Have you seen “Good Will Hunting” with Matt Damon and Robin Williams? Great movie. Damon plays Will, a young, troubled genius, and Williams plays the role of Sean, his therapist. There’s a famous scene where Sean says to Will, “it’s not your fault”. Will replies saying he knows, but Sean looks him in the eye and says it over and over again.
“It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault Will.”
Finally, Will breaks down emotionally, which leads to his breakthrough.
We were born into this world with a genetic code that wasn’t our choosing. Our conditioning began before we could even speak. Throughout childhood, our families, society, school, and many other factors contributed to the programming which runs in us today. We experience difficult emotions such as stress, anger, anxiety, sadness, and depression, due to this programming.
It’s not your fault. Seriously, it is not your fault.
That isn’t to say we should blame others. The past is in the past; there’s no value in holding on to it. Instead, we must accept what is and work through our programming to experience a more fulfilled life.
So while your programming isn’t your fault, it is your responsibility.
Since we are responsible for these programs, it’s important we seek to understand what they are.
Why do we get stressed? What’s the reason for our discomfort?
I’ve done a ton of research in seeking out the most common programs that run within us. Due to thousands of years of evolution, along with similar experiences we all have as children, I believe we can widdle it down to 4 Natural Programs.
Here I’ll break down the first one, which is…
Research shows that the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, and approximately 80% are negative!
Another way to say that is, for every positive thought, we have 4 negative ones.
Think about what this does to your mental state and overall health. Negative thoughts which consist of worry, stress, anxiety, anger, etc., lead to cortisol running through the body which is harmful to your mental and physical well being.
How do you override this?
First, you must be aware of the Negative Bias. Notice when it’s happening. Recognize when the thoughts arising within you are focusing on “the worst” of situations, people, and circumstances. Simply by putting the spotlight of awareness on these thoughts, they begin to dissipate.
Second, make an effort to bring positivity into your day.
- Each morning, write down 3 things you’re grateful for
- Throughout the day when faced with difficulty, ask yourself questions such as “What can I learn from this?”
- Play music and dance like a fool in your kitchen (if you’re wondering, yes, I do this, a lot!)
- Call a friend who exudes positivity
- Complete a random act of kindness (could be as simple as smiling at a stranger)
Third, set boundaries so that you reduce the consumption of negativity.
Side note: I love technology, however our cell phones can be a major source of negativity due to news feeds, social media, and other content that induces fear, worry, and anxiety.
- Buy an old-school alarm clock so you don’t check your phone first thing in the morning
- Turn off notifications that do not serve you
- Let “the news” be a source that allows you to stay informed, rather than a source of fear inducing entertainment
- Avoid prolonged interactions with people who consistently exude negativity
- Be a gatekeeper for your mind; reduce consumption of TV or online video content that spews negativity
This week, notice if the Negative Bias program is running within you. Be aware of it. Then, adopt any of the examples provided above that resonate with you to override this program.
You do not need to be a victim of this program. Make a choice, this week, to not allow Negative Bias to run your life.
Also, please remember…
It’s not your fault.
But it is your responsibility.
Next week, I’ll cover the Second Natural Program, which is the Need for Acceptance.