Look for Evidence to Support What you Want
This year so far (2021) has been a year of personal growth for me. I wouldn’t say I had a negative mindset before, but I do tend to typically have a cyclical outlook on the world. It seems as though the world is filled with more bad than good (uhm hello 2020!). It just becomes easy to look at the world as though it’s in flames and everyone is evil. We focus on the evidence that supports those thoughts and of course what we focus on, expands.
You see those thoughts that the world is bad are just that…thoughts. Do we really have a numerical way to prove that there is more bad than good? Would that even be accurate if we had a numerical way anyway? Have you ever thought that maybe the bad is presented a lot more than the good? Ever hear of “if it bleeds, it reads?” Imagine all the bad, crazy things that each of us as individuals could do right now, but we aren’t. Most of us are staying in our own lane and focusing on our own lives.
Why is it that our mind believes those cynical thoughts as reality? Simply put, we look for evidence to support our thoughts and feelings associated with those thoughts. We literally consume hours of content (i.e. news and social media) which presents mostly negative, sad, or dark stories. Your mind, which already has a cynical view, reads or hears that information and uses it as evidence to justify why you think the world is miserable. We need to stop looking for evidence to support what we do not want and look for evidence to support what we actually want in life.
Stop Looking for Negative Supporting Evidence
I totally believe in being realistic, but you can be realistic and have a positive mindset. I’m going to share my personal example in regard to relationships with switching from looking at negative to positive supporting evidence. I think a lot of people (especially women) can relate. This can be done with money, career, goals, anything really.
I’m sure most of us have gone through some sort of relationship heartbreak. Heartbreak catapults you into a slew of emotions especially if you’re anything like me. It’s literally a grieving process of hurt, anger, depression, frustration, etc. At the beginning I had the mindset of:
“You know what, I’m done. I cannot go through this anymore. I’m just going to be alone forever. There is no one out there for me.” I even have taken it as far to say, “I believe that maybe some people are just meant to be alone.” At 31 years old, I truly started to believe that I was one of those people. It’s kind of sad when I look at it in writing, but I will say that I mostly have strayed away from that belief. It’s a work in progress for sure, but at least a big step in the right direciton.
Look at the evidence I have to support those beliefs though. I have had multiple failed relationships where I was dumped. I have witnessed family and friends have terrible failed relationships. At least half or more marriages lead to divorce. Look at all the celebrities and reality TV shows that display all the failed relationships. Of course, I started to believe those ideas. All the evidence I was letting consume my mind supported that cynical idea that there are no decent guys out there that will love me how I deserve to be loved.
Start Looking for Positive Supporting Evidence
Recently though, I decided to switch that mindset. What if I looked for the evidence to support the opposite? What if I looked for the men who were treating their girlfriends or wives so well? Perhaps if I started to consume content about having strong relationships, I’d see that it is an option. The old me would get jealous when I would see what I thought was a happy couple. I would start to wish that I could have that or question why I couldn’t be that lucky in love. (By the way, keep in mind that I am aware that social media and even in person interactions could be just a facade of what is really going on behind closed doors in a relationship. I am not naive to that. However, I’m speaking in a more broad sense.)
Now, I look at it so differently. I feel genuinely happy that there are great men out there adding joy and value to their significant others’ lives. It makes me appreciative to know some of my friends and people I interact with regularly are in solid relationships. How I feel no longer comes from a place of jealousy and lack. It comes from a place of gratitude and abundance. I CAN have that too because it exists and there is evidence in front of me that it does!
I was in my car at the Target parking lot a few weeks ago and witnessed an elderly couple (maybe in their 80s) getting into their car. The husband walked his wife to the passenger side, opened her door, and helped her buckle her seatbelt. That was my little dose of evidence that love does exist. Even though I don’t know the full story, I can tell myself a happy story about it. I can make it mean something positive instead of cynical because why not? If I feel better looking at the evidence that supports a more positive outcome, then I should focus on that.
I also follow healthy relationship accounts on Instagram and podcasts because I can learn about real relationships. I can see that there are healthy, loving relationships where both people want to work together. That supports what I would want instead of what I don’t want.
There is plenty to support what we don’t want in life, so you might as well look for the positive evidence. It will make you feel better anyway!
Remove the Negative
One of the biggest ways to get away from negative supporting evidence is to cut off the source. I think for a lot of people in today’s world, we consume WAY too much information. Most of it is inaccurate or opinion based anyway. So many people have unnecessary anxiety about what is going on in the world, yet they constantly have the news playing. I literally never watch the news. I’ll look up an article here and there just to gather some basic information, but I do not care for more than that. The same thing goes for social media. It seems that everyone is obsessed with hatred and negativity. If you do not want that negative supporting evidence, then unfriend those people or get off social media.
This may be a difficult one, but also very important. Remove yourself from people who keep providing you with negative evidence. Right now, I personally do not want to be around anyone who is like “men are trash”. I’ve said it plenty of times, and I think I’ve been justified in saying that in the past. However, does it help support what I want to continue to hold on to that idea? Lots of men are trash, but lots of men are not trash just like the same goes for women. I do not want to hear people say their limiting beliefs about dating, love, or relationships around me. I do not want any of that evidence. It’s totally fine to be single just like it’s totally fine to be in a relationship. Putting out negative energy about either will only attract more negative energy. I personally only want to attract good energy.
I hope that you found some of my recent insights valuable. It can be challenging to reprogram your mind when it has been a certain way for so long. Our brains are capable of so much more than we even know though, so it’s possible whether you’re 31 or 61 years old.