How Do You Use The 3 P’s?
Hi there, Awesome Woman!
I’ve just begun to realize that I’m a very creative story teller – I can take almost any event in my life and turn it into the most pessimistic, depressing tale of woe.
It usually starts like this: something doesn’t turn out the way I expected or there is a disappointment of some sort and my mind takes this negative event and runs with it: ” things like this always happen to me, “ “how could I make that mistake again?” “my life is a mess,”etc. etc.
Somehow, a measly parking ticket becomes a huge catastrophic event that leads me down the rabbit hole of self-criticism.
Aahh, but it’s not just a nebulous “somehow.” The explanation lies in my use of the 3 P’s – personal, permanent and pervasive. Describing my problem as personal – ” such and such only happens to to me,” permanent -“I’ll never change”, and pervasive -“I’m such a loser, my life is terrible” is what researchers refer to as a “pessimistic explanatory style.”
I’ve got that system down pat. How about you?
But here’s the good news. With awareness comes the freedom to choose. We can choose to use the same 3 P’s, but to build ourselves up , rather than knock ourselves down. And this feels empowering and healthy.
Here’s an example ( I suggest taking a few moments a day to write your new thoughts in a journal):
Personal – “yes, I got that parking ticket and I’ll take responsibility for it.”
Permanent – “I always pay my tickets.”
Pervasive – “Sometimes I make mistakes – it’s part of being divinely human. I’ll pay the ticket without beating myself up in the process.”
And even better – take a good situation and make it soar:
Personal – “I chose to exercise today. It’s wonderful how I take care of my body.”
Permanent – “ My body is getting stronger and healthier.”
Pervasive – “ I am blessed.”