I always wince when I hear people complain about their circumstances, especially if they’re expressing horribly negative things out loud.

How many times have you said or heard something like this:

“My job is killing me”

“My boss is a jerk”

“Life’s a bitch and then you DIE”

“He’s a pain in my ass”

“I’m so pissed OFF”

“There are no good men/women out there”

“My life sucks”

“People suck”

“I’m DYING here”

“Cigarettes will kill you”

“I can’t ____”

“I wish he’d die”

“I’m always broke”

“People always take me for granted”

“Everything I touch turns to sh__”

“I can’t catch a break”

“Nothing  ever works out for me”

“I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop”

“I’m not enough for him”

“I’m too OLD”

The problem with stating things like these as fact is that, a) they’re not TRUE, and b) the Universe is always going to give you more of what you’re focusing on-without exception.

The quality of your experience as a human being here on earth is based on your thoughts, your emotions, your beliefs and your choices.  You wouldn’t set out to wish horrible things on yourself or pray for miserable circumstances, would you?  You are creating your experience with every thought that goes through your head.  Say it out loud and you’re affirming it to yourself and whoever is listening, so you’ve doubled it’s power.  This is true for positive as well as negative thoughts, but we’re going to focus on the negative for a minute, because that’s where we get in trouble with ourselves.  No one’s out there complaining about being too damned happy, are they?  Feeling too good today?  Having too much fun with too much money?  Had to take yet ANOTHER rotten vacation?  Too lucky?  Nope, didn’t think so.   How often do you see someone who complains all the time win the lottery?  Marry the man of their dreams?  Get a fantastic promotion?  Be the life of the party?  Yep…me neither.  Cynical smirks are about as close to happy smiles as turds are to pickles, and just as much fun.

So, what do you do about your negative thoughts?  Your life is a shit storm, you’re under a lot of pressure at work or home, your health is deteriorating, your relationships are falling apart or not getting off the ground, people don’t want to be around you, your kids/spouse don’t respect you, you don’t feel appreciated, you don’t have enough time to do everything, you’ve got too much month at the end of the money…  isn’t it exhausting thinking about all of that?  Wow, I’m bummed just writing it!  How do you get any relief?  You train yourself.  You learn to pay attention to the noise that comes out of your head and you make a choice whether you’re going to blurt out negativity and vileness to be used against yourself or NOT.  It takes some practice, I’m not gonna lie.  You’re going to slip up and wish bad things on yourself out of reflex by venting something nasty once in a while –  BUT – you’ll start to notice it.  And at some point, in noticing, you’ll catch it before it flies out of your mouth and you will high-five yourself because that’s going to be a milestone on your personal journey towards happiness.

The other half of the equation is finding something better to replace those thoughts with.  We think thousands of thoughts a day.  Pay attention to them.  Are they mostly dull, lifeless, unhappy, unfulfilled, whiny, self-deprecating, worrisome, anxious or dead-end thoughts?  If so, YOU need some new thoughts.  Ask yourself this…are they your own?  Or did someone else put them there?  Did you hear similar thinking from your parents, teachers, church or the media?  Are you judging yourself by someone else’s model or moral standard?  They’re not living your life, who let them in there?  Go get the bouncer and 86 them from your head.  NOT YOUR STUFF.  It may take a while to weed through those imposters posing as your thoughts and beliefs, but get them out of there.  They’re taking up space where you could be storing good thoughts and healthy beliefs.

