Cool post this is really great more on self-improvement please

When I was younger, I used to have this quiet, menacing voice inside me. I was starved for attention and affection, but every time I started to receive attention or affection from somebody, that voice would quietly urge me to get away. “You’ll be trapped,” it would say. “You’re going to lose your independence.” And suddenly, I’d begin to have irrational ideas about never being able to eat steak again because the girl I liked was vegetarian, or how moving in with some friends meant that I’d be forced to play Scrabble with them every night for the rest of my life.

As a result, I spent most of my twenties being a terribly unreliable (and often selfish) person. I was the guy who said he couldn’t wait to see you and then never showed up. I was the guy who went on three spectacular dates with a woman and then strangely found an endless litany of excuses to not go on a fourth. I was the guy who would just walk out in the middle of a concert, a movie, a party, with no explanation and go somewhere else.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like these people. Actually, it was the opposite—I did like these people—and that’s what terrified me. That’s what woke that inner voice saying, “Let’s get out of here. Let’s find something better. Don’t get stuck.”

It was like this inner demon constantly repelling me from anyone I felt intimate with or close to. But I wanted to feel intimate and close to people, so I just acted like a crazy person for about ten years, trying to get over myself.

Our Inner Demons

We all have demons—parts of ourselves that we don’t like to acknowledge but we see lurking inside us—parts of ourselves that cause us to do irrational and selfish things not out of love for ourselves, but out of fear for ourselves.

But no matter how hard we try to ignore our demons, they’re always there, bubbling up to the surface, seeping out from the lid we try to keep on them. And the harder we try to hold that lid down, the more fucked up our lives become. We get high or drunk to forget our demons. We distract ourselves from our demons with work or competition. We treat others like shit to distort our deep-seated fear that they will eventually treat us like shit.

Anything to keep the demons at bay…

You have probably done battle with your demons at some point—you’ve fought back the feelings of anger or guilt, you’ve hated yourself for your stupid behavior. You’ve promised yourself that you’ll stop listening to that little voice inside or that you’ll finally put the vodka away.

One of the demons I still struggle with is laziness. While we’re all lazy slobs at least some of the time, my struggle with my own “usefulness” in this world often spirals to a dark and lonely place if I’m not careful.

When I procrastinate, I tend to judge myself pretty harshly, telling myself I’m a no good, lazy sack of shit. My general assumption is that everyone is productive and kicking ass every day… except me. I realize now (after many years) how irrational this belief is. But still, that little voice inside whispers that no one else has a problem staying motivated, therefore I must be some sort of loser.

Demons start out as a self-judgment: you’re lazy, you’re dirty, you’re stupid, you’re unlovable, etc.

Then we try our hardest to avoid that judgment, to prove it wrong. We clean the garage six times. We work 11-hour days. We win a blue ribbon at the local skating rink. See! I told you I’m cool and likeable! See! Look at me!

But eventually, that avoidance becomes self-destructive. You clean the garage again instead of picking your kids up from school. You work so long that you fall asleep driving home. Your obsession with skating rink blue ribbons destroys your relationship with your partner, with them leaving and screaming, “You never wanted me! You just wanted someone to watch you skate!”

And worse, no matter how much you prove your demon wrong, it doesn’t go away. The laziness demon never stops making me feel lazy. The cleaning demon, one of my wife’s demons, never lets her feel like everything is clean or organized enough. No matter how hard you work, the demon is never satisfied. So the only alternative is to distract yourself from the demon, or worse, to give in.

For me, I spent many years distracting myself with partying. Sex and alcohol, mostly. But some drugs when I was younger. These days, I have a tendency to fall into a lull of playing video games for 3-4 days straight—all the while hating the fact that I’m doing it.

In this way, our demons morph into a kind of self-loathing. You feel powerless and trapped. You can’t win. No matter how much you succeed, you can’t prove the demon wrong. Yet, when you give up and fail, you just prove the demon right.

Suddenly, that vodka sounds pretty good…

…but there’s got to be a better way to overcome your demons.

Meet My Demon, Carl

In her book, Feeding Your Demons, Tsultrim Allione talks about an old Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice where you literally visualize whatever “demon” is haunting you, and then sit down and feed them, the same way you’d feed a guest or a friend at a dinner party. Allione argues that this has a healing effect—that it represents accepting the worst part of ourselves and developing compassion for ourselves.

Inspired by this idea, I decided to try something I had never really tried before: I would become friends with my demon, my tireless inner-critic. So I started by giving that critic a name: I called him Carl.1

Now, Carl is a total dickface. But that’s just Carl’s thing. Dicks. And faces. But mostly just cruelly judging me for even the faintest evidence of my own failures.

But you know what? I’m not going to hold that against Carl. Not anymore.

Like everyone, Carl needs love and compassion too. So, one night in bed, I closed my eyes and imagined sitting down to dinner with Carl.

“Carl,” I said, “you really make my life hell sometimes, you know that? I constantly feel like I’m not doing enough because you never leave me alone.”

To which Carl, whose voice sounded a lot like Morgan Freeman’s, said, “Mark, you’ve made a demon out of me when I’m really just the other side of your fiery ambition. The only reason I cast doubt on everything you do is because you want to do so much. I don’t make you sit down and play video games for twelve-hour stretches. I merely remind you of what you value when you do. And, if that hurts, so be it.”

“Goddamn, Carl. You sound just like Morgan Freeman.”

Carl looked at his claws and buffed them with his craggly hand, “I know, I know. I get that a lot.”

“So, what you’re saying is, you’re just here because you reflect the sacrifices of the things I desire?” I asked.

“You could say that,” replied Carl. “Or you could go even further and say that I’m not a reflection of you. I am you.”

I don’t remember much conversation after that. I fell asleep and dreamt that circus acrobats were performing in my college dorm room. But a couple of days later, the profundity started to sink in…

Angels and Demons

I’ve long argued that the best thing about people is often also the worst thing about them—that’s because our extraordinarily positive traits often produce extraordinarily negative side effects. A gift for empathy might make you overly emotional at times. A competitive streak that earns you high achievements might also make you kind of an asshole. A spontaneous creative spirit that gives you artistic talent might make you really, really bad at doing your taxes.2

So, in my case, my constant guilt around being lazy is just the flip side of having enormous energy and ambitions. My old demon about getting too close to people is also what made me incredibly independent and allowed me to take risks most people wouldn’t (start a business, move abroad, write a book with “Fuck” on the cover—and then another one.)

In this sense, every demon has its associated angel. And our demons are just the other side of our best qualities. To give up one would be to give up both.

As such, we cannot honor the best in ourselves without also honoring what we also fear to be worst about ourselves. Because what we tend to judge as our “worst” is merely the reflection of what we desire as our best.

The shadowy parts of our fucked up souls aren’t the problem—the problem is our drive to dissociate ourselves from our fucked up souls in the first place. And the stronger our drive is to dissociate from our demons, the larger our demons become.

Put another way, whatever you choose to value in your life, you are also choosing to experience the failure of that value. Read that shit again, motherfucker. Everything valuable and important in this world has a dark underbelly, a subtle shadow, an associated demon with it. And you can’t buy one without the other. It’s a 2-for-1 deal whether you like it or not.

When we don’t face that demon and befriend it, we complicate our ability to live up to our values. This sucks, because living up to our values is what allows us to develop a sense of identity and life purpose. It’s what keeps us happy and healthy and prevents us from falling into vice and addiction.

