Be honest with yourself. If you’re not leaving a trail of things you’ve done or tried to do in order to help yourself rise above whatever appears to be holding you back, then you’re likely more comfortable with the discomfort you live with than the discomfort needed to change.
Learn to know the difference between what you can change about yourself and what you can’t.
Understand that you are a work-in-progress and that the things about yourself that you have power over — such as your attitude, diet, fitness, habit, and skills — can and will change for the better over time if you work on them.
Regardless of where you are in your journey, accept yourself as you are at this time.
“My life sucks.”
“I’m a failure.”
“I’m not where I want to be.”
It should be obvious, but even if you’re not exactly where you want to be in life — or you’re unsatisfied with your current situation — beating yourself up over the fact that you aren’t where you wish to be only serves to make things worse.
Rather than help, this kind of negative thinking puts the one person most capable of fighting for your well-being at a disadvantage. It turns you into your own enemy.
You wouldn’t tolerate a friend belittling your accomplishments, rubbing your mistakes in your face, or trying to put you down. So why would you accept that kind of behavior from yourself?
You don’t win an award for seeing how low you can go or how miserable you can make yourself feel.
If you have a tendency to do this, it’s time to stop. It’s time to take note of when your line of thinking is leading you in a downward spiral. It’s time to remind yourself that making yourself feel worse about whatever situation you find yourself in isn’t helpful or necessary and no good will come of it.
“This isn’t helping me. I need to stop thinking this way. I need to stop revisiting these thoughts. I need to focus on something else. I need to remember that, ‘This, too, shall pass’.”
While you may not be able to immediately change the situation you find yourself in, you can change is your attitude about it. And rather than focus on your problems, you can focus on solutions to your problems. Even if the most immediate solution is to stop beating yourself up — because that’s a problem you can solve.
If revisiting the past in your mind makes you miserable or comparing yourself to others makes you feel like a failure, stop doing it. Because no amount of thinking about these things in this way is going to help you. No matter what you do, you cannot change the past.
The only thing you have complete control over is your attitude and how you choose to act in this moment. This moment matters.
Rather than waste time and energy tearing yourself down, use that time to focus on what you want to achieve. Taking steps to stop yourself from feeling worse is a start.
You, more than anyone, have the ability to be your own best friend, it seems a shame to waste that opportunity by becoming your worst enemy.
You can be the hero of your life and the champion of your well-being, but first you have fully commit to the role.
And that transformation will only take place after you stop beating yourself up & tearing yourself down.
Don’t give power to your unfriendly thoughts.
*This isn’t about positive thinking or negative thinking. This is about stopping the barrage of unfriendly thoughts that lead one down a debilitating downward spiral that often leaves one feeling helpless and hopeless.
Negative thinking can actually lead to positive change, but it requires that one be in a mental state capable of finding the motivation to initiate that change. There is a huge difference between focusing on self-abuse that makes one’s self miserable and using negative thinking to initiate positive changes.
I shouldn’t talk to that person because I don’t want to bother them.
I shouldn’t ask anyone for help because it makes me seem needy.
I shouldn’t feel proud of my accomplishments because I haven’t done anything original or noteworthy.
I shouldn’t draw attention to myself because I don’t deserve it.
I shouldn’t contribute to a conversation because I might say something wrong.
I shouldn’t express my affection for someone because it probably won’t be reciprocated.
I shouldn’t show vulnerability because it will make me appear weak.
I shouldn’t offer advice because I don’t have a degree in the subject.
I shouldn’t express my opinions because someone may disagree.
I shouldn’t act a certain way because it isn’t considered adult behavior.
I shouldn’t stick my neck out because I might get my head chopped off.
I shouldn’t use profanity because it might offend someone.
I shouldn’t try to help people because my own life isn’t exactly where I want it to be.
I shouldn’t even try because it probably won’t work or turn out the way I want it to.
I shouldn’t publish a post or piece of art until it’s perfect — and it never is.
And that’s just me.
If I listened to everything I told myself I shouldn’t do, I wouldn’t ever do anything worth doing.
