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10 Lies You Tell Yourself That Stop You From Making Life Changes

10 Lies You Tell Yourself That Stop You From Making Life Changes

You know those times in life when you really want to make a big change, but you just can’t seem to stick to it? You want to lose weight, but each time you think about exercising, you get distracted. You need to start studying, but you keep raiding the fridge instead. You can’t wait to go on your next holiday, but you keep spending your money on shoes, so there’s never enough to get your plane ticket.

What is the evil little monster stopping you from reaching your goals? Well, you are. That is, the repetitive thoughts you’ve allowed to cross your mind over and over, have now taken control of every new scenario. These persistent and dangerous thoughts don’t want to be ignored, left out in the cold, or even banished. They keep coming back! Being trapped in the comfort zone of repetitive thoughts is a fast track to never reaching another goal again.

Here are 10 common lies your mind might be telling you. Learn to recognize them so you can weed them out and plant new thoughts, and make wonderful life changes.

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1. It’s Too Hard

This is probably the most common and most annoying lie we tell ourselves. It prevents us from even trying to conquer a goal. ‘It’s too hard’ simply means we don’t have any faith in ourselves to at least give it a go. At the end of the day, what’s the point of that? Even if you fail, when you give something a go you increase your confidence in actually giving things a go. And you’ll do it again.

2. I Don’t Have The Skills/Time/Money/Talent

When we want to make a change, we start looking around at our options, and the other people who’ve already succeeded at it. The problem is, our minds tend to jump on all the reasons why they’ve succeeded, just to tell us why we can’t do the same. We all have different skills and talents that work in different ways to help us succeed in life changes, so what worked for someone else may not work for you, and vice versa. Rather than use someone’s success to excuse your possible failure, put your mind to good use by using it to leap over the obstacles, rather than head butting them.

3. The Time Isn’t Right

Our minds, when trying to desperately hang on to comfort and safety, are very good at saying, “When I have this much money, I’ll change my diet,” or “When I move to a better location, I’ll start a new exercise program.” The point is, the only time to ever start anything is right now. Right this second — not tomorrow, not next week, and certainly not when you win the lotto.

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4. I Feel Too Sorry For Myself

When we feel sorry for ourselves, our minds love to run away with all the things we’re then apparently allowed to do, or not do. For example, “I had a bad day at work,” means you get to drink a bottle of wine instead of exercising, to comfort yourself and your frazzled mind. The thing is, if you change your thoughts on what gives you comfort, you can implement healthy life changes. In this case, a bottle of wine isn’t necessary to give you comfort, you’ve just thought it so often that your mind isn’t going to release the idea. Start thinking about a relaxing walk, a long hot bath, and a nourishing meal instead.

5. I’ve Never Done It Before

This may be a true statement; however, it shouldn’t be the reason you avoid making life changes. If you’ve never done it before, the only thing that’s going to happen when you do it is you’ll learn how to do it! See how ridiculous that particular lie is (as a way of getting out of beneficial change)?

6. There’s Always Tomorrow

Quite frankly, no, there isn’t always tomorrow. Not because something bad might happen, but because there’s only ever today. If you want to make a life change that’s going to benefit you, what’s the point of waiting for tomorrow? Dive in, take action, and get going right now on the path towards life change before you end up thinking that there’s always tomorrow — every single day.

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7. I’ll Only Do It One More Time

If we said this statement only once, it wouldn’t be a problem. However, the mere fact that you’re telling yourself that you’ll only do something (non-beneficial) one more time, means you probably shouldn’t be doing it at all. Once you make a habit of this, it’s harder and harder to move beyond “one more time” to never again. How about adjusting that statement to “never again” instead.

8. I Can’t Be Bothered

This is understandable for many reasons. Firstly, if we can’t be bothered to make a change in the first place, we’re not going to find the motivation to do it anyway. Everything depends on how much you really want to do something. Your desire to create change needs to outweigh the lies your mind tells you in order to keep you in a state of not bothering. The way to break through this one is to simply deal with feeling unmotivated and push through it anyway. Keep pushing, even if it means taking just one, tiny step towards you goal.

9. I Need Time Off

Yes, you do need time off. However, if you’re following a cherished dream and you allow yourself to be tugged into this particular lie, you’ll start creating a pattern that will eventually stop the momentum you’ve gathered to reach your goal. Take time off, but schedule it to work with the steps you’re taking to fulfil your dreams, rather than using it as an excuse not to.

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10. I Don’t Care Anymore

In rare cases, this lie might be true. Most times; however, it’s a lie you’re telling yourself because the challenges are huge, the work is hard, or you haven’t seen results yet. Persistence and consistency are the keys to making life changes work.

You will see results if you keep going. Keep in mind that the only reason you’re on the path to life change is because you did care — you cared very much. If you practice awareness of these negative thoughts (or weeds) in your mind that push you off track, you’ll be on your way to planting new ones that will ensure you flourish and grow.

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Nicole Leigh West

Travel and Lifestyle Writer, Choreographer, Reiki Practitioner

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

“Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

1. Make a Gratitude List

In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

2. Write in a Journal

Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

3. Meditate

Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

4. Do Child’s Pose

Yoga Outlet says:

“Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

     

    Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

    5. Try Positive Self-Talk

    Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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    When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

    Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

    When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

    When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

    Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

    6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

    Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

    You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

    It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

    Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

    If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

    7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

    “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

    If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

    You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

    When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

    If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

    Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

    Final Thoughts

    If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

    Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

    You can invest in yourself via self-care.

    You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

    More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

    Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

    Reference

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