Life is filled with rough patches, and we all encounter them from time to time.
I’ve had my share, just like you.
Roadblocks show up any time you move in the direction of something you want.
They arrive faster the closer you get to your goal.
It’s a given – you can count on it.
What matters most when you face these obstacles is your self-talk.
Prefrontal Cortex and self-talk
You’ve got to be very careful of how you speak to yourself when things get tough.
If your internal chatter is mostly negative, you’re not alone.
It’s the same for all of us.
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the brain is the most evolved region, and houses our highest-order cognitive abilities.
Planning complex cognitive behaviour, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behavior are some of its executive functions.
It’s also responsible for that seemingly endless chatter in your noggin.
Most of it negative.
Thoughts about how you’re going to tackle your growing list of tasks, how you’ll cover the bills, or when the other shoe is going to drop are examples of the unproductive negative chatter that might go through your mind.
Giving these thoughts your attention amplifies them and makes them stick in your head.
You need an “interrupter” to change the tides.
A simple word or phrase to help you flip the switch toward positivity.
“This too will pass”
Any time I catch myself ruminating on thoughts that drag me down, I use this mantra.
“This too will pass” are the words that disrupt the patterned response.
They stop the downward spiral.
After all, everything does come to an end.
No event or circumstance, good or bad, lasts forever.
Today may be chock full of problems, but tomorrow is a clean slate.
Separate this single event from your overall experience of life.
It will not only simplify things, it will show you what’s true.
All material conditions, good or bad, are temporary.
It’s helpful to remember that, regardless of how the ups and downs of life affect us, it will soon pass.
“How is this FOR me?”
When it feels like you’re out of control, flying at lightning speed, downward on life’s roller coaster, the last thing you think about are the benefits of the situation.
In this moment, there’s not a stitch of good in what has occurred.
You can’t think of a single, positive point.
This is when you make a very important choice.
Do you want to react or respond?
A reaction is knee-jerk, immediate, and without thought or judgment.
Now a response is quite different.
It starts with a pause so it’s not instant.
And it’s all about thought, and making a decision that supports what you’re up to.
STOP! Take a breath. Close your eyes.
What’s your intention?
Look for the silver lining.
Every situation has one if you look for it.
Even when something terrible happens, there is always something to learn or gain.
Perhaps you ignored an intuition, only to learn it was accurate.
Now you know you can trust it.
Whenever you have a particular way of something happening locked in your mind, it blocks other possibilities from your awareness.
Taking the stance that this event or situation is actually in your favour opens the door to a range of possibilities you hadn’t considered.
When you ask the question, “How is this for me?” your brain searches for answers.
This quest for answers sends the brain on an extensive search for good stuff.
New ideas rise to the surface.
Instead of going down the rabbit hole by thinking or saying things like “Why does this always happen to me?,” you look in an entirely different direction in search of gold.
Once you’ve found the silver lining is what has already happened.
You’re ready to create what you want.
“What do I want to experience?”
Asking this question gets your creative juices flowing
It stimulates the brain cells in the Cerebrum, where imagination is initiated.
Your brain can’t tell the difference between thought and reality.
Asking yourself a bunch of questions asking why you already have what you what sends your brain to work, seeking answers and devising creative possibilities.
Let’s say that you lost your best customer.
Even though it’s important to get feedback so you don’t repeat any mistakes, digging into what went wrong and why now, will not offer solutions.
But, if you ask yourself, “Why is it that I have new customers knocking on my door every day?” you’ll come up with ideas for customer acquisition you wouldn’t otherwise have thought of.
To sum it all up….
- Remember that all circumstances are transient
- Cultivate affirmative self-talk
- Adopt the use of a negative thought “interrupter
- Choose response over reaction –
- STOP! Take a breath.
- Close your eyes.
- Reconfirm your intention
- Look for the silver lining
- ask yourself questions about what you want to experience.
You’ll be happier, more creative and produce better results.