could be a rather unhappy experience here on earth.
Negative people are not fun to be around. These individuals typically have low self-esteem and find it hard to develop close relationships with others. This result could lead to a lonely and unhappy personal and work life. Negative types can also have a distorted view of others and they feel situations "happen to them" instead of making situations happen for them.
What makes this discussion about positive and negative self-esteem have on an individuals overall home life, social life, school life, and work life? Because self-esteem affects the way you live! How you act and feel about yourself and others; how successful you are in achieving goals in your life!
What holds you back in life? YOUR THOUGHTS! YOUR PERCEPTION! YOUR OVERALL VIEW OF HAPPINESS!
How can you apply and attract this positivity into your life? Through Change! Changing your thoughts! Change isn't easy. It's unfamiliar and could be frightening at times. Most people avoid change due to what we call: "fear of the unknown". They internalize these thoughts in their minds by saying..."I'm comfortable here; the grass is not always greener on the other side"...etc.
Before we can talk about changing your thoughts (also known as: CBT = Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) let's look at how we pick up negativity in the first place....in childhood.
Infants and children learn (we all learn) through Learning Theory. What exactly is learning theory?
--> Learning Theory is a discipline of psychology that attempts to explain how an organism (human or animal) learns. We watch and observe in our environments and then imitate others actions with our own actions.
--> What does learning really mean? Learning is a "relatively" permanent change in behavior brought about by experiences or through practice (in some cases habits).
"Relatively permanent" means we can "see" brain changes (chemically through the connections in neurons, neurotransmitters, etc). The brain is physically changed to record what has been learned. However, some things we have programmed our brains to continuously do, might be negative. Therefore, Learning Theory tries to help people understand that learning can be reversed or changed if the person is willing to change the behavior. Let me repeat that! Learning can be changed if the person is willing to change the behavior! If you are reading this and feel you have the ability to induce change in a loved one, a spouse, a child, a co-worker, a friend - please take a moment to continue reading this and understand what learning theory is trying to help the general public understand.
There has to be will, intention and motivation of the part of the person who's behavior needs changing before change can start to occur! You cannot change someone if they do not have the will to change.
What can you do then? How can you help guide someone to move towards change?
Part 2....in next posting! Until then think about this: what you resist will continue to persist.
All the best to you if you are trying to induce positive change in your life!
More to come...
(End Note: Gen Psych students: this is part of Learning Theory in Chapter 6 of the King text and will be a part of Unit 2 exam!)