How to Control “For me” and “Against me” Thoughts
According to UCLA’s Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, the average person has around 70,000 thoughts per day. That is overwhelming. The majority of a person’s thoughts will be on whatever he or she is focused on in that given moment. This means that during the week, most people tend to focus on work and work-related issues.
Because our jobs and careers are such a large and important aspect of our lives, it’s only normal to focus so much attention to these areas. But what happens when our thinking is unhealthy?
FM and AM. For me and Against me thoughts. They are just like they sound. For me thoughts are those thoughts you have that bring you up, are encouraging and positive. Against me thoughts are the opposite: degrading, depressing and negative. Many different things we come into contact with on a daily basis are always trying to tell us what and how to think: this is pretty, that is unattractive, this is acceptable, that is not the path to go down. Yet, often times, the loudest voice we here is the one inside our heads.
Controlling your thoughts —cutting back on AM and increasing FM thoughts —is an important step on the path to success. Below are five areas you’re sure to encounter in the pursuit of your dreams, the AM thoughts that can come along with them, and how to turn your “sticking thinking” into FM thoughts.
Everyone has a passion or passions. It’s whatever ignites the flame inside of you; whatever lights that spark. Passions are usually uncontrollable, meaning you simply cannot help the way you feel. Ever since you watched your first episode of Law Order you wanted to be a detective, or your love for people is innate causing you to pursue opening a nonprofit. Yet, just because something is in inside of your heart, doesn’t mean your mind always agrees.
AM thoughts: I do not have a passion; I don’t care about anything.
My interests are too different.
I cannot become successful working in a field related to my passions.
FM thoughts: Although I have yet to discover my passion, I will.
My interests are original and unique.
Success is waking up each day loving the work I do, not how much money I make.
I believe everyone has a natural talent(s), but this doesn’t mean people cannot learn new skills. I’ve heard the saying that talent isn’t born, it’s created, which means no matter who you are, you can master a craft if you put in the necessary time and effort to do so. Our abilities, gifts and talents are crucial to our future success because these skills are what allow us to become successful. Yet, using your gifts will be that much harder if 1) you don’t believe you have any or 2) you aren’t confident in the ones you do have.
AM thoughts: I am untalented.
I don’t have what it takes.
I am not as good as the next person.
FM thoughts: I am talented and have special gifts.
I have what it takes to succeed.
I do not focus on the skills of others, but continually sharpen and increase my own. Someone else’s talent does not diminish my own.
Setting goals is a necessary step when trying to accomplish your dreams. Often times we look at the big picture, which is necessary, but breaking tasks down into smaller goals instead of aiming directly for the top helps. We have to remain focused and positive when executing the short-term goals because it’s very easy to fall into a negative mindset as 1) you wait for the end result and 2) you encounter roadblocks that may cause you to stumble along the way.
AM thoughts: My dreams are too big.
This is impossible.
It’s rare to accomplish this kind of goal. Most people don’t make it.
FM thoughts: No dream is too big. If I can see it, I can become it.
With hard work and determination, nothing is impossible.
The only one stopping me from accomplishing my goals is me.
Pursuing your hopes and dreams isn’t always easy. It will take a lot of courage to get out there and do what you’ve set your mind to do. It always seems more comfortable to avoid taking risks, but if you never try how will you know what you can and cannot do?
AM thoughts: This is too risky.
What if I fail?
I should just take the easy route and do something more realistic/tangible.
FM thoughts: Taking risks is how you experience new things in life.
There’s no such thing as failure. Only lessons learned.
Easier doesn’t always mean better. An easy route won’t challenge me to grow.
The ability to persevere is vital to becoming successful. Nothing in life will be handed to you. The path to accomplishing your goals will be filled with obstacles, hurdles and setbacks, but it’s how you react to the unexpected that counts. AM thoughts will cause you to throw in the towel and give up, but choosing to think FM thoughts can help you push through.
AM thoughts: This is too hard.
I should just quit.
I should have never tried to do this.
FM thoughts: If it were easy, everyone could do it.
I’ve come too far to give up.
Either way there’s going to be an election and someone is going to win. You may as well run. (Translation) If I don’t try, someone else will.
Remember, no one is guaranteed to be on your side when you’re pursuing your goals. Controlling your thoughts will ensure that, at the end of the day, you will at least have one person who believes in you: yourself.