If your life is fully of negativity, you're not really living.
There are many of us who go through life and choose to take on the responsibility of everyone else's opinions, decisions or actions. We then feel guilty that we are never good enough or strong enough to have our own beliefs without the approval of parents, peers, colleagues or friends. If something bad happens, we take it personally and never seem to hold others accountable for their responsibility, however big or small. We continue to strive to do our best, but we find that for many people in our path, that is somehow not good enough for them.
Many people put negative thoughts into our heads that tend to make us feel that we are not good enough to live our lives without this emotional blackmail. They instill in us the idea that we are being a bad person if we think independently. Pressure builds with all of these confusing thoughts, whether they are your own thoughts or someone else's, as to what is right or wrong. This in itself ruins our ability to think logically. It's easy to understand why we then become afraid of either being disloyal or losing a friendship or relationship.
None of us are perfect. We all have faults. When teachers, coaches, parents and friends continue to give us negative feedback, we begin to believe in their beliefs and not our own. We begin to doubt our own abilities. To avoid conflict, we decide to take on all of the responsibility in a situation or circumstance, whether it was our fault or not. This lowers our self-esteem as well as our self-worth. Too many times we may begin to take on coping skills of self-hate, addictions, cutting, suicidal thoughts, etc. For others, silence or submission may be their best way to deal with these experiences.
We often lose sight of how resilience can play a role to help us not succumb to life's tribulations — and not just survive them, but thrive as a result of them.
Unfortunately, instead we continue to live our lives of doubt and quiet shame. Sometimes our past does not reveal itself until later in life, with past memories of horror, destruction or distraction popping up suddenly out of nowhere. When these incidences occur, we are often left frightened, distraught or feeling guilty. This then enables others to manipulate us into their way of thinking. They hit us with their negative thoughts about us when we're at our lowest points. This leaves us little strength to combat their attacks; hence we adopt their thinking instead of relying on our own beliefs.
Have you ever considered how negative thoughts can hurt you? Negative thoughts can cripple you. They can enable you to become co-dependent on others. After all, if you can't think for yourself, you're going to need someone else to think for you, right? Negative thoughts can prevent you from feeling like a complete person. They make us doubt who we are and what we are capable of. Negative thoughts can paralyze you by conjuring up feelings of self-defeat or despair. They can imprison your mind so you feel no self-worth or, for that matter, no self-acceptance. Negative thoughts can prevent you from self-exploration. They can hold you back from discovering and understanding who you really are and the dreams you have. They can become obstacles to what stands between you and reality. Negative thoughts can kill the very essence of what you are truly capable of. They can stunt your growth and narrow what you believe your future can hold for you.
When a negative thought occurs in your mind or if people share their negative opinions of you, it is important to really think about whose thoughts those are. Are they really yours or not? Take into consideration other people's feelings and beliefs. Weigh them against your own. You do deserve to think for yourself and do not need the approval of those around you. Sometimes that is hard to do, especially when your opinion may differ, but you do have the freedom to think for yourself.
Sometimes when I have a decision to make, I take out a tablet or writing pad and decide what is important for me to achieve. I then write down what my beliefs are and what other people's opinions are about these. I evaluate what resonates with me and then consider what I am going to do. My decision has to resonate with my true purpose and passion. It has to allow me to be congruent with my own integrity and the knowledge that what I am doing is good for myself and my family, friends, colleagues and others.
Sometimes I call these negative thoughts "A.N.T.s" — automatic negative thoughts. They feel like they come out of nowhere, yet often we have been conditioned to think them for years and years. I can assure you that no matter how young or how old you are, you can undo these negative thoughts and beliefs because, believe me, these thoughts were not even yours to begin with. Freedom from them can be found through the idea of getting rid of the clutter that is in your brain, just as you could remove the clutter from your home. It may seem hard to do at first, but I know if you start to recondition yourself with positive thoughts daily, you will feel the weight lifted from you as you release negativity, depression and anxiety. You deserve to be kind to yourself and to see how free you can really feel without all that negativity holding you back. It is so refreshing when you can finally take a deep breath of clean air. May you practice giving yourself a chance to live with peace every day.
You are in my thoughts and I know you can do this,
This article was originally published at http://drchristina.com/. Reprinted with permission from the author.