“We are what our thoughts have made us, so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts are live; they travel far.” – Swami Kananda
What are you telling yourself? Is it affecting your life? Are you talking yourself out of things that could make a difference in your life? The answer is most likely Yes! Most of us have allowed ourselves to follow our thoughts instead of participating in the reality of how great we are.
I spent a significant part of my life thinking horrible things about myself. Thoughts like, “I am not good enough.” “I can’t do it.” “I am not pretty.” And “I am uncoordinated.” Those thoughts hindered me from becoming the person I wanted to be for most of my life.
I did not do well in school. I passed, but only by the seat of my pants. I told myself I didn’t understand and would appear stupid if I asked any questions, so I did not ask. I mainly received “Cs” in school. When I went to Junior College, I continued to struggle. Later in life, I took some courses at night school. I was more confident and did well in school. I was receiving A's and B’s. My mindset changed. I told myself it was a smart thing to ask questions. I learned, and I succeeded. I still allowed my thoughts to prevent me from attending a four-year college. That is sad and has affected my chances at many jobs I would like to have had.
People tell me that I am clumsy, or others consider me uncoordinated. I fall A LOT! In the last few years, I have fallen and broken bones. When I set my mind to think I am graceful, I am more careful when walking and do not fall! My mindset makes a difference.
I have many more examples of how much I allowed my negative thoughts to steer my life in a particular direction. However, I want to talk about how my thoughts have changed and how I live a more successful life today.
I spent years in counseling and reading self-help books, which made a difference. However, I continued to believe I would be nothing. I am unsure what happened, but I thought I could be someone. My father told me from the time I was a little girl that I was something special. I am finding out that he was right.
My life changed after I moved to Fresno. I moved to Fresno due to my mom’s death and the need to run the family business. I did not want to move here. I cried every day for almost two years. My accountant tried to help me meet other businesspeople, so he invited me to Rotary. I began learning from other businesspeople and finding my place in the community. I got involved with the Chamber of Commerce and became an ambassador. Because my thoughts told me I wasn’t good enough, I was intimidated and quit.
My thought process changed. I decided I was tired of living in the shadows and being scared to do almost anything. I chose to live the life I felt God was leading me to live. He gave me all the tools I need to grow as an individual and His child.
I paid attention to what my counselor told me, put what I learned into action, prayed, and slowly became a new person. I continue to work on becoming the best person possible.
I am involved in the community. I am on the Rotary and Women’s Chamber of Commerce board and a Fresno Chamber of Commerce ambassador. These groups have helped me grow as a person and become more confident. The most significant change I have made is being humble enough to spend time with God, talking about life, and asking for direction. I can do these things because I am worth it!! That is a massive step in the right direction.
I am delighted to live in Fresno and have made an excellent life for myself.
Just because I am more confident does not mean that I am self-centered. My thoughts also focus on others I love and care for. God has put friends in my life, and I can be there for them when needed. In turn, they are there for me when I need help. Life is full of give and take.
I know that when reading something like this, it seems that I changed my thoughts overnight, but it does not work like that. It is a lifelong process. It took years to get to the place that I am today. I am much more confident, but at times, I still allow my thoughts to stop me from trying new things. I continue to work on changing my mindset and blossoming as a person.
How can you improve your thought life?
Following are some ways to think and behave in a more positive and optimistic way:
1. Identify areas to change.
2. Check yourself.
3. Be open to humor.
4. Follow a healthy lifestyle.
5. Surround yourself with positive people.
6. Practice positive self-talk.
I hope this blog has encouraged you to work on changing your mindset and becoming the amazing person I know you can be.
Have a great week.