Do you often feel like a failure? Check your thoughts. Thoughts of failure lead to feelings of failure that lead to actions that guarantee failure. Are you usually in a bad mood? Check your thoughts. Our thoughts are the authors of our moods. We choose to be in a good mood or a bad mood. Do you feel connected to other people? Check your thoughts. When we have a hard time connecting with others it may be because we are secretly harboring negative thoughts about them.
The way we think about our life is always more powerful than our actual circumstances. Circumstances don’t make us who we are, they reveal who we are. Obsessive worrying gets us in trouble. It is not always all the things that go wrong that drive us crazy; it is obsessively thinking about all the things that go wrong that drives us crazy. For example, one mother told me she was constantly worried and anxious about her troubled children. Then one day it dawned on her that if she could only be as happy as her most unhappy child, she’d have to be sad her whole life. She mentally separated her desire to nurture and love her children and her bad habit of mirroring their bad moods or being depressed about their poor life choices.
Words are powerful. What words would you describe yourself? Do you use words like brave, teachable, grateful, optimistic, loving, curious or generous? Or do you use words like pathetic, incompetent, fat, ugly, scared or inept? If we entertain negative thoughts about ourselves we probably entertain negative thoughts about others. It is possible to change this negative way of thinking. How?
First, make a life-long commitment to weed out all your negative, fearful and hateful thoughts. As you practice controlling our thoughts, you’ll gradually create new pathways or connections in your brain. The greater your awareness and commitment, the quicker your mind will go to the positive, courageous or loving thought until you have effectively rewired your brain.
Second, understand that rehashing all our problems accomplishes only one thing – keeping us mentally stuck. We can literally make ourselves sick by the thoughts we think. What is your response when you are offended, misunderstood, treated unfairly, accused wrongly, passed over, hurt, rejected or abused? The nature of that response will determine the quality of your life. So choose wisely.
Third, realize that the way you act begins with how you think. If you don’t like the way you act, you need to go back and take a look at your thoughts. Thoughts always preceed actions.