We all know that life isn’t supposed to always be easy and that challenges are going to be present in one way or another. At least, that’s what most of us grew up hearing our parents say. But as much as we grow up knowing those things, we often struggle right when we’re are in the middle of chaos. In those difficult moments, even our mind turns into an enemy and it becomes difficult to step away from negative thoughts. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are many ways in which we can take control of our attitude and it all starts with our self-dialogue. Here are 10 things you can tell yourself when things are NOT going the way you want them to go. I hope you find them as helpful as I have.
#1 This too shall pass:
This quote has always filled me up with patience and hope. Each time I go through something hard, I bring this quote to mind and repeat it like a mantra. And you know what? It is never wrong. Everything, absolutely everything, comes to an end. So, if you are going through a hard moment, please know that it will soon come to an end and when it does, you will be glad you went through it because it will leave you with great lessons. Whatever you are experiencing now is temporary and soon, it will be nothing more than a memory of the past. So, hang in there!
#2 Do not believe everything you think:
Did you know that not all thoughts are accurate? Think about it for a moment: have you been correct about everything you have ever thought? Let me answer that for you: No, you have not. Not everything you think about is true. And when we are under stress, our thoughts tend to be more dramatic and less accurate or less evidence based. So, unless you have concrete evidence (that means it cannot be argued by anyone), do not believe every thought you have, especially late at night when most of us tend to have more irrational thoughts.
#3 I can and I will:
These words make me think of the Nike slogan “just do it”, but the words are powerful. Just read them aloud for a moment. Do you feel the empowerment that comes with simply saying them? Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed by a situation, or feeling like the situation may be bigger than you, just remember that so far, you have overcome every single tough moment in your life. So, if it is in your path, it is because you can and you will overcome it. Perhaps you can’t do it alone and that’s alright, because asking for help and advice can support you through this phase. Have full conviction that you have what it takes to see this one through.
#4 I am good enough:
Most of us struggle with this concept. Nowadays, with the influence of social media and a constant exposure to people’s perfect photos, we tend to compare ourselves with others and feel inadequate or less fortunate. But remember that the only person you can fairly compare yourself to is yourself. Whenever your mind is running into a place of comparison, tell yourself that you are good enough and that you do not need anyone else’s approval but your own to be happy with who you are and what you have. So, in this moment of difficulty, do yourself a favour and be your own friend. You are all you need!
#5 The best is yet to come:
Hope is greater than fear, so as long as you can keep hope going, fear will have no space to co-exist. I know fear appears so real that we tend to think it is taking over our lives. But remember that after the storm, there is always sunshine. So whether you believe it at this moment or not, the best is yet to come. Keeping your mind in a positive future outcome will bring you moments of peace and strength that will make the tough times easier to ride. I personally like thinking of this phrase even when I am going through a happy time, because the thought of a happier future brings me to such a blissful state of mind.
#6 No matter what, I will figure it out:
A big characteristic of anxiety is to think that whatever we are afraid of is VERY likely to happen and that if that was to happen, we are VERY unlikely to cope. When the mind is in a vulnerable place, it no longer thinks clearly and as a result, we often underestimate our ability to adapt, to ask for help, to be resourceful, to heal, to learn and to grow. Therefore, let this be the phrase that will remind you of your ability to overcome obstacles in one way or another. If you cannot come up with a solution to your problem, know that you are capable of finding someone who will.
#7 All in good time:
It is true that we all have a plan and a vision of how we want our life to unfold. But it is in moments of despair and frustration that we need to be reminded that no matter how good a plan we have, no plan is written in stone and therefore, it is malleable. At the end of the day, life happens in the order that needs to happen whether we approve of it or not. Releasing control is liberating. You do not have to trust others, but do trust that, in life, all happens in good time.
#8 Just for today, I will not give up:
Giving up is very tempting when things seem to be going the wrong way. Many of us would rather end things before we get rejected or disappointed. However, the best view is usually at the top of the hill. And in order to be able to see it, to experience it and to appreciate it, we must make it all the way to the top. Think of taking small steps, taking pauses between steps, and taking it day by day, that’s why this phrase is important. It is there to remind you that even though the top of the hill looks far and high, all you need to worry about, are the steps you are taking today. Stay present and before you know it, you will have made it to the top.
#9 Everything doesn’t have to be perfect right now:
You do not have to have everything figured out right now. It is OK to have moments of doubt and unknowns. It is also OK to take some time to sort things out and to reconnect with yourself. Just know that you are exactly where you need to be and that when you are ready for a move, you will know exactly what to do. Remember that nothing is perfect and that even in the best of times, nothing is totally perfect. Cut yourself some slack and take deep inhales when you need to. Accept that for some time, things will be out of balance, but as discussed in a few points above, nothing is forever. You will find your centre again and you will be back in balance.
#10 I am not alone:
I know first-hand how isolating it can feel when you think this is only happening to you. But trust me when I say that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Look around, do you know the story of every person around you? Do you know for a fact that they have not gone through something similar to what you are experiencing? Just because most people don’t share their stories does not mean that they have not suffered. Find support groups online or in your community. Find a professional to talk to, tell those you trust what you are going through and you will be surprised to see how much you have in common. Look around, there is at least one person in your life who cares and loves you. You are not alone.
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