Once again I’ve found myself behind on posting. I set a goal this year for a new format on my blog. You can read about that here. I was two weeks ahead on my blog articles, and came down with the flu. I couldn’t see my computer screen, much less write. I bring this up because it’s a real-life example of setting goals, life throwing a curve ball, and getting back on course and/or changing direction with a goal you’ve set. I’ve selected to pick up where I left off. Even though today isn’t Thursday, it’s Monday of a new week, I wanted to write a Thoughtful Thursday post to give you this example. I’ll skip Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to stay on track for this week.
I haven’t had the flu in years. I get the flu shot every year, as wellness is incorporated into my lifestyle. If I was a negative-thinker, I may have given up on the goal I set for my blog this year. Negative thoughts could have easily taken over. Below are some examples of negative thoughts, aka cognitive distortions:
1) shoulds:”I should have gotten three weeks ahead on my posts instead of just two. ”
2) overgeneralization: “Why does this always happen to me?”
3) catastrophizing: “This is worst thing that could happen to me right now.”
4) labeling: “I’m such a loser. I can’t do anything right.”
5) emotional reasoning: “I feel so undependable,” so I must be undependable.
These are just a few examples of negative thinking, or cognitive distortions. There are many others. You can easily see how this way of thinking leads to problems in how you view yourself and the world. If I adopted this way of thinking, I would likely just give up on my goal. Instead, I use a more realistic way of experiencing life. Here are more positive, realistic ways to reframe the above examples of negative thoughts:
1) “Life happens. I was two weeks ahead on my writing, now I’m behind, but I can pick up from here and move forward with my goal.”
2) “Things like this don’t always happen to me. I haven’t had the flu in years.”
3) “This is just a small glitch. There are worse things than getting behind in my writing.”
4) “I’m pretty good at what I do, even when it comes to keeping deadlines.”
5) “I feel undependable, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not dependable. People can usually depend on me unless something happens, like the flu.”
Can you see the difference in negative versus positive, realistic thinking? Also, can you see how the way you think about things can influence your attitude, your mood, and your worldview? Although I keep an optimistic perspective, I view things realistically, as well. Thinking realistically doesn’t mean you have to be pessimistic or have a negative view of yourself and the world. Thinking realistically, yet with a positive perspective can help you achieve life balance and help you to set and reach your wellness goals.