An excerpt from The Magic of Authentic Living
We all encounter those temporary moments in life where we maybe feel a little sorry for ourselves or ponder why the world is apparently not always seemingly quite so fair. Some things that come along in life cause us to struggle to see an upside.
Thoughts leading to nought (or stinkin’ thinkin’ as they’ve been poetically labeled by some of my fellow coaches) are only part and parcel of our existence as humans. We all experience them and rather usefully we can choose to transform away from this rather unhelpful mindset in a moment.
We don’t need to pretend we aren’t having thoughts leading to nought; they obviously feel extremely valid and are there with good reason at the time. Overlaying this kind of thinking with positive affirmations, without examining why we feel this way, only ensures the next time a similar event occurs we’ll feel the same way again, only this time more strongly. We need to analyze why we feel these emotions before we move on.
Accept that you do feel a little sorry for yourself at this time and that is okay. Own the feeling.
Take two pieces of paper, lay them next to one another on a table or another flat surface. On the left-hand piece of paper, write down and analyze what specifically about the situation makes you feel the way you do. Perhaps the failure of well-laid plans or even disappointment with yourself or another? Continue until you have written down everything about the situation that makes you struggle to move on.
On the right-hand piece of paper, write down if there’s anything at all you can learn about yourself from the fact you actually feel so bad. Is there something in your current life or decision making that is sitting uncomfortably with you? If this is the case, write down step-by-step ways you can transform the feelings by making new choices as soon as possible.
When you’re done, and you will know when you are, dispose of the pieces of paper.
Or is it simpler than that?
Perhaps it’s just one of those days we all live through from time to time, when we just feel overwhelmed and wonder why life can’t be simpler. Just accept that’s how you feel temporarily and it’s okay.
Just as negative thinking becomes habit forming, equally so does thinking in terms of positive outcomes and good things coming into our life.
Refocusing your energy is simply a matter of bringing to mind a happy event you recently enjoyed while taking care to remember to feel gratitude for all the good experiences in your life. And smile — create some serotonin for yourself! Stand up tall and look up!
Next time you’re having thoughts leading to nought, don’t beat yourself up over them or feel disappointed with yourself. Accept that it’s happened and choose to own the moment. Is there something to learn from the experience or is it simply just one of those days? Either way it’s okay, because thoughts leading to nought are ultimately all part and parcel of being human.