There are many of negative thoughts out there that keep a person stuck in one place. I know because these thoughts kept me stuck: I let those thoughts control my actions.
One thought that keeps turning up in my life is “I can’t do it.” This is accompanied with “I am not good, smart, ambitious, deserving. (insert any positive adjective here) enough.”
I don’t know when I internalised this thought and then started living my life according to it, but I didn’t discover that this thought was in the driver’s seat of my life until my divorce. Since then I have been aware of this thought and working at ways to not let it rule me. I know it is working because now instead of it being me saying “oh no, I couldn’t do that.” I have people saying to me – “wow, you have accomplished so much…. I could never do that, I not smart, driven (insert positive adjective here) like you.”
I had four people say this to me last week in one form or another and it was quite surprising. How had I gone from being the person saying “I can’t do it.” to the person that is saying to others “you can do it”?
The first step for me was recognising that most of my inner dialogue throughout my life had been defeatist, often verging on self-loathing. I started journaling (I can hear the protests now: “I can’t journal” from some of you reading this. I always thought I couldn’t journal either. I told myself that and guess what? That was pretty self-fulfilling).
Ok, so I started journaling and documenting my inner thoughts. They were pretty negative and then I got self-loathing about that! For about two weeks I was saying to myself, “I can’t do it and how can I ever be expected to do it because I was born self-loathing.” Actually, that might have been more than two weeks.. That was a bit of a vicious whirlpool I was in for a while.
So then I read something else. Those thoughts that I was having? They weren’t mine. Nope. They were put there by society (darn you society).
At that point, it started becoming slightly funny and almost game-like. When my mood started to go down, I would try to identify the thought that was taking me there. And there was always something. Those thoughts are sneaky and can sometimes catch you unawares and send you spiralling down before you notice. That is the game for me, catching them before they do that.
That is essentially all I had to do. It took me a long time to figure it out but I finally did. What is amazing is that it completely ties into the idea that you manifest your thoughts. For a good chunk of my life I manifested “I can’t do it.” and now I am manifesting “I can do it.” It was simply a matter of recognition and belief.
Do you believe and listen to the thought that you can’t do it? Do you often say to others who you perceive to be more successful “but you are smart, driven, lucky etc.” and use that as an excuse as to why you can’t do it? I want to challenge you to recognise this thought for what it is. It is just a thought that is only true because you have made it so. You have manifested that thought in your life.
You can change. I know you can because I have first-hand experience. I have overcome a 40 year deeply entrenched personal mantra of “I can’t do it” within the space of a year.
But only you can do this… and I know you can.