Hide and Seek

By: Lara Dustin Scriba


(4 min. read)

Recently, my husband sent me a clip of Price Pritchett on the Lewis Howes podcast that spoke about the struggle of getting caught in the loop of the 5 Cs of negative thinking: complaining, criticizing, concern, commiserating, and catastrophizing. The majority (70%) of these negative thoughts are unconscious, running deep grooves into our psyche and influencing the words we speak, the way we feel, and the actions we take.   

Pritchett stated that it is actually more important to reduce negative thinking than to increase positive thinking. Simply put, we get more bang for the buck when we simply reduce the amount of shit we have to wade through to get to the good stuff. Like deconstructing a dam, once we remove the obstacle, ease and positivity naturally begin to flow.

Identifying the most frequent offenders that come up made it easier to call them out. Though I’m sure we’re all more than familiar, let’s dive a little deeper into the 5 Cs of negative thinking.


Griping about annoyances, getting stuck in an endless loop of focusing on the problem without trying to seek solutions.


Negatively or harshly judging rather than focusing on constructive feedback that would bring improvement and build up others/ourselves or improve the situation.


Excessive worrying about all the little things, fretting over our sense of uncertainty, and overthinking about things that are out of our control create a heavy heart and a cluttered mind.


Misery loves company, so the temptation to follow the downward flow of energy is strong, leading to sharing one negative story after another. Though we want to be empathetic, this negative association with others will only diminish the quality of the relationship if this becomes the theme of the conversations you share.


Blowing things out of proportion emphasizes a sense of overwhelm and powerlessness. Excessive concern only creates a state of paralysis as the situation quickly starts to feel insurmountable. There is only so much that we have control over in this world; planning is essential but catastrophizing only devolves into anxiety and inaction.

We often hear the phrase “name it to tame it” to call out what we are witnessing to bring it to light. Being in constant “fix-it” mode or self-monitoring can feel heavy and tedious, so we made a game out of it. We extended the conversation with friends and they got in on it as well.

Just like playing “Punchbuggy” in the car on a road trip, we now call it out when we see it. Whenever we noticed one another committing one of the 5 Cs, we playfully brought it to light. Whether at the dinner table or over text, we’d call it out…  a single word shouted with the enthusiasm of “PUNCHBUGGY BLUE,”  we’d shout “CRITICIZING” or “COMPLAINING!” Calling out the negativity while also lightening the mood and creating a clear path for the positivity to flow in.

So what’s the antidote? What exactly are you creating space for? Let’s explore the 5 Cs of positive thinking.COMPETENCE

We have a wealth of knowledge, experience, and the ability to find solutions. Identifying the problem is only the first step. Get creative, dig deep, move to the next step, take effective action, and figure out how to solve the problem.


Articulating and identifying an obstacle and receiving honest, clear feedback with candor and care are essential for growth. We can help ourselves and others by focusing on the positive qualities that already exist, which will allow us to reach our goals, succeed, and build confidence.


True connection requires that we acknowledge the attributes and strengths one carries, trust in our own or others’ abilities to handle a situation, and lovingly hold space as we simply observe the situation rather than absorb and internalize every nuance.


We get to choose how we want to show up in this world and which qualities within our character we want to nourish. Our words are like little seeds; we reap what we sow, so be mindful of the seeds you are planting. Our reality shifts itself to match the perspectives we hold. The power is remembering that we are the ones to choose the lens through which we look and the quality of the stories that we tell. CARING

Emotions are a beautiful thing as long as we don’t lose ourselves and our sense of perspective within them. When emotionally attached to a person or circumstance, our heart leaps to protect them or ourselves. It’s imperative that when caring, we do not become consumed by the “what ifs” and fall into “fix-it” mode. Rather, allowing ourselves to recognize that which we have control over, and find grace within the spaces in-between.  

Rather than getting caught up in the mentality that you need to DO MORE, and BE BETTER, I invite you to embrace that you already are the “MORE” that you seek and that this is your natural state of being. Exhale and release unrealistic expectations, let go of old stories and embrace the simplicity and perfection of the present moment. 

I invite you to find a buddy and play this week, calling out the 5 Cs of negativity as you move through your day. Let it be a fun game of hide-and-seek, shining light on the darker thoughts and negative thinking patterns that seem to form. Slowly but surely, remove the debris that obscures the path for positivity to flow in, allowing yourself to align with your natural state of being and embrace the many blessings and beauty that surround you each and every day.  

Lara Scriba
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC
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