You know what I’m talking about. That negative self-talk that stops you from even considering what you really want out of life. The mental tapes that keep you prisoner in a life you hate; stop you from asking the really important questions, like:
How do I manifest a prosperous, satisfying life for myself?
What can I do to help improve the quality of life of the people I care about?
What meaningful action is going to align with my core values and life purpose?
It took many years for me to get around to examining those questions.
You see, I was raised for one purpose: to get married and have children. And by age 16, I can tell you that that did not appear at all appealing to me. After years of helping to take care of three younger siblings (whom I love, don’t get me wrong), and watching my mother service every family member’s needs but her own, I knew I wanted something else.
In the era I was raised, I saw only four options for girls, other than marriage. Become a:
~ Nurse. Health was my worst subject in high school; I fainted whenever a needle pricked my skin. (No lie. My mom took me to the doctor to receive the regular kid vaccinations, rather than get them at school with everyone else. Doc would have me lay down before he even pulled out the equipment.)
~ Teacher. The only attractive thing about this job was the two months off during the summer. School was fun for social reasons. As far as sitting in a classroom all day and listening to content that did not interest me…oh no. Couldn’t imagine ever wanting to stand in the front of a class all day either.
~ Bank teller. Hated math. Still do.
~ Secretary. I had no interest in sitting on my “toosh” all day pounding away at a keyboard for someone.
The future looked kind of dismal. And yet, when I look back now on the choices I turned my back on, what is it I actually do and LOVE?
~ I operate a healthcare practice. (No needles though!)
~ I teach – with passion and engagement.
~ I pound away on a computer for hours at a time – but, at least for myself.
~ Math – well, I still don’t like it. I rely on Quickbooks to do the calculations and a fantastic accountant to keep me out of trouble.
How I made it from dismal options to the fabulous life I lead now is a whole other story you can read here, if you like. ‘Cuz, today I’m here to talk about stinkin’ thinkin’, and specifically how to convert stinkin’ thinkin’ into I CAN thinking.
So, when you think about what it is you really want to do, do these stinkin’ thoughts arise?
I CAN’T…. it’ll be too hard.
I CAN’T…. I’m not smart enough.
I CAN’T…. I don’t have the time.
I CAN’T…. I don’t have the money.
The secret is, we all experience those thoughts at some time. The trick is to train yourself to become aware of your thoughts and notice those ugly, unproductive, sabotaging ones and turn them around – fast. Substitute self-defeating thoughts with this question instead:
HOW CAN I……..?
Live with that question for awhile. Ask yourself every night just as you’re about to fall asleep. One day, sit down and write the question down – using your dominant hand. Then pass the pen to your other hand and wait for the answers to arise. Write them down. You will be surprised.
As the late Wayne Dyer said,
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”