We all engage in negative self-talk, but in my experience, this has become way more prominent during my TSW and divorce. I’m cognizant that, even though now I have stable self-confidence again, I’ve been catching myself making a lot of mental “blanket statements” that can be really defeatist and depressing. The good thing is that I’ve started recognizing them right away before they become my inner reality. And there’s really no reason for my mind to keep making these statements. If we take the real biggies of TSW and divorce out of the equation, life is good. I have a lot of people that love and care about me, I have my health, I have a bright future ahead, and I have the faith in God that I have to be destined for some pretty amazing things.
It dawned on me last night that some of these generalizations running through my mind begin with “No one”, and if I just replace that “No one” with “Someone”, the statement becomes a whole lot more affirming and hopeful. It’s no coincidence that statements starting with “No one” can start to make you FEEL like you’re nobody, but statements starting with “Someone” serve to remind that yes, you ARE someone – someone unique and talented and not like anyone else.
Let’s look at some of these types of extreme statements and see how much better they sound when I turn these “No ones” into “Someones”.
“No one understands what I’m going through.” –> “SOMEONE understands what I’m going through.”
“No one grasps that my divorce was completely unfair and not my fault.” –> “SOMEONE grasps that my divorce was completely unfair and not my fault.”
“No one is left in the world that is not evil, but truly kind and loving.” –> “SOMEONE is left in the world that is not evil, but truly kind and loving.”
“No one will think I’m attractive and want to be in a relationship.” –> “SOMEONE will think I’m attractive and want to be in a relationship.”
“No one will fall in love with me again.” –> “SOMEONE will fall in love with me again.”
I encountered the principle recently that the reality we make for ourselves doesn’t depend on the facts, but how we view them and react to them. For example, if you’re going through TSW or a breakup or a move to a new place, or some other kind of life change where you’re forced to spend a lot of time alone – this is a fact. You are spending time alone. But is this a gift or a curse? You can view this as “Everyone else has a ‘normal’ life, I’m all alone and this is awful.” Or you can view it as, “Here I am alone, what a great opportunity to really take some much-needed time for my own hobbies and interests.” One viewpoint is clearly going to emerge with a positive view on their reality!
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.” – Charles R. Swindoll