Demons and Addiction

Addicts have come to hate the unsavory parts of themselves so much that they go to extremes to avoid them. Their addictive substance or behavior of choice becomes not just a distraction from their demons, it’s how they escape from them entirely—assuming they can find the next high.

Addiction is a double-whammy of suckage, psychologically speaking, because not only are you avoiding the demon through addiction, but then you feel guilty and hate yourself for all of the damage and destruction that addiction causes.

Overcome Your Demons by Befriending Them

People often talk about fighting their demons, as if they were the boss of a video game that needed to be defeated to win the game.

But this isn’t a video game. This is real life. Fighting your demons won’t make them go away. Denying their existence, attempting to dissociate from them, only makes them stronger.

Your demons are a part of you, the shadow of all the things you like about yourself, the things that make you you. Picking a fight with or denying who you are is sure to lead you down a path to self-loathing and destruction, a.k.a. no bueno idea.

Instead, you must become friends with your demon.

This doesn’t mean naming it Carl and having late-night conversations as you drift off to Morgan Freeman’s dulcet tones,3 but it does mean recognizing its existence and embracing it as part of yourself.

Your drive for perfectionism that makes you a superstar at work also often makes you disappointed with yourself for not meeting your superhuman expectations. Instead of denying this facet of you, embrace it. Smile at the disappointment demon. Continue kicking ass knowing you will inevitably fail to meet your expectations at some point, and that it will feel a little shitty. And that’s fine.

This process will come more naturally to some than to others. Generally, the more self-aware we are, the easier it will be to find and befriend our demons.

If you’re having trouble, try and sit quietly with your thoughts for a while, maybe grab a piece of paper and jot down what you feel are the best and worst parts of yourself. Simply the act of observing your thoughts and writing down your feelings will give you more clarity.

If you’re feeling bold, ask those closest to you—your family, your friends—what your demons are. It will be painful, but it will be worth it. Keep an open mind. Let those you trust be the mirror that reflects back to you your blind spots. Often you’ll be surprised at how much better they know you than you do yourself.

It’s important to note though: befriending the demon isn’t necessarily agreeing with the demon. And it’s definitely not the same thing as indulging them. An alcoholic isn’t made better by drinking more—that just feeds their addiction. And if you hate yourself in some way, indulging that hate with self-destructive behaviors will only feed into your self-loathing.

No, you befriend your demon by treating them the same way you treat your crazy uncle who believes in conspiracy theories about crop circles: you respect them, even if you don’t agree with them.

“Yes, I’m being lazy today. But that’s okay. I’m allowed to have a couple of lazy days here and there. That doesn’t mean I’m a horrible person, but thanks for bringing it up.”

We all have a bundle of voices offering their perspectives in our heads all the time. A lot of our decisions are made as though they are made by committee. One part of you feels bad for your brother who got arrested for drunk driving and wants to go bail him out of jail. Another part of you is resentful and says “fuck him.” Another part wants to impress your parents. Another part says fuck your parents.

Your demons are just members of that same brain-committee. Let them have their seat. And then, when necessary, out-vote them.

Your Demons Aren’t Special

In The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, I spent much of the book talking about entitlement—the assumption that we deserve special treatment or better results than everyone else.

This drive to dissociate from our demons is a subtle form of entitlement—it’s an assumption or belief that we should be able to live without self-doubt or suffering. An off-shoot of that assumption is often the belief that our pain is special and unique to us, that no one understands what it’s like to be us or to have our problems.

But here’s the hard truth that we all need to hear: there’s nothing special about your demons. Carl doesn’t just visit me. He visits millions of people around the world every day. And while this might hurt my ego a little bit (damn you, Carl, I felt so special with you), that realization that I’m not as special as I thought is damn liberating. 

If everyone faces demons at some point, then it means we don’t have to be ashamed of them. It just means we’re human.

I can’t tell you how many emails I get from readers saying something like, “Hey Mark, I got a really messed up problem. You’ve probably never heard this one before…”

They then go on to mention a problem that 26 other people emailed me about just that week.

Like a shitty partner, our demons delude us into thinking that they’re ours, that our hearts are the only ones they have infiltrated when really, they’re screwing half the people on the block.

Damn you, demons.

Overcome your demons - watercolor painting of a woman

But despite the unsavory analogies, we must still befriend our demons. It’s the only way to prevent them from ruling over our lives.

The Shadow and the Light

None of this is new, of course.4 Aside from Buddhists encouraging you to be pen pals with the worst parts of your nature, the famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung wrote prolifically about what he called “the shadow.”5 For Jung, your shadow is all of the parts of yourself that you despise or loathe and therefore hide and avoid. Much like a shadow, it’s this dark image that follows you around, always behind you, always attached to you. It is impossible to run away or lose your shadow because ultimately, your shadow is a representation of you.

It is a beautiful metaphor, because no shadow can exist without a source of light. To rid yourself of your shadow would require you to rid yourself of the light in your life and thus, live in utter darkness.

Jung saw that denying our shadows and everything they contained—the good and the bad—was a source of a great deal of human suffering, and even argued that violence and full-on wars within and between societies were often the sad result of denying our collective shadow. As a culture, we avoid and deny the worst part of ourselves. We wage war on ourselves, threatening and killing our most desperate and vulnerable. We avoid and distract ourselves from our own problems by meddling in the problems of other cultures and societies. It’s all the same shit, just played out on a much grander scale.

Jung argued that we must integrate our shadow into ourselves by “turning toward” the darkness. That means embracing the dark parts of ourselves—our worst impulses, our worst shame, our worst fears—and owning them. Accept that they are there. But with that acceptance is a respectful disagreement.

Because you can’t have light without the dark. You can’t truly value something unless you also value the lack of that something. You can’t strive to achieve great success if you aren’t also paranoid about failure. You can’t desire wonderful relationships if you aren’t also terrified of those losses. You can’t have the light without the dark, the angel without the demon.

So be nice to your demons. And in time they will be nice to you.

Footnotes

  1. I named him Carl after Carl Jung, the famous psychologist of the early- to mid-20th century who thought a lot about this sort of thing. More from him later.
  2. It’s okay, as an artist you probably don’t make any money anyway.
  3. Though you can certainly do that if you want to.
  4. It never is.
  5. If you’re feeling bold and have a lot of time on your hands, you can read Jung’s work on the shadow in Volume 9 of this 20-volume collection of his work.

IMO stuff about method are great

%%sitename%% | The Self-Improvement Blog | Self-Esteem | Self Confidence

positive thinking

Positive thinking is all about an emotional and mental attitude that focuses on the good and does expect results that will benefit you. Positive Thinking is certainly about anticipating and foreseeing happiness, health and success by way of training yourself to adopt an abundance mindset and then cultivating gratitude for your own successes and then those of others.

Let us understand how important the power of positive thinking can turn out to be. It can even go on to make or break an individual. Please note: your thoughts affect your actions. Your actions then translate into whether or not you succeed in your field, as well as influence the quality of your personal relationships, and finally how you view the world at large.

“A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror.”- Key Keyes Jr.

Positive thinking can be cultivated by the following steps:

1. Take control of your state

Positive thinking is as much about your body as it is about your mind. Take control of your physiology by taking full pride in how you present yourself and then do project positive thinking. Do work on your posture to give those around non-verbal cues that you are feeling strong and positive, and are prepared to listen to them.

