Watch Your Thoughts, They Become Your Words…
By Darius Harris, Stride Career Prep Success Coach
“I’m not good enough.”
“No one will ever give me a chance.”
“I’ll never find an internship.”
Do these sound like statements you have made lately? No matter what negative things come out of your mouth, they first occur in your mind before you say them. I didn’t realize just how much of a challenge it is to maintain a positive attitude throughout the day… until about two days ago. I woke up in a foul mood. Although I had nothing to complain about, or be upset about, I felt irritated. It seemed that every thought that came to my mind was negative. My food wasn’t good enough, people were driving too slow in traffic, and I dreaded cutting the grass. My day was going horribly because I had made up in my mind that it would be a bad day.
It has been proven that self-defeating thoughts can have both physical and mental effects on the body and brain (because, well, the brain/mind is part of the body), which ultimately keep you from being productive. Your thoughts can affect every aspect of your life, and they can cause you to perform poorly in your daily activities.
We must actively monitor our thoughts, so that things don’t spiral out of control.
A quote that has quickly become one of my favorites is…
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” ~ Lao Tzu
Our brains are “primed” to look for the things we expect. Our repeated thoughts and emotions form our beliefs, whether positive or negative. When you learn about the brain and the creative subconscious, you understand that its job is to ensure that our actions align with our beliefs. Therefore, the brain filters out evidence that doesn’t align with beliefs, so that “what we think about grows.”
That’s why it’s so important to watch our thoughts and what we choose to focus on, day in and day out. When you focus on negative self-talk, you can push yourself into what’s called the “red zone.” Some of the red zone characteristics are that your stress hormones spike, your mental resources are drained, the immune system becomes depleted, and your natural optimism disappears. Remember, when you are in this place, it hinders you from moving to action, due to your current-moment beliefs and emotions.
Tips To Help Avoid Negative Self-Talk
Carefully Monitor Your Thoughts With Mindfulness
To offer resistance against the negative ideas that try to invade your mind, you must take the time to pay attention to your thoughts. This is the act of mindfulness. You will want to look at, or observe attentively, the thoughts that run through your brain over a pre-specified period of time. When you notice that you have negative self-talk coming into your mind, offer an immediate rebuttal with a positive spin.
For example, you can trade the thought… “I will never get a job,” with… “It may take some time, but I will get a job.”
Recite Positive Affirmations During Times Of Mindfulness
The key to a successful day starts in your mind. In the quote above, we see how things can spiral out of control, if you don’t actively monitor your thoughts. Saying you will have a good day every morning isn’t enough. You must actively monitor your thoughts throughout the day, as well. Think of some things that you are thankful for, and then take the time to recite them every morning. If possible, write a list of things that you appreciate. If the only thing you have to complain about is not getting enough sleep or being held up in traffic, I’d say you are doing pretty well… compared to things happening in the world. You would be surprised by the impact that reciting positive affirmations can have on your thoughts, and your body.
Be Mindful/Strategic About What You Put Into Your Mind
What you put into your mind is what will come out in your thoughts. So, reflect on these questions for a moment… What are you putting into your mind? What kinds of books, television shows, new articles, and conversations are you engaging with, on a regular basis? Are your discussions negative and unproductive? Do you choose to focus on things that are wrong and skim over the many things that are right? Do you watch a lot of news that highlight negative stories? More importantly, have your thoughts turned into negative actions yet?
In conclusion, fill your mind with positive thoughts, uplifting conversations, upbeat articles and blogs, and be sure to associate with people who have a positive outlook. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a bad situation, or not able to perform your best when you need to rise to the occasion.
To learn even more from our Stride Success Coaches, be sure to read the Finding Your Path article, for additional advice.
And, check out the article on How To Make The Most Out Of A Virtual Career Fair, too!
To learn more about Stride Career Prep Success Coaching for teens and how it prepares them for life after high school through career exploration or college readiness, visit this site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html
Is your child ready for the future?
Make sure your student is ready for life after high school.
Meet a Leader in online education.
See why over two million students have chosen Stride K12-powered schools.