Ahhh such a big topic. At first I was apprehensive about evening trying to cover it. Negative thoughts come in all shapes and sizes with all types of motivations. So I have decided to do something a wee bit different and at least introduce the topic a little less formally, and have probably a million follow up posts.
When I was 21 years old I was lucky enough to have a senior management position. I had just finished university and everything seemed a little too good too be true. Let me tell you it was. Long story short my employment lasted a little over 8 months before I decided that I couldn’t come home from work in tears anymore. So I quit. It was the hardest decision of my life at the time because I had never given up on anything before, but the constant battle of proving myself, being belittled and to an extent bullied had taken its toll.
In some respects quitting was my strongest action possible at the time, in others I was a shell of a person compared to the young girl who started 8 months earlier. I went from being outgoing and bubbly to quiet and reserved but I also went from quite decisive to so unsure that even the question of what to eat for dinner became difficult. I was unsure of who I was, and I severely doubted by own ability to achieve anything.
It has now been almost 8 years since I left that employment and I still struggle with the outfall from that position everyday. I left that role to work in administration and reception, which albeit was an extremely nice change, I found once I had systems in place and processes in order it was lacking the stimulation I needed. Two years later I sought employement somewhere else and started mentoring. It has been an interesting journey since then and I now hold a management position. When I was first successful in the role I struggled hugely. While I had made gains since my previous employment every now and again I feel like I was 21 years old again, confused and insecure.
It has been two years since I was employed in a manager role and some days I think I do okay, others I go back to that first role, doubting my skills and second guessing myself.
So why am I telling you this? I guess because I want to show how negative situations, carry on into positive situations through negative thoughts. When I left that first employment, I had a sense of relief, that was until I realised that the damage which had been done was far more than the eight months I had spent employed there. As I began to reflect and question why what happened happened, I noticed that I was focused very much internally and took responsibility for a lot of actions which weren’t mine. Now, 8 years later I can see that this must be a lesson for me because I still do it today. It wasn’t until much later however that I realised that my negative thought patterns kept me in the same head space as when I first quit. Yes I had a better outward image. I held my head higher, I used the right words at the right time, moved up the ladder as expected, but inside I was still 21, trying to understand what happened and when I let others views of me define me. My own thoughts kept me in the mindset that I was desperately trying to escape.
While time has helped to heal all wounds, I am also learning different strategies and techniques to release the negativity that binds us to the human experience, which we are often desperately trying to avoid. The more we try to run away from it, the faster and closer it follows in every thought, taunting us that we cant escape. But the thing is we can, we can escape by releasing the fear or negative emotion associated with the event/thing/memory. By releasing it from us, we stop feeding it. We stop allowing it to take hold in our world. We stop allowing it to own us.
There are many techniques for this (hence the introduction post), from releasing, reframing, acknowledging and more, and yep you guessed it, a lot of the success and suitability is dependent on you as a person, but over the next few weeks or so I will be discussing different things and strategies.
So just a final note, be kind to yourself, you are worth it 🙂