Our Worst Enemies
Most of us love to think that our problems are the result of the actions or in-actions of others, economic conditions, timing and any number of other things outside our control. These things do in fact have a bearing on our situations. They are not however, the root cause. The real problem lies within!
Now that's not something most of us want to hear. It's much easier if we have an excuse or two for the situation, isn't it? Unfortunately while there are always excuses, they seldom help.
Our real enemies are those negative thoughts that creep into our minds unchallenged and hide in the corners, waiting to jump out at us again and again whenever some obstacle appears. We don't want to deal with them so we brood a bit and let them slip by without questioning their validity. Unchallenged they gain strength!
What kind of thoughts are we talking about? It's usually stuff like: maybe I'm not capable of doing this; maybe I have reached my level of incompetence in this job; perhaps I just don't know as much as I thought I did; they are just plain better than me; I never get a fair shot at things; I just don't have enough resources to do the job. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
In my opinion, the worst thing we can do is let thoughts like these slip by unchallenged. Each one, as it occurs, needs to be examined and dealt with. We need to tear them apart and look at them in detail. We need to figure out where they came from and send them right back!
Right about now you are probably thinking that this is just smoke and mirrors. Am I right? Well, I would like you to consider that there might be some substance to this idea. Why not? If you give substance to the idea that - you are not good enough, why not give substance to the idea that - thoughts cause results.
Here is a quote that has always struck me as being very empowering. It is from a book called 'The Miracle of Right Thought' by James Allen.
"Whatever comes to us in life we create first in our mentality"
If you think about that statement, I'm sure you will begin to see it as a truism. If you think positive thoughts and focus yourself on something you want, very often you achieve it. Conversely, if you sit around focusing on the things you don't want to happen they tend to gain momentum. There is a real simple reason for this. If you are focusing on the things you don't want, you are not focusing on the things you do want.
Now, let's go back to the idea that the negative thoughts you let slip by unchallenged are your worst enemies. Think about this for a minute. If people tell you that you are stupid enough times, you begin to doubt yourself, don't you? Well what do you think happens when you yourself think you are stupid? It carries a lot more weight in your mind because you believe it. If you believe it, what kind of an impact is that going to have on how you feel about your ability to accomplish things? How long will it be before you stop trying, some, then many things because you believe you can't accomplish them; because you are stupid?
Every negative thought that enters your mind should be carefully examined and dealt with. We must turn these thoughts around, upside-down and backwards and look at them from all angles. We must consciously decide what credence to give them and then deal with the things that need action. If we do not do this and simply let the thought slide by, then when it occurs again it is stronger. We all know that repetition is how we learn. If a thought keeps repeating itself it begins to become true. If it repeats itself enough times it becomes a fact. Even worse, once it becomes a fact it becomes an excuse. What good did an excuse ever do you?
I started this article out fairly negatively on purpose. Now let's turn that around. If an unchallenged negative thought gains power and becomes an insidious, destroyer of confidence, then can a positive thought not become the reverse? If we challenge our negative thoughts and do not give them credence and power, we neutralize them. Then if we take our positive thoughts and allow them to flourish, they will gain credence. This an empowering thought?
If you are anything like me, when negative thoughts pop into my mind I start to feel depressed, dark and heavy, but when good, empowering thoughts occur, I feel great! It lifts a weight off my shoulders and brightens up my day. Guess which one is more productive? Guess which one helps me accomplish things? I am smiling right now just thinking about the power of these positive thoughts.
All of us let some of these negative thoughts slide by and hide in our heads. We will likely never catch them all, but what if we caught more of them each day just by being aware of the damage they can cause. Like anything else, practice makes perfect! Let's practice grabbing those negative thoughts and dealing with them on the spot. I bet you will find that debunking one of them not only eliminates it's power over you but it gives you a positive win that brightens your day, empowers you and maybe even puts a smile on your face.
Ron Hughes is CEO of Adapt Information Technology, one of the longest standing Internet businesses in the world. He is also a public speaker and frequent contributor of articles on a variety of subjects. Ron welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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