Photo by Joel Overbeck from Unsplash
Like what they always say, it always seems impossible to do something before you start. It always feels like a risk not worth taking until you finally do it. Then you realize it wasn’t so bad at all. Our negative thoughts are what prevent us from embracing change and taking risks because as humans, we need to cater to our need for emotional security. It’s always a matter of reassurance or the absence of regret.
Negative thoughts come from a place of self-pity and insecurity inside us, because who wants to be remembered as someone who failed right? Nobody would want that, especially in your twenties. We’re pressured to excel and never to fail because if you will, you’re branded as a failure for life. When making choices, we’re taught to always choose the least dangerous one, the least risky one, or the choice that so far guarantees our desired results.
Unfortunately, choosing to be comfortable is the common mistake we tend to overlook because we label it as what’s good for us. Comfort and security sound good to us because it’s the opposite of what we don’t want — risk, regret, and resentment. Being in your shell may feel good at the moment, but it won’t do any good to you in the long run.
Choosing to stay in your comfort zone even if the situation requires you to step out of it discourages esteem and confidence. You’re not learning anything new and far from what you usually do. You’re meeting the same kinds of people, going to the same places, eating the same food. You’re experiencing the same problems. You’re learning the same gravity and magnitude of daily dilemmas. You’re obsessed with following a calculated routine because you’re too comfortable with your situation to the extent where you’re living like trash flowing in a stagnant river. You’re not growing. You’re not living. That’s not the smart nor the right way to start your twenties or to live your life for that matter.
10 NEGATIVE THOUGHTS YOU HAVE TO GET RID OF:
“I CAN’T DO IT”
This is the very first thing we say to ourselves and we do this very often. Little do we know the severe impact this line has affected us. Every single time we tell this to ourselves and even to others is a step further towards our dreams being buried along with regret. Moreover, the primary reason we think we can’t do it is that we think the only way to guarantee success is perfection. If we keep making mistakes along the way, that’s what makes us think we are not meant for this; giving our doubts more power over our decisions.
“THE SYSTEM IS UNFAIR”
When you find yourself in the hard and ugly part of the journey, you’re desperate to blow off some steam by finding someone else to blame for your circumstance. Most times, you blame the mistakes of others and avoiding responsibility. Other times, you get furious at how the world is structured and how it almost never revolves around your favor. It’s true that having money and power in this world can give you huge leverage over the others but sadly if you’re not one of them, you can’t do anything at the moment.
Stop whining about the situations you can’t change and the people you can’t persuade to help you. You say things like “people like me will never have a seat at the table” or “the odds of me being successful is zero.” Well, have you realized that maybe you’re the one creating habits and behaviors that harm you? Have you considered evaluating the minute actions you do daily that put you into that position?
“THERE’S SOMEONE ELSE BETTER THAN ME”
No matter how good you are at one thing, there will always be someone better than you. There shouldn’t be an insecurity in the first place because we are all unique in our way. If your side hustle involves competing in a highly saturated, competitive niche, you’ll probably be drowning in fear that you’ll be unknown, invisible, unnoticed. You’re worried that all the time and effort you’ll invest will be put to waste. Instead of comparing your progress to your competitors, the only person you need to compare with is yourself. It’s going to take a long time before you feel “seen” in a field where everybody is working as hard as you. Work hard and be patient enough to see the results.
“THERE’S NOT ENOUGH TIME”
There’s a saying that says the best time to start something is today. You don’t have to wait for Monday to come nor New Year’s or even wait for a clean slate. When we’ve already started later than when we expect is the best time to start our career (like in our early twenties or even in our teens), we think it’s already too late to embark on a new chapter in that age and circumstance. It’s not too late to change your old habits and start anew. You don’t have to conform to society’s expectations of “perfect timing” because our lives are different and we’re the ones who know best with our pace.
