Have you ever heard the saying, “Change your mind, change your reality”? It can seem impossible sometimes to change how we look at our day, situations, even the people in our lives. We get into these set ways of being, of seeing, of reacting. These set ways over time become how we act and react to the world around us. Many of these develop from unhealthy coping mechanisms and can make us feel negative, angry and overwhelmed. This can lead to us feeling unfulfilled, resentful and even adopt a victim mentality. It never happens suddenly. This type of thing occurs over time, creeping in and becoming part of our personality without always being consciously aware of it. I don’t believe anyone actually Wants to be a negative nelly, I believe it slowly becomes ingrained.
How can we change something that is so pervasive? Little bits at a time. That is how. Little steps make a whole lot of difference when combined over time. Little steps help us not become overwhelmed when looking at the “big picture”. Little steps are actions that we take to replace the old unhealthy foundations that make up our old mindset. This is how we Hack our Minds to become stronger and more resilient!
Step 1- Identify the negative self talk that creeps in throughout your day. Write it all down! It doesn’t matter if it is a small thought or if you feel it is justified. If it is negative, write it down. Learn to pay attention to the thoughts that come into your mind while working, doing chores, relaxing, drifting off to sleep, just waking up, etc…
Step 2- Analyze this list. The first time I did this, I was surprised at just how horrible my self-criticism is. For me, this became a method of self preservation. I had adopted the mindset if I was overly critical of myself, it wouldn’t hurt when others were that way as well. Did it work? No, of course not. But it was something that at the time made me feel like I had some measure of control. All I was doing was making myself more miserable. I didn’t even realize it!
Step 3- Here is the hard part… For EVERYTHING on the list, write out a statement that Contradicts that negative statement. Be objective and keep emotion out of this step. It helps to be logical but not critical here.
Negative– I failed doing this task at work, this means I am a failure. Contradiction– NO I am not a failure! I am learning something new and I made a Mistake. A Mistake does not mean I am a failure!
Negative– My child (toddler) is crying and screaming because I said No. I am a horrible Mom. Contradiction– I am setting boundaries and my toddler is still learning and doesn’t like the word NO. It is NORMAL and it happens to everyone! Kids do this! We are both learning together.
Negative– I am not good enough. Contradiction– List things you do well and things you try to do well.
Step 4- Keep the list with you everywhere. When one of those negative thoughts creeps in, find it on your list and tell yourself the Contradiction to combat that critical thought. Do this EVERY TIME you catch a thought crossing your mind. This constant Contradiction will actually help you re-wire your brain! This is how we can balance out the negative nelly thoughts with new and more helpful statements that prove we are so much better that we tend to believe.
Step 5-Always remember there is ALWAYS something GOOD in each Day. Even if it is something small. Look for it. Everyday. Look for something that is Good and Positive. Write those down. Just as we become aware of the negative things that go through our minds, we have to balance them out with positive things as well. The more we look for something positive, the more WE WILL SEE IT! Find balance everywhere.
My Guides gave me this card as inspiration for this article. The 7 of Air shows Yin Yang and Air Spirits along with 3 coins. The book for the Book of Shadows talks about the I Ching and the concept of Yin and Yang as balancing the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine. Both are needed to survive. The traditional card is the 7 of Swords and that card tends to be very negative as the upright meaning is betrayal or deception. The reversed meaning for 7 of Swords is imposter syndrome, secrets and self-deceit. Both of these meanings fit with the article as our overly self critical thoughts ARE LYING TO US! We have to balance them out with statements of logical truth in order to create a foundation of thoughts that help us cope with our day to day stressors instead of compounding them. This is how we Hack our Minds and become more resilient! It takes time, it takes consistency!
You are Loved
You are Valid
You are Supported
Your Friendly Guide,