No, didn't write out that one, huh? I didn't think so...
But why is that? How is it that we've become so accustomed to the negativity that we 'expect the worst' but 'hope for the best?'
I believe it's because of the Waterfall Effect.
The Waterfall Effect is something I affectionately call the cascading avalanche of negative things that erupt to overwhelm and overcome you (usually within minutes or hours) after you do something positive to make your dreams a reality. It could be as subtle as a negative thought that repeats itself over and over again in your mind like:
- "Why should I take the time to write that down or speak it, it's not gonna happen anyway so what's the point?"
- "I should probably be spending time with my kids or spouse; or taking out the trash; or doing the laundry - something useful - rather than selfishly focusing on me."
- "I don't have time to think, let alone write..." (my personal favorite)
- You finally spend the money to join the gym and your car breaks down, kids cell phone bill is suddenly $1000 dollars instead of $100, and your mom can't pay for her prescription drugs this month.
- You give to a charity and the water heater breaks, dog has to go to the vet for swallowing foam from a squeaky toy, and layoffs are announced at work.
- You write down your dream - start to believe it and act on it - and.............. whamo! (You fill in the blank of what goes wrong).
For me, the waterfall effect is as predictable as sunrise. And for some reason, despite its frequency, I'm still initially surprised every time by either the sheer volume of negative things or their severity. The good news is that once I started recognizing the pattern, I was able to see it differently. Though it still takes me a day or two to bounce back, I do bounce back quicker now.
Because we've all seen the waterfall effect in action, we get cautious. Some get pessimistic. Some fearful. Some angry... but in general, whether we realize it or not, we start allowing the negative because we don't actively resist it.
And it's that subtle wearing down that is the dream killer.
It's for this very reason that it is critical to write down your dreams and to say out loud what they are every day. By doing this, you're feeding your soul and reminding your mind to refocus on the goal not the circumstance.
Your written words can withstand even the worst waterfalls.