Your thoughts have the power to build positive or negative momentum in your life. They will snowball in the direction you choose. They will lead you toward success or destruction.
The problem many of us have is a lack of awareness. We just aren’t paying attention. We allow our thoughts to take us down a rabbit hole of worry, assumption, and fear.
Positive momentum begins by paying attention to our thoughts and asking ourselves… Is this what I want? If the answer is yes there probably isn’t any reason to change. If the answer is no it is time to make a shift.
Shift your thoughts to what you want to happen. Thoughts of hope, positive possibility, and gratitude can turn your momentum around.
Dr. Seuss put it so well, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
Be intentional with your thinking. Don’t allow negative thoughts to occupy valuable real estate in your head.
Below you will find common types of negative thinking. The first step to changing anything is to notice you are doing it.
Catastrophizing: This is assuming the worst case scenario. An example of this is googling a headache and worrying all night long that you have a brain tumor.
All or None Thinking: An example of this is thinking you have to do something perfectly or you are a failure.
Mind Reading: Assuming you know what other people are thinking and allowing your assumptions to dictate your emotions and possibly your interaction with others.
Overgeneralizing: This is coming to a general conclusion based on a single event. It will never turn out alright. I will never get the job. Everyone is mad at me. Nobody likes me. I mess up everything.
Filtering: Dwelling on negatives details while filtering out the positive aspects of the situation.
Personalization: Believing that the behaviors or emotions of others are directly related to you.
If you notice that you are engaged in thinking that does nothing but bring you stress, begin to challenge that thinking. Look at the facts. Search for the positive aspects of each situation. View setbacks as learning lessons and areas of needed growth. Spend time with positive people. Read inspiring books and listen to inspirational podcasts. Be intentional.
Remember, your mindset will determine the direction you will go. Choose wisely. You are worth it!
Written by Kristin Barton Cuthriell, LCSW, MSW, MEd
Kristin is a psychotherapist, educator, speaker, and author of the book, The Snowball Effect: How to Build Positive Momentum in Your Life.