As part of my journey of self-discovery and personal growth, I have been working through some personal development materials: some online courses, a few books, etc. As I was listening to one of these resources today, the speaker made an interesting statement, which got me thinking. Here’s the basic statement that was made:
When you speak negative words and harbor negative thoughts about your situation, you are in effect creating your own reality.
So what does that mean? In essence, it means when we are constantly negative about our situation, whatever it may be, we start to believe it and eventually that becomes our reality.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in The Matrix, going through life without any real control over what happens to me. We, of course, know that isn’t the case. I think some of us just like to feel sorry for ourselves and not take responsibility for our actions and decisions. In reality, the things we cannot control are the people around us and the choices they make, how they behave, etc. That can be a real struggle.
Are you struggling at your job? We’ve all been there. That boss you try to avoid every time they walk into the room. (Cue clip from Office Space: “Hello, Peter. Whaaat’s happening??”) Or maybe it’s that super annoying co-worker that makes your job miserable. You know, the one that ALWAYS has to one-up you EVERY. SINGLE. conversation?
How is your marriage? Does it seem like you and your spouse constantly argue lately? Maybe from your perspective, your spouse can’t seem to do anything right!! Is that really what’s happening?
Or maybe it’s a family member (or five) that just drives you nuts? Sometimes family makes you feel bad about yourself by what they say, whether they intend to or not. Parents and siblings are really good at saying what they think, without filters and without thinking how their words make us feel. Do you ever feel like you can’t live up to their expectations? And they somehow constantly remind you of that??
So what can we do to improve our situations? Here are 5 ways you can start creating a better reality for yourself today!
1. You need to start looking for the positive in situations and in people.
If you’re like me, you tend to be a glass-half-empty kind of person. You know, a “realist.” We don’t like to get our expectations up – that way we can’t be disappointed when things don’t work out. You need to take a step back and evaluate your expectations. You can start right now by choosing to look for the positive in every situation. Make the best of it. It requires a conscious decision and it certainly isn’t easy, but you’ll eventually start seeing the positive more often than the negative!
2. Do positive things and your perspective will begin to change.
Instead of feeling sorry for yourself and dwelling on the things you can’t change, do something positive! Maybe you need to do something for someone else. Choose to build others up and encourage them, and eventually, you’ll start to feel encouraged yourself!
3. Start speaking and thinking what you wish the situation truly was and eventually you’ll start believing it.
I know this sounds like some kind of Jedi mind trick. But I promise you, if you start speaking life (i.e. affirming words) into your situation, your outlook will begin to shift. You’ll become more confident and believe in yourself. You will be amazed at how your situation will suddenly begin to look so much better!
4. The only way to improve a situation or a relationship is to start by changing YOU.
Yep. That’s a hard pill to swallow. There are so many things in life that we can’t control or change. Especially people. And that’s hard for OCD control freaks like me. The only thing we CAN control and change is OURSELVES and how we respond. There is a freedom that comes with that realization! People can be absolute jerks, but we can rise above the situation and not allow them to push our buttons. Once again, not the easiest thing in the world.
5. When all else fails, set healthy boundaries.
No matter how hard we try, there will always be people that drag us down and suck the life out of us, no matter how positive we try to be. In those cases, we absolutely have to set boundaries. Limit our interactions and the amount of time we are around those individuals. That can be especially difficult with family members. But remember, this is your health and well-being and you have to do what is best for you. Even when others don’t understand that.
So does any of this ring true for you? Are you struggling right now with a situation or relationship? Maybe you’re discouraged and unhappy with your life? Would you be willing to join me and make a daily, intentional decision to look for the positive? To speak a positive word to ourselves and to others? To set up healthy boundaries when needed? Let me know how it goes. Maybe we could keep each other accountable!
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