January 29, 2016

Mental Monologues

You do know you talk to yourself in your mind all the time, right?

Pretty much every one of us has a non-stop stream of thoughts – a mental monologue – that has a powerful impact on how we feel, how we behave, and how we live our lives. Too often, this mental monologue consists of unhelpful thoughts that hinder our happiness and effectiveness.

Which is why it’s time to stop thinking about…

1. What you fear.

As Franklin D. Roosevelt so profoundly said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

That’s the honest truth. The real thing that keeps you down is fear. The reason our fears have so much power over us is simply because we give them this power by thinking about them – the worst-case scenario, what you don’t want to happen, etc.

It’s time to take a stand. It’s time to clear your fears from your thoughts. It’s time to acknowledge that your fear of grief is far worse than the grief you fear.

2. Old mistakes.

Why regret? This moment doesn’t have any mistakes in it yet. It’s brand new.

You have a choice to make right here, right now. You can hold onto old mistakes or you can make progress going forward with the new beginning you’ve just been given.

It’s time to be bold. It’s time to stop reading the previous chapter of your life and start writing the one you’re currently living. Learn from your old mistakes and march confidently on. Sure you’ll make new mistakes along the way, but that’s the whole point – you want to learn from new mistakes, not rot alongside old ones.

Living means taking chances that are worth taking and making mistakes that are worth making.

3. Present situations you have no control over.

My sister taught me that some parts of your life are simply meant to be lived, not controlled. No matter what happens, no matter the outcome, you’re going to be just fine. Let the things you can’t control, happen.

Spend your thoughts and efforts on controlling what you do have power over, rather than wasting your peace of mind on the uncontrollable. Thanks Bobbi.

4. The impossible looking aerial view of a big project.

An aerial view of a big project always looks overwhelming. But once you break it down into small parts, suddenly it’s no longer a big, impossible project. It’s simply a bunch of little, achievable ones. This took a while to learn to do.

The key is to subdivide a big project into smaller tasks and break each task down further into logical steps for each task. Thinking about the big picture is important on occasion to keep track of your progress, but on a daily basis you should be focused only on the step you’re taking at the time.

The toughest part is laying out what you actually have to do to get each task done, but it’s worth the time and effort. By thinking about it, and breaking it down, you’ve already accomplished the hardest part – you’ve built yourself a step-by-step instruction manual for getting the project completed.


And of course, if you're struggling with any of this, know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and get our lives back on track. Good luck!

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