A few weeks ago I had a negative, reoccurring inner dialogue that just wouldn’t go away. Unintentionally, I was starting many of my thoughts with, “I should have…by now” or “I should have already…”. This train of thought was depressing and frustrating. I wasn’t meaning to be so hard on myself but without intentionally thinking positive thoughts, these negatives crept in and took over.
So to pull myself out of the hamster wheel, I pushed myself to think beyond just my regrets. Instead of just saying, “I should own a home by now” I followed up with, “but first, I need to save more money each month.” The second part of that thought gave me an action item to focus on; a way to re-focus my attention and remind myself that I do have control over the way my life turns out. Simply acknowledging what I could do to change my situation took a great weight off my shoulders. I felt less helpless and more like my eyes were on the prize. If you’re having the same struggle, give it a try. Create a two column chart, split into left and right. On the left side write down those things that you want to have or achieve. Then on the right side, think about the factors/habits/actions that you control that would allow you to reach that goal.
Be kind to yourself; you’re listening.