Negative thoughts aren’t things that are easy to talk about, but the more we fight off our negative thoughts instead of recognizing them, they more power they can build and the more they will start to consume our minds until it may be too late.
About four years ago, I struggled to cope with negative thought patterns. It got to the point where my thoughts had nearly taken my life. I had suffered from depression for the previous three years and struggled to see light at the end of a very dark and deep tunnel.
Life has been a constant learning process since that day where my negative thought patterns nearly took my life. Some days are better than others, and some days are worse. But after years of struggling to cope with negative thought patterns, I am mentally in the best spot I have ever been.
No longer am I choosing everybody else before choosing me. No longer do I make it my daily mission to meet the expectations or doing useless tasks just for the sake of others’ approval and acceptance.
Instead, I started making decisions that were going to be beneficial for me. Sure, these decisions required me to step outside of my comfort zone and endure constant failure, but as a result of putting myself first, I have never been happier to be the person that I am today.
Something amazing happened in my life when I started to focus on my thought patterns. Every time I chose myself over others, the confidence that I had in myself started to increase and my mind started attracting more of the thoughts that it desired.
No, it wasn’t a change that happened overnight or immediately. It was a day by day game of becoming a better version of the person that I wanted to be. It has been the slow and constant improvements that have made the journey such an enjoyable one.
Everything that we do in life is a decision. It is our decision to allow our thoughts to consume our everyday life, and it is our decision to learn to cope with negative thought patterns in hopes of a better life. Every decision we make comes with consequences, but it is the decision that is going to benefit us the most that we should be making.
Unless you start to choose yourself first and learn to cope with negative thought patterns, then you are going to live the rest of your life solely for the approval and acceptance of those around you.
That’s not how you should live your life. You should be proud to be you, to be confident in who you are as a person, and to love the life that you are living because it’s the only one you are going to get.
Here’s how to cope with negative thought patterns so that you can start to live that life.
Do what’s in your best interest.
This is the primary reason why we struggle to cope with negative thought patterns. Often times, we allow others to live our lives for us. We become so fixated on trying to become the person that others want us to be that we forget to be the person we already are.
Instead of focusing on what others think of you and conforming your life for their acceptance and approval, start choosing yourself and doing what’s in your best interest. Strive to become the person you want your future self to be.
Each time you choose yourself right now, you are only helping your future self. Others are going to judge you regardless of what you do in life. At least be judged for being yourself instead of trying to be someone you’re not.
Be the person that you want to be.
Make decisions that are going to benefit you now and that are going to benefit your future self.
Most of all, live the life that you want to live.
Those around us have their own lives to live. It makes no sense to allow them to live ours for us as well.
Take the time to conscious of your thoughts.
There are days where I still struggle mightily with my thoughts. I get lost in my own head and question whether or not I will be able to escape.
When I find myself in these situations, I have noticed that it’s because I am not taking the time to be conscious of my thoughts. I am trying to do too many things at once and simply allowing my stressors to control every thought that passes through my mind.
That’s why it’s important that we be conscious of our thoughts and shift them in the direction in which we want to be going.
It’s incredibly challenging to do at times, but when you find yourself running around at a rapid pace, focus on slowing down and paying close attention to your thoughts. Try to recognize what is going on around you and pay attention to slowing down and doing ultimately what’s in your best interest.
Focus on improvement instead of perfection.
Another reason why I struggled to cope with negative thought patterns is because I was simply trying to be perfect.
As we all know by now, perfection is something that is not achievable. No matter what we do in our lives, there is always going to be room for improvement. That’s the beauty of life. As hard as we may try, we will never be perfect.
But when you focus on perfection and become so fixated on trying to achieve a perfect image, anything less than what that image looks like will cause you to feel down on yourself. That’s exactly what it had done for me.
I was so fixated on trying to be perfect that I wouldn’t allow myself to take chances in life simply because I didn’t want to experience failure. It didn’t matter what I was doing, if I failed at anything, then I saw myself as a failure. It got to the point where I quit taking chances and never allowed myself to go outside of my comfort zone because I didn’t want to experience any failure or heartache.
It isn’t until we start breaking out of our comfort zone and trying new things that we will truly see what we are capable of achieving. It’s a lot easier said than done, but if we want something that we don’t have, we need to do something we aren’t doing. This means focusing on growing in any way possible instead of trying to be perfect.
Know that you are worthy.
Last but not least, this is an area where a lot of my negative thoughts came from. I always wanted to be more, to have more, and to make more. I thought that if I did these things successfully, then those around me would accept me more.
I saved all of my money so that others would be jealous of me. I strived to weigh as little as I possibly could so that others would be envious of my body. I wanted more in life because I was so insecure about myself that more was simply the only way to mask how I felt about myself.
Simply put, numbers took over my life. I passed up on so many opportunities and memories because I wanted to save my money, because I was scared of calories, or because I would have to give up control. None of these things were areas of my life that I was willing to part with.
It’s important to remember that numbers will never define who you are as a person. Whether it’s the number on the scale, the amount of money that we have in our bank accounts, or the price tag on the clothes that we wear, none of that will ever define who we are as individuals.
Cope with negative thought patterns by prioritizing yourself!
A lot of the negative thought patterns that we experience come down to us being so worried about what others think about who we are as individuals that we forget to think to prioritize how we feel about ourselves as individuals.
When I first started making myself my own number one priority, I thought people would judge me or think I was selfish. But oddly enough, they really didn’t care. That’s because it’s a common thing to do. We need to make ourselves our own number one priority otherwise we are never going to achieve the life that we truly desire to live.
You deserve to live your life to the absolute fullest. Once you start to take control of your life and live your life how you want to live, then you will have a much easier time overcoming the negative thoughts you once experienced. Be your own person and make the most out of your life instead of allowing others to do so for you.