Back in 2010, I started to focus a lot on personal development. Some areas of my life had completely fallen apart. I didn’t know what to do, what had gone wrong, or why I was having so many problems.
Then, I learned about the power of my thoughts.
And, for the first time ever, I realized that I could control what I thought about. I had no idea!
Choosing your thoughts
I was used to just thinking about whatever happened to pop into my head. And, let me tell you—that’s a dangerous place to be.
So, I started the journey of learning to control my thoughts. I’m not going to lie, it was incredibly difficult. In fact, it was exhausting. I had to learn to be aware of what I was thinking about ALL the time.
I realized there were a lot of things that I was thinking without purposefully doing it. Like, when I was driving. My thoughts would wander to all different types of pointless things. Or, when I was doing tasks that didn’t need a lot of concentration.
So, I started focusing on what I was thinking about. Then, I started to change my thinking. I started choosing to think about things that were good and purposeful.
Yes, it was hard. Yes, at the end of the day my brain was super tired. But, just like anything, it got easier over time.
And, it was life-changing.
It’s becoming trendy
You are probably seeing things about meditation and mindfulness all over the place lately. I know, because I do a lot of writing about those topics for my freelance clients. They can be incredibly helpful for your mental health.
But, I feel that this is a little different. What I’m talking about isn’t something that you are going to sit and do. There isn’t an app that’s going to guide you through the process.
It’s just good ol’ fashion hard work that will happen all day long in your mind.
But, if you want to call it mindfulness, go for it. It’s not about the name of what you’re doing, it’s about making changes to your thought life that will change your life forever.
Thoughts that are keeping you stuck
So, what thoughts should you stop thinking? Some of that depends on what areas of your life that you’re stuck in. The more you pay attention to your thoughts, the more you will learn what thoughts need to go.
But, I’m going to talk about 5 thoughts that apply to a lot of situations. These are 5 thoughts that can keep you stuck from making the progress you want to make in life. It can apply to your personal life and your business life.
These are all beliefs that I’ve wrestled with at different points in my life. And, if I’m honest, I still have days where I have to fight them.
1. I can’t do it
Why not? This belief is always coupled with another one. It might even be one of the other four listed below.
When you tell yourself that you “can’t” do something, you will almost never be able to. You give your mind permission to not accomplish whatever it is that you want to do or are being asked to do.
Let me tell you something, you can do a lot more than you think you can. And, you can make it through a lot more than you give yourself credit. How do I know that? Because I’ve lived it myself.
So, how do you change this thought?
Figure out why you believe that you “can’t” do it.
If it’s simply that you think it’s “too hard”, keep reading and we’ll address that in a minute.
Or, maybe you really can do it and you just need to suck it up and do it. Chances are that you think you “can’t” do it because you have a limiting belief that is making you feel that way. It’s time to change your thoughts!
If you tell yourself that you can’t, it’s hard for your mind to believe that you can and give it a try. Simply eliminate this thought from your life completely. It serves no purpose.
If there is an actual concrete reason why you can’t do something then move on to the next step.
Determine what you can do to change that.
Maybe you really can’t do whatever the thing is at the moment. Start thinking about what you can do.
For example, last year my husband ran a Spartan Race. It was awesome! And watching it made me want to do it too. So, it’s a goal I’m shooting for this year. Can I run one right now and feel good about my effort? No. I wouldn’t be able to complete most of the challenges, or maybe even the course, and I wouldn’t feel good about spending my time and money on being miserable. So, I’m training. I’m working out every day so I can be ready. And, we have an event selected that we want to run in later this year so I have a goal to shoot for. (That’s super important when setting goals. If you want some goal setting tips, check out this post).
Maybe there’s something in your life that you can’t actually do. Figure out what you can do about it. What changes in your life can you make that would allow you to be able to do it?
2. It’s too hard
Why is it too hard? This is another one that usually has something else behind it, so don’t allow yourself to stop your thought there. Instead, press into the thought and find out what’s really behind it.
Let me tell you again, you can accomplish a lot more than you think you can. But, if you keep telling yourself that it’s “too hard” then it’s going to be.
This is another thought that serves no purpose. We tell it to ourselves as an excuse on why we aren’t doing the thing that we really want to be doing.
- I want to lose weight, but I can’t do this exercise… it’s too hard.
- I want to get out of debt, but I don’t know how to make work a budget… it’s too hard.
- I’ve always wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I can’t figure out how to make money from home… it’s too hard.
- I need new clients for my business, but I hate networking and sales… it’s too hard.
Quit wasting your time on “it’s too hard”. Look around for a minute. Is someone else doing what you want to do? If they are then you know it’s not too hard. It’s actually doable. And, if there is no one else doing it, then you can be the first. Think of all the things that people have accomplished over the years that others thought was impossible simply because it was “too hard”.
Start telling yourself, “This may be hard, but it’s not impossible. I can do it.”
3. It will never get better
You’re right… it never will get better if you keep thinking like that!
You have the ability to improve your situation. Even if someone else is the reason you’re in the situation you’re in. But, improving things in life takes work. If you aren’t willing to do the work then it’s not going to get any better.
Let me address the whole visualization and manifestation thing for a minute. There’s a lot of information out there online about “visualization”. The concept is basically if you think about the things that you want in life they will come to you.
As a Christian, I can’t get on board with this 100%, but I also can’t dismiss it. Let me explain.
I don’t think you can sit on your butt at home and visualize having crazy success and money and whatever you want and get it. Nope. Life doesn’t work that way. But, I do think that when you spend time purposefully thinking about things you’re more likely to invest in getting that thing. I don’t think “the universe” brings it to you. Instead, I think that you start focusing your time and energy on making whatever you’re dreaming about happening. Then, you’re more likely to experience it. But, it all comes down to the work you’re doing and how you’re behaving.
If you want things to be better in your life, start doing things that will make it better. Look at what habits you need to change, where you need to spend your time or your money, and what other things you can do in order to improve your situation.
4. I’m not smart enough and I don’t know how
If you’re still breathing then you should still be learning. If you don’t know what it is you need to know, go learn it.
This doesn’t mean you need to officially enroll in college, although it might if what you really want to do requires a college degree. But, if you’re determined to do it, it’s possible.
My husband got his college degree online from Florida International University while working full time running his own business and balancing life as a husband and father to three. You will make time for the things that are priorities in your life.
But, a college degree might not even be what you need. You may just need to learn a new skill. Thanks to the internet and smartphones we have a ridiculous amount of knowledge at our fingertips pretty much any time we want it.
If you don’t know something you need to know, start learning it!
5. It’s already been done
Stop not doing what you really want to do and have a passion for because someone else has already done it. Let’s be honest, there aren’t that many new ideas floating around out there.
Imagine this – you have an idea for something you want to do in business. Maybe it’s starting a new business or it might be a new service. You are passionate about it and can’t wait to start helping others. It’s the perfect fit. But, then as you start working on it, you realize that someone else is already doing it. Or, maybe a bunch of people are already doing it.
That’s OK! It doesn’t mean that you have to shift gears.
Others may be doing it, but no one is going to do it exactly like you would because they aren’t you.
If you want to do something, kick your fear and self-doubt to the side and get started.
These thoughts are keeping you stuck
If you’re still reading this, it’s because you really want to see change in your life. You realize that your thoughts aren’t helping you. The good news is, you can choose something different.
If you’re interested in learning more about changing your thinking I highly recommend the following books:
- Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
- Followup book Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer
- Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick
The links are affiliate links, but these books were ones that I personally own and have read more than once. In fact, I have bought multiple copies of Battlefield of the Mind because I end up giving my book away to people that I think could benefit. It’s that good!