“IT WON’T WORK OUT”
We always think this way because we are most certainly afraid of failure. Deep down we are insecure and expect a good result but we don’t tell anybody else because we don’t want to be let down. A more comfortable option would be seeing no hope so that it wouldn’t be as painful as being disappointed. Stop thinking of the reasons why it won’t work out and start believing why it will.
We have the capacity and the choice to make our dreams come true but it all depends on how much we believe in our manifestations. The more you attract negative outcomes, negative energy will more likely come to you because that’s how you’re allowing your mind to operate. If ever your career choice isn’t actually how you wanted it to pan out, then you can always opt your way out if it doesn’t make you feel good and happy anymore. You choose the battles you fight, so choose them wisely.
“THEY’LL JUDGE ME”
It’s remarkable how you allow your future to rest in the hands of strangers, haters, and even those who choose not to support you. It’s YOUR future on the line because of your insecurities and fears of experiencing setbacks which is completely normal. Whatever you choose to do, there will always be people who will judge you for the timing, quality, and conviction of your choices. People will always have something to say about others’ lives and that’s how we’re wired.
We think we know better than the person living his/her life and we insist he/she desperately needs to listen to what we have to say. Don’t let random people take a seat at the critics’ table if they are irrelevant, insignificant, and leave no contribution whatsoever to your process. By the time you master the art of not caring what the general population thinks about your plans, you realize that people are just as insecure and fearful as you and that they are more worried about what you (whom they constantly judge) have to say about their life choices.
“I DON’T WANT TO COMPROMISE MY RELATIONSHIPS”
If your relationships are real and honest, then there shouldn’t be any tension on compromise in the first place. If they truly care for you, they wouldn’t hold it against you for having the dedication to commit to a different lifestyle in adjustment to your starting career. They would fully support you for that. If you’re worried about your relationship with your kids, then make them understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. Hire a babysitter or leave them to a relative or a friend you trust for a couple of hours then make it up to them by the time you come home.
Manage your time wisely; spend about two hours doing your side hustle and still getting your son at daycare during lunch break. Some so many people still became millionaires and successful entrepreneurs from scratch even with many children. It’s a matter of sacrifice and taking the responsibility to make your and their lives better.
“I DON’T KNOW WHERE AND HOW TO START”
If your heart’s in it, everything else will follow. It takes believing in yourself that you can handle any trial standing on your way and choosing to believe that way until you get to the finish line. It’s normal to have endless questions at the beginning and it’s human nature to have doubts, but cultivating those doubts with more vague answers doesn’t help in any way. Unlike in the classroom, you’re not given a set of specific instructions about what you have to do and how to do it.
In the real world, beyond the four walls of the learning playground, you are not given anything (even a heads-up). You’re on your own until you find the courage to reach out to other people who may or may not contribute to your growth. Do your research, ask questions from the right people, and learn as you go. Learning is continuous; it never stops.
“IT WON’T PAY THE BILLS”
Practicality is one thing and passion is another. There are some people lucky enough to have a job with both; something that lets them provide three meals on the table and something that keeps them jumping from the bed early in the morning ready to conquer the day. Your 9-5 doesn’t have to be your only source of income; you can have as many side hustles as you can just as long as it doesn’t jeopardize your health and well-being.
Moreover, your side hustle can also definitely make a living if you invest the right amount of time, attention, and action to it but it won’t be easy. You won’t have a boss hovering around and telling you what to do. In your side hustle, you’re the boss. If you don’t have full concentration and perseverance to perceive your side hustle as a formidable business someday, then it’s likely that it won’t turn out that way.
“I LACK THE RESOURCES”
Today’s digital era offers a million more opportunities than ever before and it slashes out all the excuses you may have including not having the appropriate resources to start your career/side hustle. If you want to start a Youtube channel, you don’t need to buy the most expensive video camera for video recording and a brand new laptop for editing. You only need a fresh set of eyes to widen your perspective about how limitless the world is for you to create content and creativity. It’s absolutely free to post on social media platforms and so many people are taking advantage of that. You can post content anytime and anywhere you want. It’s a matter of standing out and putting yourself out into the world.
