Welcome To The Feedback Loop: You Are Only As Successful As You Think You Can Be
Have you ever felt as if your life was spiraling out of control as you stood back and watched it happen from afar? I have found myself in this exact position before — more than once. It's a bit scary. It's not so much the fact that your life seems to be unraveling before your very eyes. It's not so much that all your hard work is going to waste. These situations are disappointing because you yourself were the catalyst that started this descent into darkness.
You become frightened because you find yourself without control, powerless, not being able to prevent yourself from continuing the fall. That's what these events are: a fall from the path you ought to follow. It's this divergence from the path you wish yourself to travel that creates your feelings of misery and hopelessness.
Why is it that we find ourselves in such an unfortunate situation? Outside forces may have very well pushed us to the precipice that we now dangle over, but contrary to popular belief, these outside forces are not to blame for our failings. The only things that are out of our control are those that happen outside us. How we view these events, how we think about them, how we react to them and how we allow them to affect us is all in our power to control and alter.
What more is a bad day than meaningless events to which we give negative meaning? What direct effect do unpredictable events have on our psyche? None whatsoever. It is our interpretation of these events, the way that we allow ourselves to be affected by them, that causes the unhappiness that we experience. Events in the physical world are nothing more than happenings that we can but observe and interpret, give meaning to.
Yet it may upon occasion be exceptionally difficult to distance yourself from the effect of certain events in your life. I view this fact as being a blessing rather than a curse. A lack of control over our emotions gives us confirmation of a world outside of us, a world that continues to breathe whether or not we continue to do the same. However, these same outside forces can give way to loss of control.
Again, this is not because we are forced to lose control, but rather because we loosen our grip of our own accord. All it takes is one slip, one moment of uncertainty, one moment of weakness for us to find ourselves heading down a road we do not wish to travel. This one occurrence could be nothing more than a one-time slip, but it could snowball into a huge mess — all because of the Feedback Loop.
The feedback loop is the reason why so many people fall from grace. It is the reason behind psychological addiction and the reason why we find ourselves living the life we are living. It all starts with the outlook that we decide to have — how we decide we would like to see the world. Some of you may be thinking to yourselves that the outlook one has on life is not a decision, but rather a result of the compilation of all that has happened to a person.
But again, as I have mentioned before, no matter what happens outside of us, it is the way that we interpret such events that causes us to feel the way that we feel. Your current outlook or perception of the world may seem too natural to have been concocted from your own thought, but that is exactly from whence it originated.
Over time we have created the lens that we perceive the world through. This lens tints everything that we see, everything that we do and experience. Depending on what color you are tinting the world, this truth can be for the better or for the worse. If you are seeing the world through darkened lenses, then the world will seem like a dark and desolate place.
If, however, you see the world through brighter, rose-colored lenses then the world will seem cheery and positive. This is but the first step in the Feedback Loop. The way we perceive things is in direct correlation to the emotions that accompany them — no surprise there. What many fail to realize is that these feelings and emotions that are a result of the way that we view the world work to add to the coloring of our lens. If we see the world as being bleak and see through a lens of negativity, then we are bound to experience emotions of negativity. These emotions then add to the darkening of our lens and ergo darken our perception of the world even further.
This is where the snowball effect begins to take seed. We had a sh*tty day, saw the events as holding great negative meaning, decided to let off some steam and made some poor decisions. Being displeased with ourselves and our inability to stay strong and true to our goals, we become unhappier. This unhappiness leads us to seeing the world as being ever so slightly dimmer, which in turn leads to further unpleasant emotions leading to poor decisions, all leading back to the worsening of our perception of the world.
Unhappiness only leads to more unhappiness; negativity leads to further negativity. Fast-forward a couple of years and you find yourself sitting at the bottom of a 20-foot hole without a latter to escape with. And this is the exact feeling that many find themselves victim to — this feeling of hopelessness and misery. Getting out of this hole is no easy task, but as the old saying goes: when there is a will, there is a way.
There is no ladder to help you out, so you will have to claw your way back to the top and onto firm, familiar ground. The first step is to change lenses; you cannot expect to see the good in the world if you continuously look for the bad. The world is neither good nor bad — it is a combination of both; look for either and you will find what you seek. You must choose to see the world as positive, beautiful and purposeful.
This, of course, is not an easy task if you have been looking through darkened glasses for years, but with enough repetition and the conscious, constant decision to see the good in things, your outlook on life will change. Once you begin to see the world under a different light, feed off it. Just as you snowballed yourself into the ground, you can snowball yourself back up — in time.
Feed off the good that you begin to see. Dwell in the beauty of the world and all that is wonderful. Surround yourself by happiness and joy and seeing the good in that which is around you will become easier with time. Allow the Feedback Loop to work for you and not against you. Feed your newfound joy back into the loop and allow it to inflate that happiness to greater size, further supporting your purpose. In order to change your world — your life — you must change your perception. See the beauty consciously for long enough and eventually you won't need to bother looking, the good and beautiful will find you.
Photos via Tumblr