Do you remember the beloved children’s story of the little train engine trying to get up the hill?
He has some famous words that he spoke to himself while puffing and pulling himself up that steep incline..
“I think I can.”
Four simple words. 10 letters.
And they make all the difference in your personal success.
I Think I Can Mindset
Earlier I had written about our vacation to Idaho and traveling along the route of the famous and historical Oregon Trail.
At one point, while facing some of our own personal trials on vacation (2 flat tires) I became very conscious of the trials the pioneers had faced and the mindset they had to have in order to survive and succeed.
Some call it having a positive mindset.
Or stopping the negative self talk.
Or maybe it’s just being hard headed and stubborn.
Call it whatever you want, but I can promise you this. If one of the early American Pioneers made the 2000 mile journey across The Oregon Trail and daily said to themselves “I’m going to die and I’m never going to make it” I’ll guarantee you they are probably one of the many bodies along the trail that never made it. I know I don’t have any proof for that point, but there is just absolutely no way you can daily tell yourself negative things and expect to get positive results. The brain and body just don’t work that way.
Stop the Negative Self Talk
The negative talk in our heads. Too bad it’s not that in general “wah wah wah” sound you hear on the old Charlie Brown cartoons whenever adults talk. Our negative talk in our heads is much clearer, and burns much deeper into our brains and inner being.
If you suffer from “Negative Head” Syndrome, I challenge you to begin a conscious effort to do away with it. Oh, for some folks it may be easy. But for others, it will be the most laborious task you will ever do.
Why, you ask?
Because even if you weren’t a negative head talker, but have become one, it’s a habit that will have to be broken, and we all know how hard it is to break habits.
Let me share with you these ideas to stop the negative self talk
1. Become aware you are talking negative
So, you may not even be aware you are having all the negative talk in your head. And if you are around many other folks that also suffer from Negative Head Syndrome, you may be just following the crowd. Begin by really thinking about everything you are saying about yourself, others, life, your loved ones, etc. Is it negative? No? Then GREAT, you pass the test and do not have NHS (Negative Head Syndrome). Yes, you do talk negative? Then let’s go to the next step.
2. Thought Stop
Awareness is the first step to change, so now that you are aware let’s try first to just STOP the negative talk. If you catch yourself thinking those negative thoughts to yourself, just STOP and think something positive. Try finding your “happy place thought”. Maybe it’s a serene scene by the ocean, or a picture of a cozy, roaring fire. As soon as you catch yourself thinking the negative thought immediately think the “happy place” thought. Another thought stop technique is to literally say to yourself STOP, and if you are alone even saying it in an audible voice, out loud! Warning here..if you don’t make sure you are alone and have Thought STOP while shopping for groceries, they may call for back up to aisle 5 for the crazy woman saying STOP to herself =) Oh well, Empty Nest Moms are allowed a few moments of the crazies
I’m a huge advocate of writing in a journal, and writing down your negative thought comments as soon as they come to you can help you analyze the root of all your negative self talk. You may find that all your negative self talk centers around one certain topic. It’s just an idea of a way to try to get to the root of the negative talk.
4. Rubber Band Snap
I’ll admit that this one I have problems with as I don’t like pain to begin with. But I’ve read about applying this technique to learn to stop smoking, control eating habits, etc. Yep, it’s the old “wear a classy rubber band on your wrist” and snap the band as soon as you have negative self talk. You won’t win any fashion awards with Vogue but it’s been said to work. I’ll be the first to admit to you that I’ve never used this technique, but you are welcome to try it and let me know if it works for you.
5. Higher Power Pull Down
I have to take the opportunity here to really suggest that if you are suffering from NHS that you don’t lean on your own strength. While you are going through the moments of self discovery and and self-help, lean on a power that is mightier than yourself. Ask for Wisdom from the one above.
There is a scripture in the Bible – Psalm 91 and there are so many of it’s verses that speak about how God will cover us with his protection. While this can mean the physical, it can also mean the mental. Sometimes we can’t fix our problems on our own and we need His help. Even negative head talk =)
1. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”
SO if you made down here to the bottom, I hope you are thinking a little bit more about the negative self talk that may be holding you back from making through your trials of the road. Try some of the hints and see if they help you!
Kim Steadman is the COOP (Chief Online Operating Person) for The Re-Feathered Nest. A place of encouragement for moms entering the Empty Nest Zone who find they need to RePurpose and ReDesign their lives now that the kids have flown the coop. Kim can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRefeatheredNest and on Google+ at +Kim.