I don’t know what it is but I used to loveeee focusing on the negative and on things that don’t matter. Even though I’m pretty optimistic now I don’t think that was my natural state. I used to loveeee to complain. About so. Many. things. I also used to view myself as what I like to call the "world police." What I mean by that is that I knew what was right and just in the world and it was my job and personal responsibility to dwell on the things others were doing wrong. I wouldn’t tell them what they were doing wrong, of course, because after all sometimes they were total strangers but my job as world police was to know what they were doing wrong (based on what I deemed to be right) and then spend the next 30 minutes to an hour thinking about how my way would have been better. And by thinking about it I was making the world a better place...in my mind. I took this imaginary job very seriously and hopefully you can see just how ridiculous and time wasting this was.
Thankfully I realized two things that have totally transformed my life and made me happier and more productive so I want to share them with you. The first thing is kind of a hard realization and it may be something that you don’t want to hear. Especially right now... But I’m going to have the courage to say the uncomfortable thing because I think it’s important.
The first thing I learned is that your life is a reflection of you and your choices. If you are complaining about your life then that’s a pretty good indicator that you may be doing something wrong. But the good news is you contain the power to change that thing. So if you find yourself complaining about money and focusing on how life isn’t fair and how you don’t have enough money for the things you desire, what if you focused on what you could do differently to make more money. Can you learn a new skill? Can you help more people? These are all things that are in your control. If you find yourself complaining about a coworker or roommate a lot, spend some time thinking about why these things bother you so much. Maybe you’re mentally exhausted and so you’re just more agitated in general - I’ve been there. Meditation and rest are both great options for mental exhaustion. Maybe you’re jealous of that person in some way because they seemingly have things easier or whatever reason in which case, thinking about what you’re grateful for is a great solution. Maybe it’s just a conversation that you need to have with them about how what they are doing is bothering you. Again, all of these things are in your control. They take honest conversations with yourself and you definitely have to let go of your ego to understand the problem may not be everyone else but it may be you. They also take action. Your mindset is not just automatically going to shift from a negative one to a positive one. It’s an everyday, ongoing thing but by having the awareness of it you’ll be able to check yourself before you go down that dark path of negativity and blame.
The second thing I’ve learned is that we only have so much mental energy to use every single day. Think of it like a gas tank. You only have so much gas in your tank and it doesn’t matter which direction you go, either way you’re burning gas. So if you are using it focusing on negative things or how you’re not where you want to be, you are wasting that energy and preventing yourself from getting closer to your goals. Your focus and your energy are so precious. They will get you where you want to go but you get what you focus on so what are you focusing on?
Are you focusing on where you want to go and what you can do to be a better version of yourself or are you focusing on how you are a victim to your circumstance and how others are upsetting you? You are a powerful person. Don’t give up that power by focusing on the wrong things. Take inventory. Are there changes that you can make to live a happier and more focused life? Only you have the answers within you so don’t take that for granted. You got this!
If you enjoyed this post and would like more inspiration and information on how to live your best life, check out my podcast Show Up to Go Up available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Tunein.
IG @stephygthatsme and @showuptogoup