Have you ever stopped to think about how powerful your mind is?
In truth, it is so powerful that there is little you couldn’t achieve with the right mindset. Whether you would like to feel better about yourself or be more confident, perhaps lose weight or quit an unwanted habit, it really is your mindset that makes all the difference – between happiness and unhappiness, success and failure, and whether you effectively “sink or swim” in any crisis.
For this reason it’s extremely important to develop a mindset that will help you achieve what it is you want – rather than what you don’t want. Because all too often we can go through life without really understanding the impact that our mindset or attitude will have on the events that we experience. We can get locked into a particular way of thinking or behaving, and without making a serious effort to change it, it can all too easily become an entrenched way of life.
But actually, by changing a simple thought-pattern, you can begin to change your experience of life.
Try having a think about the average quality and nature of your thoughts and self-talk – would you say they have a positive and encouraging tone, or a critical and judgemental tone? Positive thoughts generally make you feel better and open you up to possibilities, while negative thoughts tend to restrict you and limit your capability.
Ask yourself which of these categories your thoughts and self-talk is more likely to fall into:
- Positive, encouraging / Negative, discouraging
- Nurturing / Critical
- Understanding, patient / Judgemental, impatient
- Accepting / Intolerant
- Proactive, happy to take action / Passive, happy to be led
- Loving / Unloving
If you find that you tend to have a lot of negative or critical self-talk, it is likely that someone you have known has said such things to you in the past and you have internalised it.
Here’s some tips you can try to help yourself overcome any negative self-talk:
1) If you can recognise where those negative or critical thoughts come from (do they remind you of someone?), you can start to change how you feel about that thought-pattern, as you realise those thoughts are not really true but just someone else’s inappropriate comment.
2) Try challenging any negative assumptions you may have about yourself. If you question and challenge your negative assumptions as you become aware of them, you can start to weaken and dismantle them. A negative assumption or belief is simply a thought that you no longer question and so it goes unchallenged. So question it again – is that negative belief really true?
3) On a slightly lighter note, you could also try mucking about with unwanted negative thoughts. This might sound like a contradiction in terms, but if you can identify a negative phrase that regularly crops up in your thinking, try imagining the words being said in a funny voice or by a cartoon character, or perhaps being sung with silly music in the background. Sounds mad, I know, but it can actually begin to diminish the negative impact of the thoughts – try it and see!
Remember, creating positive change really does start with changing a simple thought…
Do get in touch and let me know how you get on, it’ll be great to hear from you.