Whether your glass is half-empty or half-full is not as important as what you think about what's in your glass!
Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
“We don’t have to just think whatever stinkin’ thinkin’ falls into our heads.” –Joyce Meyers
The standard “glass-half-full or half-empty” saying is often used to emphasize the difference between positive and negative thinking, or optimism and pessimism. The expression is so well known that people and personality types are often referred to as “glass-half-full” or “glass-half-empty”.
Personally, I don’t think what is in your glass is anywhere near as important as how you feel about what’s in your glass. If you look at the half empty part of your glass and fret, worry or get angry about what’s missing – you will never be happy. And if you look at the half-full part of the glass and get cross or upset at what’s in there – you will never be happy either.
It’s not what we have or haven’t got that’s important. What’s important is how we feel about what we have or haven’t got.
We all know people that have nothing but are still happy. And we all know people that seem to have everything but are still unhappy.
What many people forget is that we can choose our attitude every single minute, of every single hour, of every single day. There is always a choice. Every time something happens to us in life, we can choose to react positively, learn the lessons that need to be learned, take responsibility and move on. Or we can choose to behave in a negative way, where we blame other people or situations and make endless excuses.
We can choose to wake up and tell ourselves that today is going to be a great day or not.
It’s a choice.
We can choose to allow ourselves to wallow in self-pity for a week because something went wrong… or not.
We can choose to give ourselves a hard time because we messed up at work… or not.
We can choose to blame our partner for our relationship not working… or not.
We can choose to make excuses like I’m too old, too young, not confident enough, not pretty enough, not clever enough… or not.
We always have the power to choose more helpful, more positive thoughts. We have the power to turn our attention wherever we like.
Unfortunately, we often forget this and give our power away. We let other people or situations control our happiness. We let our chimp take control when things don’t go our way. We sulk, get upset, throw our toys out of our pram, stomp about, huff and puff, swear, have a pity party, go into a bubble or whatever is your chimp’s way of behaving when things don’t go your way. What a complete and utter waste of time and energy. It rarely, if ever, does any good.
Quite often we cannot control the things that are happening around us, but we CAN control the attitude with which we choose to react. A situation or person cannot “make” us feel annoyed, upset, stressed or fed up. True – people can do things or say things to us that could evoke these emotions, but we still choose to allow the emotion to happen. We are in control of ourselves, nobody else.
When something bad happens to us, it doesn’t have to ruin our day or our lives. We can choose a different reaction. We can learn to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and go at it again.
Allowing yourself to worry is a habit. It’s just a skill you have developed like cleaning your teeth but with none of the benefits.
Allowing yourself to feel anger or rage towards another person is a little like picking up a burning coal to throw – you are the one who will get burnt.
Refusing to forgive someone is a little like swallowing poison and hoping the other person will get sick. You are the one who suffers most.
You can learn to recognise when your chimp is running the show. You can learn to choose a more helpful way of thinking. You can learn to use a better attitude.
Let us help you choose a more helpful way of thinking with CBT.