How many times do you think that there is something wrong with you?
When that voice inside your head seemingly mocks you when you don’t complete a project you started and had intended to finish. “Other people do this, so why can’t I do it? There must be something wrong with me.”
There is nothing wrong with you. Truly there isn’t.
We are often at the mercy of our thoughts – our thoughts drive our behaviors – we either act on a thought or we don’t.
If you took some time to watch your thoughts – to sit and observe the sentences that are in your mind, without any judgment, you would start to see how your thoughts affect how you are feeling – the emotion you are experiencing at that moment. The emotion that you feel will either spur you into action (if the feelings are positive) or they will push you into inaction (if the feelings are negative).
We have all had those days where things start off on the wrong foot in the morning and the day takes a nose dive from there. One issue after another seems to happen and our thoughts may add fuel to the fire by berating us for what is happening.
Those thoughts can spiral out of control and build one upon the other until we are feeling completely defeated, exhausted and wanting to bury our heads in the sand, hoping that the day can soon be over so we can start fresh again the next morning.
But what if you noticed the negative thought and you made a choice to stop thinking that thought all together or you decided to change the negative thought into one that felt true to you (and is more positive in its meaning)?
If you stop thinking or change the negative thought into one that is more supportive, magic can happen. You would not spiral downward because of out of control thoughts. Instead, you would be able to take back your control about what you are thinking and change how you feel as a result.
When we feel positive emotions, we make better choices and act in ways that are more supportive to what we want our end result to be.
Is this easy to do?
Short answer is “No” – mainly because it takes practice to recognize when our thoughts are spiraling so that we can take the action to stop them and change the way we are feeling. It doesn’t happen overnight, but you can do it!
The best way to practice is to sit quietly and observe your thoughts each day – without any distractions – and see what you are thinking. You can make a choice to either continue thinking the way you are (and if they are good thoughts you should absolutely keep at it!) or change or stop the thought in its tracks if it is taking you down a path that is going to make you feel bad about yourself in any way.
We don’t often notice our thoughts when they are happening because we are so wrapped up in what we are thinking and the emotions that come up as a result. However, if we sit quietly and observe our thoughts, we can take the opportunity to question them. Is the thought really true? Is this a thought that we really believe, or did we “learn” it from someone else and just assumed that we believed it without asking ourselves if we really do?
The trick here is to practice when times are less stressful so that you can more easily change your thoughts when you are in a stressful situation.
Practice makes progress – so give it a whirl and see how it goes for you.
The caveat here is that I am not saying that we should never think negative thoughts. Sometimes there are experiences that will naturally create these thoughts that we just need to be able to work through (like the death of a loved one, loss of a job, break-up, etc.). We are entitled to mourn and feel sad and angry. What we don’t want to do is have those emotions take over our lives completely to the detriment of our mental health and well-being.
Now imagine how this can change your life for the better.
If you can stop the negative spiral of thinking that puts you into a place of feeling down on yourself and change those thoughts to ones that are more gentle and kind that make you feel good; it will enable you to move out of a place of being stuck into one of positive action that will help you get the results that you want for yourself.
Wouldn’t that be awesome?
No more feeling stuck and down on yourself for days on end – throwing yourself a pity party and perpetuating the problem. Sounds good to me.
I would much rather change how I think into a way that is way more beneficial and supportive to the life I want for myself – a way that has me pursuing my goals and dreams unapologetically and living life on my terms.
How about you? What kind of life do you want to live?
Are you feeling stuck and unhappy and never moving forward or are you feeling momentum and happiness because you are actively pursuing the goals that you want to achieve for yourself?