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10 Common Toxic Thoughts That Are Ruining People’s Lives (But They’re Unaware Of It)

10 Common Toxic Thoughts That Are Ruining People’s Lives (But They’re Unaware Of It)

Life is a challenge. Whatever way you may look at it, there will always be obstacles that are meant to make you a stronger and better person.

In the midst of all these obstacles, it is incredibly easy to go down a road of self-pity — where you truly believe that the world is against you. And, because so many people are in “self-pity” mode, it might seem like the acceptable way of living.

Sadly, self-pity mode ruins people’s lives. When you are in that mode, you become self-destructive because your headspace is always filled with negative thoughts that you think are the norm. Naturally, because you think it’s the norm, you are seldom aware that you are ruining your life.

In 2007, my life changed forever when I understood the power of thoughts – positive or negative. In fact, my life changed so much that I started a company called Wealthy Mindset® in 2009. The pay-off line for the company was “Wealth begins with your Mindset.”

I’ve gone on to work with hundreds of people through Wealthy Mindset® and RunForWealth, a blog I use to publish content on how you can “Run A Fulfillng Life Race.”

As a result, I have studied and experienced, personally and in others, the impacts of positive and negative thoughts.

In this post, I hope I can share common negative thoughts that can potentially ruin your life. I am also going to share some solutions that will help you replace negative thinking so you can start re-shaping the direction of your thoughts.

1. “Life is unfair” makes you a victim

Nobody ever promised us a roller-coaster in life. And yet, every time life deals us a temporary blow, we are quick to express how unfair life is.

Life is very fair, provided you shift paradigms completely.

Most of the blows you will receive in life are meant to help you reach your destiny. Use them to be the best you can be.

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Non-toxic thought and action: Life is fair and I must use the obstacles in life to learn and grow.

2. “It’s everyone else’s fault” makes you irresponsible

Ever come across people who are never at fault?

All the negative vibes and occurrences in their lives are the result of everyone else. To them, shifting responsibility is the easiest option. If it isn’t their partner or spouse, it’s the boss. If it isn’t the boss, it’s the friends. If it isn’t the friends, it’s the colleague or the neighbor.

Non-toxic thought and action: I need to take full responsibility for all my actions and outcomes in life.

3. “I grew up underprivileged” prevents you from being a futuristic thinker

We will never start on the same base. And that does not mean life is unfair.

Just because someone has a better starting base in life doesn’t mean they don’t have problems and challenges that come with the “advantage.”

The reality is that we all have obstacles to overcome – regardless of where we start in life. Quite frankly, where you start is insignificant. Your life journey and where you end up is what counts.

Non-toxic thought and action: Life is a privilege and I will navigate through my obstacles regardless of where I start.

4. “Failing equates to failure” limits your breakthroughs

You will fail in life. Be it at school, work, or in business – you will attempt to do certain things and they will fail.

Sadly, we don’t know what our ration of failing is. It would be pretty cool if we did. But, we don’t, and that’s the reality of the matter.

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Regardless of your failing, you need to learn from you mistakes and keep trying. Tough as it may be, at times, this means you need to abandon a particular career, project, or business venture completely and try something new.

Ultimately, you need to remember that you only become a “failure” when you stop trying. Failing comes with the territory to success.

Non-toxic thought and action: I will learn from my mistakes and failures but I will never stop trying.

5. “Live life like there’s no tomorrow” destroys you

As cool as this may sound, it’s a ticket to self-destruction. No one wants to live a boring life. But to live like there’s no tomorrow is just plain stupid.

Your today was determined by what you did many months and years ago. Your future (tomorrow) will be determined by your actions today.

Non-toxic thought and action: I will live responsibly every day because my future is determined by my current lifestyle.

6. “I don’t have the right contacts” limits self-investment

Knowing the right people in the right places is like gold.

What we often neglect to appreciate is that gold goes through an entire refinery process of heat and pressure before it yields it’s optimum value.

Likewise, your gifts, skills, talents, integrity, and character need to go through a rigorous process of tests in life before you can rely on contacts.

Contacts and knowing people in the right places means nothing if you can’t add value to people’s lives through your skills and talents. Equally important, your contacts mean nothing if you lack integrity or character.

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Refine all the above and contacts will take you to places you never dreamt of.

Non-toxic thought and action: I will invest in myself first and refine my skills, gifts, talents, integrity, and character and the right contacts will help me get to higher heights.

7. “If I could win the lottery one day…” creates an overnight success fallacy

I know you are probably asking: “how on earth can this be a negative thought?”

The thing about gambling, and the lottery in particular, is that it plants a seed of “overnight success.” There is no such thing as “overnight success.” It takes many years to succeed. Life is a process of inputs and outputs.

Sadly, studies have also shown that most people who win the lottery end up in a worse-off situation. Why? Because they have not learned the necessary skills required to keep what they have won.

Non-toxic thought and action: I must work hard and smart and life will reward me appropriately and abundantly.

8. “People are gossiping about me” negatively impacts your focus

It is quite sad to see how many people walk around paranoid about who is having conversations about them. As a result, they have low self-esteem. They second-guess themselves and spend most of their energy “watching their backs” for “enemies” or potential moves of “sabotage.”

Here is the crux: people will always talk, whether you do good or bad. Forget about what people are saying behind your back and focus on doing you.

Non-toxic thought and action: I must focus on living my life fruitfully, regardless of what people say behind my back.

9. “I am not good enough” blurs our gifts, talents, and skills

We all have gifts, talents, and skills. Our responsibility is to identify those and continuously work on improving them so we can add value to other people’s lives.

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For anyone to say “I am not good enough” is complete hogwash. The primary problem is that many people spend a lot of energy trying to achieve in areas they are not gifted or talented in. We have become so competitive that we often neglect to stay in our lanes.

Non-toxic thought and action: I must identify my skills and talents and stay in my lane of destiny.

10. “It’s impossible” prevents us achieving extraordinary goals

Nelson Mandela, an anti-apartheid revolutionary, once said: “It always seems impossible until it is done.”

Achieving great success is not about “pie in the sky” hype. It takes some goal-setting, systematic hard and smart work, and then having the faith required to allow your ordinary efforts and inputs to become extraordinary achievements.

Non-toxic thought and action: I will set life goals and develop the faith required to make my hard and smart work become extraordinary success.

In conclusion, most of society is stuck in “toxic mode.” As a result, most toxic thinking is deemed to be normal.

I really hope that this article will help you identify subtle toxic thoughts that can ruin your life. More importantly, I hope the suggested “non-toxic thoughts” can help you escape that mode so you achieve abundance and success in life.

Featured photo credit: Ryan McGuire via imcreator.com

More by this author

Peteni Kuzwayo

Peteni is the founder of Run For Wealth. He shares about entrepreneurship and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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