Next step is to find something good to replace the things you ejected.  Use the same method you used to notice your ugly thought patterns and start noticing the things that are working for you.  Maybe you’ve got a job you don’t like to go to everyday, but you have a great spouse or awesome kids to go home to every night.  Focus your thoughts on them and the joy, love, help, relief, pride, hope they bring you.  Be grateful.  Telling them you’re grateful is great, but if you can’t bring yourself to tell them, at least acknowledge your gratitude for them to yourself, out loud, in your car on your way to work.  In fact, you can use your commute to think about all the things you’re grateful for in your life.  Take stock.  What’s working for you?  Why is it working?  Because you haven’t beat it to death with negativity, it’s been under the radar.  See how this works?  Whatever we focus on, we send energy too.  Negative focus begets negative outcomes.  Positive focus creates positive outcomes.  Having problems with your spouse?  Try coming up with all the things you love about them and focusing on that for a while.  Nine times out of ten, they will feel your gratitude subconsciously and start modeling more of the things you love.  Feeling disrespected?  Start modeling respect and see what happens.  Not feeling heard or acknowledged?  Try listening.  Hate your job?  Try telling yourself “I love my job” and then find reasons to make it true, like;  they give me a fat paycheck every week, the cafeteria has a great cook, all my bills are paid, I have a window, they have good coffee…  It doesn’t have to be about the work itself, but pick out the good things about working there and focus on them.  If you can’t think of anything good, take work off the table.  They’re only paying you for 8 hours a day, why think about it for 12?  Your mind belongs to YOU.  You get to choose what goes on in there.  Worried about your health?  A lot of people feel that their bodies are failing them when they get sick or exhausted.  Your body is an amazing instrument.  It is always trying to keep you in optimal health, that’s its job.  If you don’t feel good, listen to it.  Quit putting junk in it.  Get enough sleep.  Your body is not the enemy.  Support it instead of fighting it. Be grateful to it for getting up every morning and moving you around the world, fighting off viruses, digesting your meals.  Who cares if it’s not magazine perfect?  What’s more important, the size of your butt or if your brain works?  Then we wonder why it quits working, when all it hears is what we don’t like about it.  That’s like telling an engineer his life’s work is unacceptable because he’s wearing purple reading glasses.  Stop rejecting your body over vanity, that’s retarded.

When did you stop dreaming?  Do you remember what makes your heart jump, what excites you?  Start paying attention to the world around you.  What stands out for you that you want more of?  Your old dreams might not fit you anymore, so don’t be afraid to go off in a different direction.  This isn’t costing you anything but a little time and energy to direct your thoughts.  Do you even know what you want your life to look like, ideally?  Get a picture of that in your head.  Change it up til it feels right to your heart.  Fantasize about it, invest time and some emotional energy in where you’d like to be.  Do NOT allow guilt or feelings of obligation to people or work interfere with your ideal.  This is YOUR  dream, they can have their own.  Do not allow your current lack of resources to influence your picture.  No limits.  Go there in your mind whenever possible.   If you don’t have an idea of what you want to feel like, where you want to be personally, then nothing you’re currently doing has any direction, which results in chaos and upheaval.  Understand this isn’t a goal to focus on achieving, it’s a state of mind where you are happy and fulfilled, which ultimately is what you want your physical reality to mirror.  This practice gives an outlet to your creative, happy energy and gives the Universe something to work on in the background while you’re putting one foot in front of the other in your current state of experience.

Finally, treat yourself as if you were your best friend.  You wouldn’t tell your best friend some of the terrible things you say to yourself when you look in the mirror, would you?  Don’t do it to yourself either.  If you don’t value yourself, you’re not looking hard enough at who you are, and how’s anyone else supposed to appreciate you if you don’t?  People in general are basically good and well-intentioned.  Start there and work into a healthier view of who you are and what you bring to the table.  Don’t compare yourself to others, quit knocking yourself for things you can’t help, and start appreciating yourself for the things you do well.  Give yourself a break once in a while.  No one is perfect and no one expects you to be either.  Not everyone is going to give you an atta-boy when you nail something, but you can do it for you.  Your outlook and sense of self-worth will thank you for it.  You’ll start noticing that in spite of whatever’s stacked against you at the moment, you’ll be more satisfied with your life, less anxious about your circumstances, and more hopeful and positive in your outlook, which will definitely bring you a better experience.

∞E

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