Everyone in life shares a similar goal – to find happiness, love, and light in our lives. Sadly, that isn’t the case for many people. When you’re old and gray you’ll want to look back on the life you’ve lived and see one that was full of adventure, laughter, and happiness. It’s not an unusual hope to hold, most people have that hope. Yet, the most difficult part of living life to the pull is reaching a point where you can do what you want.
There are a lot of things that may be holding you back, a big one could be negative self-talk. It can be difficult to transform those thoughts into more positive ones, especially when they’ve plagued you for so long. Once they’ve been in your head for long enough you believe it.
The Thinking That Is Holding You Back
• I can’t do it. This is one of the most debilitating negative sentences you can tell yourself. If you believe that you can’t you won’t. It’s probably the reason that you gave up on a number of dreams and chose to settle for something else. Try this, the next time you’re discussing hopes and dreams with a friend, just ask what is holding them back from achieving them. They’re probably going to say that they just can’t do it because [insert excuse here]. Whether that excuse is it’s not the right time to take a risk or that their financial situation won’t allow it. There will always be an excuse because when you believe that you can’t you will find a way to explain why you can’t.
Want to beat that? Make a list of the accomplishments you thought you wouldn’t be able to achieve but you have.
• I’m not good enough. You tell yourself that you’re not smart enough or talented enough, but it has probably stemmed from the comparisons that you’ve been making with people around you. It’s demoralizing and it can be destructive. For example, if you want to be a writer but you compare yourself to Stephen King or Margaret Atwood then you very well may give up before you’ve really gotten started. The part of the picture we often miss is the failure and years of hard work, they put in before achieving their level of success. You can’t compare your starting point to the results of others.
• What if…? It’s natural to consider your future, but if your thoughts are plagued by the what-ifs and they’re all negative then you’re limiting what you can achieve. While the future may be uncertain, assuming that it only holds negative things in store for you is illogical. Life won’t always turn out the way you want, but risks are a must.
• Chasing Perfection. No one is perfect – no one, not even you. Are you terrified by the thought of failing and worried about disappointing your loved ones or people reveling in your mistakes? Don’t be, it’s exhausting and can hold you back.
• Generalizing Failure. There are plenty of reasons why something might fail, and we’re guilty of overgeneralizing them. Just because a handful of your romantic endeavors have failed doesn’t mean all of those in the future will, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It just means that it didn’t work out in these specific romances. Making a generalization doesn’t provide insight into the numerous reasons that contributed to something not going your way.
The sooner you learn how to mitigate your negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones the sooner you will be able to start living your life to the full. Negative self-talk is a major stumbling block in your journey to living a fulfilling life. In fact, it might just be the only thing that is holding you back. Turning those thoughts around is one way to live your life freely.
You don’t need to conquer the world to live a happy life, you only need to conquer yourself.