Case of the (Motivational) Mondays: Getting Rid of Negativity Part II
Mondays are 100% more fun if you wear fun novelty prints. FACT!
Hey all! Sorry it's two weeks later! The past week wast week was unexpectedly crazed!
Don't beat yourself up!
Because NYE and all possible resolutions made are still visible in our rearview mirror, I'm going to start this post with talking about starting new habits and breaking old ones. I'll open with one of my downfalls and traps I fell into when I made a promise to myself once: about a year ago I decided I wanted to read a book a week. I kept up initially, but inevitably life slammed me with a busy week, and then a week where I had allergy headaches (who wants to read with a headache? Yuck!) and then when I finally was feeling up for it I decided I should try to double up to keep momentum. Well, that didn't go so well either! For about two days I was reading double but then on the third there was a slip-up where I just couldn't get the job done. Eventually what ended up happening was I began to borderline avoid reading because I felt guilty and overwhelmed that I had gotten behind. This isn't helpful because I wanted to read a book a week because I wanted to learn as much as possible (I mostly read non-fiction). Even if I wasn't reading a book a week, just picking up a book and reading what I could would have eventually added up and I would have learned more instead of avoiding the task because I was too far behind.
Does any part of this resonate with you? It could be anything ranging from learning a new language, eating healthier, quitting a vice, taking a class, going to the gym, or even just calling that friend you've been out of contact with for too long! We all assume that there's a tomorrow. And while there usually is, we have the same excuses that day. Eventually what happens is we push stuff off so many days and then don't want to deal with starting over so we write it off. And sometimes we feel really guilty, are hard on ourselves, or feel like a failure. Instead of being negative that you didn't do something, try to set either attainable goals for yourselves or reward yourself for when you do do something that's good for you-even if it's less than you meant to do. Starting a new habit is great, but unless you kick the bad habit of feeling guilty or beating yourself up continuing that new habit is tricky. Something is better than nothing and either or there's no reason to carry around guilt! Life is too short and you're way more likely to make the most of it if you associate positive feelings around things you did do rather than if you're constantly beating yourself up about what you didn't do.
On a related note, the more positive you think the better off you'll respond to things too. I'm a realist by nature so this was a hard one for me to finally accept, but it really does work! If you come at a task with a 'can do' attitude, your mind is going to be more open to brainstorming ways to make that task better...and you'll have fun while doing it. If you're negative about doing something, you're going to be more closed off to some possibly obvious options and you'll be unnecessarily making your blood pressure higher. And it doesn't just stop with a singular event! The more positive you think, the better you'll feel. And the opposite is true too: if you're negative more often than you'll feel worse and continue to look at life in a Debbie Downer way. Neuroscience says!
And finally, never ever compare yourselves to others. That's a recipe to feel bad about your self (or I suppose temporarily feel good about yourself in a fleeting way...depending on your personal landscape) that will lead to not believing in yourself. I often boycott Facebook because I get sick of all the good news. It's not that I don't love hearing about other people's happiness, I actually really do, but the one sided aspect of it gets old. I've seen enough relationships in real life that have MORE than their fare share of problems look golden on FB. I've heard vacation horror stories that don't match the sunny vacation album posted. I know enough mothers who want to pull their hair out but every family photo looks Rockwell-esq. I'm not as much saying that people should post every last negative detail of their lives along with the positive ones on social media, as much as that you should be careful about putting yourself in a position to subconsciously compare yourselves to people who seem perfect (especially the random high school and college friends you're not in touch with at all besides the Newsfeed because those happy stories they post are even more skewed) because you will have a biased and unfair view about how happy they are in comparison to how happy you are. Studies have been done about how social media depresses people and I personally (with no scientific experiments of my own to back it up) feel it's the #1 hinderance in trying to avoid comparing yourself to other people. The same ideas go for comparing yourself to the people in your real life as well. You don't know what tools they've had to get to where they are, or what struggles they've overcome. You also don't know who's secretly fighting crippling depression. Don't worry about what other people are doing in their lives and don't use them as mile markers on where you think you should be. Compare yourself to you and you alone and tune out any other white noise!
Don't beat yourself up, be positive, and don't compare! If you want to conquer 2015 you have to conquer those rules to have a fighting chance! And living by those rules will inadvertently clear out other negative behaviors and thoughts as well.
Since I'm doing themes each month I'll be doubling up posts either today or next week. Have a great Monday!
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