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How You Can Be Your Own Worst Enemy

Jul 25, 2008
Today, we have a lot of things that we think of as our enemies; terrorists, pollution, global warming, the shrinking middle class, and many other issues are in the forefront as things that can cause us troubles. However, these are things that in many cases, we only have limited control over. Even though sometimes it might feel like things are out of control, friends and family can help during these uncertain times. However, if self-destruction is an issue for you, you may need help to stop. Even though you may not know it, you can in fact be your own worst enemy.

How many thoughts do you think go through your head at any one time? Countless, right? Do any of them subversively send you negative messages, such as, "I'm so fat," or, "Mom was right. I'll never amount to anything"? Maybe you've even been able to tell someone else they can do something or that you believe in them, but you can't say the same for yourself.

You probably know someone with a very negative attitude who is constantly in the middle of some drama so that he or she is continually complaining. Things always "happen" to them, right? Maybe they have continual (and for the most part overblown) health issues, or some other "tragedy." This type of victim mentality can lead to depression and physical illness. You probably also know someone who is continually optimistic no matter the circumstances.

The fact is, both of these people have learned how to behave as they do. The person who behaves negatively no matter the circumstances has learned this. The person who behaves positively no matter the circumstances has learned this, too. And if you want to, you, too, can learn how to behave positively and to treat yourself better in the process as well.

To change your behavior or actions, you have to change your thoughts. It's likely that you've heard of this before, but it's time to take a look at it again. It's not just hype; it's something that has been physically measured as a phenomenon. You, too, can have this if you believe and have a strong desire to accomplish it.

So first, forgive yourself for everything you ever thought you did wrong. That means EVERYTHING. This might take a while, but it's worth it. (Remember, if you can forgive other people for what they've done -- and likely you have -- then you deserve the same.) Of course, if it'll help, you can repeat affirmations to yourself so that you become accustomed to thinking about this desire to change. However, you also have to believe them. If you don't, then this is just going to enhance your negativity. You have to get out of your victim mentality and remember that sometimes, life simply happens.

Next, check in every so often to listen to your "self talk." As you do, you'll likely hear your old phrases, such as, "I'm so fat," or "I'll never do anything right" pop up quite frequently. When you catch yourself saying one of these things, change the phrasing. You don't have to lie to yourself, but you can say something like, "Well, that was a pretty nice outfit," or something similar. Don't lie (because just like with affirmations, you have to believe what you're saying), but rephrase things as positively as you can and still make them true. When you do so, you're going to instantly elevate your mood and bask in feeling that way. Take a moment to feel good and acknowledge that you do.

Guess what? Your body can't tell the difference between an emotion based upon a real event or one that you've gone through in your head. Any accomplishment you make can work as a mood elevator, then. Don't focus on someone else saying that you've done something well, either. Take the moment you know you've done something well and focus on the fact that you did just that. It's helpful to stop at certain predestined times of day and just check in to see what you're thinking. Do this at work and at home, too, because thoughts may be different when you're in different environments. These thoughts are likely responsible for your present actions and circumstances.

One good way to help you change your thinking is to state a positive belief out loud. It's like an affirmation, but you have to believe in it. Write something down that's good for your future and that you truly do have a realistic chance at accomplishing. You can even phrase something so that it truly is true in a positive sense. For example, you could say, "I'm getting better and better at making positive changes in my life, every day." As you go on, you can get more and more specific. For example, you can name specific things that you're making positive changes with as you go on and begin to see results.

If you focus on small changes daily, you're going to begin to improve gradually and over time, but steadily as well. Pretty soon, you're not going to be able to miss the results, and it's going to get easier, too. Soon, this type of behavior will become second nature. In the end, you can become both your own coach and your own best friend.

No matter who you are, you're going to face difficult times in life. Sometimes things will be easier, and sometimes they'll be harder, but there will be difficulties on occasion. This is to be accepted and even embraced. It's helpful if we know how to soothe and cheer ourselves up so that we get through these difficult times. That doesn't mean that we should never grieve or be sad, but it does mean that we should not wallow in continual negativity or self-pity. Make an effort to your own best friend and give yourself a peptalk when you need it. Hard times will come and go, but so will positive ones! And whichever you are currently experiencing, it's good if you as your own best friend can be right there by your side cheering you on.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of Be Successful News , a site that provides information and articles on how to succeed in your own home or small business.
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