Article by Rebecca Silvester ~ Published in the Autumn 2014 issue of Perception ~ The Cognitive Hypnotherapy Review.
The Rocky Road from Pessimism to Optimism
‘Now, don’t get too excited…it may never happen’
That’s a quote I heard many a time from my wonderful Dad, said with love and protection but heard as a caution. He had a way about him that meant everything was up for ‘going awry’ Both Trevor and I vividly remember him coming over to our house in his later years, and when asked what he thought about a new patio we’d just had laid, promptly jumped up and down on it to see if it would hold…now there’s a pessimist for you.
The time I remember him using the phrase the clearest was when I shocked my entire family by getting through the first round of the Metropolitan Police selection process, packed off with my little overnight bag at the tender age of twenty-two…..from rural Suffolk to the big city. Boy was it exciting, but at that time the feeling of excitement was very definitely the same swirl in the tummy as fear gave me. Accompanying that was the internal nagging so many of us experience: “What was the point, it wasn’t going to go well?” “Why would they want me, what do I have to offer?”
I’d learnt that it was best not to get too excited, to watch out for the danger in a situation and you’d stay safe. Well the funny thing was it stood me in very good stead for the Police Service. I always doubted, always questioned everything and my environment gave me lots of confirmation for the negative side of life.
That is, until something great would happen. A scared, or even sometimes physically abused witness to a crime would go out of their way to make a statement in support of a victim they didn’t know. Someone would bring in a purse into the lost and found, stuffed full of cash and credit cards, so the owner might get it back. That’s where the confusion was. How, if we were always supposed to look out for the danger in the problem, did these positive things happen around me? Ah, of course, they weren’t connected to me…Oh no…they were just random and not something I’d created. It was always someone else’s luck.
Unless…..people wrote into the station to let my bosses know how much I’d helped them or I got posted to a job I really wanted and had worked hard to get.
It wasn’t until I began to look at little closer at myself and the way I thought that I realized I took a major part in the ‘seeing’ of these things, that they’d always been there and the part that I was actively playing in making them happen.