Do try to nip the nervous habits, like fidgeting or twirling your hair, in the bud. The key is to hold your body in a power pose after which positive thinking will flow more freely. You will then be able to focus on others and do things to find out how you can give to the world and others.

2. Adjusting your mindset

Adjusting your physiology is only one part of the puzzle; it is highly critical to catch the other negativity trigger in its very opening stages as well. Your mindset governs what thoughts flow through your head and how you feel and react to each one of them. If your mindset is poor, everything around you will also seem to be worse.

Please note: you can choose to focus on the negatives or the positives of any scenario, but if you choose to focus on what is bothering you, it will begin to negatively impact your life. You will also attract more negative situations and in turn negative people. You will then forget that you can empower yourself to tackle any situation and start believing that positive thinking is out of your reach. By consciously choosing to focus on positive moments; you reframe your thoughts, cultivating a mindset that is open rather than closed off.

3. Study your habits and form new ones

You will not be able to form new habits and harness the power of positive thinking if you are totally unaware of your current ones. Are there situations that set you into a negative spiral of self-doubt? Do you react to situations openly or utilize defense mechanisms?

Self-doubt is almost always rooted in fear that is often the fear of failure. If you do give in to these negative thoughts, you might not fail but you will stagnate, which is even worse. If you are not growing, you are dying. If you fail, at least you learn something. If you stagnate, you will not.

So, instead of getting swayed into the pattern of negative thoughts, you can completely reemphasize your energy by developing empowering habits that do encourage positive thinking. Do stop the spiral of doubt by blocking it with positive thoughts.

4. Choose your words carefully

One habit that is most essential to positive thinking is to transform your vocabulary. The words you choose both in conversation and in your own mind do have a deep impact on your mindset. Positive self-talk improves the psychological states, helps people regulate their emotions too.

Before you can choose different words, you need to recognize what words you are already using. When you recall your vocabulary and use words that are less emotionally loaded, you will find your mindset becoming attuned to more positive thinking.

Do you find this aspect of positive thinking overwhelming? Start with just one area of your life that causes the negative thoughts, like work or your relationship status. Catch yourself in those moments, and build from there.

5. Look to those you admire

Think of someone who has a profound impact on your life. Maybe a close friend, family member, or someone you have never met, like a celebrity, a professional athlete, or a renowned entrepreneur. Have they unlocked extraordinary lives due to positive thinking habits?

They do use the power of positive thinking to find the success they seek and you can, too. When you feel yourself falling into negative habits and cannot quite seem to figure out how to think positively, do pull up a quotation from someone you respect. Read it to determine how you can best encapsulate it.

Even if you stumble you are still moving forward—Victor Kiam

Thought is energy. By having certain thoughts in our minds and by concentrating on them and putting emotional energy into them, they do become powerful.  Energy does not perish in nature. These thoughts do induce some kind of pressure on the energy level around us, causing these energies to move and then act.

Even our health responds in a beneficial way. We walk tall plus our voice is so powerful. Our body language does show the way we feel within. Affirmations work both ways, to build us and to destroy us. They are a kind of a neutral power.

Creating Positive Attitude: The Healthy Way Forward

Repetition

One method to employ positive attitude is the repetition of affirmations. A method resembling creative visualization can be used in conjunction with it. However, repeating affirmations positively some minutes during the day, and then thinking negatively, does neutralize the effects making the positive affirmations useless!

Practical Instructions

Please remember: The power of thoughts is a mighty power that is perpetually shaping our life. This shaping is done subconsciously, but the process can be made a conscious one too. Completely ignore what others might say or think about you, if they happen to discover that you are changing the way you think. Smile a lot more, as this helps to think positively.

Avoid Negative Thoughts

Once a negative thought does  cross your mind, you have to be aware and endeavor to replace it with a constructive thought. The negative thought will try to enter your mind again, and then you have to replace it again with a positive one. Please note: It is as if there are two pictures in front of you, and you choose to look at one of them and disregard the other. Persistence in time will teach your mind to think positively and ignore the negative thoughts. Think positively, expect only favorable results and situations, and circumstances will change accordingly.

Achievers

Optimists are far more likely to be high achievers, enjoy physical health and suffer much less anxiety and depression than pessimists do. This is primarily because they persevere even in the face of major failures and this confidence plus resilience often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Meditate about the benefits of being an optimist and persuade your mind to try it.

If you want to fly give up everything that weighs you down.

Attitude Versus Thinking: The Daily Grind

Positive attitude helps one function more easily with the daily affairs of life. It brings optimism into your life, by way of avoiding worry and negative thinking. If you adopt it as a way of life, it will bring constructive changes by making you happier, brighter and more successful.

Positive thinking people are never daunted by failures and obstacles. If things do not turn out as expected they will definitely try again and again. True positive thinking is not just saying that everything will be okay, as a lip service, and at the same time think about constant failure. Positive thinking has to become your prominent mental attitude throughout the day!  It has to turn into a way of life.

Conclusion

Positive thinking is a mental attitude that does admit towards mind thoughts, words, and images that are conducive towards the growth, expansion, and more so, success. A positive mind engages in happiness, health, and a successful outcome during every situation and action. Do avoid sentences like ‘I wish I could have’ or ‘I wish I should have’. Past is gone and future comes when it does come. The present is what we do have so we must make the most out of it. Focusing on what you have will make give you way more happiness instead of pondering over what you lack. Do go on to develop positive thinking in your life by making it a way of your life!

The Positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.—Winston Churchill.

About the Author

Trishna Patnaik, a BSc (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practicing art for over 14 years. After she had a professional stint in various reputed corporates, she realized that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion that is painting. Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest. She says, “It’s a road less traveled but a journey that I look forward to every day.” Trishna also conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India.

Trishna is an art therapist and healer. She works with clients on a one on one basis in Mumbai.

Trishna fancies the art of creative writing and is dappling her hands in that too, to soak in the experience and have an engagement with readers, wanderers, and thinkers.

 

 

%%focuskw%% | Power of positivity: Positive Thinking

who else gets this ?

When I was younger, I used to have this quiet, menacing voice inside me. I was starved for attention and affection, but every time I started to receive attention or affection from somebody, that voice would quietly urge me to get away. “You’ll be trapped,” it would say. “You’re going to lose your independence.” And suddenly, I’d begin to have irrational ideas about never being able to eat steak again because the girl I liked was vegetarian, or how moving in with some friends meant that I’d be forced to play Scrabble with them every night for the rest of my life.

As a result, I spent most of my twenties being a terribly unreliable (and often selfish) person. I was the guy who said he couldn’t wait to see you and then never showed up. I was the guy who went on three spectacular dates with a woman and then strangely found an endless litany of excuses to not go on a fourth. I was the guy who would just walk out in the middle of a concert, a movie, a party, with no explanation and go somewhere else.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like these people. Actually, it was the opposite—I did like these people—and that’s what terrified me. That’s what woke that inner voice saying, “Let’s get out of here. Let’s find something better. Don’t get stuck.”

It was like this inner demon constantly repelling me from anyone I felt intimate with or close to. But I wanted to feel intimate and close to people, so I just acted like a crazy person for about ten years, trying to get over myself.

Our Inner Demons

We all have demons—parts of ourselves that we don’t like to acknowledge but we see lurking inside us—parts of ourselves that cause us to do irrational and selfish things not out of love for ourselves, but out of fear for ourselves.

