A client who’s working on positive self-regard believes that everyone she knows has a better life than she does. Her sister is richer and more fulfilled in her work, her best friend has a stronger intimate relationship, and just about everyone else on the planet has a fitter body. The comparisons started when she was a teenager. All the other girls had boyfriends, and appeared to be so much happier than she was.
My client's story is a familiar one. At many points in our lives, we believe others have it made, while we struggle to find a scrap of satisfaction with our own situation. We think, Other people’s lives are more together than mine.
It’s an illusion, of course. I know from my hypnotherapy practice, as well as from my own life experience, that this just isn’t the case. Everyone has problems. My father used to point this out to me when I was growing up. He’d scan the morning paper or review the gossip about acquaintances, and bemoan the fact that life was full of troubles and hitches to one’s welfare.
I don’t see this situation in the same way my father did; for me, it’s got a far more positive side. I think each person faces a set of life trials--problems, shortcomings, inner conditions--that invite him or her to evolve. We’re on this earth to experience not only the joys that life has to offer, but also to meet its challenges. To become stronger, more loving, and more competent at managing our professional and personal lives, in the face of difficulties. When hardship strikes, we ought to think, Everyone has problems; my problems are an opportunity to grow.
You're reading the Bad Thoughts Blog, which maintains that feeling good is as simple as thinking a better thought. I'm Debbie Covino, hypnotherapist, coach, and creator of the Master Your Own Mind self-hypnosis program, available at www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com/store
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