Life On The Edge & The Captivity Of Negativity

31 Jan
Please Note: This post was written in 2013. With 20/20 hindsight and all, my views and opinions may have changed since, so please keep that in mind as you read!

I read a quote today that said:

“If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space.” ~ Jayne Howard

Somehow that got me thinking: If we don’t actively push ourselves to new heights and get content just existing day-to-day, we really are – in a sense – taking up way too much space.

I am not an adrenaline junkie and I honestly do not think you will ever find me jumping out of a perfectly good (flying) airplane, but I do have certain dreams that – in order to achieve them – will require me to push myself way out of my comfort zone.

As the saying goes: If your dreams don’t scare you, they are probably not big enough.

The thing about big dreams is that – when actively pursuing them – we will get pushed out of our comfort zone. No one wants to leave their comfort zone because we tend to feel “discomfort” at the very thought of it. It is a destructive way of looking at situations and does not bring us any closer to achieving our goals and living out our dreams.

What’s the Worst that Can Possibly Happen?

We tend to ask questions like “What if …?” with a negative (generally the worst possible) outcome in mind. I too often catch myself thinking these negative thoughts.

“What if all affiliate partners back out in the last minute and leave me hanging with this launch? Yeah, that would really suck. So much for putting 4 weeks into the product. Oh man, I’d be losing all my time and hard work, not to mention the resources I invested into this!” etc etc.

Then – after feeling sorry for myself for a few minutes – I come to my senses and start directing my thoughts in the exact opposite direction: “What if all affiliates come on board and do even better then expected? What if they recommend my product to their affiliate partners (because it is so good ;)) and they promote for me too? Wow, this should be a good launch!”

Power of Positive Thinking

Zig Ziglar (may he rest in peace) always said:

“Positive thinking won’t let you do anything, but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will!”

How right he was!

Being in control of our thoughts at all times is the trick. Catching our thoughts when going down a negativity spiral and putting them on an upward spiral is the magic.

Easier said than done – but it does make things a million times easier for sure. It not only eliminates stress (which I believe to be one of the silent killers in western society), but it also helps one to think clearer. Which is critical!

Captivity of Negativity

Remember that line in Prison Break where “T-Bag” delivers his breakthrough speech on the “captivity of negativity”? I just love it – puts a smile on my face every time I think of it. I believe there is a lot of truth to those words.

Not “negativity of captivity” but “captivity of negativity” – an important difference!

Negativity is a mindset that keeps us captive – and yet this captivity is our own doing. If we want to live a more “on the edge” kind of life, we have to first get our thoughts under control and start shifting our thinking towards that which is positively possible.

Kill the Devils First

Ever find yourself avoiding something because you fear a negative outcome? Next time you get that feeling, remember this: the sooner you get it out of the way, the sooner you can stop worrying about it.

Just get it off your chest and conquer that fear. 99% of the time – what we thought would have a negative outcome – turns out to be a positive one.

So, instead of asking what if they say no?, assume they will say “Yes!”

Will Smith once said something along the lines of: I fear fear itself.

In other words: His greatest fear is to be afraid of something. He will go out of his way to do things just so he does not have to be afraid of them anymore.

Wow, that is some hardcore mental programming I need more of. That is true “breaking out of captivity” and “life on the edge” kind of stuff!

Dream Big Unrealistic-For-You Dreams

Do you actively pursue your dreams because they scare you? If not, just maybe they are not big enough. I talked a bit about it in my last post but I wanted to expand on that a bit more in this one.

A lot of people – especially those starting an online business – just want to make their first $100 a month online and it seems like an impossible stretch for them. Ever felt that way? You know something is doable and you see others do it every day, and yet – looking at it – you can’t help but think just how far away you are from achieving it yourself.

Allow me to pass on an effective exercise routine I was given once…

Example: Say you just want to make that extra $100 a month online, visualize yourself depositing $10,000 each month into your bank account. Visualize yourself walking into the bank on the first of every month with a check in your hand. Visualize, feel, and smell the surrounding.

There are plenty of people earning way more than $10,000 a month through the internet – so this is very doable.  Once you visualized that image, go down a few thousand and visualize – say – $8000 each month. Once you got that image in your mind, work your way down (slowly) until you reach that magic $100.

It doesn’t seem that far away all of a sudden, does it?

Truth is, the amount doesn’t matter. Drastically exceed your current expectations (in anything really) and visualize it. Once you got that picture in your mind, work your way down to what it is you really want to achieve and guess what: It does not seem that far out (or impossible) anymore.

The objective with this exercise is to expand one’s existing “thinking” horizons enough to make the (what appeared to be) impossible – possible.