4 Mental-Energy Suckers (a.k.a. My Personal Struggles)

One thing is for certain… my natural tendency is to spend my time in a perpetual state of worry, concern, and stress. It’s a list of bad habits I’ve struggled with; jumping to conclusions (usually the bad ones), expecting to be let down, wishing I was more like him or her… the list goes on. Each of these impulses haven’t been easy to change, and I still work on them every single day. But change has made all the difference.

What do you need to do ‘less’ of? Is your mental energy being wasted on things that only deter you from moving forward in life?

Are you focusing on the negatives? It’s an easy thing to do, of course. Do you remember when you were a child, when an adult held a blank sheet of paper with the black dot in the middle up in front of your face and ask, “What do you see?” Almost all of us would reply, “I see a black dot.” The adult would further explain that although the black dot was small, we focus on what is tarnishing the blank space on the sheet of paper. Therefore, we zero in on the small difficult and uncomfortable details of life while tending to ignore all of the happy and rewarding moments. Ok, so as cheesy as this little exercise is/was… we do tend to focus on the bad. Focusing on the good things in life isn’t necessarily human nature. You will notice the days your hair isn’t doing it’s ‘do’ quite right, the flat tire, the bad grade… and it will take effort to be thankful. Maybe that first hot cup of coffee really makes your morning, or the kind stranger that opens the door for you. It isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it.

Are you worrying about what others think of you? Here’s the irony: most people are worried about what you think of them. In fact, people spend so much time worrying about what you think that they don’t necessarily think about you that much at all. Not in a negative fashion, anyway. We are self-consumed creatures, jumping from thought-to-thought. Besides, “- people who mind don’t matter and people who matter don’t mind.”

Are you constantly comparing yourself to others? That’s no fun. No one really wins. You’re uniquely you, so define what ‘you’ means.

Are you second-guessing yourself at every turn? You will make mistakes, yes. You may not walk away from every situation without a mishap or two you could have avoided. But in the end, our bumps and scratches give us character. You live, you learn. Trust your gut, trust your head, trust your heart, and trust God. What you get wrong the first time, turn it around to your advantage the second time around. Level up. 🙂

– Jenni


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