5 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO COMBAT NEGATIVE THOUGHTS:
BE MORE SELF-AWARE
If you’re fully honest and aware of your capabilities, you wouldn’t waste time dwelling on the skills you’re not good at. You aren’t supposed to know everything because if you did, you wouldn’t need other people. Perfection would simply turn humanity into an extinct species. When someone shames or insults you for your flaws, don’t even bother responding to something ill back to them. It’s not always your responsibility to fix a jealous heart. When you know what you’re good at and what you’re not, you’ll be able to transition your goals towards something rewarding for yourself.
LEARN FROM OTHER PEOPLE’S SUCCESS STORIES
Listening to famous personalities’ or even your parents’ success stories will teach you more than entrepreneurship classes in school will ever do. You will realize you haven’t even gone to half of the journey yet and you still have a lot to learn from. After listening to their success stories, your negative thoughts wouldn’t feel as daunting as you thought. You’ll realize what you’re feeling today is no different than what your parents or the other businessmen have experienced. You see them passionately talking about their journey and you feel grateful for having learned first-hand lessons from them earlier in your progress.
STAY AWAY FROM NEGATIVITY
Negative thoughts can come from lots of places. It can come from your friends, parents, or from the news you watched on your television yesterday morning. Cutting off from sources of negativity is an effective way to stop dwelling on them because you won’t be thinking about it often. You can do that by refraining from watching depressing videos, staying away from those who give you reasons to be unhappy about living, and keeping your feet on the ground.
TAKE CRITICISM WELL
When someone corrects your procedure, belief, performance, or any form of speech or action, don’t brand it as hate speech. Don’t immediately think people who give you constructive criticism are there to hate you and bring you down. Even from the worst types of people, we learn value from them. It’s important you learn to take criticism well by receiving it with a humble heart, by understanding that you’re imperfect and you don’t know everything.
A listening ear is vital for a stronger relationship with others and most especially to yourself. Those so-called friends of yours who do not correct you or educate you of your mistakes are not real friends. They don’t care if you’re wrong or if you’re harming yourself which implies your growth and wellness are not in their best interest.
UNDERSTAND THAT FAILURE IS A PART OF THE PROCESS
Accepting the fact that failure is inevitable on the path to success not only saves you time and energy but also prepares your mind for the ordeals you’ll face. You can get rid of negative thoughts by understanding that having doubts is a normal, human act, but focusing on the downsides of the journey shouldn’t be a cause of your distress. Don’t fear failure; embrace it — that’s the only wise way to get out of it quicker. Don’t allow the negative thoughts to slow you down when its only job is to remind you of the inevitable. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting time worrying about tomorrow’s problem.
Your mind can be very powerful; it can dictate your future. It’s vital to keep it peaceful and worry-free as possible by stop giving these negative thoughts room to live in your mind. Suppressing negative thoughts is just as hard as sticking to your goals every day. If you don’t get rid of them every day, they will slowly consume you and devour you until everything that runs in your blood are reasons why you can’t do it.
You wouldn’t have the energy, let alone the motivation to meet another day. Limiting beliefs can be very tricky because they can hide in the deepest crevices in your mind and only come out when you’re having a bad day or a bad week. They can be triggered by what somebody said (especially if that somebody matters to you) and can stick with you like a piece of gum on the sole of your shoe.
As much as possible, start your day with an affirmative action like preaching affirmations, writing in your journal, meditating, praying, or even drinking a cup of coffee. Choose to keep yourself happy, not keen on spotting what’s wrong or what’s not there. You only live once. Live your life according to your purpose, and that starts by talking yourself out of the negative chains that bind you.
“Beware of those who are bored and not passionate about life, for they will bore you with reasons for not living.”Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem