Negative Thoughts Are Holding You BackDec 29, 2021
I wanted to write about the power of positive thinking. I wanted to tell you that having good thoughts can serve you. I wanted to start by quoting Roald Dahl: "If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely." But it didn't feel authentic. The cynic in me won. It didn't feel right because most of my life has been fraught with negative thinking and filled with limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are the thoughts that hold you back. The thoughts that keep you from achieving your hopes and dreams. For example:
--I'm not smart enough.
--I'm not good enough.
--I don't have the knowledge, ability, or strength to do that.
The interesting thing about negative thinking is how natural and engrained it becomes in all of us. Finding a negative thought is almost too easy. And negative thinking has a knack for compounding. You end up on the hamster wheel of negative thoughts, spinning out of control and never really getting anywhere.
A couple of years ago, I began my personal finance journey. I, like many of you, had gotten myself entangled with an infamous mutual insurance company. I thought I had a financial advisor. To my great dismay, it turned out that I had a very good salesperson. My lack of personal finance knowledge had been exploited, and I was left feeling hopeless. I thought: I can't do this. I'll never sort of these things out. I have no idea where to start. This is too hard. I don't have time for this. I'm too busy. None of these thoughts were helpful. None of them helped me to sort out the situation.
Luckily, I have amazing friends. One friend, in particular, helped me to see what was going on with the insurance salesman. When I tried to defend what was going on, she didn't shame me or point out all of the mistakes I had made. She gently offered a life raft so that I could start my journey out of the shark-infested waters. She was my coach before I understood the term.
Once I took the first steps on dry land, I realized I could figure out personal finance. I'm a doctor, for goodness sake. If I can get through medical training, I can do pretty much anything. I began reading, listening, and implementing changes. What once felt daunting soon became effortless. I started to enjoy it. I went from knowing nothing about personal finance to becoming someone whose opinion on personal finance was valued by friends and colleagues. The truth was simple: I always had the ability to learn personal finance. The problem was that my negative thinking had kept me from ever even trying. I had told myself so many times that I was incapable of doing it, that it became my reality. I never allowed myself to see my full potential. Instead, I let my negative thinking get the best of me.
Negative thinking is everywhere. It appears in thoughts about ourselves and others. It comes in the form of judgment and self-judgment. It shows itself in putdowns and idle gossip. It prevents us from seeing our value and self-worth. For physicians, it keeps us disempowered and believing that we are just cogs in the healthcare machine. We can choose to believe that we are stuck. We can think that we are incapable of change. We can assume that all we have the power to do is put our heads down and trudge through our days. But, those thoughts don't serve us. Those beliefs don't empower us. And thinking this way doesn't promote the one thing we were all put on this earth to do: Help others.
The great news is that thoughts are optional. By observing how negative thinking shows up in our lives, we can begin to see how we are limiting ourselves. And once we can break down those barriers that keep us from our full potential, the sky is the limit! Don't get me wrong, experiencing these changes firsthand is incredible. But, the most amazing part of managing your negative thinking is how it affects everyone around you. The ripple effects can be seen benefiting your family, friends, and patients. This, my friends, is why we chose a career in medicine. Yes. It is true. I am a cynic at heart. But, I'm also a sucker for a happy ending.
So, how does negative thinking show up in your life? Can you imagine a day where you feel empowered and in control? It truly is possible. You are absolutely capable. Want to find out more? Schedule a complimentary discovery session to see if physician coaching might be right for you.
PS. I get a lot of inspiration from music lyrics. Many people use inspiring quotes (and I may too), but music lyrics really speak to me. I hope you find inspiration in the lyrics too.
P!NK - Don't Let Me Get Me
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