Almost everything starts in your head. To put it simply, what you think and the way you think creates your reality. It seems easy, right? Unfortunately, controlling your mind is not so obvious. For so often, we fall into the ‘traps of thinking’ that we set ourselves.
To recognize this process it’s important to observe yourself; your thoughts and reactions. Only by knowing yourself you can catch and change this unhealthy approach to reality. I will present here some common thought patterns that are harmful. I wonder, can you recognize yourself among these ways of thinking?
What is blocking us?
- Thinking that you’re not suitable
I’m talking here about this cold feeling of being unworthy and not good enough for something. We have often been told that the world is so structured that there is not enough for everyone. Well, I believe that in life, you get what you have the courage to ask for. And to ask for it, you have to say goodbye to “it’s not for me” thinking pattern.
We are all different; that’s a fact. We all have diverse social and cultural backgrounds, different experiences, different skills. However, we cannot let ourselves be persuaded that we are unfit for something because we are inferior. Or poorer. Or too old.
External circumstances cannot decide who you are on the inside.
We may struggle with the social and economic situation; some of us may have mental health problems – but this should not affect how we perceive ourselves (in the sense of how we value ourselves). If you believe that you are not worthy of something – you won’t be worthy. Start treating yourself as if you deserve everything you dream about – because it is so. Start from your thoughts – if you are important to yourself, this is how you will become for the world.
2. Thinking that mistakes are the failure and that failing makes you a looser
Failure only exists if you let it. Otherwise, there are only lessons. If you learned something from error or failure, it was not a failure at all. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Forgive yourself for mistakes. And do your best to learn from them for the future.
3. Equating success with happiness
We could write endless dissertations about happiness. This is an elusive and difficult to define concept. However, when you define it for yourself, remember one thing – do not equate happiness with success. These are two different things. Completely separate.
Making happiness dependent on success can lead you astray. Because often when we reach it, we do not feel fulfilled, either happier. Happiness begins inside of us. Not outside.
You can be happy working on your success. You don’t have to wait for it to come true, you can feel it along the way.
What is true happiness for you? Can you find it among small everyday things, or you need that thrill of great success to allow yourself to be happy? Can you tell the difference between those two terms: happiness and success? Name it, write it, remember it.
4.Thinking that your worth depends on your accomplishments or productivity
This is the most difficult one for me, as I’m still trying to escape the feeling of uselessness. I often get overwhelmed with projects for which I don’t have time, probably to make up for this numbing feeling. The more I do, the more important I feel. How illusory that is!
The truth is that you can be the most creative person in the world, and yet sometimes you don’t do anything. And that’s okay. The problem starts when you stop feeling worthy straight away.
The value of a human does not lie in how much he can achieve, create, learn. It lies in what a person you are. No achievement is more important than a good, compassionate heart.
Interested in details? You can read more about it here: Do you also fall into the productivity trap?
5. Taking life as a contest
If you’re one of those with a competitive mindset, you know how much stress it brings. Life is not a contest, and you don’t have to be perfect in everything.
Does it really matter so much whether you do something for a 100% or a 86%?
If you are working on something, do your best but don’t beat yourself up. You can’t always be the best, but you can always be good at something. This applies to every sphere of life – perfectionism is a devastating poison.
Trust me, there is no eternal score board where you can fight for the first place, there is no podium. Nobody is sitting and waiting to judge how you did. If you feel the urge to be the best at everything and outperform everyone else, the problem is probably with you. It would be good if you believed that you don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
Fighting this kind of thinking is arduous if it has bit deeply into us. However, we can change this by working on ourselves step by step. By watching ourselves and make small changes daily. When we know what’s blocking us, it’s easier to free ourselves from it.