The Power To Change The Way You Think
Now I want to make one thing clear, I am not a psychologist by trade I just play one in “real” life…
But in all seriousness for as long as I can remember I have been the voice of reason and options in all of my interactions, business and relationships. I was raised surrounded (and personally) with a multitude of psychosis. Some were legit, others man made, but all too often a stigmatized self-repeating cycle.
In life people feel a need to “not be that person”; the one on prescriptions, with the stigma of anti-depressants or “crazy pills”, the difficult one, the stupid one, etc. The whole time I wondered and asked what exactly does “that” mean? If something within or about you causes you pain or shame than why spend all of your time in the hate of it instead of working with it to fully understand? Why is it we tend, on the whole, to fight a current solution or situation instead of using our current and past situations to figure it out?
“Better” always seems to be another step away. “Better” is what we perceive as normal instead of recognizing what our normal actually is. We never work with the reality of who we are or what we are dealing with, never look at what we can be but instead put all of our focus instead on what and who we are not, putting the unspoken “impossible” on our own perspective identities.
Roger Martin, a strategic advisor to global businesses and Dean of the Rotman School of Management believes that the key to solving problems lies in your perspective just as much as your situation. If you see the world as a series of “tough choices,” when you’re confronted with a problem, you’ll probably make a decision based on the facts and move forward. If, on the other hand, you regard “everything [as] doable,” chances are, you’ll be willing to take risks and imagine new possibilities from scratch.
In other words “better” becomes our excuse.
All too frequently, people insist that they are incapable of change when actually they are either unwilling or afraid to try. We torture ourselves with the idea that we cannot help ourselves instead of being gentle enough to acknowledge our struggle and work from within its confines to discover our power in and over it.
It’s Not What You Think But How You Think It
How you think has a huge effect on how you are in the world.
One of the biggest mistakes we make is assuming that other people think the way we think. -Unknown
We are taught in school to answer problems with the “right” answer and handle things the “right” way. This paves the way for societal conformity that translates into the way we act and interact, as well as the way we see and treat ourselves. This leads to the stigma of what is considered “right” and “wrong.” It isn’t encouraged to reflect on the ideas you have or the beliefs you maintain, to understand who you are, not who you should be. When applied to life this two dimensional process leaves us with holes that provide gateways into negative and self-destructive thoughts that sets off the domino effect of cyclic behavior.
Psychologists believe that 80% of the 60,000–70,000 thoughts we have a day are negative or self-damaging.
Habitually thinking negatively about yourself, your choices or just life in general leads to the real belief of not being good enough, that you are not good enough, too stupid, or can’t do anything right, continuing the preconditioned cycle. Rarely are we truly conscious of our language and thought process. We will speak negatively of our own experiences, of our bodies and social appearance because it seems like the right thing to do. To be humble, self-deprecating and “approachable” — which usually means the above — are all society’s ideas of pleasing. When someone is open and confident, yes it is considered attractive, but too often it is put up on a pedestal to be admired but never touched or reached. These are traits reserved for celebrities and heroes, in other words “winners.” Anything lesser is underachieving, fostering that black and white comparison mindset that leads to a preconditioned sense of inadequacy that establishes a subconscious pattern in action and reactions.
What you think and feel and want and how you work with your reactions to things sculpt your brain in multiple ways. Buying into conventions trap of one right answer aka the “right” way of thinking and being instead of accepting your own most natural self will send you down the path of negative self-destruction.
It is important to monitor and pay attention to predisposed thought process, your knee-jerk reactions to anything and everything. To be aware of how you respond to everyday situations. Once you do you will be able to identify what type of negative thinker you are.
Here is a list of negative thinking traits based on the PTSD coach worksheet. A good resource when beginning your own re-pattern process.
1) All or Nothing: You see things in black and white and have a hard time acknowledging and accepting the “gray.”
2) Emotional thinking: When what you feel controls how you think.
3) Overestimating risk: You assess the risk of situations higher than they really are.
4) Must and Should thinking: Unwritten rules or expectations for how to behave based on your own conception of standards as opposed to facts that you judge yourself by.
5) Self-blame: You blame yourself and take responsibility for bad things when they happen whether or not you have control over them.
