Do you remember this scene from Pretty Woman? Richard and Vivian are lying in bed together, having some serious pillow talk.
“When people put you down enough, you start to believe it,” Vivian whispers.
“I think you are a very bright, very special woman,” Edward assures her.
Vivian looks into his eyes and answers, “The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?”
This is so true, and there is science to back this up. According to an article at livingincognito.com, we are all pre-programmed to think this way. The author writes, “We are predisposed to pay attention to the negative stuff because when we were cave-dwelling, our ancestors had to be on high alert for danger—a.k.a. the bad stuff.” And now, even though we don’t have those dangers to face, our brain never rewired itself. We pay attention to the negative because our brains are overprotective and want to protect us from harm. We form a permanent memory of this feeling and therefore find it difficult to move forward.
This Ultimate Blog Challenge (UBC) has started to rewire my brain. I’ve already broken up with my 12th-grade journalism teacher, who told me I’d never be good enough. I’m putting out of my mind the rejections I’ve received from a few contests. When I asked one contest leader if I could get a critique of my piece, she had nothing but constructive feedback and words of encouragement. Even when I feel like I wrote a shitty first draft in the writer’s workshop I attend, people find something that resonates with them.
Hey guys – I just wrote a blog post a day for 30 straight days! For me, this is a big accomplishment. This experience has given me a much more positive attitude toward my writing career. Even on the days when I thought I had nothing more to write about, I realize my brain just needed to rest and recharge. I skipped two days but caught up and jumped right back on the horse.
Yes, the bad stuff is easier to believe, but I’m choosing to embrace the positive signs flashing brightly in front of me. And when someone has something negative and unhelpful to say, I’ll listen and then reply –
“BIG MISTAKE. HUGE! I HAVE TO GO AND WRITE NOW.”