What’s Your Story: Are You Velcro Or Teflon?

What’s Your Story: Are You Velcro Or Teflon?

Water Droplets BackgroundYou deserve to live an extraordinary life, a life of success, accomplishment, and satisfaction! In my book “Navigating for Success: Passion, Goals & Action,” I write about how to live the life you want, not a life you will come to regret. An important factor in living an extraordinary life is the awareness of what kinds of things you are attracting and what things you are able to repel. Do you behave like Velcro or Teflon in response to negativity? Do you let negative thoughts and emotions latch on to you so that you carry them with you throughout your day, or do you let them roll effortlessly off your back?

Most of us remember our negative experiences more often and more vividly than we do our positive ones. We obsess over our mistakes, failures, disappointments, and regrets. Negative experiences cause us pain and impact our lives by depleting our “emotional Vitamin C” in three key areas: our relationships (not connecting), our work (not accomplishing), and our security (not feeling safe). Many neuroscientists and psychologists believe that our brain is negatively biased: the process of evolution has programmed us to be hyper-sensitive and over-reactive to threats in order to avoid danger and keep ourselves safe. We remember our negative experiences more than our positive ones so that we can avoid repeating harmful mistakes. Our brain attracts these memories like Velcro and locks them into our long-term memory. The release of adrenaline is key for memory consolidation within the brain, which is one reason why negative, traumatic events are often remembered so vividly. It serves our sense of survival even though, most of the time, our actual survival is not even being threatened. Meanwhile, our good experiences seem to flow through our brains like water through a sieve.

A key skill needed to live an extraordinary life is the ability to let in and savor your positive experiences. It isn’t sufficient to just experience a success, an accomplishment, or a momentary satisfaction. It is important to let those experiences linger, to play them over in your mind, and nurture the memories. If you are able to marinate in a positive experience before rushing off to solve your next problem, you can give your brain some emotional Vitamin C, building a reserve of positive emotions, and reducing the impact of negative experiences and memories.

In previous posts, I have written about the two wolves which live in your heart, the wolf of love and the wolf of anger & anxiety. The wolf of love needs time to enjoy life and appreciate moments of satisfaction. This wolf behaves like Teflon and deflects negative energy. Conversely, your wolf of anxiety acts like Velcro, gobbling up negative experiences and gnawing at your sense of well-being. It serves as a constant reminder that your life isn’t working too well and it makes you feel as though you attract one disappointment after another.

So try the following exercise, and let me know how it works for you. Keep a daily Victory Log where you track your successes, satisfactions, and accomplishments. Write each one down, be they small, medium or large. Actually, it’s the smaller successes that will add the greatest quality to your well-being and overall life satisfaction. Before you go to sleep each night, take out your log and review your successes. Reflect on each success and victory for at least two minutes, and see if you can evoke the pleasant feelings and images you originally experienced. See if you can really feel these sensations in your body. Take a deep breath and draw the positive emotions and sensations into your body as you relive your enjoyable experiences.

Be Velcro for pleasure, accomplishment, and success…Be Teflon for anxiety and regret.

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