“I’m so stupid.”
“I’m such a loser.”
“No one would want me.”
“Bad stuff always happens to me….”
Do you know someone who talks like this? A friend? Your child? Maybe…yourself? I do. I hear things like this all the time from lovely, smart, talented young ladies–and not so young, too. And it makes me so sad, because what we think, what we believe, shapes every aspect of our lives. We get what we ask for, even when we don’t realize we’re asking
Maybe you’ve heard the sayings before: Thoughts become things. You are what you think. Like attracts like. And yeah, it can all sound a bit out there. But they’re true, every single one of them. THAT is the secret, why some people seem to have all the good luck, and others have all the bad luck. It’s not luck. It’s cause and effect.
Thoughts have power. They create feelings, and feelings create behavior. Behavior leads to outcomes. The girl who constantly thinks she’s stupid is, in effect, giving everyone else permission to treat her that way, as well. Conversely, the girl who thinks she deserves better won’t let anyone treat her like a doormat.
Think of it in terms of each of us being our personal cell tower, broadcasting our thoughts to the world around us. Those thoughts are received, processed, and acted upon. If you walk into a room feeling inferior, that’s what you project to others. They “receive” the inferior message (through your body language, your facial expression, your words, everything) and THAT is how they will begin to think of/treat you. If, however, you walk into a room smiling and confident, others will notice someone smiling and confident, and THAT is how they will begin to think of/treat you.
You see, once you have a clear picture of something in your mind (I am smart. I am worthy. I am beautiful.), there is an instant transformation within every cell of your body. You project. You create who you are.
Here’s a few examples:
|Self-Defeating Thought||Resulting Behavior|
|I always lose||I don’t try as hard|
|I’ll never be good enough||I don’t go out for the team|
|I’ll never make an A||Studying is a waste of time|
|I’m so ugly||What is there to smile about?|
|I’m not good at anything||I don’t do anything|
And yet by taking those same negative thoughts and turning them to something positive, your feelings about yourself change, resulting in your behavior changing. And when you behavior changes, new outcomes begin to occur
|Self-Defeating Thought||Restructured Thought||Resulting Behavior|
|I always lose||I’m perfectly capable of winning.||I try to win.|
|I’ll never be good enough||I am good enough.||I practice.|
|I’ll never make an A||I’m going to ace the test||I study.|
|I’m so ugly||I am beautiful||I smile.|
|I’m not good at anything||I am talented||I follow my dreams|
Do you think Michael Jordan went into any game of basketball saying, “I’ll never make the winning shot?” Do you think (pre scandal) Tiger Woods went into any golf tournament thinking “There’s no way I’ll win.”? Back then, no. However, after his life crumbled around him, I bet that’s EXACTLY what he now thinks. (And he’s not winning anymore, is he?)
Over the years, I’ve experienced my share of negative messages, both from myself as well as others. After college, I caught the guy I thought I was going to marry cheating on me. He promptly did that guy-thing where he turned it on me, saying that if I hadn’t been so horrible to him all the time, he wouldn’t have ended up with someone else, and that I needed to be careful, because if I broke up with him, I’d never find anyone who’d put up with me and my #%@ like he did. Whoa. I mean…whoa. Those were hard words. They hurt. And once I would have believed them. Internalized them. But that time some little voice inside me whispered…no. I wasn’t horrible, and I could find someone else. Someone who loved me, who didn’t hurt me. THAT was what I deserved. So, with those thoughts firmly implanted, I took an action I would never have taken before. I moved. To live with my sister. 500 miles away.
Two months later I met this awesome guy. Two years later I married him. Two kids later we are happier than ever. He’s never once called me horrible
Your thoughts are everything. This is something I repeat over and over and over to my daughter and my nieces. It’s SO important. You have to keep them on what you want. You have to believe. YOU are your strongest advocate. You are the captain of your own ship, your life. You are the creator.
- Start with the end in mind. Identify what you want.
- Frame it in the positive, not the negative. (I AM smart, I AM a good friend, I DESERVE to be treated well, I’m CAPABLE of making good grades.)
- Write it down. Think about it. A lot.
- Let yourself imagine what it will feel like when you experience your vision for your life. What will being smart feel like? Being a good friend? Being treated well? Let yourself feel the happiness and joy, the sense of satisfaction.
- Then, physically move in that direction. Take baby steps at first, it doesn’t matter. Just move in the direction you want to go. That you deserve.
When you believe, when you take those first steps, the world around you responds, and you’re that much closer to who–or where–you want to be.
Mike Dooley, author of “Notes from the Universe” says it best:
What if it was true that you could make your own reality, and that your thoughts become the things and events of your life?
What would you do different in the next five minutes? The next five days? Five weeks?
The world is ours–yours, mine, our kids. Ours. We’re here to live, and to thrive. This is one of the most powerful lessons we can teach our kids, and the thought, the REALITY, that, when I’m at my lowest, always has the power to pull me forward.
Kinda cool to think about, huh?