If you’ve been reading my blog for a short while you know that I used to be a pessimist. Not really because I wanted to be but because I had been let down. A lot. It hurt to hope for something good when I really didn’t believe anymore that the good was coming.
Fast-forward to adulthood and I’m still walking life out through a negative mindset. I’d try to commit to a relationship but on the inside, I believed it was going to fail… so I’d over-achieve to save it. Which would actually cause it to crash and burn.
I settled for relationships that weren’t everything I wanted because I didn’t think there was better for me. I didn’t think someone “better” would ever want me.
I’d try to commit to my dream of making a living with music but on the inside I didn’t believe I was any good. So, I’d get on stage and I’d shake and panic and I’d get off key and couldn’t get back on. I felt sorry for the people listening! I’d literally think things like “it’ll be over soon… I’m so sorry.” How do you promote something you don’t believe in?
I’d want to get promoted in my job but the humiliation of failure loomed on the inside. Even though I knew I could do it I didn’t know I could do it!
I would focus on how things were “so hard.” I’d try not to think about it but my inner voice was actually all of the negative things people said that cut me down. On the flip side, I couldn’t hold tightly to the positive and even bring them to memory when I needed to.
“Why do bad things always happen to me?” and “Life is full of twists and turns but I’m so blessed!” can literally come from the same life. I know people who have had far worse happen in their lives than me and they always wear a smile. Not a fake one either. Then there are people who are medicating their woes and burying themselves in a victim mentality.
Either life is happening TO you or YOU’RE happening to your life. YOU GET TO CHOOSE.
When things around you keep failing it’s time to take a look on the inside. Are YOU the common denominator? Ask yourself: Is it my mindset? Do I need to grow in communication skills? Do I need to be less reactionary? Am I wise with money? Am I putting responsibility where it doesn’t belong?
One thing I noticed in the last few years is that I blamed my husband. The victim mentality rose up in me when I was “doing it by myself.” I don’t know if it started because of his military deployments where I really did have to do it without him and I was bitter for how hard it was or if I brought that into our marriage and it morphed. “I did not get married so I could parent alone,” I’d think to myself. “I am not a slave.” “I don’t have any help and I don’t know how to do this.”
OH! The worst was, early in our marriage, when we’d have company over. I love to host. I love having friends over and lots of food and drinks and music and laughter. LOVE IT. But every time we’d have friends over he’d be out enjoying our friends while I rushed to have everything clean, prepared, served and cleaned up again. One day it hit me… why am I cleaning? I’m just going to go enjoy my friends like he is. I’ll clean later.
Then, to my surprise, he helped me CLEAN!!! WHAT!? All of that time I spent mad at him and it was all because I made a choice and he made a different one.
Other negative thoughts:
“I’m so broke.” – What are you doing to get unbroke? The most satisfied person on the planet is the one that doesn’t need anything. That doesn’t mean they have everything it means they are content with what they have. A picnic in the park with packed lunches can be as romantic as Paris if you’re with the right person and have the right mindset.
“I’m so sick.” – (barring things that are truly out of our control) What are you doing to get unsick? Who is responsible for YOUR health? Are you reaching out for support?
“I never win.” – Who defines failure for you? Who is in charge of making sure you win?
“No one will help me.” – How have you been helping yourself? What are you learning? How are you choosing to step out of your comfort zone? Who have you asked for help?
“I’m too fat for this”
“I don’t know how”
“He keeps criticizing me”
“They kicked me out”
“The insurance hasn’t paid me yet”
“I don’t make enough money at my job”
“I’m not likable”
Really the list could go on and on and on… The tenacious nature of optimism is underrated. Optimism has to be backed up with the truth. So here’s some truth for you…
You are amazing. You are powerful. Made with intent. Not an accident. You are talented. Gifted for great things. The world ACTUALLY NEEDS YOU. You have influence. You matter. Your gifts matter. Your voice matters. No one is in charge of your outcome. Literally NO ONE. God isn’t even in charge of your outcome! (I know, some of you just got mad!)
He put a tree of temptation in the garden of Eden for goodness sake! If he was trying to control the outcome don’t you think he would have kept us from even knowing what evil was, so we’d NEVER DO IT!
He said he provided a way out. He said he’d provide. He said he’d multiply. He did not say watch Netflix all day and I’ll make you wealthy.
The principle of sowing and reaping is as true as the principle of gravity. Are you sowing negativity or are you sowing into a positive mindset?
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