4 Positive Things to Keep Telling Yourself Even When You Don’t Want to Hear It
1). Keep Going
Why am I doing this? You ask yourself. Why am I putting myself through the stress? Whatever you’re trying to achieve, whatever goal you’re fighting to accomplish, there will be times where you will feel lost. I’m feeling that way right now.
I want to be an author. Not just any author. I want to be a unique, successful author that inspires people to be their best self, that can help people escape to a world where they feel comforted. At this moment, in the middle of a global pandemic, I am at a loss.
I don’t know how to get from “I want” to “I did.” You may be feeling the same way. It’s hard to focus on long-term goals when the world is in a stagnant state. You may be asking yourself, where do I stand? As a millennial, what does the world want or need from me? How can I bring or maintain significance in what I love to do in life, especially now?
I tell myself to keep going. When I feel unmotivated and lost, I keep going. When I feel frustrated and agitated, I keep pushing.
Why? Because I believe I will become the author I want and need to be. Because this is the reason I was born, to write. Because if I keep staring at the pandemic and visualizing a destructive future, it only makes things worse.
Keep going even when you feel like you can’t. Move on to the next task no matter how small. Once the first few steps are taken, gradually you will find your way to your goal and you will be proud of yourself for not giving up before you’ve reached it.
2). Don’t Stop Doing What You Love
It’s the seventh month of this year and all we’ve consistently heard about is Coronavirus. I felt disillusioned and still do. Sometimes I don’t know why I keep writing if nothing seems to be changing about this year. How can I not worry about where my career will lead in a time such as this?
You’re going to worry. That happens, and if it does, let yourself worry. Don’t do it forever but allow yourself to understand why you’re worried and what you can do about it.
For me, I write.
When I don’t write, I don’t have motivation for the following day. I fall into a listless struggle with myself and end up watching too much TV to distract myself from things I can’t control. But I’ve realized that when I do write, I feel somehow energized. It’s what I love to do, and I can’t stop loving it, it’s something so powerful that I can’t snuff it out. So, I allow myself to constantly write, which helps me feel safe, helps me escape for a while. It helps me wake up the next day and live day to day life, even in the midst of all this uncertainty.
Do the thing you love most. It doesn’t have to be career-centered; it could just be spending time with people you care about if you can. It could be reading, it could be anything, just don’t stop doing it. Give yourself that comfort of being able to enjoy something even when it seems like joy is the last thing you can feel. Your mind needs a break from worry thoughts. It needs to breathe. It needs to do something it loves.
3). For Every Negative Thought Create a Positive One
Sometimes, I don’t feel like I have control over anything much in my life. It’s taken me a long time to realize I do control how I react to things. For most of my life I’ve been battling consistent negative thoughts that bombard their way to the forefront of my mind. In my teens, I labeled these thoughts “little negatives.”
These negatives would come in the form of pure dread and terror. I felt something bad would happen every time I left the house so, everywhere I went I would carry these fears with me. I feared people, places, rejection, judgments, all the same things most of us tend to fear.
It wasn’t until I decided to go to therapy in my early 20’s that I realized most of these thoughts were irrational.
Now I can pick these thoughts out easily. I have learned how to talk back to them, to create positive thoughts to replace them instead.
Is it easy? Not at all, though it seems to get easier as time passes. Is it possible to maintain? Absolutely. So that’s what I do to keep my state of mind clear from that cloud of irrational thinking.
If you’re thinking we won’t survive this pandemic, rethink the thought and focus on something more positive, such as, the pandemic has changed the world, but it will not last and we will move into a better future after all this. For now, we have to adapt and just be patient.
Hone in on the thought, focus on it, and threaten the negative thought with a positive one. Even if you don’t believe the thought, keep saying it. Gradually, repetition and consistency will rewire your brain to believe the positive thought just like it was first wired to believe little negatives. I’ve had to do this with so many thoughts that come across my mind. The thing is to catch it early and not let it fester and build into an entire dreadful feeling.
When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed with little negatives, take a breath, reword these thoughts to make something positive. It takes time and effort, but it will benefit you in the long run.
4). Remember that You’re in Control
This is a hard one for me. I can’t control what happens with the Coronavirus. I can’t control what decisions will be made that I may not agree with. I can’t control people’s behaviors and reactions. Sometimes I end up focusing on all the things I can’t control and all that does is make me feel defeated.
So, I am working on focusing on what I can control. I can react differently. I don’t have to be consumed with fear or any negative emotion. I don’t have to stare at my negative thoughts and allow them to overtake me. I can fight them. I can focus on things I love to do and be around people I care about and who cares about me.
Yes, there are many things that we don’t have a say in but cruelly end up being affected by. That’s just the nature of life, but we don’t have to give up because of it. If we do give up, then we’re relinquishing our control to someone else who has the power to manipulate our reactions and behaviors and turn us into something that we’re not.
There is one thing you can control and that is your perspective, how you decide to view circumstances. Is there a pandemic going on? Yes. We’ve tried to ignore it, tried to act like things should and will go back to the way they were before, when it won’t happen. The world has been changed by this. We have to adapt and do what we can to lessen the spread of it. I realized I have to think practically about this, but I don’t have to relinquish my control.
I’m cautious when I go out, I wear my mask, sometimes gloves, and I follow social distancing as much as I can because this is real, and I don’t want it to spread. Even before wearing masks was required, I wore them because there were people I knew who caught the virus. I also knew I had underlying health problems that I might die from if I were to catch the virus.
You have control over how you choose to perceive a situation, the world, everything. Nothing in life is ever really certain. Anything could happen, but you can control how you can move forward from any happenstance.
All these things can be difficult to do, but not impossible.
Keep going even when you feel like you can’t. One of the best things in life is achieving what seemed impossible and looking back on every moment you decided to keep going instead of giving up.
Never stop doing what you love because this is what keeps you motivated. This is what keeps you happy, calm, alive, and we all need to feel these things.
For every negative thought create a positive one because harping on the negative will only increase the feeling of dread. If you don’t focus on these thoughts, they don’t have a chance to grow. But you also have to fight them with something stronger. Turning around that first negative thought will be the stepping stone for rewiring your mind to be stronger, to think clearer, which will in turn make you a better you.
Lastly, remember that you’re in control. It may not seem like it. It may not feel like it. But you have to focus on those things you can control, no matter how small. You can control your reactions, behaviors, perceptions, your own mind.
All these things lead to one large notion: You’re not going to let circumstance destroy you because your strength is stronger than the pain and the fear. You’re moving forward even when you don’t feel like it because the future will have something in store for you no matter what’s going on in the present. You just have to get there.
Originally published at https://jordanthedreamer.com on July 25, 2020.