239: How to Avoid the Negative Bypass

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Do you ever feel like you *should* have gotten over something challenging - that you’ve grown, and learned from the experience, but that on some level it still haunts you? Or do you feel inner conflict around decisions that seem like they should be relatively clear-cut? Are you afraid of failure? It could very well be that you have bypassed or suppressed your negative emotions, and that they’re now stuck inside you, wreaking havoc on your inner guidance system. By not facing failures or challenges head on, we actually create an emotional dissonance within ourselves that’s an obstacle to moving forward. Today we’ll talk about how to face things when they’re not quite the way you want them to be - and how to develop the inner honesty that will help you feel aligned and courageous no matter what’s happening in your life.

As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. Please join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it!

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Amazing intro and outro music provided courtesy of The Railsplitters

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive. This is your host, Neil Sattin. Today is going to be an episode about truth, and more specifically why it is so important for you to be truthful with yourself and why that sometimes means that you have to go negative, and why it's so important to not be bypassing your negative experiences. And I'm talking to you from the perspective of someone who is almost always optimistic about life, even in my darkest moments, I generally am able to look on the bright side, and that's a helpful skill in life. In fact, there's a whole branch of psychology, positive psychology, that is at least in part based on this idea of how we make meaning in the world and trying to make positive meanings out of the things that happen to us and what a difference that makes. However, there is a danger in that skill, and today we're going to talk about what the danger is to make sure that you are not gas-lighting yourself, and instead that you're able to best use the truth for your own growth, and so to really understand what's happening in your life right now, because it can be so easy to miss what's challenging, what's truly challenging for the sake of a quick silver lining.

Neil Sattin: All right, let's dive into the topic at hand. So what is true? When you look at your life, you don't want to make things out to be worse than they are, you don't want to make mountains out of molehills, as they say, but you also don't necessarily want to make things out to be better than they are. In a way where we've been having in our world today sort of a crisis of truth, what do you believe, and we could have all kinds of conversations about how to figure out what the facts are in the outside world, but today we're going to talk about what the facts are in your inner world, and why that is so important for you. You want to be able to face your failures. And failure is a charged word. I mean, a few episodes ago, you may have heard in my session with David Burns where I confronted this idea that I was a failure and it was one of the negative thoughts, the pernicious negative thoughts that was bringing me down and contributing to my being overwhelmed with the sheer number of things that I had to do.

Neil Sattin: And yet... And David and working with me did a really effective job of helping me bust through the negative thought, the cognitive distortion in order to get what was true. And that is super important work. This today's episode is not about suddenly everyone becoming pessimists or for you to suddenly be shitting on yourself all the time. That's not what today's episode is about. However, sometimes when you're looking at reality, you have to admit that the reality isn't what you wanted it to be. And just kind of a quick cursory noticing of that might not really be enough for some important reasons.

Neil Sattin: Now, it might be enough to recognize that your life isn't the way that you want it to be, that something really sucks for just a moment in order to get resourceful and start strategizing about ways to change things, and if you are anything like me, and I know that because you're here listening, you are at least a growth-minded person, then that might be something that's relatively easy for you, "This sucks, how am I going to make it better?" And then you start strategizing. But the problem with that is that there is a place in us where the hurt, where the sadness, where the anger, where all of the feelings that are stirred up by the results that we are getting in our lives that don't quite line up with what we wanted, whether it's through our actions or through the actions of others, there's a place in us where those negative feelings live...

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