By the time I was an independent young adult, I was a full-time passenger on the struggle bus of limited thinking.
I didn’t realize this until my older sister brought it to my attention. One day she said to me, “Ugh. I can’t take you anymore. Just being around you is difficult because all you do is whine, complain, criticize, and tear down. You never have anything good to say. No matter where we go or what we do, you find a way to take note of the negative. I’m sick of you and your negativity.”
I considered what my sister told me and began to closely monitor my thoughts. It didn’t take me long to accept that my sister was right.
I was a cynic with a bad case of stinkin’ thinkin’.
I’m not exactly sure how I developed this habit. If I had to guess, I’d say it was from buying into limited beliefs associated with statements I’d heard growing up.
As the dance studio owner’s daughter, I spent a lot of time around adults. Those who complained took up the most space and delivered their one-liners as gospel.
Here are some of the statements that imply limited beliefs and were part of my mindset:
- It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.
- You’re just one person; you can’t change the world.
- You have to crawl before you walk.
- Get in line.
- You have to start from the bottom then work your way up.
- The only way to make money in this world is to work hard for it.
- It’s a waste of time to tell anyone about your problems. Because when that conversation ends and they walk away, you’re still stuck with the problems.
- Life is hard and you have to make it on your own. No one’s gonna help you.
- Marry someone who loves you more than you love them.
- When the government sneezes, “we” catch cold.
- There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
- If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
- You can’t fight city hall
If ever you find yourself needing to reset your thinking, start by:
- Changing how you look at situations. Instead of focusing on everything wrong, focus on what’s actually going right. Self-help author and speaker Wayne Dyer once said, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” Practice looking for what’s good. Practicing is how you improve. Think dance. You practice to improve, right?
- Thinking about the thoughts you’re thinking. What ideas go on in your head? This is super important because:
Thinking creates ideas. Ideas lead to actions. Actions produce habits. And habits play a major part in how you build your life.
Choose thoughts that move you closer to creating the life you want.
- Anticipating naysayers. If or when you run into someone who says something to you like “It’s unrealistic to always be so optimistic. It’s OK to complain. We’re all going through something or other, so it’s ridiculous to think you can ignore real life and always look for what’s good.” … look the doubter in the eye and recall this fact: it’s impossible to build a positive life based on limiting beliefs. Simply nod, smile, walk downstage right, and exit the bus.
Update your thinking and your world changes, my friend. Strive to believe. Believe that no matter how bad something is, there’s a smooth and open road ahead – a road illuminated by hopeful glimmers of light.
Change your thinking and you’ll outperform even your own expectations. Just watch.