Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Power of Negative Thinking in Your Relationship or Marriage

Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking has been required reading in any self-improvement curriculum since the 1950’s, but have you ever thought about its antithesis, and how you might be inadvertently creating your own insecurities and failure?

This time of year I look through a lot of catalogs for small but highly personal gifts for friends and family. I was looking through one that had a lot of gag gifts and unusual memorabilia and there was an item billed as a “Motivational T-Shirt” that said “I didn’t come here to lose…” on the front of it.

I thought, “What an idiot!”

You see, there is a big difference between “I didn’t come here to lose…” and “I came here to win!” But a lot of people make this mistake and consequently program themselves for failure.

When faced with a new opportunity, they ask, “What if I can’t do this?” instead of “What do I do after I succeed at this?” Believe it or not, it’s been proven that this “framing” of situations plays a huge role in how you get along in your own environment, you self-esteem and confidence, and your chances of success in anything that you pursue.

(If you want to pursue it further, start with Maxwell Maltz’s Psychocybernetics, in which he describes the mental mechanisms that move us toward whatever we focus on, whether it’s good or bad for us.)

This kind of negative programming can turn you into an insecure wuss in a fairly short time, no matter how tough you are. The subconscious mind doesn’t discriminate between positive and negative and doesn’t process terms of negation in your speech or thoughts (it ignores words like “not”); it merely works very hard to bring you toward whatever you are focused on, so if you focus on “not failing” instead of succeeding, you’re actually focused on failure instead of success.

To bring this closer to home, if you’re sitting there reading this newsletter because you are having problems in your own relationship or marriage, you’re reading a lot of advice. If you’re reading multiple sources, you’re reading a whole lot more advice. And if every time you read something you think, “I’d like to try that, but what if I fail?” or “That sounds okay, but what if it doesn’t work?” you’re programming yourself for failure, frequently and effectively, even without regard for the advice you are reading.

You must question the advice you are given. Only a fool would follow blindly everything he reads. But when you question it, do so in a way that doesn’t sabotage your efforts. Ask, “Does this make sense?” “Can I see myself succeeding and moving on to the next step if I do this?” These are reasonable, direct questions that need to be answered and are in the proper context…

…after all, you’re looking for something to help you succeed, not something to help you fail, right?

So why concern yourself with failure??? Your questions should be about what will bring you closer to your goal, and nothing else. And anybody with advice worth using should be able to tell you how it helps and why it should help by virtue of having proven that it works, preferably with their own success among others, so if you can’t find answers to those positive questions, it’s time to look at something else, is it not? It’s the output (the RESULTS!), not the input, that is important, right?

Who cares how many copies of a book have been sold? Mine has sold a lot, and so have others, but that doesn’t tell you how many people mine or others helped! Would you care to guess how many books have been sold that advocated crying with a woman at a chick flick and leaving all decisions to her to make sure she felt like her position had been considered? Or how many books have advocated lying to a potential partner to get them in bed or even worse, marry them? I saw one recently advocating celibacy to enhance a marriage! Can you believe that crap? Marriages survive on compatibility, attraction, and intimacy. Celibacy destroys intimacy, and goes against the biological drives that torment all of us if not served. Using celibacy to enhance a marriage is like using hot fat to treat a burn!

Who cares how many degree titles somebody has trailing after their name? That doesn’t tell you whether they’re giving you proven, repeatable reality or some pet theory that hasn’t been tested and proven to work. (And yes, in case you’re curious, I do have fun little academic acronyms after my name, so I can say that.) It says they’ve been in class, not whether they learned anything, whether what they learned was factual, nor whether they can think rationally enough to apply what they learned. I don’t know about you, but when I was looking for help, I found lots of theories in lots of books, and they were such utter hogwash that didn’t work in the real world that I ended up having to research and write a book just to have something to use myself! Strange, and pathetic, but true!

And when you get right down to the nitty gritty, should you even care what it costs? According to a recent study, the average divorce in the U.S. costs $27,000 excluding alimony, child support, etc. Indeed, I received an e-mail today outlining a settlement of $275,000 up front, plus $150,000 per year, plus he has to maintain a $750,000 life insurance policy with her as the beneficiary so that she still gets future payments if something happens to him. And who knows what the lawyers got out of it! Most self-help products, mine included, are way under a hundred bucks! Indeed, mine’s presently under forty! Compared to the cost of a divorce (and we’re not even going to get into the pain of a divorce), that’s pocket change, and I can also tell you why it works, why you can expect it to work, and how many people it’s helping, including myself!

So the short answers are that my information was researched and tested with a fairly large group of women and then double-checked with the help of their husbands and boyfriends. To the best of my knowledge, based on testimonials I’ve received, it’s helped everyone who has used it (the only refunders have been two who made duplicate purchases and one thief who asked for a refund within one minute of having purchased it, claiming she’d read it and it didn’t provide the information she was looking for to help her pick up lesbian women!), and that in turn is why you can expect it to work for you, as long as you do actually use it instead of getting it, reading it, and then talking yourself out trying with questions like “What if this doesn’t work for me?” or “What if I can’t do this?”

When I refunded one duplicate purchase we both had a good laugh out of it. He commented, “Thank you, I am more embarrassed than anything else, the good news is that I found the book very informative and was sold twice so to speak. I had failed to sign up for the newsletter the first time.”

So there it is. This isn’t rocket science, or some 12-step program. It’s just the real story on what women want, what makes them tick, how to communicate with them, how to be fun and exciting without being a clown or a flake, how to feel good enough about yourself that your self-esteem and confidence levels make you a man that she loves being around instead of a man she feels like she has to raise and protect like a mother would do a child, and how to choose and hold out for a good woman or know if you have one already. I’ve not yet met a heterosexual man who couldn’t do everything in it, easily and naturally, within a short time.

So what about you? Are you sitting there in front of your computer staring at this newsletter and thinking, “What if it doesn’t work for me?” or are you thinking, “What will life be like after I get through this?” If it’s the former, there’s not a thing in the world that I or anybody else can do to help you. But! If it’s the latter, get your butt over to and download your copy of "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and get busy, because this is what you’ve been looking for, real answers proven by real people.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

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