“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
You do know you talk to yourself in your mind all the time, right?
Pretty much every one of us has a non-stop stream of thoughts – a mental monologue – that has a powerful impact on how we feel, how we behave, and how we live our lives. Too often, this mental monologue consists of unhelpful thoughts that hinder our happiness and effectiveness.
Which is why it’s time to stop thinking about…
1. Who everyone else wants you to be.
You were born to be you, not who they tell you to be. You are not here to be perfect; you are here to be true. Be gentle and kind to your heart and soul. Accept who you are, where you are, and where you came from.
Don’t make a decision based solely on popularity, or based on what others think is right for you. Just because others are doing something doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you.
Listen to your gut. Now is the moment to follow your intuition and pursue what matters most to you. Reach deep within yourself and awaken to the purpose that moves you and makes you feel alive. The world is filled with opportunities to do an infinite number of things, so why not align your efforts with the activities that speak to your soul.
2. What you don’t have.
Instead of thanking the heavens for two strong legs and a body that’s capable of running and jumping and dancing, lots of people complain about their weight and appearance.
Instead of appreciating that they live in a country that protects their basic human rights and civil liberties, lots of people complain about laws, taxes, and politicians.
Instead of being grateful for the roof they have over their heads, lots of people wish they had a larger house and a fancier car.
Don’t be one of these people.
3. What you fear.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt so profoundly said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
That’s the honest truth. The real thing that keeps you down is fear. The reason your fears have so much power over you is simply because you give them this power by thinking about them – the worst-case scenario, what you don’t want to happen, etc.
It’s time to take a stand. It’s time to clear your fears from your thoughts. It’s time to acknowledge that your fear of grief is far worse than the grief you fear.
4. Old mistakes.
Why regret? This moment doesn’t have any mistakes in it yet. It’s brand new.
You have a choice to make right here, right now. You can hold onto old mistakes or you can make progress going forward with the new beginning you’ve just been given.
It’s time to be bold. It’s time to stop reading the previous chapter of your life and start writing the one you’re currently living. Learn from your old mistakes and march confidently on. Sure you’ll make new mistakes along the way, but that’s the whole point – you want to learn from new mistakes, not rot alongside old ones.
Living means taking chances that are worth taking and making mistakes that are worth making. Right now is simply a new chance to get it right, but you have to let go and take this chance.
5. Old wounds.
You will grow much stronger and find peace once you stop picking at your old wounds. Consciously replaying a painful memory over and over in your head is self-abuse. Your past has given you the strength and awareness you have today. Don’t let it haunt you. Celebrate it.
Your wounds are your wisdom. Let them heal. Let them scar.
In order for this to occur, you must know why you felt the way you did, what you learned from it, and why you no longer need to feel that way. It’s about accepting the past, letting it be, and pushing your spirit forward.
You may carry a small scar with you for the rest of your life. Realize that this is perfectly OK. A scar is the effect of healing – it’s what makes you whole again. Read 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.
6. Impressing the wrong people.
You could spend your entire life trying to impress everyone around you. Of course, it wouldn’t get you very far.
Purposely impressing people is an act that brings nothing but a fleeting ego boost. Be real instead. Connect with fewer people on a level that is deeper and more profound.
If you want to impress someone, impress yourself by making progress on something you’re sincerely proud of. It’s truly amazing what you can accomplish when you aren’t worried about what everyone around you thinks.
7. Important dreams you aren’t actively pursuing.
The point here is simple: STOP thinking and START doing.
The road of life is jam packed with dreams that aren’t going anywhere. Why? Because the people driving these dreams haven’t started their engines. So many people endlessly put off until tomorrow what they could do today. There are literally millions of promising, intelligent people in this world who have no plan at all, who wait for others to drive and steer their lives and their dreams for them.
Having a dream without an action plan is exactly like a beautiful sports car without an engine. You know what she could do if she could do it, but she can’t. Turn your dream into an actionable plan and then start executing your plan. Make no promise for tomorrow when you have the opportunity to make progress today.
8. The impossible looking aerial view of a big project.
An aerial view of a big project always looks daunting. But once you break it down into small parts, suddenly it’s no longer a big, impossible project. It’s simply a bunch of little, achievable ones.
The key is to subdivide a big project into smaller tasks and break each task down further into logical steps for each task. Thinking about the big picture is important on occasion to keep track of your progress, but on a daily basis you should be focused only on the step you’re taking at the time.
The toughest part is laying out what you actually have to do to get each task done, but it’s worth the time and effort. By thinking about it, and breaking it down, you’ve already accomplished the hardest part – you’ve built yourself a step-by-step instruction manual for getting the project completed. Read Getting Things Done.
9. Situations you have zero control over.
Some parts of your life are simply meant to be lived, not controlled. No matter what happens, no matter the outcome, you’re going to be just fine. Let the things you can’t control, happen.
Spend your thoughts and efforts on controlling what you do have power over, rather than wasting your peace of mind on the uncontrollable.
10. Another time and place.
Sometimes we avoid experiencing exactly where we are because we have developed a belief, based on past experiences, that it is not where we should be or want to be. But the truth is, where you are now is exactly where you need to be to get to where you want to go tomorrow.
The present moment is always filled with wonder. Right now is a phenomenon. Right now extraordinary things are happening. If you are attentive, you will see them.
What’s something you often think about that you know hurts you more than it helps you? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Photo by: Toni Blay