Advertising
Advertising

7 Negative Thoughts That Stop You From Achieving Your Full Potential

7 Negative Thoughts That Stop You From Achieving Your Full Potential

Do you ever wonder about your life’s purpose? In other words, has this thought ever crossed your mind: “Why am I here? What am I meant to do with my time on earth?” Many people ask themselves this at some point in their lives. For some, it is at the forefront of their minds. For others, it might be a fleeting moment from time to time. But one thing is true: we all wonder if we could be better or do more with our lives.

One of the things I write and speak about is self-improvement. I am passionate about teaching others to become the best version of themselves. But let’s face it – it’s not easy to change. Most people are creatures of habit – myself included. And according to brain science, once you develop habits, the connections in your brain for that habit can get very strong – and thus, difficult to change. But it can be done!

Advertising

Here are 7 common negative thoughts that are stopping you from achieving your full potential:

1. “I’m not good enough.”

Many people suffer from low self-esteem. Let’s face it — we live in a world that helps us breed bad feelings about ourselves. Since our culture values money, power, beauty, and youth (just to name a few), it’s difficult for most people to think that they will ever live up to society’s standards. But everyone has their unique gift to offer the world. I’ve even known ex-drug addicts who have turned their lives around and are now helping others get off of drugs and achieve their dreams. Sometimes a seemingly bad thing can turn into an opportunity.

Advertising

2. “There is too much competition.”

This is one I hear from everyone who wants to start a business or do something different with their career. For example, many people think about blogging for money these days. And yes, there are a lot of bloggers out there! But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be one of the successful ones, because there are many online resources to help you figure out how to do it right. So whether it’s blogging, social media, writing a book, or opening an ice cream stand, there will always be “competition.” The key is to not let it deter you from starting your journey.

3. “It will take too much time/effort.”

Time will pass anyway. Ten years from now, you will still be ten years older than you are today. But that doesn’t mean you should be the same person. Do you want to look back and say, “Darn! If only I had started back then, I wonder where I would be now.” Yes, success takes effort. And yes, it is worth it! So whether you want to go back to school, start a business, lose weight, find/fix your relationships, just do it! People who are self-actualized don’t worry about the time and effort that is needed to succeed. They simply want to be a better person and that’s what they focus on.

Advertising

4.”I don’t even know what my dreams are anymore.”

I don’t care if you’re 100 years old, I’m sure you had dreams at one point in your life. And if your memory is still intact, then you can remember them! What did you want to be when you were a kid? A fire fighter? A singer? A lawyer? A doctor? Whatever it is, you can probably achieve it. New beginnings happen all the time, but they all start with a dream. So even if you really, truly can’t remember your dreams, then think about what you love doing. What makes you happy? Find it – and then do more of it. Following your dreams do not always mean you have to get a new job in the meantime!

5. “I’m too old now.”

You’re never too old for anything! When I was in my Ph.D. program, I had students in my classes who were in their 50s, 60s, and some in their 70s! These people went back to school at that stage in their lives because they decided they wanted to become professors or simply extend their education. I’ve also known people who started new businesses in their later years as well. There’s nothing you can’t do because of your age.

Advertising

6. “It’s impossible.”

Nothing is impossible! Okay, except maybe teleporting yourself to a different galaxy, but even that could be possible someday. I have a friend who used to be over 500 pounds and he lost all his weight naturally and got down to 160! I have another friend who was awaiting a heart transplant, and it looked unlikely that he would get one since he has such a rare blood type. But he did – and now he’s thriving! I’ve known a lot of people who have overcome the odds to become their best self. Nothing is impossible unless you believe it is.

7. “I’ll never be successful.”

If not you, then who? People succeed all the time! Have you ever said to yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that!?!” when you see a new product on the market? Successful people don’t let setbacks stop them.  The movies Star Wars and Rocky were turned down by numerous production companies, but George Lucas and Sylvester Stallone never gave up! If they did, then we wouldn’t have those movies – which happen to be among the most famous of all time.

Anyone is capable of reaching their full potential. You just have to believe it! So erase these negative thoughts right out of your mind, and then set down on the road to being your best self!

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

How to Improve Intimacy in Your Marriage and Rekindle the Passion 10 Tips on How to Do Something You Don’t Want to Do How to Stop Being Absent Minded and Start to Be More Attentive How to Beat Your Fear of Rejection and Embrace Failures 7 Hidden Causes of Fatigue And Steps to Prevent Serious Health Damage 13 Things to Remember When Life Gets Rough

Trending in Communication

1 14 Things That Make You Happy and Enjoy Life More 2 Focus On Yourself, Because Most Of The Time No One Really Cares 3 How to Forgive Yourself and Move Forward for a Happier Life 4 How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide) 5 How to Improve Intimacy in Your Marriage and Rekindle the Passion

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 14, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

Advertising

Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

Advertising

Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

Advertising

When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

Advertising

5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next