Posted October 2012
Positive Thinking is Essential to
Well Being and Success
Positive thinking is not a new age concept that only optimistic people practice. It's a necessity for people who want to live happy and successful lives. Behavioral and psychology studies have proven that individuals who think positive thoughts are happier, more resilient and achieve goals more often than people who succumb to negative self-talk. Berating yourself mentally, studies show, is the biggest obstacle you face to achieving a sense of well-being and success in life. You are your own worst enemy when you denigrate and reprimand yourself through your thoughts.
The things you repeat frequently enough in your mind become your reality. You've heard the term self-fulfilling prophesy? If you think you will fail, you will. Fortunately, the reverse is true as well. If you think you will succeed, you will.
So stop apologizing to yourself. Stop making excuses. Stop putting yourself down. These are the habits-often unconscious-that you've developed because of negative self-talk you've practiced for years.
- "I'm not good enough." - "I knew I wouldn't get that right." - "They probably think I'm boring." - "Why am I so stupid?" - "Nothing ever goes my way."
Do they sound familiar? We're all guilty of negative self-talk. We pick it up from childhood and unfortunately hold onto those thoughts into adulthood. You know you wouldn't speak as harshly to other people as you do to yourself. So why do we do it? Honestly, what horrific thing have you ever done to deserve that kind of harsh reprimand? For 99.9% of us, there is nothing horrific that we've done in the past.
As a child, you may have expected praise and when it didn't happen, took that as a message that you aren't good enough. You may have learned to blame yourself when someone else was unhappy because your four-year-old mind decided that you did something wrong. That's what children do; they connect their feelings to how they interpret a situation because they don't have enough experience to assess it correctly.
You're no longer a child. You can see now that you're not responsible for other people's happiness, just your own. There's no longer a reason for you to carry someone else's emotional baggage. It's time to focus on your own.
When you catch yourself doing negative self-talk, stop. Don't get angry, disappointed or become judgmental and heap on more negative self-talk. Changing lifelong habits takes time. Counter negative self-talk with something positive. A positive thought, by the way, is not I am not a failure. That phrase still encompasses negative symbolism. Try phrases that leave no room for doubt: "I am a success" or "I am self-confident." Think it then say it out loud. Giving voice to your thoughts makes it more concrete, more real.
It's also not enough to simply think and say it. Believe it, be it, live it, and act it. You don't need someone else's praise to be happy. Praise yourself - every time you're true to who you are. Praise yourself when you accomplish a goal, get those dishes out of the sink, remember to pick up your dry cleaning or do something thoughtful for someone else. Pat yourself on the back and say, "I did a good thing. I'm a successful/productive/good person." That's true positive thinking. It strengthens you, builds you up and opens you up to possibilities, and it's something you can do everyday until it becomes your new habit.
It's never too late to try something new. After all, what you did yesterday makes you what you are today, but what you do today determines what you will be tomorrow.
Copyright © 2012 Delores Mason
All Rights Reserved
Delores Mason is a life coach, workshop facilitator and writer. She is author of Balance Your Life: Take control of your time, Discover what really matters, a book that provides the tools to take charge of your life and focus on your well-being. Visit www.2YourWell-Being.com.
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