Do you regularly think about your goals, the success you have had and reasons to be grateful? Or does the moment something goes wrong, you find yourself in self-doubt, anxiousness, and thinking all things negative?
In today’s world, the media and social platforms love to feed us negativity. It’s incredibly hard to think positive. Just the other day, the Colts drafted one of the most gifted athletes in Anthony Richardson and much of the talk was about all the negative instead of the possibilities. No wonder we often feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. It’s a ton of work to stay in a neutral or positive mindset.
Let me share with you one of my favorite sayings – Control the controllables. We are always capable of controlling our effort and our attitude. If you want to stay positive, you must spend your time focused on the things that you can influence. Controlling our thoughts and how we talk to ourselves is the only way we can win the war between the negative and the positive in our minds. Ask yourself these five questions the next time you notice the war taking place:
Are you being honest with yourself? Are the things you’re saying true, helpful, and kind? Are they things you would say to a friend? Author Jon Acuff talks about the soundtrack you play in your mind when things happen. It’s important to ask ourselves these questions to evaluate your soundtrack. Is what you’re saying to yourself when something goes wrong true? Or are you making things up?
Are you thinking about the past? When things go wrong, instead of thinking about the past, think of how it could have been worse and how grateful you are. Then find the opportunity in the place you are now. Turn that obstacle into your advantage. I promise your attitude will be better with gratitude.
Are you putting in your best effort? Are you putting in the time, preparation and planning needed to be successful? Or are you winging it. Are you working smarter vs harder? You may be working hard but not slowing down in your frustration. Putting in the effort to evaluate what’s the most important right now along with planning ahead is critical for mental clarity.
Are you surrounding yourself with the right people? Because you need a support system! Often, when things go wrong, we go looking for people to commensurate with us in our misery. A true support system will help you think about the right things and evaluate the obstacle objectively. I suggest finding people that will support you by loving you and telling the truth.
Are you counting your blessings? Spend time every day doing something that brings you joy. When you are doing whatever that is (a walk, reading a book, music, cup of coffee on the porch), take a moment and think of how you are uniquely blessed. Write it down, send a note, call someone special. These small actions can make a world of difference.
You may be saying – I have tried all that. It’s a bunch of baloney. I would suggest that’s not true or helpful to say. Take an active role in your mindset. Your thoughts determine your success. Only you can control your self-talk and just like everything else worth pursuing, success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work and if you put in the effort over time, you will experience a difference. What you tell yourself matters. Be deliberate about your thoughts and pay attention to your soundtrack. Your mind controls your physical body. Your body does not work right when your mind is not feeding it good things. I hope these questions help you be more prepared for your next battle.