6) Expecting the worst: Always expecting the worse and triggered by “what if” thoughts.
7) Over-generalization: Belief that because something happened once it will continue to keep happening.
Negative self-talk becomes so powerful because you begin to automatically think negatively so you come to believe the negativity a little more every day. When you cannot respect or accept yourself translates and sets the standards for your life, relationships, career and own ability to be happy. What you think plays a huge part in how you are perceived.
Happiness Is NOT Just A Choice
Guess what? You can’t just click your heels three times and be happy. One cannot simply snap themselves out of it, life doesn’t work that way and we should stop trying to force ourselves to. Depression, and any sort of mental illness, cannot just be smiled or trained away, however if we can stop worrying about the stigma attached to both ailment and stabilizing, we can work with our newfound perspectives, our newly prescribed piece of mind. That is what this time is meant for. It gives you back that piece of yourself so you can work to recover more. This is in your power now. Prescriptions were never meant to be the cure they are simply a stepping stone, no, not to that illusive better, but your better.
We must work in our own realities, case by case, person by person. We are human; we are individuals, what works for one may not work for the many because we are all in our brainwaves and makeup different. Medicine can stabilize, but it is you, it is me, who can heal. To know thyself is the ultimate power no matter the struggle, but first and foremost one must accept just who and how that self is. We have to work ourselves to better, there is no magic or quick fix, and there is no such thing as not being able to change. Change always and ultimately comes down to accepting who we are in the present sp that from there we can strip away who we have become due to programming and better define what our natural essence and who our truest character really is.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them. - Albert Einstein
Once you have made that conscious choice to be present in your thought process, when you have identified and accepted your negative you can actively start replacing it with realistic thinking as well as self-soothing thought patterns. The trick here is to do the same thing that you did with your negative thought pattern by replacing those ingrained habits with more positive self-present ones.
When dealing with mindfulness you have to remember to be in and of the problem. You can’t have progress if you get caught up in the grief of regret, be present in the problem for what it is now, not what it was or “should” be. Do not compare yourself with others you believe to be similar. This is about you. Ultimately we are all only in control of one thing: ourselves. This is not selfishness this is necessity.
We do not have to change overnight; this is not about getting it right. This is about you learning to feel the best in and of yourself. It is small decision making not whole problem solving. These are little steps; this is creating new patterns and ways of thinking.
Thinking includes reasoning, reflecting, pondering, judging, analyzing and evaluating an idea or decision. It’s using your mind in a creative, effective manner. Thinking tends to be productive, goal-oriented, and action-oriented. If we are focused on understanding ourselves the opportunity for frustration and failure is limited, because instead of focusing on “fixing” or “correcting” our behavior that either can’t be changed or won’t be accepted we are not coming from a place that is set-up to judge, but instead to lean.
In almost an out of body experience by looking into how you handle things and why you are removing blame. You are removing yourself and saying these are the facts now what can I learn which in turn brings forth the answer to what can I do.
Nowadays we feel anguished when we can’t control everything, but if you can free yourself from expecting that the outcome must always be in your favor, you’ll make better decisions. Reflect on your choice/s. Research your move. Plan your actions. Do what you can do to maximize your success. But don’t paralyze yourself with failure from taking action because you can’t guarantee success. Free yourself from that outcome.
Of course it is easy to say “Just relax,” but for many that’s a really tough thing to do. If you can attain a relaxed state of mind you will be able to think more clearly and deal more thoughtfully with choices and decisions. Visualize the person you want to be and then create a place in your mind where you can go to feel safe, warm, cozy, and comfy in that state. Imagine staying there until your mind is quiet, your body relaxed. Cultivate this and soon you will associate who you want to be with how it makes you feel and it will be more inclined to become your default.
Change is possible no matter your current or past state of being or circumstances. In all things we are here to learn and to expand. Evolution is founded on the principles of ability to survive. You are a survivor and you can adapt yourself to the life that you want to live and the way that you want to be, think and feel, but the objective term here is you. That is where it all begins and ends. Within you are the pieces, all the pieces. So embrace it and you for the way the world sees anyone is through the glasses that they themselves color.
If you can’t love yourself how in the hell you gonna love anyone else? -RuPaul