Many of us are scared to be alone with our thoughts. We’re scared of what they might say and how they might make us feel. We’re so plugged in and invested in other people’s worlds, but neglect out own. Here’s three reasons to tune into what’s going on inside your head.
Reason One: Find solutions
When we listen to our thoughts and emotions, it’s likely that we’ll shed light on insecurities, anxieties and fears. But don’t be afraid. Instead of burying them away, we can actually face them and find ways to conquer them. We’ll see they’re not untameable. We’ll start to untangle the problems and find ways to overcome them.
Reason Two: Set direction
When we get in touch with our thoughts and emotions, we begin to understand where we want to go. Sometimes we wander aimlessly because we’re lost. Sometimes we find ourselves walking a path because we’re following someone else. We’re not really thinking about what we want and where we want to go. But if you actually do take the time to think and listen, and you follow what your heart is saying, you’ll never be steered wrong.
Reason Three: Realise who you are
When we tune into our thoughts and emotions, we drown out the noise around us and find out who we are. That might be someone who doesn’t care what people think. That might be someone who stands up for what they believe in. That might be someone who sees things differently. Whoever you are, you don’t need to lock them away. Find out what you like and don’t like, where you want to go and what you want to do.
(Image: Kreesha Turner)
Tip One: Stop comparing yourself to others
It’s said time and time again, but we can’t seem to get away from it. But it’s so counter-productive! We’re all different. Some of us excel in certain things and some of us suck at them. We all have something we’re better at and worse at. We all in different stories, at different chapters, with equally beautiful endings. Start playing to your strengths and working on your weaknesses. Be better than you were yesterday, not better than the other person in the room.
Tip Two: Don’t just think it, say it
Thinking positively about yourself is harder than it sounds. But if we hear it, maybe we’ll start to listen. Stand in front of the mirror every morning and take a look at what you see. Let yourself know something you love about yourself and say it out loud. Or start the day with a positive affirmation out loud. It may feel weird at the beginning, but it will quickly sink in and transform your mindset.
Tip Three: Look at mistakes as spring boards
Failure and mistakes shouldn’t be looked at as the enemy. They’re actually the key to our success, but only if we act on them in the correct way. Instead of punishing yourself over mistakes you’ve made, focus on what you can learn from them and how you can use those teachings as fuel to greater success.
Tip Four: Gather some perspective
Sometimes we need to step out of our own heads and look at our situation from the outside. What would your friends say if they knew what you were saying about yourself? What would you say to a friend in a similar situation? Challenge yourself on the negative things you say to yourself and don’t be so hard on yourself. Most of the things we actually beat ourselves up on aren’t a big deal like we’re making them out to be.
Tip Five: Focus on solutions, not just problems
Sometimes we feel like we deserve the negative self-talk. But really it doesn’t do us any favours. When we talk negatively about ourselves, we’re often focusing too much on the problems instead of thinking about what we could do to solve them and thinking about the action. But focusing on the solutions will automatically move your mind to a positive space, and the problem won’t seem as bad.
What could we do differently? It’s a question we should perhaps ask ourselves more often. We shouldn’t constantly focus on the problems, the flaws and the mistakes, but sometimes there are simple solutions that lie with us. It’s not that we have to do different things, but do things differently. Look through a different lens. Fail fast and learn quickly. Repeat the cycle. We are the students, the innovators, the fixers, the examples, the legacies. When we adapt, we thrive and the world thrives too.
Sometimes we have to make choices under pressure, under heightened emotions, and under difficult circumstances. Sometimes we want vengeance or justice, because that is what seems fair and right. But there’s still a line between right and wrong, good and bad, that we must navigate carefully – what we might think is right in a moment might be wrong in the long run. Because once actions are made, words are said, there’s no taking them back. They might be forgiven but never forgotten. Cling to what is good. Cling to positivity, happiness, kindness. Cling to solutions that end problems, not create them.
We’re often told to focus on the positives and forget about the negatives. But ignoring a leaking tap will flood our life. Whilst we shouldn’t dwell on our problems, we do need to confront them. Because when we confront them, we start understanding them. And once we understand them, we know how to tackle them. Solutions are not always simple. They’re not always magical and they’re not always perfect. But they’re out there and we will find them. And that’s pretty positive.
Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions ~ Tony Robbins
It’s easy to complain. Problems and flaws are embedded in all of us and across all corners of the world. But with every problem, we subconsciously call for a solution. Where the real problem lies is in our inability to put the two together. There is no winning if we identify a problem but dismiss the possibility of a solution. That’s how it’s always been. I’m not good enough. We need to start asking questions and trying to find answers. If there’s a change we wish to see, we are the only ones who can bring it to life from the drawing board. Face the world with positivity and open-mindedness. It all begins with asking, ‘Why not?’
Sometimes we have this strange idea that if we don’t acknowledge a problem out loud then it ceases to be a problem. But with ignoring the problem comes ignoring the solution, and the problem will always stay a problem. Do not bottle up those feelings because they’re hard to admit or deal with or because they are negative or distressing. Talk about it, let it out. It’s so simple yet so effective. Talking allows us to process our thoughts, to gain perspective, and to release toxic energy. It might be the only solution we need or it will be the best starting point. We do not need to battle everything alone.