TRIGGER WARNING – This article or section, or pages it links to, contains graphic language and information about suicide which may be upsetting to some people.
I’m no stranger to negative thoughts and beliefs.
I battle feelings of not feeling good enough or worthy enough.
And I also deal with depression, which makes it even more difficult.
But it DOES get easier.
Like with absolutely everything in life, positivity takes practice.
It is a practice in and of itself. And practice makes progress (NOT perfect).
So, start small and show yourself some compassion right now – just for being open to change. Just for wanting to love yourself more. Just for wanting to be more positive.
Learning to love yourself doesn’t usually happen overnight. It’s a journey and anyone who tells you differently isn’t telling the truth.
It starts with a positive intention and positive-focused thoughts.
A negative mind will never give you a positive life.
Maybe you’ve had this happen before: You wake up late and rush around the house trying to get ready to leave for work. You spill coffee on your shirt, your child simply refuses to put their shoes on because… well, that’s what children do, and when you finally do get to work, you realized you left that thing you needed on the kitchen counter.
You probably felt more and more upset and as a result, more and more negative things kept happening to you.
So, what can you do to break out of this cycle?
When being happy feels more like a chore than a choice, here are 3 simple steps you can follow to finally feel empowered!
1. Play “Victim To Victor”.
When you’re caught in woe-is-me-mode, feeling unworthy, unloved, or just downright unlikeable, sit with that feeling for a few moments.
Your “Victim” Story
Now grab a journal or sheet of paper and give yourself 5 minutes to write out your very best victim story.
Break out the tiny violin and get it ALL down on paper.
Then, take a minute and check in with how you feel.
Are you sad? Angry? Resentful? Defeated? Does your body feel heavy? Slumped? Shaky? Tense? Hot?
Now that you’ve spilled your sad story all over the page, it’s time to flip your situation around.
Your “Victor” Story
I want you to set the timer for another 5 minutes and this time, be your own hero.
Become the victor of this tale. What are all the amazing things that came from these experiences? What opportunities do you have as a result? How have these things made you better, smarter?
Even if it doesn’t feel authentic to you at first, be willing to put on your best Susie Sunshine impression and seek out those silver linings!
In other words, fake it until you make it.
Once you’re finished telling your story from the perspective of the heroin that you really are, notice how you feel.
Did that tension in your neck and shoulders start to release? Are you feeling empowered? Open to possibilities? Free? Like a weight has been lifted?
Choose between “Victim” or “Victor”
Now that you have two opposing versions of the same story, which one do you CHOOSE to accept?
What feels good for YOU?
Which is empowering and will take you closer to the goal of finally loving yourself?
Now, you can see that you really DO have a choice.
And if you’re choosing to stay stuck in negativity, realize that you’re getting something from that, too.
Maybe it’s attention, sympathy, getting to be right about something, or procrastination. Just notice what it might be for you and then you have another choice of whether to hold onto THAT or take a step toward something different.
Remember, you are always choosing between love and fear.
And the decision is always yours.
Play the “I Wonder Game”.
If you choose the negativity and choose, for example, to just be right in this situation, that’s perfectly ok. Just know that you’ve chosen fear and if you feel up to it, explore that by playing the “I Wonder Game”.
Ask yourself… “I wonder why I need to be right? I wonder what I’m feeling that makes me insecure about being wrong? I wonder if this is a deeper issue?”
Keep playing the I Wonder Game until you get to the real reason you need to be right.
The thing you are afraid of.
This will make it easier next time to realize where the feeling of needing to be right comes from so you can let go of that feeling faster and choose love.
Return to this easy exercise any time you can’t seem to kick those negative thoughts
2. When In Doubt, Focus Out!
One of the best tricks for getting myself out of a negativity rut is to press pause on my own problems and focus out on other people.
We all have struggles and sadness from time-to-time and rather than get stuck in my own stuff, I shift my focus over to the difference I can make for someone else.
If you’re having a bad day at work, spend an hour volunteering for your local food kitchen or nursing home in the evening.
Be in service to someone else.
You can also check your social media friends and contacts. Is there anyone going through a time in their life where they could use a little extra support? Could you give that to them?
You’ll start to see that your issues may not be that bad after all OR that there’s a simple solution you couldn’t see when you were too close to it.
Plus, I don’t think there’s any good deed that doesn’t also serve us in some way.
You will also get some important perspective on how things could always be worse which will help you feel better about what’s going on in your life.
Over time, extending love and kindness to others will help you do the same for yourself.
3. Respect Yourself At All Times.
In his best-selling book, The Power of Intention, world-renowned self-development author, speaker, and thought-leader, Dr. Wayne Dyer wrote a chapter on respecting yourself at all times.
“Very simply put, when you love and trust yourself, you’re loving and trusting the wisdom that created you; and when you fail to love and trust yourself, you’re denying that infinite wisdom in favor of your own ego. It’s important here to remember that at every single moment of your life, you have the choice to either be a host to God or a hostage to your ego.”
Just sit with that for a moment!
No matter what your religious beliefs, can you recognize that you are part of something SO MUCH BIGGER than yourself?
I believe that you are a spiritual being on a human journey.
Putting your ego aside, for a minute, what do you appreciate about the spiritual being that is YOU?
What do you think is the special gift, uniqueness, or purpose that you are supposed to experience on this human journey? What one small way can you start experiencing that today? Not tomorrow, but today.
The future you want is just a series of steps – will you take the first one now?