But no matter how hard we try to ignore our demons, they’re always there, bubbling up to the surface, seeping out from the lid we try to keep on them. And the harder we try to hold that lid down, the more fucked up our lives become. We get high or drunk to forget our demons. We distract ourselves from our demons with work or competition. We treat others like shit to distort our deep-seated fear that they will eventually treat us like shit.

Anything to keep the demons at bay…

You have probably done battle with your demons at some point—you’ve fought back the feelings of anger or guilt, you’ve hated yourself for your stupid behavior. You’ve promised yourself that you’ll stop listening to that little voice inside or that you’ll finally put the vodka away.

One of the demons I still struggle with is laziness. While we’re all lazy slobs at least some of the time, my struggle with my own “usefulness” in this world often spirals to a dark and lonely place if I’m not careful.

When I procrastinate, I tend to judge myself pretty harshly, telling myself I’m a no good, lazy sack of shit. My general assumption is that everyone is productive and kicking ass every day… except me. I realize now (after many years) how irrational this belief is. But still, that little voice inside whispers that no one else has a problem staying motivated, therefore I must be some sort of loser.

Demons start out as a self-judgment: you’re lazy, you’re dirty, you’re stupid, you’re unlovable, etc.

Then we try our hardest to avoid that judgment, to prove it wrong. We clean the garage six times. We work 11-hour days. We win a blue ribbon at the local skating rink. See! I told you I’m cool and likeable! See! Look at me!

But eventually, that avoidance becomes self-destructive. You clean the garage again instead of picking your kids up from school. You work so long that you fall asleep driving home. Your obsession with skating rink blue ribbons destroys your relationship with your partner, with them leaving and screaming, “You never wanted me! You just wanted someone to watch you skate!”

And worse, no matter how much you prove your demon wrong, it doesn’t go away. The laziness demon never stops making me feel lazy. The cleaning demon, one of my wife’s demons, never lets her feel like everything is clean or organized enough. No matter how hard you work, the demon is never satisfied. So the only alternative is to distract yourself from the demon, or worse, to give in.

For me, I spent many years distracting myself with partying. Sex and alcohol, mostly. But some drugs when I was younger. These days, I have a tendency to fall into a lull of playing video games for 3-4 days straight—all the while hating the fact that I’m doing it.

In this way, our demons morph into a kind of self-loathing. You feel powerless and trapped. You can’t win. No matter how much you succeed, you can’t prove the demon wrong. Yet, when you give up and fail, you just prove the demon right.

Suddenly, that vodka sounds pretty good…

…but there’s got to be a better way to overcome your demons.

Meet My Demon, Carl

In her book, Feeding Your Demons, Tsultrim Allione talks about an old Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice where you literally visualize whatever “demon” is haunting you, and then sit down and feed them, the same way you’d feed a guest or a friend at a dinner party. Allione argues that this has a healing effect—that it represents accepting the worst part of ourselves and developing compassion for ourselves.

Inspired by this idea, I decided to try something I had never really tried before: I would become friends with my demon, my tireless inner-critic. So I started by giving that critic a name: I called him Carl.1

Now, Carl is a total dickface. But that’s just Carl’s thing. Dicks. And faces. But mostly just cruelly judging me for even the faintest evidence of my own failures.

But you know what? I’m not going to hold that against Carl. Not anymore.

Like everyone, Carl needs love and compassion too. So, one night in bed, I closed my eyes and imagined sitting down to dinner with Carl.

“Carl,” I said, “you really make my life hell sometimes, you know that? I constantly feel like I’m not doing enough because you never leave me alone.”

To which Carl, whose voice sounded a lot like Morgan Freeman’s, said, “Mark, you’ve made a demon out of me when I’m really just the other side of your fiery ambition. The only reason I cast doubt on everything you do is because you want to do so much. I don’t make you sit down and play video games for twelve-hour stretches. I merely remind you of what you value when you do. And, if that hurts, so be it.”

“Goddamn, Carl. You sound just like Morgan Freeman.”

Carl looked at his claws and buffed them with his craggly hand, “I know, I know. I get that a lot.”

“So, what you’re saying is, you’re just here because you reflect the sacrifices of the things I desire?” I asked.

“You could say that,” replied Carl. “Or you could go even further and say that I’m not a reflection of you. I am you.”

I don’t remember much conversation after that. I fell asleep and dreamt that circus acrobats were performing in my college dorm room. But a couple of days later, the profundity started to sink in…

Angels and Demons

I’ve long argued that the best thing about people is often also the worst thing about them—that’s because our extraordinarily positive traits often produce extraordinarily negative side effects. A gift for empathy might make you overly emotional at times. A competitive streak that earns you high achievements might also make you kind of an asshole. A spontaneous creative spirit that gives you artistic talent might make you really, really bad at doing your taxes.2

So, in my case, my constant guilt around being lazy is just the flip side of having enormous energy and ambitions. My old demon about getting too close to people is also what made me incredibly independent and allowed me to take risks most people wouldn’t (start a business, move abroad, write a book with “Fuck” on the cover—and then another one.)

In this sense, every demon has its associated angel. And our demons are just the other side of our best qualities. To give up one would be to give up both.

As such, we cannot honor the best in ourselves without also honoring what we also fear to be worst about ourselves. Because what we tend to judge as our “worst” is merely the reflection of what we desire as our best.

The shadowy parts of our fucked up souls aren’t the problem—the problem is our drive to dissociate ourselves from our fucked up souls in the first place. And the stronger our drive is to dissociate from our demons, the larger our demons become.

Put another way, whatever you choose to value in your life, you are also choosing to experience the failure of that value. Read that shit again, motherfucker. Everything valuable and important in this world has a dark underbelly, a subtle shadow, an associated demon with it. And you can’t buy one without the other. It’s a 2-for-1 deal whether you like it or not.

When we don’t face that demon and befriend it, we complicate our ability to live up to our values. This sucks, because living up to our values is what allows us to develop a sense of identity and life purpose. It’s what keeps us happy and healthy and prevents us from falling into vice and addiction.

Demons and Addiction

Addicts have come to hate the unsavory parts of themselves so much that they go to extremes to avoid them. Their addictive substance or behavior of choice becomes not just a distraction from their demons, it’s how they escape from them entirely—assuming they can find the next high.

Addiction is a double-whammy of suckage, psychologically speaking, because not only are you avoiding the demon through addiction, but then you feel guilty and hate yourself for all of the damage and destruction that addiction causes.

Overcome Your Demons by Befriending Them

People often talk about fighting their demons, as if they were the boss of a video game that needed to be defeated to win the game.

But this isn’t a video game. This is real life. Fighting your demons won’t make them go away. Denying their existence, attempting to dissociate from them, only makes them stronger.

Your demons are a part of you, the shadow of all the things you like about yourself, the things that make you you. Picking a fight with or denying who you are is sure to lead you down a path to self-loathing and destruction, a.k.a. no bueno idea.

Instead, you must become friends with your demon.

This doesn’t mean naming it Carl and having late-night conversations as you drift off to Morgan Freeman’s dulcet tones,3 but it does mean recognizing its existence and embracing it as part of yourself.

Your drive for perfectionism that makes you a superstar at work also often makes you disappointed with yourself for not meeting your superhuman expectations. Instead of denying this facet of you, embrace it. Smile at the disappointment demon. Continue kicking ass knowing you will inevitably fail to meet your expectations at some point, and that it will feel a little shitty. And that’s fine.

