Most–if not all–of us are a heck of a lot harder on ourselves, than we are on others. That is likely because we know every single thought that goes through our own heads, and those thoughts aren’t always pretty.
I know that I used to judge myself harshly, based on my thoughts. I believed that I was inferior to everyone else, more “unstable,” and inherently a bad person, although I did my best to hide this perceived reality. I believed the negative track that kept running through my mind, telling me that I had the best life I could possibly have, that I was a second-class citizen and deserved to be treated as such, and that the bad things people told me about myself were true. It was that kind of thinking that kept me fearful and in a bad situation for so many years.
We perceive our thoughts as the ultimate reality, and we think that they are who we are. Nothing could be further than the truth.
Negative thoughts are often:
- Just habits–old coping mechanisms that no longer work for us.
- Things we have been told or learned from others.
- Our brain trying to make connections to the past and find meaning, where there is none.
So, don’t take your thoughts at face value. Don’t be afraid of what you’ll find, if you dig deeper and figure out what is really going on. Once you withhold judgement, you can begin to understand that the issue is not whether you are inherently bad or unstable–your brain is trying to accomplish something, and not having much success in doing it.
It took some practice to be able to look at my own thoughts this way, but I learned quite a bit:
- I believed that I was a second class citizen because I grew up in a wealthy town, around wealthy kids, who treated me as less. Transcending this belief has opened up a whole new world, for me.
- My brain would play a whole track of self-deprecating negativity whenever I felt trapped, powerless, or embarrassed. Recognizing this has allowed me to deal with the underlying emotions, whenever these thoughts occur.
- I would frequently wander back to the past, to times that were difficult, but I had a great deal of support. I felt loved at these times. We always love, and we always are loved. But in the difficult times, we have a very unique opportunity to show it and be shown it. When the hard time has passed, the love is no longer so obviously visible, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Love doesn’t go away. I now remind myself of this, whenever my mind wanders to the past.
So look at your thoughts differently. Don’t believe anything negative, but take a look and see what is really going on.
It just might change your world.