Weekend 2: Negative Self-Thoughts/Mindful Choices

Weekend number two, after a fairly exhausting week.

Last weekend was a somewhat action-based drop one, add one. This time, it’s a little more psychological: I will drop negative self-thougths and add mindful choosing.

One of the things that I am aware makes me feel less content is my tendency to undermine my self-efficacy with negative self-thoughts. As far as I can tell, I this mainly because I have high standards for myself (and tend to measure myself against how competent others are) and because I’m aware of those people who don’t know the truth. You know those people, the ones who don’t know that they’re obnoxious or annoying or socially incompetent or that everyone thinks they’re unreliable or smelly… You see, the problem is that they are unaware that they have a problem and need to change – so I could believe I come across as a kind, clever, humourous, skillful person and I wouldn’t know that I was really considered to be selfish, flakey, over-the-top and incompetent! Therefore, I tend to check myself by second-guessing every positive self-thought.

Even though I’ve realised for a while that this is unhealthy, unrealistic and mostly untrue, it was really only last night that it occurred to me that my friends probably wouldn’t be my friends if I was one of those obnoxious people. While I’ve spent my time wondering if people were really enjoying my company and not just being polite, instead I should’ve known that my friends, who are such high quality people, wouldn’t make the effort to spend time with me if my self-perception wasn’t mostly true. And one of my friends just flew all the way from Sweden to vist me – that’s a pretty good indication that she does not secretly find me annoying!

So this weekend I am going to try to drop the negative thoughts. When I have a positive (or even neutral) impression of anything, I am going to accept that my impression is probably the closest to reality. I am not going to let negative thoughts rush in and fill my head, I will not give them power. (At least, that’s the aim.)

I will add mindful choices. We make choices everyday and mine often seem to involve chocolate, television and letting opportunities slip by. Usually, this because I have made decisions based on emotions or hedonism rather than what is actually best for me and will make me feel good in the long run. Making decisions mindfully does not mean I disregard emotions or hedonism in favour of cold logic. Merely, it means that I want to make decisions about my actions with more thought about what is really good for me, what outcome I desire ultimately, and what emotional or hedonic factors may be motivating me. It doesn’t mean that I can’t watch television, but it will hopefully mean that I won’t spend ages watching things I barely care about just to kill a few hours when I can’t be bothered doing something else.

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About Zaiene

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life I am inspired by so many different ideals of how to live a happy, fulfilled and productive life but struggle to get around to it. Large scale changes are intimidating and difficult to sustain, so this is my bite-sized life experiment. Each week*, I will find one thing in my life to drop and one thing to add. I will try to drop things that have a negative, unhealthy or over-absorbing effect on my life. I will try to add things that will have a positive, healthy, empowering or useful effect on my life. The experiment is to see whether I can cope with these changes and whether they really do improve my life. *(I began it as each weekend, as a less intimidating challenge. After about ten months, I felt that I wanted whole-week - well, Monday-to-Friday - challenges.)
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One Response to Weekend 2: Negative Self-Thoughts/Mindful Choices

  1. I can so relate to the yucky self-talk that has nothing to do with reality. I often think that others find me ugly and socially inept. When I backtrack to what I was thinking/feeling right before the mental hate-mail arrived…I was verging on a painful emotion. Oddly, the painful self-talk is trying to help me. It’s a distraction from pain. I still wish it would stop, though.

    Thanks for helping us to know we’re not alone!

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