This process will come more naturally to some than to others. Generally, the more self-aware we are, the easier it will be to find and befriend our demons.

If you’re having trouble, try and sit quietly with your thoughts for a while, maybe grab a piece of paper and jot down what you feel are the best and worst parts of yourself. Simply the act of observing your thoughts and writing down your feelings will give you more clarity.

If you’re feeling bold, ask those closest to you—your family, your friends—what your demons are. It will be painful, but it will be worth it. Keep an open mind. Let those you trust be the mirror that reflects back to you your blind spots. Often you’ll be surprised at how much better they know you than you do yourself.

It’s important to note though: befriending the demon isn’t necessarily agreeing with the demon. And it’s definitely not the same thing as indulging them. An alcoholic isn’t made better by drinking more—that just feeds their addiction. And if you hate yourself in some way, indulging that hate with self-destructive behaviors will only feed into your self-loathing.

No, you befriend your demon by treating them the same way you treat your crazy uncle who believes in conspiracy theories about crop circles: you respect them, even if you don’t agree with them.

“Yes, I’m being lazy today. But that’s okay. I’m allowed to have a couple of lazy days here and there. That doesn’t mean I’m a horrible person, but thanks for bringing it up.”

We all have a bundle of voices offering their perspectives in our heads all the time. A lot of our decisions are made as though they are made by committee. One part of you feels bad for your brother who got arrested for drunk driving and wants to go bail him out of jail. Another part of you is resentful and says “fuck him.” Another part wants to impress your parents. Another part says fuck your parents.

Your demons are just members of that same brain-committee. Let them have their seat. And then, when necessary, out-vote them.

Your Demons Aren’t Special

In The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, I spent much of the book talking about entitlement—the assumption that we deserve special treatment or better results than everyone else.

This drive to dissociate from our demons is a subtle form of entitlement—it’s an assumption or belief that we should be able to live without self-doubt or suffering. An off-shoot of that assumption is often the belief that our pain is special and unique to us, that no one understands what it’s like to be us or to have our problems.

But here’s the hard truth that we all need to hear: there’s nothing special about your demons. Carl doesn’t just visit me. He visits millions of people around the world every day. And while this might hurt my ego a little bit (damn you, Carl, I felt so special with you), that realization that I’m not as special as I thought is damn liberating. 

If everyone faces demons at some point, then it means we don’t have to be ashamed of them. It just means we’re human.

I can’t tell you how many emails I get from readers saying something like, “Hey Mark, I got a really messed up problem. You’ve probably never heard this one before…”

They then go on to mention a problem that 26 other people emailed me about just that week.

Like a shitty partner, our demons delude us into thinking that they’re ours, that our hearts are the only ones they have infiltrated when really, they’re screwing half the people on the block.

Damn you, demons.

Overcome your demons - watercolor painting of a woman

But despite the unsavory analogies, we must still befriend our demons. It’s the only way to prevent them from ruling over our lives.

The Shadow and the Light

None of this is new, of course.4 Aside from Buddhists encouraging you to be pen pals with the worst parts of your nature, the famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung wrote prolifically about what he called “the shadow.”5 For Jung, your shadow is all of the parts of yourself that you despise or loathe and therefore hide and avoid. Much like a shadow, it’s this dark image that follows you around, always behind you, always attached to you. It is impossible to run away or lose your shadow because ultimately, your shadow is a representation of you.

It is a beautiful metaphor, because no shadow can exist without a source of light. To rid yourself of your shadow would require you to rid yourself of the light in your life and thus, live in utter darkness.

Jung saw that denying our shadows and everything they contained—the good and the bad—was a source of a great deal of human suffering, and even argued that violence and full-on wars within and between societies were often the sad result of denying our collective shadow. As a culture, we avoid and deny the worst part of ourselves. We wage war on ourselves, threatening and killing our most desperate and vulnerable. We avoid and distract ourselves from our own problems by meddling in the problems of other cultures and societies. It’s all the same shit, just played out on a much grander scale.

Jung argued that we must integrate our shadow into ourselves by “turning toward” the darkness. That means embracing the dark parts of ourselves—our worst impulses, our worst shame, our worst fears—and owning them. Accept that they are there. But with that acceptance is a respectful disagreement.

Because you can’t have light without the dark. You can’t truly value something unless you also value the lack of that something. You can’t strive to achieve great success if you aren’t also paranoid about failure. You can’t desire wonderful relationships if you aren’t also terrified of those losses. You can’t have the light without the dark, the angel without the demon.

So be nice to your demons. And in time they will be nice to you.

Footnotes

  1. I named him Carl after Carl Jung, the famous psychologist of the early- to mid-20th century who thought a lot about this sort of thing. More from him later.
  2. It’s okay, as an artist you probably don’t make any money anyway.
  3. Though you can certainly do that if you want to.
  4. It never is.
  5. If you’re feeling bold and have a lot of time on your hands, you can read Jung’s work on the shadow in Volume 9 of this 20-volume collection of his work.

Planets biggest self-improvement fan right here

If you’ve been wanting to start your own business, but haven’t done anything yet — what’s stopping you?

You dream about it. You come up with new ideas on your way to work everyday. Your friends have listened to you talk about launching your own thing for months, or even years now… but you have nothing to show for it.

You’re not alone.

Before you Google “how to start a business” again, make another pro/con list, or call your BFF to ask if you should take the leap and quit your day job, watch today’s MarieTV.

I answer a question from Ralitsa, an aspiring entrepreneur you can probably relate to. She asks:


You can know what’s important in your life by looking at how you’re spending your time.
Click To Tweet


How can I build my self-confidence and get better at taking risks so that I finally start the business I keep dreaming about?

Sound familiar? 

If you’re waiting to feel 100% confident or free of fear and anxiety, you’ll never get started. More confidence is NOT your golden ticket to a successful business. In today’s episode, I’ll tell you what is.

You’ll learn:

  • The 2 essential ingredients that will turn your idea into a profitable business.
  • One critical choice that makes entrepreneurs 33% more likely to succeed.
  • How to stop making excuses and start making progress.
  • Why a business roadmap matters — and how to get one.
View Transcript

Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

Listen Now

DIVE DEEPER: Learn how to get unstuck so you can finally get started and have confidence in your business even when you don’t always believe in yourself.

Remember, you wouldn’t have the dream if you didn’t already have what it takes to make it happen.

Time to put your dreams into action.

In the comments below, let me know your answers to these two questions:

  1. What’s one action you can take this week to find a community, network, or peer group of entrepreneurs?
  2. What structure, education, or accountability do you need to support you in starting your business?

There’s no crystal ball in business, but there are timeless principles you can follow. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel and you don’t need to go it alone.

Whether it’s a book, program, course, or mentor, find a roadmap you can follow and surround yourself with other supportive entrepreneurs who are building their dreams, too.

Ready to bring your dream business to life? Join us for B-School, it opens today!

The post Want to Start a Business? How to Finally Make it Happen appeared first on .

Who else loves mindset

%%sitename%% | The Self-Improvement Blog | Self-Esteem | Self Confidence

positive thinking

Positive thinking is all about an emotional and mental attitude that focuses on the good and does expect results that will benefit you. Positive Thinking is certainly about anticipating and foreseeing happiness, health and success by way of training yourself to adopt an abundance mindset and then cultivating gratitude for your own successes and then those of others.

