Are you feeling down about life lately? Maybe you feel like everyone else is speeding past you while you’re stuck in a rut. You’ve tried being more positive, but it only seems to backfire.
If this sounds like you, then you might be making one significant error in how you perceive life.
Dr. Julie Smith (@drjuliesmith) is a psychologist, and she’s sharing some transformative insight on TikTok for people who are trying to incorporate more positivity into their lives.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to set yourself up with too-high expectations. Sometimes, those who are on the path to healing naively believe that every day should be better than the last.
They think they should constantly be making strides until they reach a high point where everything is all sunshine and rainbows. As a visual, Dr. Smith draws a graph to illustrate what that expectation looks like. The line on the graph is advancing diagonally in a fixed line like a steep incline.
The problem with that mindset is that it’s not how humans learn and progress. It’s rigid and does not allow room for flexibility. Unreasonable optimistic thinking can trigger a self-defeating spiral and make you wonder why things don’t seem to be improving at a steady pace.
Unfortunately, life does not follow a straight line. The key is to accept that there will be both good days and bad days. It’s impossible to have the positive without the negative.
Dr. Smith then draws another line on the graph to demonstrate what the course of life is really like. This time, the line is a lot bumpier and contains several dips and peaks.
In life, you will experience improvements and setbacks. And often, when people experience a setback, they take it as a sign that they’re going backward and not making any progress when that couldn’t be further from the truth.