A million different thoughts enter our minds every day. Our thoughts dictate what we say, what we do and who we become. Needless to say, it's important we are careful about which thoughts dwell in our minds. Many of us unknowingly set internal, unrealistic expectations, which often cause disappointment and frustration. Here are 7 of these deadly thoughts to avoid.
1. I would be happy now if…
By having this thought we literally limit our happiness. We expect to feel happier if we get our dream job, if a special someone finally calls or if we win a trip to Hawaii. As it turns out, you can't control any of these things. You can only control yourself. No matter what happens or how terrible life may seem, you determine your attitude. Happiness is a choice, solely dependent on you. Life will never be perfect, but you can choose to embrace the good and be happy now.
2. I should be strong enough to handle this by myself
Trials, tragedies and heartache strike each of us. Sometimes life feels unbearable. But you aren't meant to handle it alone. It's okay to feel weak, broken and sad. We all experience the ups and downs of life. The beautiful thing is that we all don't experience the downs at the same time. For that reason, it's okay to turn to others for help, to rely on those who feel strong when you feel weak.
3. Everyone should like me
Has anyone ever said something rude or hurtful to you? Have you ever not clicked with someone? Have you ever been the recipient of a glare or a cold shoulder? Sometimes we let these experiences haunt us. We nag ourselves with, "Why don't they like me?" and, "What did I do wrong?" The reality is not everyone is going to like or understand you. Personalities differ and opinions clash. You can choose to be kind to and accepting of everyone you meet, but stop beating yourself up when others don't offer you the same courtesy.
4. I shouldn't be making these same mistakes
Why do we make the same mistakes over and over? It's probably because they are weaknesses and temptations that take time and effort to overcome. You are not perfect, but every day you can strive to be a little better. Be patient with yourself. Set small goals to help you overcome your weaknesses. Be resilient, but don't add extra weight to your burdens.
Our media-saturated world constantly reminds us to look in the mirror and analyze what we see. Whether it's our skin, hair or waist, there will always be something that doesn't look quite right. Even though it's important to be healthy and to feel confident about your body, you can only control so much of your outward appearance. You were born with specific genes and features. So give yourself a break. Confidence in your daily choices and lifestyle is more beautiful than anything you could do to your body.
6. I should be doing something more meaningful with my life
We're told, "Life is precious," and, "Dream big." But what if your days consist of changing diapers and doing dishes or sitting at a desk studying for a test? Don't be fooled—these seemingly small things matter. There is a time and season for everything. The most meaningful times of your life can be found at any stage and in any location. Everyone's purpose in life is different, so don't compare. Your daily routines and progress are worthwhile. Wanting to improve is great, but don't overlook the wonderful things you do each day.
Many times we expect those who love us to always know what we want, feel and need. They know us better than anyone, so they should be able to read our minds, right? Wrong. Don't be afraid to tell your husband you had a bad day or tell your parents you need their help. Thinking they should automatically know how you feel can destroy your relationships with them, and it will surely drive you crazy. So don't foster unrealistic expectations concerning the people closest to you. Tell them how you feel and what you want from them.
Recognizing these deadly thoughts can save you from unnecessary disappointment and frustration. It takes practice to stop these thoughts from sticking around. Be patient with yourself, and bring greater freedom and peace of mind to your life.
Alyssa graduated with a degree in Middle East Studies & Arabic and continually adds to her list of random life experiences as she faces one adventure after another. With too many hobbies to count she especially loves hip-hop, soccer, and photography.