Day 78: One Weird Trick, revisited

As I wrote in yesterday’s post, I don’t really believe that there is One Weird Trick that will solve something.  There’s no one trick — weird or otherwise — that will fix weight, aging, or any other “problem” addressed by the ads on our computer screens.

Nor is there one “trick” that will  solve low self-esteem, lack of motivation, symptoms of depression, anxiety, or stress, or any other problem addressed in therapy.

But I often see how one change can start a process that makes a huge difference in somebody’s life.  A change, for instance, like nourishing oneself better.  Reaching out for help.  Venturing out into the world a little more. Spending a little more time with somebody helpful. Spending less time with people who don’t help. 

I see, sometimes, how trying one simple, new thought can have that effect, too.  Such as asking yourself this question:

Does that thought help me?

when you’ve noticed a thought that’s altered your mood for the worse.

(I did that, myself, this morning, when I noticed I was having some self-judgmental thoughts. And it did help.)

Yesterday, at work, I addressed that question to somebody during in a therapy session. When  a wonderfully accomplished woman compared herself negatively to other people, I asked her:

Does that thought help you?

When she compared herself to a More Perfect Her, focusing on ways she should be changing or should have changed already, I asked her

Does that thought help you?

And each time, she paused and said. “No.”

Who knows how helpful that was for her? People are so complicated. And our lives are so complicated, too. 

It can be difficult to believe  that one change  — whether it’s something new we ask ourselves or tell ourselves, or one action we take — can make a real difference.

I’m thinking again, about those ads and their use of the word “trick”.  Like a magic trick.

I do believe in the power of some kinds of magic, actually. 

The magic of one step towards change. The magic of hope.

Thanks for reading.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Day 78: One Weird Trick, revisited

  1. I am going to try that with one of my daughters, who is always insecure about the way she looks.

    I once quoted a line from Thornton Wilder’s play, “Our Town” in which the mother responds to her daughter’s question about whether she is pretty. “Pretty enough for normal purposes,” Mom said.

    Was that a cruel answer, do you think?

    • That’s a great question. I’m not sure how to answer it.

      There are so many pervasive messages about how important appearances are (especially for girls). Maybe those messages, everywhere around us, are what’s cruel. They certainly have a huge effect.

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