Don’t Let Negative Thoughts Rob You Of Time and Happiness
I’m just not pretty enough. If only I could be a little more witty. I’ll never make the money I need to change my life. Do these types of thoughts sound familiar? I spent so much time letting thoughts similar to these consume my life. These thoughts paralyzed me with fear and anxiety. However, I’m here to tell you, don’t let negative thoughts rob you of your time and happiness. Will you be able to eliminate these thoughts completely, no. However, you can implement simple strategies to help refocus your mind and live a more carefree life.
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Change What We Can
I eventually became fed up with myself and my constant negative thoughts. I would sit in the prison of my mind and waste lots of precious time and energy marinating in self loathing. And you know what happens when things marinate? You absorb whatever you put in. I was absorbing limiting beliefs and a fixed mindset. One day, I realized that instead of sitting around, I would simply walk out of my mental prison.
I decided that instead of constantly thinking about the life I wanted, I would create it. I started to work on myself little by little. I worked until my personal image started to resemble who I wanted to be. Finally, I changed bad habits and incorporated new ones. Here’s how I started to change:
I watched videos, lectures, and interviews from the top authorities in the self-help world. (Impact Theory has great interviews.)
I journaled to document my emotions and progress so that I could recognize unhealthy thought patterns that I normally wouldn’t be able catch.
I practiced daily gratitude.
I cleared my life of people that I didn’t feel had my best interest at heart or just wasn’t accepting of who I really am.
Lastly, I worked harder to change the things I knew could be improved.
Accept What We Can’t Change
Some things are hardwired into us and we have to accept them. For example, I’m a terrible painter. I’m okay with that. I accept it. That doesn’t mean that I can never go to ‘paint and sip’ again, but I know I’ll receive a few side eyes and a kind, “You tried hard, but really, what is it?” comment. I’m fine with that. A few years ago, I was so hard on myself that I would’ve been too embarrassed to go back to a ‘paint and sip’. Now, I think my horrible painting is just apart of who I am. Now, I embrace it and even seek out opportunities to paint when I can. However, this can be tricky.
Sometimes we have limiting beliefs. These limiting beliefs are negative thoughts that create a false narrative that we can never master a skill. We have to determine what we should work to change and what we can accept. I’m sure if I practiced really, really hard, I could be an okay painter. However, my passion isn’t to paint. I believe we have to identify the skills we believe will change our lives or give us the lives we want.
Incorporate More Positive Dialogue
We have to switch out the good with the bad. Every time a thought pops into my head that I’m not enough, I replace it. I’m more than enough! You are more than enough! The key to this is awareness. A lot of the time, we’re not even aware of the negative things we tell ourselves. That’s why journaling is important. Like I said above, journaling will help you pick up on patterns and negative self talk.
I realized that I’m very self critical. My journal entry was always about something I didn’t do right or enough of. This helped me do two things. This helped me acknowledge that I wanted to grow. I wanted more for myself, but it also taught me to accept parts of myself that are hardwired. The point is to get up and change your life for the better. If there are things you can’t change, accept them. Switch out the dialogue in your head. Overtime, you will have less negative thoughts. You just have to work on retraining your brain.
What do you do to combat negative thoughts?