I saw it in his eye’s today as we sat and talked. That far away, hurt expression that tells me he is caught up in his head and thinking about something that does not feel good to him.
I asked him what was going on in that head of his and he shared some stuff about not feeling good about himself and feeling like he was not accomplishing enough in his life. I have seen him in this place before.
Hell, I have seen myself in this place; my head starts to fill up with thoughts about how I can’t seem to get things where I want them, and all my failures. Then I start comparing myself to other people and I just don’t measure up. I tell myself that I am lazy, I don’t try hard enough, and that I suck. I end up feeling pretty bad about myself and totally dissatisfied with my life. This big energetic hole forms in my stomach and I feel that I might disappear into it.
I ask him, “Do you want to feel this way, or do you want to feel better about yourself?”
It seems like a simple enough question, but how often do you give yourself this choice?
Do you even know that you have a choice?
I know that for a long time I did not recognize that I had one. I was a slave to my negative thoughts and it caused me to be very frustrated, dissatisfied and depressed. I would unintentionally choose to feel bad about myself.
Then I read the book “The Four Agreements” and it shifted everything for me. This book made me realize that I had a choice and I could shift my thinking, and the importance of how I talked to myself in my head. It started me on the path to where I am today.
Today, I always choose to feel better about myself.
The next question is: How do you do that?
Here are some real simple things to start with.
1. Make the choice to feel good about yourself. Set the intention and repeat it every day.
2. Recognize that although you can’t stop negative thoughts from entering your head, you can choose not to focus on them. When you notice that negative stream coming in intentionally shift your focus to something that feels good to you. Even if it means totally distracting yourself by watching cartoons.
3. Make a daily practice of starting off your day focusing on things that feel good to you and that you appreciate. Appreciate yourself, your friends, family, environment, pets, and anything else that makes you smile.
5. Celebrate every little thing that you do, no matter how big or small. Get in the habit of patting yourself on the back and telling yourself: “You Rock!” See your own greatness.
6. If you are unsatisfied with something, ask yourself: “What would make this better?” This allows you to move towards a solution rather than focusing on what you are unsatisfied with and helps to shift the bad feelings much faster.
These simple things can create big changes in your life if you commit to doing them. I’m not going to say that they are not hard work sometimes since the default tends to be to slip down the rabbit hole of feeling crappy. It takes conscious effort to remember to do these things, but the choice is always there.
Pick a few to try out and let me know what happens in the comments below.