Day 17- Lets Stop “shoulding” on Ourselves

It’s amazing how far we can grow and yet feel like we are just starting out. In working with thousands of people over the years, I have come to understand that every person, no matter how successful, wealthy, or beautiful they are will struggle with feelings of being overwhelmed at some point in their life.  Even self-help classes or books don’t seem to provide immunity! Whether it’s a difficult life scenario placed on us or a simple task that we’ve taken on ourselves matters little when we feel overloaded.

I like Sharon’s reminder that believing we can stop thoughts entirely is like saying that we will never get sick again. In fact, it’s almost like the mear thought will trigger our next cold! Though we are unlikely to be able to completely stop our negative or unhelpful thoughts we can work at identifying unhelpful thinking patterns, catching the ones that run rampant, and shifting to a new cognitive set that better serves us. I welcome you to join me as I challenge myself today to note thoughts behind emotions and possible “thinking errors” they represent. Here are my favorite ones to help you get to the root of struggle.

“All or None thinking,” – Seeing things in black and white like, “Well this day is shot!” “I will never write a single cohesive sentence today!”

“Catastrophizing”  – Making a mountain out of a molehill.  “I can’t write under these circumstances” “I’ll never meet my deadline” “someone else is going to write my book” “I’ll never get published” “I’ll never have a book” etc.

The “Shoulds”- If you’re telling yourself what you need to do, must do, ought to do, chances are there is a SHOULD statement under there! I should have worked this weekend. I should have known better than to start this project. I should have X, Y, Y and on and on.  STOP “SHOULDING” on yourself!

The mind is never satisfied as it has become accustomed to being fed by these thought patterns. Even after we succeed and have a publisher or get published the thoughts move to Ill never get this written; the publisher will wish they hadn’t accepted my book; Nobody will read my book; My book will be on the clearance rack. You get the point.

Who is with me in this challenge? Let’s remember- It is a practice, not a perfect! I welcome you to try this 5-minute meditation on thoughts