TOLERANCE TO NEGATIVE THINKING
MIRROR TWO: OVERGENERALIZATION
Cognitive distortions come in two major categories. Some
types have a negative focus twisted in a single specific
direction, and others extend globally. Overgeneralization
is in the second group; it thinks big and goes global.
This mirror casts a broad reflection that is
larger than life. A single negative or difficult episode
expands exponentially in your mind until it characterizes your
entire existence. One bad thing happens, and now you look
on your life as nothing but a veil of tears.
Overgeneralization's negative focus extends globally.
This mirror is easy to recognize because
of its broad reflection. Make no mistake about it, bad
things are going to happen. Nevertheless, it's unusual for
a single bad experience to cast its pall over every area of your
When I was in a serious car accident and
nearly died, it had a massive effect on the remainder of my
life. But broken bones and punctured lungs heal.
Even more important, I made the mental decision that a car
accident wouldn't stop me from continuing to sail around the
world on my yacht and living my dreams.
Trouble may make me stumble, but it will
not make me stop. I made up my mind that I would never
quit working on my dreams until I was sincerely, monumentally,
and completely dead. Until then, it's time to make my
dreams come true.
No matter how big or small the challenges you face, there is
no good reason for you to take a single negative event, and say
it proves your life is without hope, and struggle is pointless
and futile. When you meet up with adversity, you modify
your plans, stick to your purpose, and never surrender your
We all have opportunities to
overgeneralize the problems we face. I happen to have a
passionate dislike for crawling into the tiny engine compartment
on my yacht to fix the engine. There is no space to move
around, and I end up draped over the engine in an uncomfortable
embrace. When something breaks on those engines, I have
another opportunity to chase overgeneralization from my mind.
As I struggle with the nuts and bolts in
the inaccessible parts of the diesel engine, I remember the
times the engine broke in the past. If I want to make
myself really miserable, I can imagine how many times it's going
to break in the future, and I can conclude that sailing around
the world on a yacht is an experience that could only be enjoyed
by a masochist. I can remind myself of all the money I
have spent, and how much work it is to keep all the systems up
and running. I can think of how hard it is to be on watch
at night when I am sailing offshore on long ocean passages.
Then I can conclude that sailing a small yacht around the world
is nothing but an unpleasant, miserable experience. My
small engine problem has now expanded to nullify my trip around
the world. That's the way overgeneralization works.
Overgeneralization is a false mirror.
When something unpleasant or bad happens, don't look into this
mirror. It will only make your problems worse. Go
ahead and destroy this mirror. Face the facts.
Problems have happened in the past, they will happen in the
present, and they are going to happen in the future.
A problem is as big as you make it. Don't overgeneralize
and say that this problems reflects your entire life.
Do you hear that sound? It's you
smashing the mirror of overgeneralization, and you are one step
closer to beating the twisted thinking that used to make you
feel so miserable.
YOU CAN'T STOP ME
I have driven off-road for thousands of miles in the deserts of
Arabia and Australia, and I've been stuck too many times to
count. When I get stuck, I don't stay stuck. Being
stuck is a temporary condition.
You can stop my truck, but you can't stop
I am an Unstoppable, Consistently Positive, Endlessly
Persistent, Doer of Dreams.
You can read about off-road adventures in
Land Rover Defenders at
Positive Graphics.com. Check out what it's like to
live your sand dreams in the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia and
the outback of Australia.
PUMP SOME MENTAL IRON
Would you like to pump some mental iron.
Listen to 24 positive podcasts on
You have a lot of things to discuss with
your mind, and Positive Thinking Radio tells you what you should
be talking about. You can change who you are by changing
what you put into your mind. When you put new things into
your mind, you get a new life.
THE POSITIVE WEB RING
The Positive Web Ring has eleven positive web
sites. Each site lifts you up, pushes your mind in a positive
direction, and makes it easier to live your dreams. The Positive Web
Ring has something positive for everyone. There's
podcasts, and much more.
The wheel of change always turns in the direction of what you put into
your mind, and the Positive Web Ring fills your mind with good things.
Give your mind a push in a positive direction today. Cruise your way
to a positive life. If you really want to be positive, nobody can
RED SEA CHRONICLES DVD
When Dr. Dave isn't working as a flying doctor for the Indian Health
Service, He is sailing around the world on his sailboat. Find
out what it's like to sail on the ocean of your dreams by watching
Captain Dave's DVD.
Red Sea Chronicles DVD Previews
and find out what it's like to sail on the ocean of your dreams.