Our thought patterns influence every aspect of our lives. Negative beliefs not only affect your overall sense of well-being, but they also cloud judgment and perspective.
As with breaking any bad habit, the first step is self-awareness. Noticing your tendencies will enable you to identify inner dialogues and beliefs you need to rein in. If you’re envisioning a happy, prosperous and more positive future for yourself, here are seven though patterns you definitely want to end. Do you recognize any of them?
Making assumptions. Good decisions require information. Too many of us often jump to false conclusions because we don’t have all the facts. The risk of this is greater in a media age when bad information spreads like wildfire across online platforms. Before you reach a negative conclusion about a situation or person, withhold judgment until you’ve gathered all the available information and can make an informed decision.
Focusing on the past. The past can provide lessons. However, many people don’t use the past constructively. They focus on the missed opportunities and mistakes. When used this way, the past creates feelings of regret. In this way, we allow it to cloud our futures. Let go of the past.
Focusing on the future. Having goals and plans is great. But it’s common to use the future as a source of worry. Stay focused on today. Today is the only time you can change your life. Allow the future to arrive. It will come soon enough.
Applying the past to the future. The cool kids in high school may have snubbed you, but that has nothing to do with your ability to join socially worthwhile groups now. Make sure you’re not projecting attitudes and beliefs based on old experiences onto your present. This can be found in families where members continue to behave based on childhood patterns rather than the present realities. This blocks the ability to form meaningful relationships and have joy in your life.
Focusing too much on the positive or the negative. Strive for balance. Life is not an all or none, zero sum game. It’s dynamic. The truth hovers closely in the nooks and crannies to found at the center of daily living. Beware of polarizing and extreme thinking. So you made a mistake on a project, that doesn’t make you a failure. On the other hand, you might bake the best pies on the planet. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement or that another bakery chef does not have something of value to teach you.
Taking something personally that has nothing to do with you. People do and say things for many reasons that don’t include you. They might be having a bad day or dealing with a personal issue. Your car breaking down doesn’t mean the universe is out to get you. Others have more on their mind than just you.
Putting things off. Is it easier to have your muffler replaced when you notice it’s deteriorating or to wait until it falls off in the middle of the highway? If you wait until you’re forced to deal with things, your solutions will be less elegant and less convenient. Do things on time.