Sometimes it’s not what happens in your life, but the way your mind perceives it in the moment. Whether it’s the guy who canceled your date or the job that rejected your application, the disappointment you feel is natural, and so are the negative thoughts that come with it. From assuming you’re struggling because you’re not pretty enough to believing you’re failing because you’re not smart enough, these ideas pile in the back of your brain and present themselves in the form of your thoughts.
In a society where the greatest victim of your mind is yourself, it can be hard to accept that the things that hold us back are the same thoughts that we helped create. To overcome this cycle, here are 6 toxic thoughts to drop ASAP in order to pursue the life you wish and practice the positivity you want.
1. Thinking it’s too late to start over
We know, change is hard, and the fear you feel when you think about leaving your comfort zone is the reason you aren’t. Maybe it’s how you want to switch your career path at 25 or the way you want to move across the country at 30. Regardless of your situation, it’s too often that we ignore our gut feeling and blame it on the fact that it’s too late to start over.
Despite this popular excuse, the truth is that the right moment is when you decide it is. In general, the timeline you’ve created for yourself should be a summary of what you want to do (instead of a guideline of what age you should do it by). So allow your mind to change and your path to be adjusted— after all, no one knows what will make you happy like you do.
2. Thinking you can change people
Whether it’s the friend who guilt trips you for not hanging out until 3 am on a week night or the boyfriend who can’t help but flirt with every other woman he sees, your patience is thin and your hope that you can fix him or her is what makes you stay. The truth? People don’t change; their priorities do.
Although we all have room to improve, you can’t expect those around you to sacrifice who they are to become a version of themselves that fits you better. Before you fall victim to this mindset, recognize that you’ll either accept people’s habits or acknowledge they weren’t right for you in the first place.
3. Thinking your relationship status will complete you
For some people, the key to happiness is a relationship. Yet for others, it’s the exact opposite. Nonetheless, it’s easy to claim that your current state of mind (and mood) would be better if you were in your preferred relationship status. While you might be right, the reality is that you’re currently single or in a relationship for a reason. Although it’s up to you to decide how you want to move forward with your love life, remember that it’s a lot harder to appreciate where you are when you’re busy thinking about where you could be.
4. Thinking the world is out to get you
Life is hard— and constantly assuming you’re the victim will make it even worse. Yes, it’s unfair that you didn’t pass your exam (even though you studied all night). Sure, it’s hurtful that your coworker received a pay raise (before you did). Don’t get us wrong, these situations are disappointing, but there’s a difference between struggling and being targeted.
When it comes down to it, the things that happen to you are not a direct reflection of you, and realizing that life isn’t purposefully treating you badly is how you’ll overcome your obstacles and appreciate the lessons that happen because of them.
5. Thinking there’s only one right way
Along with basing your success off how well you follow your timeline, another inaccurate idea is believing that there’s one correct way to achieve a goal. For instance, how you decide to express your appreciation doesn’t mean other people choose the same approach. And the reality that it took you extra years to graduate school doesn’t imply that you won’t get a job with those who took less. Overall, life is full of options and your ability to choose the one that’s best for you is what makes yours meaningful.
6. Thinking you’re wasting your time
As a generation that experiences the fear of commitment and the dilemma of FOMO, it’s normal to wonder if we’re spending our time with the people and things that will benefit us (in the future). Blame it on the relationship that seems to be going nowhere or the freelance attempt that isn’t taking off, but it’s difficult to stay positive when there are reasons to be negative.
Although it’s common to assume you’re wasting your time when the events that happen in your life aren’t turning out the way you imagined in your mind, it’s also crucial for you to avoid this type of mentality. In the end, the experiences you gain are just as important as the decisions you make.