Sometimes our own thoughts can seriously harm our mental health, our self-esteem, and our overall well-being. So, it’s important to recognize certain thought types that aren’t good for us.
Toxic mindsets are beliefs about our lives or ourselves that we develop from unfavorable circumstances, traumas, unresolved childhood issues, and failure. We start developing these mindsets and they grow with us if we don’t treat them right away. They have the power to ruin our lives or hold us back from living the life we want or achieving our goals.
The problem is that most people aren’t even aware of their negative thoughts. It’s almost like they have just become a habit, so it seems normal to them. For example, if someone compliments you on your achievements, you shouldn’t brush it off and say it’s not that big of a deal. Instead, accept the compliment and admit to yourself that you truly deserved it.
Here are 5 toxic mindsets that you need to get rid of in order to live a better life:
Thinking you are not good enough.
One of the most common toxic mindsets is the belief that we’re not good enough for something, whether it’s a certain university or a job or a relationship. The truth is, we may not be qualified enough for a job we want and we may not be the right person for someone we want, but that doesn’t mean we’re not good enough, it just means that some things aren’t meant to be ours or for us and it also means that we still have some work to do on our own before we can truly be ready for some experiences.
The key here is not to let that mindset paralyze you from trying and you have to feel worthy and deserving of whatever you want, even if you don’t get it. In order to change the pattern, you have to change your mindset, even if the outcome is not the one you want. It’s all about what’s happening on the inside, not what’s happening on the outside.
Thinking in extremes.
Thinking in extremes is called all-or-nothing thinking. You feel like you have to be perfect: you’re either successful at work or a complete failure. At home, you have to be the best mom or wife possible, and if there’s even a minor aspect of those roles that you aren’t fulfilling, you start feeling guilty and disappointed in yourself.
Allow yourself to be imperfect. For example, if you’re self-conscious about dancing while other people are around, don’t think, “I’m an awful dancer. Everyone will stare at me and think I look stupid.” Instead, think, “I like dancing, so I’m just going to enjoy myself. And I probably won’t see these people again anyway, so it doesn’t matter what they think.”
Thinking you don’t deserve positive feedback.
You might feel like you don’t deserve it when someone praises your work. So, when someone says, “You’ve done a great job!” you say, “Thanks, but anyone could have done it just as well.” Or you just say thanks, but think, “She’s just saying that to be nice, but she doesn’t really mean it.” And in thinking that, you reinforce your belief that you aren’t worthy of praise.
Learn to accept positive feedback and not devalue your self-worth. So instead of perpetuating a negative self-image in your thoughts, trust that whoever complimented you really meant it, and try to feel good about it.
Thinking about how their life is so much better than yours.
It’s easy to scroll through social media and assume everyone else is leading a life far superior to your own. But this is often far from the truth. What you see is only the outer shell of what may be happening within. In other words, people put out what they want others to see.
You may think your life sucks because someone else has a fancy car, a couple of kids, a nice job, a good-looking spouse, a cute dog, an expensive house and white-picketed fence, but you don’t know what happens behind closed doors. That person you think has the best life may be miserable when people aren’t looking.
Worrying about what other people think.
Why do you care? Do you think they are judging you? No one is judging you as much as you are judging yourself. Other people are too busy judging themselves just like you that they probably don’t even give you a second thought! So do what makes you happy.
And if others are judging you, then it’s their problem, not yours. Ignore them and be happy anyway.