What You Tell Yourself Affects Your Mood and Chances of Success
I remember sitting on a stretcher in a cold, dark corner of the emergency room, resting my elbows on the brown rectangle table on wheels that they give you, holding my head in my hands and crying. The only thing I could think of at that moment was how many regrets I had in life — at how I had wasted the last 3 years of my life.
Throughout the day, did you know that we talk to ourselves more than we do any one else? Also that the way we think (positive vs negative) affects the way we perceive the world around us and different situations?
This was all eye opening for me. When I left law enforcement back in 2014, I felt invisible. I was used to being in uniform and driving a marked vehicle. People noticed me. But after leaving law enforcement, it seemed no one noticed me. I felt invisible and alone. That landed me in a downward spiral in life. I fell into depression. Anxiety plagued me. I kept telling myself I was unloved, alone and stupid which then caused me to identify myself as unloved, alone and stupid. The more I focused on it, the more I felt it. Life seemed so meaningless to me.
But in 2017, something made all that change. On my way back from a speaking engagement, I felt a pain in my back. Later, I became nauseous and couldn’t eat or drink anything. I thought I just had the flu. But two days later, I ended up in a hospital emergency room fighting for my life. I had a major infection, pneumonia and pancreatitis. The pain was intense, the antibiotics didn’t seem to be working and doctors were unsure if I would make the night.
I remember sitting on a stretcher in a cold, dark corner of the emergency room, resting my elbows on the brown rectangle table on wheels that they give you, holding my head in my hands and crying. The only thing I could think of at that moment was how many regrets I had in life — at how I had wasted the last 3 years of my life. I prayed to God, begging to be given another chance at life. I wanted a chance to live my life to the fullest. I wanted to spend time with family, dive deep into my speaking business to impact the lives of more people, dance in the rain, have coffee with friends, hug my dogs, travel, go hiking again…. I was so stuck in my negative thinking that I had wasted the last three years of my life.
Luckily, God answered my prayer and after 5 days in a makeshift ICU in a small hospital and 3 days in an Acute care ward, I was released from Hospital. Alive. When I got out of the hospital, the first thing I did was take a deep breath of fresh air. I didn’t care that it was winter and cold out. I filled my lungs with that fresh cold air and felt the snow flakes fall on my face. “Thank you for another chance at life” I whispered as I looked up at the sky.
That put me onto a path of self discovery and self improvement.
I read a book called Unf**k Yourself — Get out of your Head and Into Your Life. In that book, the author mentioned a study that was done where people who thought positive were put in one room and people who thought negative were put into another room. Each group was shown a neutral event that was neither positive nor negative. Those who thought positive actually saw that neutral event as positive while those who thought negative saw the neutral event as negative. Interesting isn’t it?
After that, I started thinking more positive. When I caught myself saying something negative to myself or slipping back to negative thinking, I would stop myself, say “erase that” and then change my attitude or what I was telling myself to more positive. It’s amazing how much a change in words and thinking can affect your attitude and your mood!
I started noticing too that when I was in a negative mindset, I wasn’t as productive. My ideas weren’t as good and I didn’t take the action needed to run my businesses effectively. But then I noticed that when I was in a happy, positive mood, I was more creative, more productive and my employees and clients loved me more.
So now whenever I start to feel myself slipping into a bad mood or feeling depressed, I do a self check — what am I saying to myself. What “I am” statements am I using? Am I seeing the world through a negative mindset or a positive mindset?
Your challenge today is to honestly pay attention to the “I am” statements you are using. If it’s “I am unsuccessful” change it to “I am successful” even if you aren’t yet. I’m a firm believer that you attract what you think. If you tell yourself “I am unloved”, change that to “I am loved” and you will start to notice all the wonderful people you have in your life.
Remember, life is a sequence of one decisions. Which ones will you make?
Amanda Oling is a motivational speaker and impaired driving prevention speaker from Alberta, Canada. Her book, The Impact of One Decision, is available through Amazon, Kindle and Chapters/Coles/Indigo Bookstores.