Whenever I encounter someone who is failing or struggling inevitably they have convinced themselves that this is their lot in life. They spend a considerable amount of time thinking about worst case scenarios and everything that is going wrong. Sometimes they even start to believe they deserve their misfortune and/or easily fall into the role of victim. More and more energy is taken up by negative thoughts and this only deepens their woes and solidifies self-doubt. When this mindset takes hold for any prolonged period of time they actually begin to sabotage their own success and happiness. It is a vicious cycle. People don’t have black clouds over their heads they just become consumed by dark thoughts. My own observation of others is that depression doesn’t happen to someone all at once instead it happens gradually over time…
While I don’t subscribe to the theory that we can fully control our thoughts, I do believe we can manage them better. What’s required is that we get better separating what we are thinking from our actual reality. Often this requires those around us to help us think and act differently and we need to ask for this help. It helps to balance the objectivity of others against our own personal subjectivity. We also need to train ourselves to acknowledge and redirect these thoughts when they happen. There is also something to be said for appreciating the context of whatever is taking place and sharpening our perspective on why it may or may not be happening. Lastly, the probability of worst case scenarios is often very small and it’s much better to focus on the positive actions you can take right now rather than worrying what you’ll do if the absolute worst happens. If you approach life from an observational and learning mode it becomes easier to take positive proactive action. It also starts to make more sense.
Everyone has ups and downs in their life. Few people have a curve that is only upward sloping. Adversity can and should build character. We are capable of so much more than we think, but this doesn’t mean it will be easy to get there. The good news is that you do get to manage how you think about something after quieting the initial noise in your head. I’ve always like the famous quote by Henry Ford, “whether you think you can or that you can’t, you’re usually right.” Believe in yourself and your mental, emotional and physical resiliency and capability. It’s much better than the alternative.
- Leadership Thought #253 – Fight The “Black Cloud” Mentality (edrobinson.wordpress.com)
- Your destiny supersedes your mistakes (positivelybranded.wordpress.com)
- Anxiety and mental attitude to relief your pain (mamatucci.wordpress.com)
- Beyond Happiness And Unhappiness: An Interview with Eckhart Tolle by Steve Donoso (evolutionarymystic.wordpress.com)