Sometimes, feelings of inadequacy can seem as though they’ve found a loudspeaker in the back of our minds. Our painful emotions can lead us down unfortunate “thought avenues,” convincing us of all kinds of nonsense that eventually deplete our confidence levels. When negative thoughts get the best of us, there are some subtle reactions we can master in order to curb the pain inflicted by those thoughts. This is something that the experts at ASAP know all too well.
Let’s say that you’ve just completed a very important project and you did not feel confident about your work. You may know in your heart that you did the best you could, and you may even intentionally think positive thoughts to calm yourself. If you fail to address your feelings of inadequacy, the emotions remain powerful. You may accidentally believe that the work you did was poor quality. You may find yourself thinking, “I bet all of my work is bad, and I just don’t realize it.”
You may also think…
These thoughts can be sneaky. When they come, they don’t seem irrational, and you likely don’t intend to believe them. However, the danger is that you may be more likely to believe the thoughts if you do not intentionally label them as unwelcome. You have to do this in real-time as they enter your mind. If you put it off, you may forget, leaving them floating in your subconscious.
Leaving these things unaddressed for long periods of time can do lasting damage to your self-image. It’s incredibly useful to learn exactly how to reframe your negative thoughts as they happen. Recognizing your automatic negative thoughts involves mindfulness–you must stay in tune with yourself in order to catch the thoughts you want to evict.
When people are cruel to us, we remember it. There is no amount of understanding or forgiveness that wipes the memories of pain from our DNA. Because of this, we have to stay in tune with our emotions. As human beings, we are emotional creatures. Emotional intelligence is extremely important for regulating our thought patterns, as our thoughts can sometimes bring us to states of distress.
If you find yourself thinking, “No one likes the work that I do,” take a moment to notice what feelings are associated with the thought. When you shift your focus to genuine introspection, you have more power to train yourself to react differently. This puts the ball back in your court, as opposed to the unconscious experience of impulsive thoughts. You can intentionally think to yourself, “I am good enough for me, and I will continue to work to reach my goals.” This reaction alone can help immensely to clear your mind of negativity.
If the thought is “No one likes me,” continue to identify places in the past where you have felt unliked or unappreciated. This helps you to interpret what the thoughts are stemming from. Begin to seek an understanding of the source of the emotion, and do so without judging yourself for simply having it. It can be a powerful method of reframing these things, especially in the event that your negative thoughts are impacting your life.