Let us understand how important the power of positive thinking can turn out to be. It can even go on to make or break an individual. Please note: your thoughts affect your actions. Your actions then translate into whether or not you succeed in your field, as well as influence the quality of your personal relationships, and finally how you view the world at large.

“A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror.”- Key Keyes Jr.

Positive thinking can be cultivated by the following steps:

1. Take control of your state

Positive thinking is as much about your body as it is about your mind. Take control of your physiology by taking full pride in how you present yourself and then do project positive thinking. Do work on your posture to give those around non-verbal cues that you are feeling strong and positive, and are prepared to listen to them.

Do try to nip the nervous habits, like fidgeting or twirling your hair, in the bud. The key is to hold your body in a power pose after which positive thinking will flow more freely. You will then be able to focus on others and do things to find out how you can give to the world and others.

2. Adjusting your mindset

Adjusting your physiology is only one part of the puzzle; it is highly critical to catch the other negativity trigger in its very opening stages as well. Your mindset governs what thoughts flow through your head and how you feel and react to each one of them. If your mindset is poor, everything around you will also seem to be worse.

Please note: you can choose to focus on the negatives or the positives of any scenario, but if you choose to focus on what is bothering you, it will begin to negatively impact your life. You will also attract more negative situations and in turn negative people. You will then forget that you can empower yourself to tackle any situation and start believing that positive thinking is out of your reach. By consciously choosing to focus on positive moments; you reframe your thoughts, cultivating a mindset that is open rather than closed off.

3. Study your habits and form new ones

You will not be able to form new habits and harness the power of positive thinking if you are totally unaware of your current ones. Are there situations that set you into a negative spiral of self-doubt? Do you react to situations openly or utilize defense mechanisms?

Self-doubt is almost always rooted in fear that is often the fear of failure. If you do give in to these negative thoughts, you might not fail but you will stagnate, which is even worse. If you are not growing, you are dying. If you fail, at least you learn something. If you stagnate, you will not.

So, instead of getting swayed into the pattern of negative thoughts, you can completely reemphasize your energy by developing empowering habits that do encourage positive thinking. Do stop the spiral of doubt by blocking it with positive thoughts.

4. Choose your words carefully

One habit that is most essential to positive thinking is to transform your vocabulary. The words you choose both in conversation and in your own mind do have a deep impact on your mindset. Positive self-talk improves the psychological states, helps people regulate their emotions too.

Before you can choose different words, you need to recognize what words you are already using. When you recall your vocabulary and use words that are less emotionally loaded, you will find your mindset becoming attuned to more positive thinking.

Do you find this aspect of positive thinking overwhelming? Start with just one area of your life that causes the negative thoughts, like work or your relationship status. Catch yourself in those moments, and build from there.

5. Look to those you admire

Think of someone who has a profound impact on your life. Maybe a close friend, family member, or someone you have never met, like a celebrity, a professional athlete, or a renowned entrepreneur. Have they unlocked extraordinary lives due to positive thinking habits?

They do use the power of positive thinking to find the success they seek and you can, too. When you feel yourself falling into negative habits and cannot quite seem to figure out how to think positively, do pull up a quotation from someone you respect. Read it to determine how you can best encapsulate it.

Even if you stumble you are still moving forward—Victor Kiam

Thought is energy. By having certain thoughts in our minds and by concentrating on them and putting emotional energy into them, they do become powerful.  Energy does not perish in nature. These thoughts do induce some kind of pressure on the energy level around us, causing these energies to move and then act.

Even our health responds in a beneficial way. We walk tall plus our voice is so powerful. Our body language does show the way we feel within. Affirmations work both ways, to build us and to destroy us. They are a kind of a neutral power.

Creating Positive Attitude: The Healthy Way Forward

Repetition

One method to employ positive attitude is the repetition of affirmations. A method resembling creative visualization can be used in conjunction with it. However, repeating affirmations positively some minutes during the day, and then thinking negatively, does neutralize the effects making the positive affirmations useless!

Practical Instructions

Please remember: The power of thoughts is a mighty power that is perpetually shaping our life. This shaping is done subconsciously, but the process can be made a conscious one too. Completely ignore what others might say or think about you, if they happen to discover that you are changing the way you think. Smile a lot more, as this helps to think positively.

Avoid Negative Thoughts

Once a negative thought does  cross your mind, you have to be aware and endeavor to replace it with a constructive thought. The negative thought will try to enter your mind again, and then you have to replace it again with a positive one. Please note: It is as if there are two pictures in front of you, and you choose to look at one of them and disregard the other. Persistence in time will teach your mind to think positively and ignore the negative thoughts. Think positively, expect only favorable results and situations, and circumstances will change accordingly.

Achievers

Optimists are far more likely to be high achievers, enjoy physical health and suffer much less anxiety and depression than pessimists do. This is primarily because they persevere even in the face of major failures and this confidence plus resilience often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Meditate about the benefits of being an optimist and persuade your mind to try it.

If you want to fly give up everything that weighs you down.

Attitude Versus Thinking: The Daily Grind

Positive attitude helps one function more easily with the daily affairs of life. It brings optimism into your life, by way of avoiding worry and negative thinking. If you adopt it as a way of life, it will bring constructive changes by making you happier, brighter and more successful.

Positive thinking people are never daunted by failures and obstacles. If things do not turn out as expected they will definitely try again and again. True positive thinking is not just saying that everything will be okay, as a lip service, and at the same time think about constant failure. Positive thinking has to become your prominent mental attitude throughout the day!  It has to turn into a way of life.

Conclusion

Positive thinking is a mental attitude that does admit towards mind thoughts, words, and images that are conducive towards the growth, expansion, and more so, success. A positive mind engages in happiness, health, and a successful outcome during every situation and action. Do avoid sentences like ‘I wish I could have’ or ‘I wish I should have’. Past is gone and future comes when it does come. The present is what we do have so we must make the most out of it. Focusing on what you have will make give you way more happiness instead of pondering over what you lack. Do go on to develop positive thinking in your life by making it a way of your life!

The Positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.—Winston Churchill.

About the Author

Trishna Patnaik, a BSc (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practicing art for over 14 years. After she had a professional stint in various reputed corporates, she realized that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion that is painting. Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest. She says, “It’s a road less traveled but a journey that I look forward to every day.” Trishna also conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India.

Trishna is an art therapist and healer. She works with clients on a one on one basis in Mumbai.

Trishna fancies the art of creative writing and is dappling her hands in that too, to soak in the experience and have an engagement with readers, wanderers, and thinkers.

 

 

%%focuskw%% | Power of positivity: Positive Thinking

Cool post so much really good

Have you ever thought about whether you have a strong inner foundation that helps to guide your life choices? When I say foundation, I mean the inner structure that helps you live your life with less stress and overwhelm.

Having a strong inner foundation is an important part of intentional living because it helps you make decisions that shape your future for the better. If your foundation isn’t solid, you might feel like life is constantly knocking you down just when things seem to be getting back on track.

Do you have a strong inner foundation to help you stay grounded? Here’s how to build a solid foundation that helps you stay strong when life gets tough.

Even if you already have a sturdy inner foundation, that doesn’t mean it can’t sway from side to side sometimes. Our strength is constantly tested by the pressures of the world, and it can take a lot of effort to stay upright.

With a strong inner foundation, you‘ll be better able to hand the winds of change. You can grow more when you’re in a secure space and rooted in what you need and want. In this post, I’m exploring the idea of creating an inner foundation so you can stay grounded and reduce the stress of daily life.

