Changing thought patterns
I’ve been working on this for years, how to change the negative tapes in my head that say:
I’ll never amount to anything.
If you’re so smart, why aren’t you more ___________
What the fuck are you doing with your life?
I can’t do anything right.
I’m too disorganized to do anything the “right” way.
No one likes me.
And on and on and on and on.
I know that these thought patterns are destructive, and they only feed depression.
I know the origin of most of them; they have the same voice in my head.
I used to think it was completely programming I had as a child, but now I’m not so sure. Because C grew up with a LOT of positive reinforcement. I never said those things to her. And yet, somewhere around age 14/15, these started coming out of her mouth – her own internal programming brought these same words up, including body/beauty image issues.
Maybe there is a biological component to these thinking patterns.
But can we change them?
M recently accused me of being an optimist, which is pretty funny if you’ve only known me in the last ten years, but he knew me long ago, when I was very optimistic about everything.
I did ask my friend sync if he thought I was an optimist. His response:
You are more so than you think.
You generally do think you can accomplish various things, although when push comes to shove you often need to be pushed and shoved.
You can make it RIGHT UP to an important point, then you kinda freak out about it and try to talk yourself into thinking you can’t do it.
I’ve been running that around in my mind for the last week or so, since the conversation. And he’s right.
I still can’t believe that I totally choked on the finish line of my credential.
|I blurred out my name, but there it is, framed and hung on the wall.
|After taking 7 years to finish my B.A., after an intense year of working and tutoring while taking grad school classes, after a horrendous semester of student teaching, including surgery in the middle of it (and only missing 4 days of teaching for it), I choked on the finish line. The list of what I had to do to complete the process was ONE freaking paper (and I had until June to do it), two of these stupid things called Teaching Performance Assessments (and the groundwork is all done), a CPR class (I used to teach it, for fuck’s sake).
Everything else was done.
I was only doing about 5 hours of contract work a week, and a little tutoring between January and June.
I had time to work on it.
But I didn’t.
Self-sabotage at its best. I seem to be an expert in that.
I could have been actually teaching this year, instead of worried about how I’m going to pay the bills now that unemployment has run its course.
But I have been making a conscious effort to work on changing thought patterns ever since J called last May.
Another imaginary intermaweb friend, Monday’s Child, posted on my recent happiness post about her step-mother’s philosophy:
Happiness is a decision.
She taught me that happiness isn’t something that is *caused* by anything. It’s a deliberate decision you make, moment by moment if necessary.
Which falls right in line with a wallpaper image I got from Goddess Leonie (yeah, I know I’m talking about her a lot – I get fixated on things, ok?)
At first, this was the only one I downloaded, but now I have all of them, plus a few pictures I thought were beautiful, and a couple of random things, like this mandala I colored a long time ago.
They rotate as my desktop background every 15 minutes.
Last year at this time, if the computer was on, I would have always had a browser open and would not even see my wallpaper. But the longer the “Joy is an Option” poster was up, the more I closed the browser and just left the computer on. I usually set the laptop up on a shelf right across from my comfy chair [“nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”] and I now leave it open so when I glance over I see an inspiring message or just a pretty picture.
I really think that the Joy poster is at least partly responsible for finally flipping my mood around.
So, I am really getting into the affirmations this year. And I’ve even decided to go ahead and do a Vision Board.
I’ve never actually done one before. I understand the psychology of it – it’s not really magick, per se
, but it keeps certain things happening in your head to help you recognize and bring about your goals. I guess I just thought I was . . . above? needing something like that.
I bought this pretty (and cheap) poster board with clouds on it, and I’m ready to get started. . .
As an aside – What sparked this post was a conversation on Facebook. I wanted to talk about how another of my internet friends today reposted one of my “inspirational” reposts on Facebook. When one of his friends said, “I did not expect this from you,” his response was that he was trying to make changes in his life, to wit, to become “less of a dick.” He also said, “I cannot explain how much better my attitude is about everything after just a few months of reprogramming.” If RJ can change his attitude about things, with a little “reprogramming,” maybe I can, too?