Are Your Thoughts Controlling You?

3 Tips for dealing with a negative mindset

After I graduated from college, I was constantly switching jobs. Why couldn’t I just stay at one job for more than a year? Why was every job of mine, different? Is there something wrong with me? These negative thoughts were constantly barraging and overwhelming me. It became pretty bad and soon I was working menial jobs barely surviving, monetarily and spiritually.

Then I encountered Nichiren Buddhism and I slowly realized that I was the one holding myself back. In Nichiren Buddhism there is a daily practice of chanting and studying Buddhist writings, which powerfully impacted my thoughts, in a positive manner. Having some kind of daily spiritual or religious practice will improve your life.

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What we think, has a dramatic impact on how we live our lives. I was stuck in a rut with my job situation and it took an incredible amount of effort in changing my self-limiting beliefs to, forever, alter the course of my life.

While it is important to maintain a positive mindset, it is natural to have negative thoughts appear from time to time.

Here are three important tips for dealing with these negative thoughts.

  1. Don’t become attached to your negative thoughts. Remember that your thoughts are not you, we are observers of our thoughts. When we realize this we can begin to affect or become the master of our thoughts. Picture your thoughts as a balloon that can be popped and disappear.
  2. Challenge your negative thoughts. Acknowledge the thoughts that come into your head and do an honest assessment of the source of this negative thought. Is it arising from a fear or doubt? What am I afraid will happen? Try to identify the root of the negative thought and then begin to challenge the thought itself.
  3. Learn from the past but don’t be defined by it. We should learn from past experiences but the experience becomes self-limiting when we allow our past to define our future. For example, I was beginning to think that I would never find a job that I liked and I thought I was a failure. My job opportunities became slim because I didn’t think I was qualified for anything. I challenged this core belief about myself and I began to appreciate all the different work experiences that I had. I used these past work experiences to learn what I wanted in a job. This assessment of past work experiences and identification of requirements I had for a career gave me the confidence to seek out new, more fulfilling, opportunities.

When I started to implement my daily Buddhist practice and follow these three tips my, life began to dramatically change. While my core morals didn’t change some of my core beliefs about life did change. This opened up my life in new ways that is allowing me to go out into the world and creative massive value for myself and others.