Have you ever realized how much you talk to yourself? Not out loud, but in your head? Well, maybe for some of you out loud. It’s quite fascinating to think that you can have between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. Have you ever taken the time to consider how you are talking to yourself? Are you speaking positively to yourself? I know I don’t most of the time. When I mess up something at work I constantly think of all the times I’ve made a similar error or what I should have done instead. I constantly think of the negative things going on in life. When I drive I constantly have negative thoughts about the people around me. Those negative thoughts are very dangerous.
Our minds are wired to win. If we believe something, our minds will constantly try to make that come true.
If we believe that we are of a certain social class, our subconscious will make that true. Are you jealous of the woman driving the new Audi next to you on the way to work in the morning? Do you wish you could have all of the nice things you see walking around the mall? Most people would say yes to this. Are you willing to work the extra 15-30 hours a week to get there? Are you willing to sacrifice time with your family in order to advance your career and make more money? These are hard questions, but if you really wanted to move forward, you would likely have to take these steps. If you’re not willing to take these steps, stop worrying about what you don’t have. Stop thinking that maybe one day you can have those things. It’s just wasting your time.
If you constantly believe and say to yourself that you are not willing to be in poor physical shape anymore, eventually doing the things required of being in good shape will come naturally. The way you win in this situation is a positive because you get in better shape. If you say you want to be in shape, but won’t do what’s required to get in shape, you will never get in shape. For a long time, I wanted to put on muscle mass. That was my “goal”. I never took the steps to reach this goal for more than a week, and then my thoughts of, “well I just can’t gain weight” took over and I fell off the wagon (eating a ton of food). I would quickly revert back to eating normal amounts of food and saying how much I wanted to gain weight. Every time I failed to gain weight, my mind won.
If someone believes they will never find true love and that every person is the same, it will become true. That person will likely go through the same crappy relationship over and over. They get into a new relationship and maybe it’s all great. Maybe they think, “this might be the one.” But over time, they slowly revert back to doing the same things that have drawn their other relationships to an end. Maybe it starts with a big fight, and then several little fights. Suddenly you realize you’re having to put a ton of effort into just being around this person. When that relationship comes to an end, you have won. Because you have the belief that you will never find true love and that every person is the same, you made that narrative fit this relationship. Maybe that person wasn’t so bad. Maybe your inner thoughts made little things seem much larger than they actually were. There’s also the possibility that the guy/gal was a giant jerk, but I think you get what I’m saying here.
Positive thinking is a muscle. You can’t just decide that you are going to be positive to yourself and therefore be happier. You have to work the muscle. Many times, your thoughts will become your actions, but if you can control your actions, they will eventually become your thoughts. Instead of not taking the trash out and sitting and thinking about how much you don’t want to take the trash out, just get up and do it. After several times of flexing this mental muscle taking out the trash isn’t such an awful chore.
I’m not a psychiatrist. I do not claim to be a doctor or to have studied for years to come up with this stuff. I have started reading books and doing some research on these ideas though. One of the books I recommend is called Unf*ck Yourself by Gary John Bishop. He talks about all of the things I’ve mentioned above in some way or another. It may not change your life and it has yet to change mine, but it has really made me think about how I talk to myself and how it affects my life. I’m currently trying out new practices to train my thoughts and subconscious to help move me in a more positive direction. I also didn’t come into this with a ton of negative baggage, I just get frustrated at traffic and say how much I dislike things a lot. Now I’ll try not to do these things as much and exercise that mental muscle of positive thinking.
What are your thoughts on this? Have you tried positive thinking? Is it natural for you or do you have to really work at it?