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Suffering Only Comes From Thoughts

The worst place you can live is in your head.

It’s common to be apprehensive about creating new leads, expanding clientele, or presenting your newest product or service. Maybe your partner won’t do their part adequately. Maybe nobody will like it, or people will judge you. Maybe you’ll feel like it was a waste of time, effort, or resources; the list goes on and on.

Doing new things can feel really scary, because it’s out of our comfort zone and we don’t know what the outcome will be. It’s important to train ourselves to not think about the future too much. Set goals, but don’t dwell on all the possible outcomes that could happen. The truth is, all that really exists is the present moment! When we believe the scenarios that our minds create, we either create paradise or hell, it’s all up for grabs.

Do some self reflection. Don’t be judgmental of the thoughts bouncing around your brain. Be compassionate with yourself. Recognize your overthinking for what it is: thoughts, not facts. Negative thoughts aren’t truths, they’re just what ifs. They’re the reason for unnecessary suffering. Separate your thoughts from reality.

Next, evaluate how you behave when you believe these thoughts. Are you holding back from your full potential? Are you giving it your full effort? When we’re afraid of rejection we might not be as bold, creative, or authentic as we have the capacity to be.

So, how would you behave if you didn’t believe these thoughts? Would you be nicer to yourself, open to change, maybe even more open to constructive criticism? How would you feel if you didn’t believe these thoughts? Would you be calmer, happier, or have a clearer mind? Chances are, you would be more excited about your prospects.

Some people think they have to mentally prepare for possible bad outcomes. As the musician Randy Armstrong puts it, “Worrying does not take away from tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away from today’s peace.” Overthinking will never serve you well. When you get carried away with overthinking, define your problem as a thought or fact. If it’s not a fact, there’s no reason to give it any power!

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