Updated: Nov 19, 2022
Every day, there are countless advertisements, endorsements, and influencers sharing their latest and greatest – not all are true and not all are beneficial to the brain. It’s important to have a filter and to also decide how you are going to work through the negative things that come your direction.
How and what you think has an effect on the way you live. Like a horse's bridle, negative thoughts may be something small yet can lead you in a direction you didn’t think you would go. Choose to lead yourself to things that are going to uplift you. A good example of this is your YouTube music selections. I have found that YouTube automatically threads together all the songs I have repeatedly listened to. Continually, I seek to choose songs that will uplift and strengthen me, naturally it comes back and rewards me time and again as playlists auto populates into your queue.
Awareness is essential to mindset. It is its bread and butter. Internally becoming aware of what negative thought patterns means that you can intentionally make micro-adjustments that will fortify you and help you adjust your mind to receive the best.
In this article, I will share with you the second of three frameworks that I have researched in connection with negativity. (The first framework is here)
Framework #2: I find no time for what I find valuable, there is nothing more to life and so I am giving up, why try?
Just a reminder: A framework is something that builds from the foundation of something. When building a house, the construction team builds a frame to hold up and define specific interior spaces. The same thing happens in our mind.
Oftentimes the framework of “I am not enough” and “there is not enough” can lead to specific issues, including an increase of negativity. Everything around you feels to be depleting faster than you can replenish it. And, on top of that, you feel everything is out to get you – nothing seems to be going right — the odds are not stacked in your favor.
This is rough emotional place to be.
Sadly, your behavior then shifts to self-sabotaging and self-defeating thoughts. Like a group of crabs stuck in a basket, you pull yourself back in, knowing that there really isn’t more to life outside the basket, so why try?
There are three red flags associated with this framework, really ponder which one gets you the most and why.
RED FLAG #1: “One day, someday soon, I’ll do what makes me happy”
Someday is a word that can be haunting. It never seems to have an expiration date or deadline associated with it. Therefore, it is allusive and frustrating. You have thoughts and feelings inside of you that perhaps are self-sacrificing or even hidden because you know there just isn’t time for them.
This negative red flag brings with it a ting of regret. If negative thoughts form from this then you will find resentful behaviors come forward, I owe you’s, you owe me, and you feel everyone should get just what they deserve and nothing less or more.
What CAN I do?
Choose to focus on the good, shift your focus to the good that is occurring more than the bad
Decide to work in the framework of goals and deadlines, to set an expectation for yourself and to give your best every day to one small, yet personally stretching, commitment and end goal – make sure to add a deadline or it still will be someday. Track your progress accordingly.
There is no perfect time to pursue what matters most to you. Choose to carve out space and time because all you really have is today, tomorrow is yet to be. I invite you to learn how to love where you are right now.
RED FLAG #2: “Anything could go wrong”
This is also known as the catastrophizing mindset. Your brain starts asking, “what could go wrong?” Each brain is hardwired with a specific instinct to gauge threats to one’s life. Make sure that you are able to reason with this part of you – aka. the amygdala.
The amygdala is where you have your major flight, fight, freeze, and focus responses. There are some who are able to push past the initial fear and really focus. This is an attribute I think is invaluable. Worst case scenario you feel less anxiety, best case scenario you find you are able to overcome, make adjustments, and continue forward with more clarity.
What Can I do?
Where is your focus? Decide now to bring your focus in on the solution and to use the problem to craft a solution that will be supported well by your decision to act. If you don’t know how to act, seek advice from someone you feel could help you to proceed well.
Anything can go wrong yet the opposite is equally true, anything can go right. What you focus on increases. Find the good and the good will continue to find you.
Mitigate risk where you can, prepare to succeed, and then trust God to make all the difference – God specializes in making all the impossible things possible.
RED FLAG #3: “I don’t have time to waste on dreams”.
Seeing dreams as childish and wasteful can be detrimental to your overall development, why? Because dreams have the power to empower the last thread of hope to hold on. Dreams instill hope and are designed with the purest of desires. Choosing to see dreams as frivolous, confines your ability to pursue innovative characteristics and creative outlets that bring your life into balance.
Dreams don’t have to be groundbreaking to be a strength to your life. If a dream is big or little, choose to dream.
What CAN I do?
Carve out “free time” to enjoy things that excite and ground you. If you don’t know what does, explore and engage with different and new things to find what sparks joy.
If you could do anything with your life, energy, and talents, what would you do? Who would you spend time with? What are your interests?
Keep your schedule at a 50-60% capacity. The more you fill your time the less time you have to really breathe. Learn to under book yourself and to make time every day for that which matters to you.
Which one of these red flags is influencing your brain’s mindset? I invite you to take a look at the section “What CAN I do?” under that red flag, commit today to try one of the steps. Share which red flag you tend to do the most the comments below!