MIRROR TWO - OVERGENERALIZATION
No matter how big or small the challenges you face, there is
no good reason for you to take a single negative event, and say
it proves your life is without hope, and struggle is pointless
and futile. When you meet up with adversity, you modify
your plans, stick to your purpose, and never surrender your
We all have opportunities to
overgeneralize the problems we face. I happen to have a
passionate dislike for crawling into the tiny engine compartment
on my yacht to fix the engine. There is no space to move
around, and I end up draped over the engine in an uncomfortable
embrace. When something breaks on those engines, I have
another opportunity to chase overgeneralization from my mind.
As I struggle with the nuts and bolts in
the inaccessible parts of the diesel engine, I remember the
times the engine broke in the past. If I want to make
myself really miserable, I can imagine how many times it's going
to break in the future, and I can conclude that sailing around
the world on a yacht is an experience that could only be enjoyed
by a masochist. I can remind myself of all the money I
have spent, and how much work it is to keep all the systems up
and running. I can think of how hard it is to be on watch
at night when I am sailing offshore on long ocean passages.
Then I can conclude that sailing a small yacht around the world
is nothing but an unpleasant, miserable experience. My
small engine problem has now expanded to nullify my trip around
the world. That's the way overgeneralization works.
Overgeneralization is a false mirror.
When something unpleasant or bad happens, don't look into this
mirror. It will only make your problems worse. Go
ahead and destroy this mirror. Face the facts.
Problems have happened in the past, they will happen in the
present, and they are going to happen in the future.
A problem is as big as you make it. Don't overgeneralize
and say that this problems reflects your entire life.
Do you hear that sound? It's you
smashing the mirror of overgeneralization, and you are one step
closer to beating the twisted thinking that used to make you
feel so miserable.
Excerpt from :
Zero Tolerance To
Negative Thinking : Good-by Depression - Hello Positive Mind
David J Abbott M.D.
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