I'm Doing Everything Right

From my study and practice of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) one of the most interesting thinking patterns that reveals how we might be engaged with a situation is a ‘cause and effect’ belief. This is something we do all the time so they can be tricky to become aware of.

Here’s one I just caught myself entertaining…it’s a sort of logical fallacy…an unreasonable expectation.

If I do everything right it will cause everything to turn out right

There are other ways of linguistically expressing the same sort of ‘cause-effect’ belief.

These actions (thoughts/behaviours) will cause this desired result

Of course the problem is that it’s just often not true in experience and when it becomes obvious that my ‘doing right’ is not causing the ‘right thing’ to happen then a great amount of frustration and foul language and feeling victimized by…something or someone…typically ensues for me…and I can feel dejected and not wanting to continue what I was doing. It feels like a very young part of me that reacts this way. In this case I’m working on a guitar and wanting (and expecting…demanding?) a very particular result from my actions. I’m operating out of a very high expectation that I’m investing a lot of emotion in…gee, how could that have any possible negative consequences… :slight_smile:

So, I’m pausing… and making a decision on how I will respond emotionally if the desired result isn’t achieved despite all my best actions and thinking…which if I’m being honest probably represents the majority of my experience with being invested in a very particular result…it just doesn’t happen as much as I want it to. Such is life…but what I’m trying to have some more skill with is my emotional response when things don’t turn out as I desired. I feel compelled to get better at that.


I remember back in the 1960s hearing that if I said affirmations often enough and didn’t let myself feel or think negatively nothing bad would happen to me. I was so anxious about so much that I tried doing this. Of course it didn’t work. I wrote pages and pages in my journal during those years of trying it. I see that now as toxic positivity and sometimes I start doing it, then remember to tap and feel my feelings.
I don’t know much about NLP.


Super helpful. I might have heard of toxic positivity but never applied it to what strategies I was trying when I was younger and experiencing anxiety attacks. Affirmations were key but helped me only so much. I was afraid of acknowledging the hard reality for fear of making them worse. Almost like a superstition. Perhaps why tapping has been so helpful to me in my 40s.


That is how I felt but didn’t realize it at the time. I was afraid if I talked about how I felt it would make it worse so I kept affirming “I am feeling better and better” or “each moment I am feeling more and more relaxed” when I kept feeling worse and worse. It was scary.