Have you ever had the experience that even when everything seems to really be working well in life we just can’t believe it, and start to cast doubt it will last? It happens to everyone at some point, it’s not just you.
We may think “Wow, things are going really good right now!” followed shortly by “this can’t last, something’s going to go wrong.” The next thing we know, we are obsessed with stopping that bad thing from happening and our fixation on the negative thing that just maybe could happen kills the happiness we were feeling. Pretty much ensuring that something IS going to happen.
If we have success and immediately feel a sense of foreboding and worry about what’s going to happen next, we just might replace the elation of success with a feeling of impending doom. We don’t want to repeat that feeling and so we dampen or discount the success and discourage ourselves from having more of that. This is sometimes called catastrophizing- seeing only the doom and gloom in anticipation of the (not necessarily gonna happen ) failure. Negativity takes over and kills all the joy we could have.
We can change this.
We can see negativity for what it is. When we have a success, we can allow ourselves to celebrate it, and when we catch ourselves catastrophizing once again we can name it. Oh, I’m making this a catastrophe instead of appreciating my good fortune. Oh, there’s negativity again, that’s not celebrating!
But, if we quietly, kindly, and calmly bring our mind back to the thing we are celebrating and allow ourselves to fully feel it? We can nourish ourselves with the feeling of success and prepare our minds to be ready for more success. New opportunities appear as if by magic because we are taking care to nourish ourselves.
This is about mindset.
Not that kind of mindset where we ignore reality and pretend everything is going to be OK. This is the kind of mindset where we recognize what happens in our lives and consciously choose to celebrate the opportunities and successes that lead us in the direction we want to go.
Neurons that fire together?
The saying “Neurons that wire together fire together” first coined by Neuropsychologist Donald Hebb in 1949, is hugely important here. He discovered that The more the brain does a certain task, the stronger that neural network becomes, making the process more efficient each successive time.
When we consistently see the connection between positive experiences and ourselves, we gain a new lease on our own happiness. When we repeatedly see something as negative we may just get more of that. The good news is that recent discoveries in Neuroplasticity can help us reprogram our responses and develop a happier approach to life.
Celebrating our success is a way to ensure we have more success. If it feels good, we will naturally want more of it.
So when success happens, give yourself a few moments, or even just a single breath, to let it soak in. To appreciate how it feels and connect success with the pleasure you feel in that moment.
When there’s a failure, or a negative experience simply acknowledge it. Ask yourself, what is the lesson here? Now give yourself a moment to evaluate the lesson and what you can learn from it? How can you take that lesson and use it to move toward a new success? How will it feel when you learn and turn your knowledge into another success? Give a moment for that feeling of learning the lesson to sink in. Now you’re able to keep moving forward to the next challenge.
Hey, how do you celebrate your successes?
Does this post resonate with you? Tell me in the comments!