It’s Friday night and you had one hell of a week. You just want to grab a good book and find some sort of positive direction after what you just endured. Perhaps you just ended a long relationship you were on the fence about and it was a pretty rough break up or maybe you’re simply at a point in life where you just want more out of your existence and not really sure where to turn to so you feel better about your situation. You launch your favorite social app and you stumble upon a series of new memes, positive quotes and a treasure trove of heartwarming and intellectual sayings you can relate to on Pinterest.
You are overwhelmed with the comfort that someone out there understands your plight and knows just what to say to get you through the day. This now catapults you onto a new profound journey of self-development and growth.
Yet the day comes when you start to repeat the cycle you were once in and start to questioning life again along with doubting all the positive material you have studied up to now. You dive back into your golden box of feel-good sayings and youtube clips of Gary V to find that motivation you so desperately need to get you out of this funk you’re in. You have shifted your mindset and read thousands of positive quotes and read even more books so you’re now considered “woke” and virtually an expert on the subject of positivity. Unfortunately, you still feel unfilled and stagnant in your pursuit of achieving more in life whether it is physical or spiritual. The woke you discovered was a dying wave.
You have reached a level of self-growth I like to call the platitude paradox. This is where you have shared the same overused material as others have, read so many books they start to sound the same and have reached a level of enlightenment that has now become laced with inaction making it the new “common” mentality. You are more aware of the world around you and how to make better choices and for some, even know why you do what you do, yet this awareness hasn’t garnered any new results in your life. You will undoubtedly reach the wall, already have or are currently sitting right at the base of it looking up wondering how you’re going to get over it. You’re fueled with positive sayings, books and even attended seminars yet you’re right at the tipping point. You realize you’re missing something, but what is it you’re missing?
We all have wants and desires. Some know exactly what it is they want down to the most minute detail while others have a general idea. How definitive are you about your wants, dreams, and goals? Ask yourself if you’re just hoping for these to come true or do you approach everything with intent.
Your life is designed based on your belief models which dictate how you react to situations. They vary from the high-level religious model you live day to day with that is your compass for morality and faith. Your beliefs even include the smallest ideas that can be concentrated into just a single sentence such as “I can’t because that’s how I am” which in turn is limiting belief language and ideology.
The million-dollar question is how do you tip the scale into your favor. How do you use all this positive knowledge you have spent years absorbing?
You must first commit and believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that what you want, desire and dream of is certain to happen while at the same time accepting the very notion that if you don’t get it, it’s ok because it might not be the very thing you actually want. This may seem counter-intuitive but I can assure you that this is a vital key to your up-leveling. For instance, you could say you want a million dollars but what you really want is the lifestyle and emotion that wealth will provide. If you only believe that the million dollars can give you this life, then you’ve blinded yourself from other ways of obtaining this same emotion. If you enter into an argument wanting to get your point across and refuse to listen, you won’t get very far. It is only when we enter into a debate and we are willing to accept there is a chance we could very well be wrong, we were to truly listen and creating a pathway for extended growth. What we may truly want out of the argument then isn’t to be heard but to be understood. You have to commit to what you want but also be ok with the notion, you may never get it and that’s ok because it’s about the journey, not the end destination.
Many times, we want something so bad we grip onto the control of making sure it comes true. At the same time though we truly don’t have control of how something comes about but only how we react to the thing that happens along the path to get there.
All of the positive quotes have surely helped gain some new insight on how you can look at a situation differently for the better. At the same time, it has trapped you because you use them to escape past emotions or you have now used them for your new place of comfort or you use them to drive your emotional motivation toward something you think you want but want for the wrong reasons. It was discomfort that brought you to this new level in the life of positive growth yet we become comfortable in this space because it has made us feel better than how things used to be.
All the books and positive sayings in the world won’t save you unless you apply action and push into new unknowns. It takes moving beyond this level of comfort into what you’re now afraid of and that is the unknown. Only when we can let go of the past emotions that brought us to this new level we can then start to tip the scale.
The positivity trap is this place where you have absorbed all the positive ideals realizing you want better but you’re not getting anywhere. It takes courage to make a commitment to move forward and that means embracing fear, doubt and letting go of the past experience you have adopted as your belief models.
It takes action and ownership to break beyond the platitude paradox. Sure you don’t know what’s next, but the unknown is the exciting part.
I was asked one weekend at a local event how long it took me to find enlightenment. I replied it took me 30 seconds to find enlightenment. It took me 38 years avoiding it because I simply didn’t act.