Negative Thinking and Me

It’s always surreal when a reader or a lurker from the blog comments in on an old story and mentions I’m a good writer or that my words have helped them in some way.

Somewhere along the highway I’ve become predisposed to a negative outlook and am cautious to accept any positivity coming my way lest it leads me astray.

I realise that makes me a hypocrite in a way, not taking my own mental health advice to stay positive, but isn’t that the way with some of us? So eager to help and put faith in others and reluctant to take our own advice?

Last week I caught up with an old friend who I mentored in early 2017. It was a lovely chat, the kind where you feel like nothing has changed, you simply paused the conversation. Well, I had learned that the concepts I put forth to her had stayed with her. She had taken exercises I recommended, advice I had given, and still adopts these in her life daily.

I was, admittedly, a bit taken back. As a mentor, I figured I did help others in the moment but believed I would be of no more use after they grew. And then – see – came the negative thinking – who are you to lead? Who are you to teach? What can you possibly do? Maybe this is a fluke – I jumped from the positive to a negative.

I spoke to my dad about this on the weekend, my negative thinking. He says it’s part and parcel of the human condition but that you may grow out of it. I’m 31 now and I’m still interchanging positives and negatives depending on the day. Hm.

A favourite exercise of my kitten and one that some students I have helped mentor love is writing down three positive things that happened to you in your day to day life. Maybe I should practice that myself.