By Denise Turney
“You forgot to lock your door” or “Your lover is mad at you” are statements, eliciting fear, that you may have told yourself not once but several times. Depending on how repetitive your thoughts are, just to gain a semblance of peace, you might turn back and check your home or car door. If the thought points to your lover, you might spend hours, perhaps days, trying to figure out what went wrong and how you can fix things.
What you might not do is stop and consider how many other times a thought popped into your head, telling you that you’d forgotten or neglected something or that there was a “big problem” for you to deal with when, in actuality, you’d hadn’t forgotten or neglected anything, when there was no problem to deal with. Considering how full your life is, one “to do” piling on top of another, it’s easy to see how you could miss mental patterns you get stuck replaying.
If you’re not watchful, you could get stuck in one or more areas of your life. Your relationships could go from bad to better back to bad, all because you keep believing lies you tell yourself. You could become worried or anxious each time you think you’ve forgotten something, when there was nothing you’d forgotten. Your income could increase only to go back down again. (Oh, our precious and at times incredibly annoying “thoughts”.)
But, those aren’t the only ways lies you tell yourself could keep you stuck. If you’re generally positive, you might tell yourself that a person who appeared to be smiling at you wants to date you, when they might have been smiling at someone standing behind you. You might tell yourself that your supervisor scheduled a last minute meeting with you because she wants to commend you on the job you did on a recent project.
This type of thinking can not only alter your moods, it can keep you from moving forward. This happens because lies are like blinders, keeping you from seeing the whole picture. If you don’t think lies you tell yourself have impact, stop and think about people who tell themselves they’re going to hit the lottery (and I’m talking hit the lottery big), and the lie propels them to spend $100 on lottery tickets at a time when the person is already thousands of dollars in debt — debt that was created due to gambling.
You don’t have to be a gambler to lie to yourself.
One way to stop the lies (or at least stop believing them) is to see and accept what’s going on in your life. Don’t sugar coat or downgrade things. Take action steps to improve one situation at a time. Measure the results of your efforts. (It’s why goal setting was so big years ago.)
Don’t tell yourself something is happening if it isn’t. Don’t live on promises when you tell yourself that something “magical” is going to happen to bail you out of a situation. Also, watch how certain thoughts keep you from making decisions and taking ACTION.
One last reminder — Pay attention to your thoughts. You just might be conning yourself.
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