One of his recent metaphors was a reframing of negativity and positivity. To him, negativity is defense and positivity is offense. And Gary is all about offense.
We could extend those metaphors and mix them with others. “Offense wins games, but defense wins championships.” “I don’t have defense, I have counter offense.” I, of course, want to look at the roles negativity and positivity play in the practice of BioFeedback.
I am a naturally “negative” person. I can see problems. I can see what’s wrong.
If that were completely negative, that would be an awful predicament. But can’t the same be said for positivity? Positivity is only seeing the good.
If we only see the good, can we ever fix the bad? That, of course, is where the synthesis comes in. Negativity plays one role, positivity another.
Just because something needs change doesn’t mean it can be changed. Negativity is not for finding out everything that should be changed. It’s simply for finding out what can be changed.
That, of course, is where BioFeedback and a scientific posture comes in handy. The application is simple. Can I change this now? If not, move on to the next potential thing to change.
Positivity’s purpose is three-fold. It’s for reframing or taking a new point of view on things that can’t be changed: this can’t be changed yet, but what can be changed? But that’s not the primary purpose of positivity.
Positivity’s primary purpose is enacting whatever level of change can occur. But that doesn’t mean change is easy. Sometimes change on a scale smaller than we would like.
Positivity is about all managing one’s emotional state while change, no matter how small, is occurring. “I’m not stuck, I’m changing…this is good.” But positivity plays an even more important role.
And when that change isn’t occurring yet gets us to the primary purpose of positivity. Just because we can’t change in the moment doesn’t mean we can’t rehearse for when we can change. When we rehearse sufficiently, the change happens bigger and faster than we had even hoped for.
Negativity is for seeing what’s wrong. Positivity is for finding, practicing, and maintaining an effective psychology while doing the most important thing: changing. The artful and scientific use for positivity and negativity make for a strong offense and defense.