Foundation is what keeps you grounded


Do you have a strong inner foundation to help you stay grounded? Here’s how to build a solid foundation that helps you stay strong when life gets tough.

There’s a lot of pressure in our daily lives (put on us by others and ourselves), which means we need a sense of structure to help us stay strong. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed and unable to make any real changes in your life, it may be that you need to work on building your inner foundation.

Your foundation is whatever you need it to be. Imagine your foundation at the very core of your being. Your foundation keeps you grounded and plants you where you are as you make tiny steps to nourish yourself and prioritize your own needs.

Without a solid foundation to build your life upon, it’s easy to bend and break under pressure. Sometimes it’s necessary to bend a little, but you don’t want to break.

Think of your inner foundation in terms of what supports you and gives you strength. You can build your inner foundation upon your:

  • Mindset: the quality of your thoughts
  • Values: what’s important to you
  • Habits: daily routines that keep you grounded
  • Strengths: the things you’re naturally good at
  • Relationships: people who make you feel secure and supported

If you’re constantly trying to make changes in your life but nothing seems to stick, consider first whether you have the foundation necessary to support you.

“Building your foundation isn’t a one-time event. Habits will slip and you will need to rebuild them periodically. Your goals may change, forcing you to change your foundation to suit them. But if you’ve spent the time investing in a foundation initially, these changes are maintenance, not a complete reconstruction.”

Scott H. Young

Building a solid foundation in life


Do you have a strong inner foundation to help you stay grounded? Here’s how to build a solid foundation that helps you stay strong when life gets tough.

Here are some things to think about when it comes to your own foundation in life:

Mindset

  • What thoughts do you need to believe about yourself to feel supported?
  • How can you be more mindful of your own feelings and behaviors?
  • How can you focus on the current moment more than the past/future?

Values

  • What do you value in friendships and relationships? (e.g. a sense of humor, empathy, willingness to challenge you when necessary)
  • What do you value in your work? (e.g. flexibility, reliable co-workers, independence)
  • What are the top 3 values you want to uphold in your own life? (think about how you want others to describe you)

Habits

  • What are your current daily habits?
  • Are your habits self-supporting or self-defeating?
  • What habits would help make your life feel more balanced? (here are some examples)

Strengths

  • What are your biggest strengths?
  • How do these strengths help support you in life?
  • How can you make better use of your strengths in your daily life?

Relationships

  • What makes you feel most supported in a relationship/friendship?
  • Who are the people in your life who make you feel grounded?
  • Are there any relationships you need to let go of to feel more stable?

Ultimately, a strong inner foundation is what keeps you balanced, stable, and secure. Come back to this concept whenever you notice yourself feeling unsteady.

Related Post: 5 Steps To A More Balanced Life


What could you achieve if you prioritized inner stability and security?

I hope this post has encouraged you to become mindful of your own foundation. Think of how you can use your thoughts, values, habits, strengths, and relationships to keep you grounded and reduce the pressure of daily life.

If you want to explore this topic further, check out this post about how to build a vision for your future.

The post How To Build A Strong Inner Foundation For Your Life appeared first on The Blissful Mind.

Amazing very informative

%%sitename%% | The Self-Improvement Blog | Self-Esteem | Self Confidence

positive thinking

Positive thinking is all about an emotional and mental attitude that focuses on the good and does expect results that will benefit you. Positive Thinking is certainly about anticipating and foreseeing happiness, health and success by way of training yourself to adopt an abundance mindset and then cultivating gratitude for your own successes and then those of others.

Let us understand how important the power of positive thinking can turn out to be. It can even go on to make or break an individual. Please note: your thoughts affect your actions. Your actions then translate into whether or not you succeed in your field, as well as influence the quality of your personal relationships, and finally how you view the world at large.

“A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror.”- Key Keyes Jr.

Positive thinking can be cultivated by the following steps:

1. Take control of your state

Positive thinking is as much about your body as it is about your mind. Take control of your physiology by taking full pride in how you present yourself and then do project positive thinking. Do work on your posture to give those around non-verbal cues that you are feeling strong and positive, and are prepared to listen to them.

Do try to nip the nervous habits, like fidgeting or twirling your hair, in the bud. The key is to hold your body in a power pose after which positive thinking will flow more freely. You will then be able to focus on others and do things to find out how you can give to the world and others.

2. Adjusting your mindset

Adjusting your physiology is only one part of the puzzle; it is highly critical to catch the other negativity trigger in its very opening stages as well. Your mindset governs what thoughts flow through your head and how you feel and react to each one of them. If your mindset is poor, everything around you will also seem to be worse.

Please note: you can choose to focus on the negatives or the positives of any scenario, but if you choose to focus on what is bothering you, it will begin to negatively impact your life. You will also attract more negative situations and in turn negative people. You will then forget that you can empower yourself to tackle any situation and start believing that positive thinking is out of your reach. By consciously choosing to focus on positive moments; you reframe your thoughts, cultivating a mindset that is open rather than closed off.

3. Study your habits and form new ones

You will not be able to form new habits and harness the power of positive thinking if you are totally unaware of your current ones. Are there situations that set you into a negative spiral of self-doubt? Do you react to situations openly or utilize defense mechanisms?

Self-doubt is almost always rooted in fear that is often the fear of failure. If you do give in to these negative thoughts, you might not fail but you will stagnate, which is even worse. If you are not growing, you are dying. If you fail, at least you learn something. If you stagnate, you will not.

So, instead of getting swayed into the pattern of negative thoughts, you can completely reemphasize your energy by developing empowering habits that do encourage positive thinking. Do stop the spiral of doubt by blocking it with positive thoughts.

4. Choose your words carefully

One habit that is most essential to positive thinking is to transform your vocabulary. The words you choose both in conversation and in your own mind do have a deep impact on your mindset. Positive self-talk improves the psychological states, helps people regulate their emotions too.

Before you can choose different words, you need to recognize what words you are already using. When you recall your vocabulary and use words that are less emotionally loaded, you will find your mindset becoming attuned to more positive thinking.

Do you find this aspect of positive thinking overwhelming? Start with just one area of your life that causes the negative thoughts, like work or your relationship status. Catch yourself in those moments, and build from there.

5. Look to those you admire

Think of someone who has a profound impact on your life. Maybe a close friend, family member, or someone you have never met, like a celebrity, a professional athlete, or a renowned entrepreneur. Have they unlocked extraordinary lives due to positive thinking habits?

They do use the power of positive thinking to find the success they seek and you can, too. When you feel yourself falling into negative habits and cannot quite seem to figure out how to think positively, do pull up a quotation from someone you respect. Read it to determine how you can best encapsulate it.

Even if you stumble you are still moving forward—Victor Kiam

Thought is energy. By having certain thoughts in our minds and by concentrating on them and putting emotional energy into them, they do become powerful.  Energy does not perish in nature. These thoughts do induce some kind of pressure on the energy level around us, causing these energies to move and then act.

Even our health responds in a beneficial way. We walk tall plus our voice is so powerful. Our body language does show the way we feel within. Affirmations work both ways, to build us and to destroy us. They are a kind of a neutral power.

Creating Positive Attitude: The Healthy Way Forward

Repetition

One method to employ positive attitude is the repetition of affirmations. A method resembling creative visualization can be used in conjunction with it. However, repeating affirmations positively some minutes during the day, and then thinking negatively, does neutralize the effects making the positive affirmations useless!

