Our inner thoughts are broken into categories like consciousness, mindfulness, and inner resilience. Those inner thoughts typically manifest themselves into either negative self-talk or positive self-talk. I speak to and coach so many people who tell me that their biggest obstacle to success is negative self-talk. 

How do you break that cycle and give yourself a better chance to accomplish what you want in life? Start with these 10 truths that will transform how you think about yourself, which I believe will transform your life. 

1. You are your own worst critic

It sounds like a cliché. It sounds like something your mother might have told you. But here's the thing--it's entirely true. If you like to create, or organize, or do what's asked of you (so, basically, everyone), then you have your own internal bar set for what's acceptable. And the thing is, this bar is far higher than anyone else is going to set it. So the next time you find yourself getting overwhelmed and feeling that it's all too much, consider that those feelings may be entirely self-imposed. 

2. Within each of us is the capability for good

In truth, the tiniest steps can be taken by anyone--anyone--to improve the world. You don't have to give away your fortune to charity like Bill Gates. Something as simple as buying coffee for the next person in line at Starbucks has the power to create good in your community. Tiny acts of kindness also not only do good but they make you feel good about yourself. 

3. But also the capability for evil

 A genuine phenomenon, the  Lucifer Effect is the more ominous name for "when good people do bad things." The ability within each of us to "do evil" can be justified, or can be totally reckless. Being aware of our basic biological human workings is a good way to start understanding how these things happen--as well as the psychological foundation that all of us share.

4. You are a very tiny part of the world

File this alongside its harsher cousin, "Your existence doesn't matter in the long run." For the most part, everything you do or say or think isn't going to have that big of an impact on our existence. This will hopefully come as a relief to those of you who find the stresses of everyday life terrifying. "What does everyone think about me?" suddenly ceases to matter when you realize that no one will be thinking about you in 100 years time. It doesn't mean we don't strive to make an impact, but we should be realistic. 

5. The past and the future are nonexistent

Channel Master Oogway for this one. When we dwell on our past, we are likely to encounter depression and regret. When we think on the future, we are likely to find anxiety and stress. But in reality? Neither of these places in time even exist. The past is gone and isn't coming back. The future is something that hasn't happened yet. It's better to spend your time living in the present, and let go of all the worry.

6. Thinking of problems is a waste of time

Thinking of solutions, though? This is one of the best ways to spend your time. Along with being a great way to reduce the specific anxieties in your life, thinking of solutions accomplishes the exact opposite of what happens when you think of problems. Thinking of solutions breeds new solutions, brings about a state of ease, and lessens any stress about your current situation.

7. The stuff you have doesn't make you happy 

Tyler Durden said it best: "You are not your khakis." A lot of people focus on their careers, so they can make more money, so they can buy nicer things so they can feel better about themselves. The stuff you have isn't going to make you happier. There's a threshold. Reliable car that gets you where you need to go every day? Happiness. A brand new Lambo that puts you in debt and is too expensive to enjoy? Anti-happiness. 

8. There's a good chance that some of your self-loathing comes from a lack of a to-do list 

People struggle staying motivated and focused, which leads to frustration. A solution? To-do lists. One of the biggest ways we find to hate ourselves is by thinking we've accomplished nothing. A common strategy is to actually create "done" lists. Feeling especially unmotivated? Make a list of all the things you've accomplished that day--now see how you feel.

9. Perfection is a social construct

This ties in nicely with point No. 1. Your ideas of perfection? They likely don't translate well to the rest of the world. Fashion, makeup, design, art, music, economics, literature, language--these are all socially deemed right or wrong. Let go of the ideas you have about whether your work is "perfect" or not, and just focus on its being true to you. Being true to who you are and what you believe will give you the most satisfaction of anything you do. 

10. Your entire existence is wired to fight improvement

When we get down to our base instincts, we're pretty hard set to fight change. Change is terrifying. Change means leaving the nice warm cave and exploring something else. Change means teaming up with that potentially murderous tribe from across the stream and either getting our brains bashed in or finding strength in numbers. From day one, we've been fighting change--so don't be surprised when you genuinely find improvement to be a difficult thing. It isn't something that will happen overnight, and it isn't something that will happen with ease. It will take a fight--but it's a fight worth waging. 

Published on: May 31, 2016
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