Some days are better than others. On those days that go less well, we usually end up being hard on ourselves. Here are some tools to avoid doing so.
1. Keep going. Don’t let life’s changes throw you off track, but remember that most extenuating circumstances are temporary. Gain more clarity by staying the course and channeling your energy in a positive direction.
2. Trust yourself. Believe in your inner resources, no matter what, and you’ll grow from the experience. I believe that the answers usually lie within, and you are probably smart enough to figure out what you need to do. Give yourself a little time and have patience.
3. Be friends with life. Remember that the world is not out to get you and it does not punish you. You do that to yourself. Learning to focus on other opportunities or in another direction can give you some perspective.
4. Watch your thoughts. Your thinking will never be 100% positive. You must learn to dismiss the negative thoughts and stay open to other ideas that will help you move in a positive direction. Start recognizing negative thoughts, and use your mind to quell them.
5. Summon the strength you have inside. Learn to access and direct your strengths to the highest good for all concerned. Believe that your strength and intelligence can help you deal with anything. Remember that you have survived worse.
6. Learn to love yourself. You do not have to be who you are today, and your life is not scripted. Changing how you feel about yourself means creating a strategy, gathering some new tools, and making yourself into the person you want to be. A good way to start is to stop doing things that hurt.
7. Don’t want too much. Desire can be a powerful motivating tool, but wanting something too much can be very painful and very expensive, so don’t live beyond your means or covet the unattainable. Seek your desire, but keep your integrity.
8. Don’t get insulted. It is wise to be dispassionate about critical comments. Humans will always bump heads, but consider the source, and if it’s the other person’s issue, ignore it. Learn to respond instead of react, and don’t show your ire.
9. Recognize that disappointment is part of life. Even the most successful people have to deal with disappointment, but they’ve learned how to use it to get to the next level of life. The trick is to process your feelings, then take some kind of action.
10. Deal with your fears. Overcoming fear makes you stronger, and being a little scared can make you better. You want to have butterflies; you just want them flying in formation. It helps to understand and admit your fears. Then you can kick them to the curb.
Feel good about yourself, no matter what life brings. Know that each time you wake up, you have another chance to make things better. Don’t waste it.
Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is an award-winning therapist and humanitarian. He is also a columnist, the author of seven books, and a blogger for PsychologyToday.com with nearly 27 million readers. He practices in Santa Barbara and is available for video sessions. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears Sundays and Tuesdays in the News-Press.