5 Things to quit RIGHT NOW!
1. Trying to please everyone
2. Fearing change
3. Living in the past
4. Putting yourself down
Lets talk about these points a bit!
We hear so much being said about them, but have you struggled to put them into practice in your life?
Here’s what I’ve learned: even doing a couple of these each day brings greater peace and helps to reduce stress!
Is it possible to check all the boxes, every single day? Maybe not, so don’t stress yourself that you aren’t “doing it right“!
1. Trying to please everyone
This is IMPOSSIBLE!
Sometimes we need to set boundaries and let people know we cannot do everything, or that we are not willing to do everything!
We fool ourselves into thinking that we could, if only we try hard enough, if only we bend over backwards far enough, if only we become who people want us to be, THEN we will be able to please the people in our lives.
Truth is, sometimes we just need to say NO! Especially to people who never seem to be pleased!
Might people feel disappointed that we no longer wish to cater to their wishes, they might even get angry with us.
This may be a bitter thought to swallow: being people’s maids or at their beck and call won’t endear us to them any deeper, nor will it earn their respect! If they’re walking over us, they know it, and either feel entitled to do so or lack the respect and boundaries to treat you better!
Sometimes we have a notion that IF they love us, they will want to treat us better, so we silently seethe inside that WE’RE showing all this love to them by doing so much for them, but they just aren’t reciprocating!
What if we’re wrong about our interpretation of the give-and-take in the relationship? If they’re UNABLE or UNWILLING to set healthy boundaries, it is up to us to do so!
If people are willing to walk all over you to make their lives comfortable, are these the people you wish to continue to be around?
2. Fearing Change
Change is inevitable, and not all change is for the worse!
By releasing our fears we give ourselves permission to explore new things and to be able to have new wonderful experiences and people come into our lives!
Often our fear of change is rooted in a sense of loss: loss of the familiar, loss of people, loss of money, loss of possessions or even home.
We’ve each gone through positive and negative experiences in our lives, so we have many different kinds of memories to pull from.
If we’ve gone through some particularly difficult times, it becomes normal to want to protect ourselves from more negative experiences.
Unfortunately, this sense of needing to protect ourselves from new negative experiences causes us to close ourselves off from new experiences.
We start to fear the unknown because we have come to associate the unknown with our past negative experiences, and have effectively blocked out the positive memories!
If you struggle with dread of any changes, I suggest sitting quietly with a nice relaxing hot beverage, and just slowly sip it while you explore your own reasons why you are fearing change in general, or a particular change which may be coming up.
I recommend using a Guided Journal which asks questions to help out answers which may be lying below the surface.
If you choose to write in a notebook, ask yourself:
- What is bothering you?
- Does this remind you of a past event? Why?
- Was the past event out of your control, or was there something you could have done differently?
- What would you have done?
- Looking at this current situation you are facing, what are some things you can look at, based on the lessons you learned from your past?
- What are the things triggering your fears right now?
- What are some things you can do to address those fears in practical, tangible ways?
- Do you need to do more research? Is the lack of information triggering the fear, or are you fearing your abilities won’t be up to the challenge?
As you start to write and look deeper, more information will start to bubble up and make itself known to you.
If you start doubting yourself and start to speak negatively to yourself, please look at the 4th section and start to put some of those suggestions into practice!
Facing our fears can be more triggering for some people, especially if you’ve gone through traumatic events, as these can tie into any PTSD we may have developed as a result.
This is an area we need to practice being kind and gentle with ourselves, for speaking harshly to ourselves only deepens an anxiety attack!
Our fear of the future prevents us from allowing it to just unfold naturally, for we’re being guarded in our need to try to protect ourselves. This fear can then create the very negative events we dread, because we put up our defenses, which can filter out some positives!
Our fear of change can slowly be transformed into anticipating change when we take the time to nurture ourselves and to acknowledge our feelings; by reminding ourselves of the positives which have happened, and by teaching ourselves to feel more positive about our abilities to handle the next big thing in our lives!
3. Living in the past
Ooh, this can be gut-wrenching and a stomach turning to keep reliving past negative experiences in an effort to try to think of what we could have said or done which would have given us an outcome we’d be happier with!
If we keep re-living past events in our minds we aren’t actually changing any outcomes, nor do we really find the satisfaction we crave.
Instead, we keep adding to the multiple layers of anger and resentment we may already be carrying around.
We add to our levels of stress and anxiety by going over and over negative events in our minds.
Likewise, living in the past with happier memories can prevent us from enjoying the wonderful little miracles which are happening right now, for they get dismissed as never being able to measure up to the past glory.
No matter which side of the coin we find ourselves on, living in the past puts up walls and prevents us from seeing and experiencing the joys of today!
If this is your particular area you struggle with, try going for walks where you make a point of noticing small and wonderful thing along your way. Try keeping a daily Gratitude Journal for a month where you write down all the things happening during your day which made you smile, or you may have previously under-appreciated, but now see in a new light!
Keeping a Gratitude Journal is very useful for short periods of our lives where we need to train ourselves to refocus our thoughts! Doing it for longer than a month is great if you still feel the need or desire to, but it’s okay to just do it for a shorter while, even a week if you’re seeing shifts in your outlook on life!
4. Putting yourself down
When we come from unhealthy or abusive backgrounds, we internalize the experiences and regurgitate them into our present lives by speaking harshly, unkindly and negatively to ourselves.
This form of self-abuse only further diminishes our sense of self worth, or self-confidence, and increases our self-loathing, anxiety and even can trigger depression!
In order to train ourselves not to do this, simply trying to suppress those thoughts doesn’t actually work, as I’m sure you’ve noticed! No, don’t beat yourself up over this!
Instead, first try SUSPENDING judgement! This is a different tactic than suppressing a thought, because we are CHOOSING not to speak negatively to ourself, for this moment.
Next find a supportive thing to say to yourself!
In the beginning it won’t feel natural, and it won’t be easy, because the old Neural Pathways are there acting as automatic pilots guiding us down that old thought process!
Every single thought we think either creates a brand new Neural Pathway, or it reinforces old ones!
By slowly thinking new, positive thoughts, we lay down the beginnings of a brand new brain network in our minds, and the old pathways will gradually fade away from dis-use!
I write about these topics often (in my posts and in my books), for we need a LOT of positive reinforcement and support to make these changes!
If you’ve tried doing what I suggest and find yourself STILL struggling, keep doing these steps!
It is very possible that your old Neural Pathways are 10-lane super-highways, needing a LOT of brain re-wiring to fade away into oblivion!
Keep practicing suspending judgement and keep finding positive things to say to yourself!
It WILL become more natural with time! It WILL become easier! You WILL become able to step completely around those old rabbit holes which used to suck you right down!!
More posts on this topic:
Overthinking is kind of a combination of all the above things, when we really look at them!
Now that you’ve had a chance to read and digest the first 4 points, you’ll be able to see where all your overthinking is coming from!
Just start to slowly put the advice of the first points into your day-to-day life, and over time you’re going to make the changes you want to!
Remember: there’s no set way to live your life, so stop stressing yourself that you aren’t “as good at it” as others around you! All we can do is keep trying!
PS: If you’re very stressed and feel overloaded, have a lovely meal, rest and get an EARLY night! Practice some mindful self-care for the next few days to set in place a re-set! Be well!
Guided Journals help you work on a particular issue by answering questions to help see patterns and to find solutions:
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