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Things may be hopeless, but that doesn’t mean they’re impossible.

I think I got this idea from Paul Watzlawick (his brilliant book is entitled The Situation Is Hopeless, But Not Serious: The Pursuit of Unhappiness).

No matter where it came from, is it really that bad when things are hopeless? Not always. It can happen that we FEEL things are hopeless, so we say they are hopeless, but that’s an expression of how we feel, not a reflection of how things are.

 

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The Sow’s Ear Effect

Telling yourself good stuff about yourself seems, intuitively, like a good idea. It is supposed to help you feel good, or better, about yourself, and to gradually build self-esteem.

But this only works if the statements – or ‘affirmations’ – are believable. Far fetched inspirational statements seem like a good idea, but they can actually have the opposite effect.

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Hear the Storyteller, Not Just the Story

Stories have the power to persuade and change, they can also condemn and isolate us.

Once we are past childhood we judge a story by the storyteller. We look for interests and motives that could render the story invalid or suspect.

When we listen to the stories we tell ourselves we should be similarly cautious, the narrator is usually hugely biased.

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