I know, I know. Every motivational speaker on the planet tells you to “think positive.” But did you know there is immense power in negative thinking? Did you know that focusing on pain can create positive change?
Always looking on the bright side of life (queue Monty Python music) is a wonderful habit. However, sometimes it is equally effective, or even more effective, to look at the cold, dark, bleak truth and face “real” facts, no matter how bitter they seem.
First, you must understand this important concept: Your brain is biologically engineered to move you towards pleasure and away from pain. This is a survival mechanism that helps to keep you alive and avoid danger.
Avoiding pain is a good thing, right?
Sometimes. But not always.
Take “approach anxiety”, for example. If you were to associate approaching a beautiful woman as a possible source of pain – because rejection would be uncomfortable and awkward – then you’d be less likely to approach her. If you focus on the possibility of failure, rejection or pain, you probably won’t leap out of your seat to talk to her. There’s too much potential pain associated with the act.
But what if you consider not approaching her as a source of pain? What if you thought of how horrible it would feel to be miserable your entire life and never meet the girl of your dreams? If you allow yourself to feel those powerful negative emotions, you might be motivated to take action.
Now imagine that after you focus on the pain for a few minutes, you decide to flip it around. You focus on how good it would feel to have a beautiful girlfriend. How awesome it would be to be desired by beautiful women and be the envy of all your friends. If you focus on those powerful emotions, you reinforce the constructive change you ultimately desire.
Here’s the catch. You decide how to interpret any experience. That’s right. You get to decide what is positive or negative, or what gives you pleasure and pain.
For example, one guy walks into a bar, and the first girl he approaches tells him to FUCK OFF. He decides to focus on the pain, feels bad, and decides it hurts too much to approach women. For the rest of the evening he avoids every other female in the place. Obviously, he won’t have a successful night.
Another guy walks into the bar and gets an identical reaction from the same girl. But this guy immediately thinks, “Wow that was awesome! I just got the worst approach out of the way. The night can only get better from here!”
Who do you think had success that night?
What’s the difference? They both had the same experience, but chose to interpret it in opposite ways.
The point is, you get to decide how to interpret every interaction in your life. So why not choose to give it a meaning that somehow serves you?
In certain instances, that may entail focusing on what’s great about the experience. In others, it could mean focusing on what’s truly awful to force yourself to change (such as in the pain of not approaching).
When it comes to focusing on the negative or painful, there is one crucial rule:
Only focus on the pain for a few minutes. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t beat yourself up for not approaching. Instead, allow the pain to inspire you to take action.
Every self-help guru on the planet agrees that you become what you focus on most of the time. So most of your thoughts should be optimistic and constructive.
If you begin to regularly focus on the negative, then you’ll create more of that “negative” in your life. Only focus on the pain as a means to force change. Get angry for not approaching. Get disgusted. Get absolutely fed up! Then make a vow to yourself to approach the next woman you see. AND THEN DO IT, DAMMIT!
Decide right now that not approaching that beautiful woman will give you a life of pain and sorrow, and that approaching women will lead to pleasure and happiness.
As you begin to associate pain with not approaching, and pleasure with approaching, your brain will practically force you to approach. I call this “reverse” approach anxiety. It’s a good problem to have.
What else are you struggling with in your life? What bad habits do you need to break? What actions do you know you need to take that you simply aren’t taking?
Maybe you know you need to diet and start an exercise plan, but you just aren’t taking the necessary steps. Why? Because you are associating pleasure with eating cake and french fries, and associating pain with working out.
All you have to do is train your brain to look at fatty foods as pain. Every time you crave your favorite treat, just imagine yourself as a lardass that women find repulsive. Every time you exercise, allow yourself to feel joy and gratitude for taking positive action, no matter how short the workout.
Whether it’s approaching women, dieting and exercising, or quitting smoking, it’s all about reconditioning your brain and changing the meaning and feelings you attach to those habits.
So start using the power of negative (and positive) thinking to evoke powerful changes in your life, and make sure to tell me about your success.
I wish you the best in love and life.