Unhelpful Thinking Styles

Lately I keep catching myself thinking about some unpleasant things from the past (I am sure we all have them). The other day I objectively looked at it and realised that my thoughts were 40 years in the past! I keep reminding myself to look forward and not backwards. Even better if I can spend my time in the present moment.

Last Semester I ran a course for U3A called Retired:Now What? As part of that course we looked at unhelpful thinking styles by looking at and thinking about a resource I found online. Click HERE for a link to the site and for more information.

I identified that recently I am personalising anything and everything and thinking it is my fault. I sometimes joke to friends about the extremes I take this to –  e.g. conflict in the Middle East!

The point is that I have identified this recent pattern and can be on the alert when these unhelpful thoughts invade my thinking and choose to think differently!

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Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

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There is so much pressure for us to get involved in stuff. I find it all the time. I think it is about time I accepted that I like my life the way it is!

I am surrounded by people who are always off on holidays. Normal conversation involves talking about where you have been and where you are going next. I feel a bit inadequate not being able to contribute.

I am not into sport either – or the theatre. I am happy to stay home and watch some good programs on Netflix, read good novels and the like.

Perhaps it is in part due to be an introvert. I can spend hours researching obscure topics of interest.

So I think in future I will remind myself it is okay to have a small life – as long as I am happy with it the way it is. No problem with other people having busy lives if that is what makes them happy!

 

Life’s surprises are not always welcome

As I look back over my life there are probably a dozen incidents or more that were a significant blow to my equilibrium. The sort that makes everything else seem petty and unimportant.

I am sure that we all experience these things from time to time. My first experience I remember was when my school friend’s father died. He worked at our school and was very popular with all the kids. It was my first encounter with death and the aftermath.

I have since experienced marriage break-ups, sickness and deaths in the family, tragedies such as a five-year old neighbour’s child drowning, losing my brother and sister-in-law too soon …

I am not unique – similar things are happening every day to people around us. When I am in my ‘happy space’ I may not even be aware of others’ suffering.

I don’t know what I am trying to say today – just that life can be tough at times – we need to love and care for each other.

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The inner critic – an interesting twist

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No doubt you will know what I mean when I talk about my inner critic. It is that ever present voice in my head that tells me I should …

  • do better
  • say or not say something
  • lose weight and exercise more
  • work harder
  • achieve more
  • be happier
  • help others more
  • and so forth

I am aware of my inner critic some of the time and at other times it has full rein.

This is where Donal Trump plays a role! I dreamt last night that I was working for him and no matter what I did it wasn’t good enough. I was nearly fired every time I encoutered him in my daily work. When I reflected on my dream this morning I interpreted it to mean that my inner critic has a lot of Mr Trump’s characteristics. I am basing this on his reality TV show The Apprentice.

So now I will have no hesitation in naming this inner critic, Donald, and showing him the door and saying ” You are fired!”

 

 

 

Self worth or Ego?

I was at a meeting the other day and I went along with the attitude of wanting to get involved. I was taken aback by the chair of the meeting – he couldn’t seem to notice I was there. I have grappled with this and wondered whether I was having an issue with my ego (wanting to be noticed etc) and I felt quite annoyed.

I offered to take on a significant and time-consuming role for the group (setting up and administering a new Facebook Group) but I still felt invisible to our group leader. I found the image below and it was a good reminder to me that my ability doesn’t depend on someone else being able to see it.

Self Worth

Confidence booster

I developed the tool below to help me in times when I doubt myself.

I think of the word confidence and go through each letter at a time.

Sometimes I can’t remember my original choice of words and then I come up with new ones that reinforce positive thoughts in my mind.

CONFIDENCE IS MADE UP OF MANY SMALLER PARTS

C is for capable. You have the basic knowledge and experience to do the task at hand.

O is for often. When you do something often you become more confident in your ability.

N is for now. It helps if you focus on the task at hand, now, and not try to do tomorrow’s work today.

F is for follow. It may mean following a recipe, some guidance, a style manual, or the instructions in a manual.

I is for interest. If you have a genuine interest in what you are doing, you will feel more confident.

D is for determination. If you aspire to do well – chances are good that you will succeed.

E is for elements. If you understand the basic elements of the task, you can then tackle them one by one until the task is completed.

N is for new. Be always be open to learning something new. It is OK to acknowledge you haven’t done something before, however, be willing to learn new things.

C is for cheerful. If you can approach whatever you are doing with a cheerful attitude, your chances of success are greater.

E is for effort. You need to put in some effort and do the work that is required to the best of your ability.

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I am not making it up …

about ageI recently had my sixtieth birthday and that means I have done a range of things in those six decades. Sometimes I surprise people when I mention some of those things. I guess we all travel our own journeys and we can never be sure where they will take us. A list of some of my adventures follows:

  • I left home in country Victoria at 17 years old to live in Melbourne and I was a bit into the hippie culture at the time
  • I met my first husband in Melbourne and we married when I was 18
  • My three sons were born in my twenties
  • I lived and worked in several remote communities with high Indigenous populations within Australia including Numbulwar in the Northern Territory, Fitzroy Crossing, Derby, Geraldton and Esperance in Western Australia
  • I was the Newman correspondent for the North West Telegraph when I was living in the Pilbara
  • I didn’t complete high school but went on to gain university entrance as an adult and have since achieved separate qualifications in management and professional writing
  • Twice divorced meant some time as a single mother of my three sons
  • I started studying theology at one stage but didn’t see it through plus I was a Church Warden, Synod representative and Pastoral Assistant in the Anglican Church
  • I was a Shire Councillor and Deputy Shire President with the East Pilbara Shire and ran as a candidate for the State Government in 1993
  • During my time working for the government I spent time in Education and Training, Culture and the Arts, Communities and Disability Services
  • I am really interested in computers and social media and love WordPress 🙂

What I find interesting is the diversity of some of my activities but I guess there is some consistency in the overall story. There are a few adventures held back – I don’t want to give everything away!