While listening to a podcast today, a Professor of Psychology was interviewed on her unique perspective that positive thinking is in some ways hindering or stunting us from achieving our goals.
Gabriele Oettingen believes that indulging in our positive fantasies is actually hurting us. In a fantasy you are already imagining yourself completing the task and achieving your goal. She has come up with a system called WOOP that shifts gears from indulging in fantasy to how to realistically achieve you goal.
WISH – Ask yourself what it is that you want from today, for the next week or for your life .
OUTCOME – Spend time thinking about what the BEST outcome could be if you achieved your wish. Vividly experience all aspects of this outcome.
OBSTACLES – Then ask yourself, what is it in myself that is holding me back? Is it an old or irrational belief, is something from your past? If these obstacles are once that you feel you could conquer, then you really commit to achieving this goal. But if you decide that these obstacles are too big or you are not able to get over them, you can then postpone or let go of that idea and make space and availability for achievable goals.
PLAN – Ask yourself this : If (imagine obstacle) then I will (imagine how you will handle that obstacle). This instills non conscience processes.
Example: You have a test on Monday an you have been invited to a party on Saturday. Ask yourself “If I go to the party on Saturday then my test on Monday will suffer” Going to the party becomes the obstacle.
Find obstacle within yourself because those are the ones you can change. You can not change your husband or your boss.
It is the imagery part that of this exercise that propels you into action. Really sitting with your imagination and seeing yourself in the best outcome. But also really seeing your obstacles and if they are obstacles that you are able to over-come.
Analysis is not what propels you into action. Analysis will give you hypothesis about your parents, old relationships, teachers, etc… but it doesn’t put you into action.
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