A Balanced Life: The Slippery Slope into Negativity
Updated: Nov 30, 2022
I often speak about the understanding that most of the conversation we each have, are with ourselves. I bring this up because when we understand this, we appreciate the importance of 'how' we talk to ourselves. If, for the moment we consider such conversations as fitting into three categories - either neutral ("whatever"), positive ("I got this") or negative ("I'm such an idiot"), one can consider the content in each category as falling between "weak" and "strong" ("i'm such an idiot" would be considered a strong negative statement). "Sliding" into negativity is a very common experience - the further one slides, the stronger the negative self statements. It becomes far too easy to slide further and further into this negative state - the more one focuses such negative self-talk, the further one slides. Because it is a 'slippery slope' (imagine it as mud), it can be almost impossible to climb back up to the top, which just reinforces all the negativity! As I describe this, you may see such a muddy slope in your imagination (as in the side of a mountain). The wonderful thing about our imagination is that we are capable of imagining anything! However you imagine that negative slippery slope, you can look to the right and see another slope with stairs, or a rope, if you wish. This is the positive slope that you can imagine simply stepping onto and beginning your climb back up into positive self-talk. My experience has been that it is so easy to get stuck on that negative slippery slope and harder to climb up the positive one. However, if you practice this visualization exercise for just a minute or so every day, you will find that it becomes easier to step off the negative slide and onto the positive climb. Also, the sooner you realize you are on that negative slide, the easier and quicker it is to shift to the positive - the further one slides on that negative slope, the harder it is to step off it. I don't imagine a similar slope for 'neutrality' - for me it is simply a space to rest but does not lead anywhere.