Happy Fourth ya’ll. Today is all about freedom and independence but there’s nothing more liberating than breaking the chain of negative thinking. Do ya hear me?
Watching how we perceive situations is a huge task that even I am still mastering. The words we choose, whether good or bad, are what shape our thinking and experiences. For example, I have a friend who got an amazing opportunity to go across country for grad school. She’s living in a beautiful city with so many adventures in front of her but all I ever hear her talk about is how much she hates it there. She hates the weather. The people. The bugs. The food. THE AIR. Every experience that has her missing home in Texas, she describes as a reason she “hates being there.”
Because of those negative words, that became her truth which left her miserable and ready to give up the opportunity just to go home.What if she changed her speech to “this is uncomfortable but I’m excited for the new challenges ahead of me.” That sounds so much better right? Just a change in the way she could describe her situation would transform her experience drastically.
What is freedom? It’s described as “the absence of constraint of choice.” Is there something that’s constraining you in your life? Are there words that block you from being free? I truly believe that what we tell ourselves, whether intentional or unintentional, is what we will keep happening. Right now my phrase is “the struggle.” I often use it in a joking way but even simply words like that can paralyze us from receiving positive outcomes.
Here are three ways negative thinking affects us every day:
Stops You From Chasing Your Dreams
Be aware of the next time you say “oh, I could never do that” or “that doesn’t happen to people like me.” Well you’re right it won’t. By replaying why something can’t happen causes you to lose out the opportunity to find out if it can.
Causes You To Be Stuck In The Past
This is a tough one because we often attached strong painful words to painful experiences that leaves us replaying them over and over. Have you ever started talking about a situation that happened to you and the more you talk about it, the more outraged you get? I know it’s hard, but we have to start looking at our challenges as things that were put in place to grow us and not let it or hurtful people hold us back. Sometimes that may mean counseling and that’s okay. Do whatever you have to do to change that negative story into something that you can defeat.
Becomes Your Comfort Zone to Avoid Change
I do this ALLLL the time. Just the other day someone asked me “Alaina, are you dating in Vegas?” My response: Ew, no. All the guys here suck and only have one motive. If they aren’t visiting, they are doing some sketchy job and I don’t want that.” Now will I EVERRRRR attract someone with that mentality? I can’t imagine the look I have on my face when men pass by. The underlying truth is that dating in a new city would be quite awkward for me and I’m comfortable being by myself. Changing my vocabulary about dating would invite me experience something outside my comfort zone. (I’m working on it) Now what is your comfort zone?
Moral of the story: Words have power and you have to watch how you talk to yourself. Period. No one influences you more than you do and the words you consistently say to yourself is what will shape your future. Don’t walk into work saying “I hate this awful job and everything in it.” Learning to identify this behavior will keep you winning in life and in your mind. Now go be free, yassss.
Extras: The next time you feel yourself sinking into pity use this!