While I am not a believer in “The Secret” or any other sort of magi-mystical system where believing something is/will be true will make it so, I more or less behave as if I’ve been under the thrall of a monkey’s paw. That is, I often get what I want/obsess over Secret-style, but usually in some fashion that makes makes everything worse.
Feeling anxious about an event? Someone gets sick and we can’t go. Irritated that Ryan has switched to diet soda because it makes me feel extra guilty about my habits? He develops severe GERD, and has to cut out all carbonated beverages.
This manifests in other ways as well. Because I hate negative surprises, I spend my anxious energy mulling over all the ways a thing can go wrong, the uncontrollable variables that might thwart my goals. This way, I tell myself, I avoid unpleasant surprises, leaving plenty of room for the positive ones.
Only, it never works out that way. I end up spending all of my time thinking negative thoughts and taking “credit” for any major or minor disasters that come near my monkeysphere, while being perpetually worried that I was one negative thought away from ruining something I wanted to happen (but was worried about).
Man, composing this post in my head one thing, but typing it out like this just reinforces how not-healthy this attitude is.
So, I’m fixing it. I’m data savvy enough to know I have serious problems with how I’m collecting and measuring my evidence. There are also a handful of really awesome things looming on our horizon and the last thing I want to do is jinx any of that. A shift in attitude may be all it takes to shrug off the Monkey’s Paw.
So, starting now (actually, I started about a week ago) I’m going to start dwelling on the amazing potential instead of solving all potential problems before they need to be solved. There’s a point where I stop soothing my anxiety and start feeding it. I’m going to find that point and not cross it. I’m going to actively stop blaming myself when things out of my control go wrong.
And who knows, if I actually do have some magi-mystical ability to affect change in my life, I’ll finally be doing some good with it.