We all have times when we feel overwhelmed by life. That’s just a part of the ride. Yet some of us are quite frankly overwhelming ourselves. In short, we simply talk ourselves into being overwhelmed.
Singles are especially prone to this effect. How exactly are we overwhelming ourselves? We aren’t watching our self-talk, and so when we get down, we tend to stay down because we keep reminding ourselves how horrible our lives are and even how horrible we ourselves are.
We all tend to believe those messages that we receive repeatedly. That’s the way we are wired as human beings. In fact, we will tend to accept a false message as true if the lie is repeated often enough. Many of us singles wallow in the mire so much that we come to believe the lies we tell ourselves. For example,
“It’s all his/her fault.”
“If only I weren’t so imperfect, I’d be better off.”
“Who would want someone like me?”
Recognize any of these? Maybe you could add to the list. Regardless, I think you get the point. If you constantly tell yourself that you are in the mire, then you will think yourself there whether you are there in reality or not. And the reality is that most of us just aren’t there, no matter what hardship or setback we have experienced.
If you want to rise above your challenges, you need to surround yourself with positive reinforcement. That includes everything in your life, from media to friends and family and especially yourself. Granted some influences you will not be able to remove from your life, like a coworker that just cuts across your grain. But you can provide plenty more positive influences to drown out the negative.
Your best source of positive reinforcement
And guess what your best source of positive reinforcement is? You are. You can make conscious choices to give yourself messages of encouragement and faith that keep your gaze focused on the future and the brighter tomorrow that your Heavenly Father wants you to have.
And you can start today. Reciting scriptures or singing hymns are great options, but they are not your only ones. You can craft your own mantra that you repeat to yourself constantly throughout the day.
Make your own mantra
The best mantra to select is one that addresses your own unique challenge. Then when the challenge rears its ugly head, you can bash it back into place. Let’s use the examples of deprecating self-talk I offered earlier to illustrate how this works.
Instead of saying, “It’s all his/her fault,” you could instead own your life. Accept responsibility for the contribution you made to your failure and work on improving yourself so that you’ll do better next time. Then when reminders of your previous failure come knocking, just beat them back with confident rebuttals based on your actions for moving forward.
Instead of saying, “If only I weren’t so imperfect, I’d be better off,” remind yourself of your strengths and talents — the things that you do well. Remember, your focus determines your reality. So focus on what you have instead of on what you lack. Then your reality will be one of abundance rather than scarcity.
Instead of saying, “I’m worthless,” remind yourself of your divine heritage as a child of God and your commitment to follow the plan He has created for you.
Instead of saying, “Who would want someone like me?” ask yourself instead “Who wouldn’t want someone like me?” Then follow up by reciting to yourself the characteristics that make you a great choice.
Get out of your way
In many ways we are our own worst obstacle. If only we could get out of our own way.
The good news is that we can! It starts by making conscious choices to step outside ourselves so that we can recognize the messages we give ourselves, evaluate those messages, and then make changes where needed. You can be your own best champion. Just make sure that the cheer you give yourself is correct, consistent, and constant.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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