Did you know we have 5 times more negative receptors in our brains than positive ones? This is by design and there's nothing you can do about that. We are a survival animal.......and for that we need those 'negative' receptors to guide us and keep us safe.
But you may be thinking 'what the hell has that got to do with me feeling not good enough?'
Good question, stick with me this will all make sense.......
Lets take the world of social media where most people display our greatest moments of happiness and demonstrate to the outside world how exciting our lives are.
This gives your brain something to compare your life to.......so after seeing that you'll immediately assess your world against the comparison. Our negative receptors aren't going to naturally pick up on the good stuff now are they. No.........we notice all the gaps e.g. where our lives don't measure up, or how our world differs........we compare our lives to theirs and because of those receptors the outcome is usually 'negative'. Even if it's positive there's usually an underlining uncertainty or uncomfortableness which comes back and haunts you later.
This is exactly the same in a team meeting where you compare your world to what everyone else is doing, or when you're in a friendship group or social gathering......it even happens when we're out shopping or even watching TV.
As humans we naturally strive to be our best, we strive to be happy. So these comparisons make us constantly assess ourselves which can make our confidence and self-esteem wobble.
(There are lots of other factors which can come into play but this gives you a basic introduction which can help you to make progress and overcome that negative bias.)
So what do I do about it?
First you need to understand that this is human nature. You're not mean, unsympathetic or broken....it's just you being human by design.
Next.....now you know that you can keep yourself in check. Just because this is the way you are by design doesn't mean you are at liberty to it. You have those positive receptors too, you just need to give them more punch to make them win. The positives have to be times'd by 5 in order to have the same effect. So......
How often do you top up your good stuff?
If your head is swimming with the negatives and you're constantly feeding that with more negatives, topping up your good stuff allows you to change your focus and finally let that positive balance win. You have to have 5 times more positive things to have even the same impact as 1 negative.
3 ways to top up your good stuff
Here's my 3 ways which you can use today to top up your good stuff:
1) I'm taking part in the #100happydays challenge, the idea is to force you to notice each day things which make you happy and take a photo of them. Those things are there, you just don't naturally look for them. Why don't you join in?
2) Say nice things to yourself. It doesn't have to be massive, self-indulgent stuff, just little things which you've done well, trust me it will make a massive difference. Give it a go!!
3) Have a treat and allow yourself to actually enjoy it. No guilt, no shame....just do something you enjoy and really take time to soak up that good feeling.
If all else fails, or you just want someone to do it for you download one of my Pick Me Ups. These are packed full of the good stuff all you have to do is listen.
Remember: Feeling and thinking these things is normal, but that doesn't mean you're at their liberty. Top up your good stuff often and you'll soon feel a change.
Want more Am I Normal articles?
This article is the last in my 'Am I Normal' series. I've covered 4 more topics in this series so if you'd like more tips, support and advice here's the links:
What Is Normal
The Little Known Side Effect of Chasing your Dreams and How to Avoid it
Does Everyone Have These Different 'Parts' Battling Inside their Heads?
Gratitude, am I doing it right and should I even care
I hope this series has allowed you to breath a sign of relief and realise you're more normal than you think you are.
Until next time