Practical Instructions

Please remember: The power of thoughts is a mighty power that is perpetually shaping our life. This shaping is done subconsciously, but the process can be made a conscious one too. Completely ignore what others might say or think about you, if they happen to discover that you are changing the way you think. Smile a lot more, as this helps to think positively.

Avoid Negative Thoughts

Once a negative thought does  cross your mind, you have to be aware and endeavor to replace it with a constructive thought. The negative thought will try to enter your mind again, and then you have to replace it again with a positive one. Please note: It is as if there are two pictures in front of you, and you choose to look at one of them and disregard the other. Persistence in time will teach your mind to think positively and ignore the negative thoughts. Think positively, expect only favorable results and situations, and circumstances will change accordingly.

Achievers

Optimists are far more likely to be high achievers, enjoy physical health and suffer much less anxiety and depression than pessimists do. This is primarily because they persevere even in the face of major failures and this confidence plus resilience often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Meditate about the benefits of being an optimist and persuade your mind to try it.

If you want to fly give up everything that weighs you down.

Attitude Versus Thinking: The Daily Grind

Positive attitude helps one function more easily with the daily affairs of life. It brings optimism into your life, by way of avoiding worry and negative thinking. If you adopt it as a way of life, it will bring constructive changes by making you happier, brighter and more successful.

Positive thinking people are never daunted by failures and obstacles. If things do not turn out as expected they will definitely try again and again. True positive thinking is not just saying that everything will be okay, as a lip service, and at the same time think about constant failure. Positive thinking has to become your prominent mental attitude throughout the day!  It has to turn into a way of life.

Conclusion

Positive thinking is a mental attitude that does admit towards mind thoughts, words, and images that are conducive towards the growth, expansion, and more so, success. A positive mind engages in happiness, health, and a successful outcome during every situation and action. Do avoid sentences like ‘I wish I could have’ or ‘I wish I should have’. Past is gone and future comes when it does come. The present is what we do have so we must make the most out of it. Focusing on what you have will make give you way more happiness instead of pondering over what you lack. Do go on to develop positive thinking in your life by making it a way of your life!

The Positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.—Winston Churchill.

About the Author

Trishna Patnaik, a BSc (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practicing art for over 14 years. After she had a professional stint in various reputed corporates, she realized that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion that is painting. Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest. She says, “It’s a road less traveled but a journey that I look forward to every day.” Trishna also conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India.

Trishna is an art therapist and healer. She works with clients on a one on one basis in Mumbai.

Trishna fancies the art of creative writing and is dappling her hands in that too, to soak in the experience and have an engagement with readers, wanderers, and thinkers.

 

 

%%focuskw%% | Power of positivity: Positive Thinking

such a great post

By Leo Babauta

Every day, we are dealing with a thousand things, overrun by emails and messages and tasks and chores … and it can become overwhelming and shut us down.

I’d like to talk about an idea I’ve been working with, called the Stateless Protocol.

It’s meant to reduce the overwhelm and help us to focus and be more present.

Let me explain the idea, then we’ll talk about how to apply it.

Stateless Computing for Humans

In computing, as I understand it, a program will normally try and remember everything. It keeps track of what you’ve done, where everything is, the state of all kinds of variables. This is fine for a program — computers are pretty good at keeping track of a whole bunch of things.

That’s how most of us operate — trying to keep a thousand things in our head, processing new information as it comes in, making a lot of decisions all the time. For humans, who never evolved to do this kind of processing, it can be stressful and feel overwhelming.

Another kind of computer program is called “stateless” — it doesn’t track what happened before, and store all kinds of info at once. It takes an input from another computer or program, processes it, and spits out a result. It’s done. It starts from a blank slate, and takes on the next task. One task at a time, processing it and then moving to the next.

For humans, an example of this is the person on an assembly line — they are supposed to just take the product from the person before them, do their thing to it, and then pass it on. One unassembled product at a time, not worrying about what comes before or after their task. It’s a very robot-like view of humans, dehumanizing in fact.

But there’s another way to approach this: you just do what’s in front of you right now, in the moment. If you’re creating art, you work with what’s in front of you on the canvas, in your heart and mind, and create the art right then. This doesn’t have to be about all art that came before it, and everything else you need to do. It’s just you and this canvas and paint, right now.

We can take on everything like that — wash this dish, fully, without worrying about my taxes. It becomes a moment and act complete in itself.

Then we do the taxes, not worrying about whether we’re a good enough person or whether the world will collapse — just do the taxes. Just answer this one email. Just write this one thing. Just speak to this one person.

That’s the Stateless Protocol.

Applying the Stateless Protocol to Life

The first thing you’ll notice is that doing one thing at a time seems nice … but we have a lot of other things to do! We can’t forget about all of that!

True, true. You make good points, my friend.

So this protocol needs simple ways to ensure that we’re focusing on the right thing, right now. It’s not as simple as doing just this.

That’s why there needs to be a few other elements to the system:

  1. Queue: A simple way to track what you need to do right now. This is a task manager, or todo list. What I do is keep a single list of everything I need to do, split into two parts: what needs to be done today, and what else needs to be done. Everything is on the list: grocery shopping, workout, meetings, email accountant. Don’t overcomplicate this — it just needs to be a place where everything that needs to be done goes. Don’t spend too much time here.
  2. Prioritization: Once you have a queue, there needs to be a way to prioritize it so you know what task is the right one to work on right now. For me, I keep this pretty simple: every morning, my first task (after meditation) is to look at my task list (the queue), put things that need to be done today on the Today list, and then order them by priority. What’s the most important thing that I need to do today? What’s next? What things need to be done at a certain time (2pm team meeting)? Once I’ve ordered it, it’s pretty simple: I work on the top task. Then the next one. If it’s 2pm, I do my meeting. When the meeting is over, I do the next thing in my queue. Again, don’t overcomplicate it.
  3. Processing incoming: A task in the queue every day might be to process an inbox. For email, that means when it’s time to do my email inbox, I get in there and process it. Answer and archive are the main choices, as much as possible. If it can’t be answered right now, I add it to my task list. Keep it simple. The same thing can be done for Slack, Facebook, Whatsapp — make it a task to process these, get in there and reply to what’s needed, add anything else that needs to be done to your task list, and then be done.
  4. Notes: Sometimes, you’ll need to remember things. Make a note. It can be something you keep in Apple Notes, Bear, Notion, Roam, Google Docs, it doesn’t matter. Keep a note, so you can go back to it when you need it. If a task you’re going to do in the future needs a note, add a link to the note in that task.

With these few additional elements, everything can be done using the Stateless Protocol. One thing at a time, fully in the moment with that task, creating art with the canvas, the paint, and your heart. Then let it go.

Answer just this email in front of me. Talk to just this person. Read just this article. If something needs to be done from a meeting, or a decision needs to be made later, simply add it to the task list (queue). Then move on to the next thing.

It helps, of course, to have some ways of dealing with whatever is in front of you, which is why I also believe in having values or ways of being that are helpful. For me, that’s things like integrity, curiosity, compassion, playfulness, purpose, learning/growth, full appreciation of life. Consider these the “how things are processed” part of the Stateless Protocol. You deal with the person or task in front of you with compassion, curiosity, playfulness, full appreciation, etc.

One thing at a time. Aligned with your values as much as you can. Fully with it, fully immersed. Then move on.

This Stateless Protocol is as beautiful a way of living as any other I’ve tried. It’s Zen living.

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