Sometimes you just have to tell the voice in your head to SHUSH! And then remind yourself that if it turns out that whatever you want to do is a mistake, you’ll learn from it.
[ DISCLAIMER: I am not recommending law breaking, bad, abusive, or negative behavior. Please use common sense. ]
Everyone feels anxiety at times. Everyone gets nervous. Everyone occasionally wonders if what they want to do will be a mistake.
And that’s ok, but you don’t ever let that stop you from living your life on your terms. Who are you living your life for anyway? You — or everyone else on the planet?
Live. Try stuff. Make mistakes. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
Because being afraid of doing something you truly want to do isn’t a good enough reason not to do it.
“Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.” — Anthony Robbins
If you do the best you can to be a decent human being, show tolerance and kindness to others — and still live in fear of what people think of you, your possessions, your opinions, or your beliefs, and then alter your behavior to be “approved” by as many people as possible, that isn’t freedom, it’s a form of self-imposed slavery.
You become a slave to the idea that what other people might think is more important that exercising your ability to express your true self.
Have you ever avoided something as simple as clicking a “like” button or commenting on a post on social media because you were afraid of what people would think if they saw it? If so, then you’re doing it.
If your relationships are so fragile that something like a single like, share, or comment could end them (or cause an unfollow or other equivalent), then perhaps those are not the kind of relationships that are really adding any kind of value to your life.
And perhaps it’s time to ask yourself what the point of “collecting people” in your life is, if the sorts of people you’ve collected will judge you “unworthy” of their friendship and leave you the moment you truly express yourself.
This is an issue that goes far beyond how people act on social media, it’s a real-life problem as well.
Changing who you are to be liked by people may result in more people “liking” you, but it also means that those who “like” you are liking someone who is pretending to be someone or something they’re not.
And, ultimately, you’re sacrificing yourself (and your life) to do it. You’re sacrificing your freedom to express your true self in order to gain “friends” who don’t even like you for you.
Do you respect people who water themselves down, live in fear of being disliked, or pretend to be someone they’re not in order to gain favor? If not, then how can you expect to respect yourself if you do the same things?
Be your genuine self and you will find that those who stick around in your life are those who appreciate and respect you for who you truly are. They may not agree with everything you say, do, or believe, but they are far more likely to forgive you for your mistakes or lapses in judgement and stick by you not only during the high times in your life, but also the lows.
And you can live knowing that you’re not being judged by those who matter to you — and if you are, you still don’t live in fear of it, because it’s not your problem. When people judge you, it says more about them than it says about you.
And, in the off chance you suck as a human being and few people like you, then that’s perhaps a sign you have some things to work on to be a better person in an authentic way — and not someone who simply pretends to be one.
As far I’m concerned, if you’re tolerant and open-minded, I like having you in my life, regardless of your beliefs or some opinions you have that I don’t agree with (and vice-versa). Because ultimately, we help each other grow.
One of the most deceptively easy ways to start feeling bad about things is to start focusing on all these problems — and/or your own — without putting in quality time to focus on solutions and ultimately taking action.
The chances of miraculously solving all of your own or the world’s problems by focusing on how bad they make you feel are next to none.
Casually or subconsciously focusing on problems is one of the quickest ways to feel overwhelmed — and many times you won’t even realize why you suddenly feel miserable, only that you do.
If you’re not willing and/or able to commit to action and taking steps to change something for the better, then simply acknowledge your negative thoughts for the time being and move on to something more productive, more positive, more empowering.
Especially if you’re prone to depression.
It is totally ok not to start a project when you don’t have the strength, focus, or tools necessary to complete it.
Gather your tools and the right mindset, and have a strategy. Then you can tackle your problems with intention.
Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Along those lines, I say we can’t solve life’s toughest problems from a state of mental or emotional weakness. Rather than make things better, attempting to do so often makes things appear worse. That’s when you, instead, focus on something else.
And if you ever find yourself stuck having to take action, and you have neither the tools or the strength necessary to do it, then reach out to someone who at least has the potential to help you.
There are always people out there willing to help you in any way they can. Even when they, too, have their own problems.