By David Joel Miller.
If you are telling yourself these things you are lying to yourself and may not even know it.
1. I can’t do it
Can’t usually means won’t.
By telling yourself you are not able to do a thing you convert your own mind into an enemy. Your brain starts creating this failure. Tell yourself you will fail and you will.
People who are positive are much more successful. They tell themselves they can and many times this turns out to be true.
2. Other people think badly of me.
Most of the time, most people are too involved in their own lives to pay any attention to you. Unless they are saying they do not like you and what you are doing, it would be a mistake to think that others disapprove.
Blaming other people for not liking you creates just that result. You think they do not like you, you do not like them and then you’re not liking them results in their not liking you.
You started this avalanche of negativity.
3. I am a failure.
The biggest failure of all is to never try. I see this in a lot of young people who are overly hard on themselves. A few recent graduates do get jobs at top companies. But the majority of them have to start out at the bottom and work their way up. Do not think you are a failure because you are not more successful than everyone else.
The biggest failure of all is to never try.
Accept that you are where you are and then work on improving yourself. You are not a failure because of what you did that did not work. Those are learning opportunities. The ultimate failure is to accept defeat and stop trying.
You have not failed. You just haven’t succeeded yet
4. People will talk about me.
People talk about the President, they talk about the Pope. What? Are you saying you are more important than them?
Having people talk about you indicates you are doing things. No one talks much about those who never try. No one knows they exist.
5. Not paying my bills means I am saving money.
If you came from a poverty mentality then you learned that if you paid the power bill here might be no money for food. What people who live that way miss is that those late charges and extra fees add up.
Learn to manage money, not be bullied by the bills. Pay your bills on time. Budget for what you will need and if there is not enough money find ways to cut expenses and earn more. Avoiding your responsibilities is not an effective way to save anything.
6. I can’t afford to save anything.
Savings is simple. Spend less than you earn. Simple is, of course, not easy.
The more people earn the less able to save they seem to be. Savings do not need to be a lot to add up. Save a dollar a paycheck and at the end of the year, you will have fifty dollars saved up.
Most people in America spend a little more, sometimes just a dollar or two, each pay period than they make. Eventually, this adds up to a mountain of debt.
7. I should do or be —
Beware the tyranny of the “shoulds.” This doing things because you think that you have to can rob you of a lot of time and happiness. Now there are some things you should not do because they are illegal or will cause you problems. There are other things you need to do like pay your bills and care for your children.
But most of us every day do a bunch of things that rob us of time not because we really needed to do those things but because somewhere in our heads we recorded a rule that things always need to be a certain way.
8. Doing things for me is selfish.
Good self-care is not being selfish. Self-neglect is abusive. Do positive things for yourself to maintain your ability to do things.
9. Other people are the cause of my problems.
Blaming others is an excuse. It can keep you stuck. Rarely will you be successful in getting them to change to do things your way. Learn to work around those obstacles. Change yourself, your circumstances or your reaction to those people and you can often dissolve the power then have over you.
10. Others can do more than I can.
So? If you use this as an excuse for not trying you will never do anything. You do not have to be perfect. You do not have to be the best at anything. You just need to be you. Do what you can and accept what you do. Just make sure to be truthful to yourself and do your best.
11. Nothing will ever change.
Everything will change – eventually. In the long run, we are all dead. The question is do you want to start living a real life or do you want an excuse for why you do not try?
12. No one cares about me.
Start caring about yourself. No one in your lifetime is likely to care more about you than you do. If you do not care about yourself you make it difficult for others to care about you.
13. I am right, I know I am.
Insisting you are right can be some comfort but it is rarely helpful to waste time arguing about who is right. Have the courage of your convictions but do not insist that everyone see things your way.
Be open to the possibility that sometimes you can be mistaken. When new information arrives reevaluate your thoughts on things.
14. I don’t have enough education.
Do what you can with what you have. People often overestimate the education and training they need to find a job, a partner or to be able to do something.
If you do lack the formal credentials for an opportunity you would like, consider going back to school. Do not tell yourself you are too old to learn. People are living longer these days. Jobs go out of existence. More people than ever before are returning to school in their 40’s and 50’s and beyond.
You are never too old to learn something new.
15. If I just had – Then I would be happy and successful.
If you are not happy in the process of getting to your goals you are unlikely to be happy when you get there. Happiness is not a destination it is a process you learn along the way.
16. I don’t have that talent.
Talent is over rated. Lots of natural talents practiced thousands or even tens of thousands of hours to get that talent. We are all born with the possibility of becoming talented at something.
Most talent turns out to actually be skills. The more you learn, the more you practice, the more skilled you will become.
17. I was just born this way.
You are nothing like you were when you were born. People grow. They develop. They learn things. If you learned something and it is not working you can unlearn it and learn a new way of being.
Genes turn on and off based on your life experiences. Do good things. Practice happiness skills and those thoughts you think are “just me” will change as a result of new learning and experiences.
Have you been lying to yourself? Would you be happier and more successful if you started telling yourself the truth?
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended books.