Many a times I find myself in a mind loop of self-talk which is most of the time negative that takes me to despair. And I am reading now that we all in one way or another experience this. Some people use this self-talk to motivate themselves, other use it to kill every motivation they ever had and in worse cases they use it to hurt themselves. The first story I want to share is :
of a young guy that started right off ever since he was a kid by identifying himself as ” a loser, a big time-loser”. Even though he was good looking and was not perceived as a loser by society, he always held back from everything, because he felt he wasn’t ” good enough, hardworking enough, that he had no future what so ever”. What he didn’t know was that he was far from alone in his feelings, and far from alone in his self-talk! What he needed to do was turn his self-talk around. What was hurting him more than anything (take into account that he was 26 living with his parents, in debt and out of work) was the limiting label he had put on himself most of his life: “I am a loser” I can’t think of a more unattractive phrase! If you tell yourself every day that you’re a loser, those you’re attracted to will sense this on a deep intuitive level and want nothing to do with you. It’s as simple and as brutal as that.
I found this story quite inspiring and motivating and acknowledged that many a time I called myself a loser and didn’t go on doing things just because i thought i wasn’t capable of, and often convinced myself it was the truth. And that was totally wrong!
Another story that I read and found myself in it was this one I am about to share now:
A few years back I was speaking at a leadership development conference for college students, which was attended by thousand of people. At the end of the conference few of them stayed and we discussed about what I have talked about the topics I had discussed in my program. After a few minutes, a young woman in the group opened up. ” I am tired of being a doormat” she said. ” What does doormat mean? ” She got quiet, her nose turned red and she started crying. ” A doormat is something everyone walks all over” She gasped for a breath and continued. ” A doormat is something everyone uses and then leaves behind. Everyone leaves their dirt on me.”
Many a times i find myself thinking that I am not pretty enough, I am never going to live my dreams simply because I don’t deserve it. And worst I consider myself probably lower than a doormat. I believe about myself, that because of my past experiences, I will never get this or that, I am not good for this or that, and so on. And usually my self-talk and self-motivation sums up to: I would get a better job, BUT I am not good enough; I would go out, BUT I am not beautiful enough… I would travel, exercise, read, learn, keep in touch … BUT I don’t have the time, BUT I don’t have the money, BUT I don’t have the energy… BUT BUT BUT… and I find all these kinds of excuses that usually make me more bored, more grumpy and more unhappy.
Why do we like these BUT excuses so much? Maybe because a BUT excuse gets us out of doing things we don’t want to do. A friend asks you, do you want to go to gym? and you say I would love to , BUT I don’t have the money for a fitness membership, or don’t have the time, or don’t have the energy. And you feel happy for the moment because you managed to get out of it. That’s good right! Wrong! It could never be more wrong. We skip the gym, leaving more for mindless computer browsing and our body suffers. We get stiffer and more out of shape, and start packing on the pounds. Meanwhile we cry that if we just had better genes, we would already be physically fit and trim. Our minds are experts at coming up with excuses. And the goal is not to be perfect. The real goal is to recognize when your mind is in an excuse loop and do something to get out of it!
Here’s a secret: the excuse itself is never the real reason behind our inaction: it’s just a cover-up for something we’re unwilling to face up to. The truth is that for some other reason that we may not want to acknowledge, we really don’t want to go to the gym, return to school, find a new job or what ever else. Our excuses mask our true feelings, which may be something like this: ” i hate working out because I feel fat at the gym” “I’m not interesting in dating because I am afraid of being dumped” ” I don’t want to do good at school, because this faculty is not what I really wanted to do in life”
These true feelings are never said, and we hide behind our excuses so that everyone else will leave us alone. And that’s how an individual can end up being alone for the rest of their life. What should you to to stop coming up with excuses in your life and get things done ? Be true to yourself and change your behavior!
When we sell ourselves the lie that we are not “enough” (which often and many times i do) or that we are flawed or broken in some way, we short-circuit all our hopes and dreams. And this kind of self-talk defeats us before we ever begin, and makes it virtually impossible for us to look in the mirror and see the whole human being who’s really there. It also makes it impossible for our friends to help us. Many times my boyfriend wanted to brake up with me because of my insecurities. They were drowning me. It was like walking trough quick sand. No matter what he did to try to get me out of my destructive self-talk loop, I slipped deeper into my personal hell. What I learned from this only now is that nobody can help us get off except ourselves. You can throw people a rope, but if they refuse to grab on and pull their own weight, you can’t save them. Ultimately it’s their choice! And for some reason I didn’t want to grab the rope. For some unbelievable reason I couldn’t let go of my insecurities, doubts, fears and I had the tendency to pull him down with me. Why ? Because all these have been nurtured for years and years and from simple thoughts they have become my life’s beliefs. And the only way I could possibly go past this is by acknowledging my wrong beliefs and letting go of them. Hopefully I will succeed!
This note is inspired from Sean Stephenson’s book : Get off your “BUT” from which i used the stories I quoted and many of the ideas written here. Combined with my own experiences.
Hope it will be helpful to someone!