Buying into my own negative thinking. 

When I had depression and anxiety I was buying into and believing my own negative thinking – I was constantly believing that what I was thinking was true and that I was back in a place where I couldn’t get out of. This was the same with self-doubt and lack of self-confidence – I would have a thought or series of thoughts that I was not good enough or I was not doing a good enough job. I did not realise that there was no factual basis for this, other than I just had that thought/s and I thought they were true. 

One of the most notable things that I saw a few years ago, especially at work and also in regards to depression, was that I did not need to believe or buy into these thoughts – they are just thoughts. I also saw that I have all sorts of thoughts that I disregard and do not hold to be true or indicative of me myself. I thought “why should I believe these thoughts and disregard those…what is the difference?” I realised that the only difference was the inference and associations I put on these thoughts. Nothing else. 

Having seen this, today I was having a series of negative thoughts around a new venture that I am just taking the first steps in – I was thinking “oh I will never be that good” and “there are a lot of people doing this and I won’t be able to make a living out of it”. The difference between when I had depression and anxiety and now was that I identified that these were just thoughts and I snapped out of it more quickly – I recognised that this was something I fell into in the past and, as such, my awareness of this was greater today. I saw at this moment that I did not need to buy into the next series of thoughts that quite often followed those initial thoughts. I did not walk down the proverbial alleyway of negativity – I have found in the past that it quite often started with one or two thoughts and then, once I bought into those, I thought more and more and more. Eventually they turned into a belief and I lived my life believing those and limiting myself because of those beliefs. 

However today I saw those initial thoughts for what they truly were – just thought. I snapped out of it and started writing this instead. 

Does this always happen? Not at all and I still walk down that alleyway. However I find that now I have see this pattern/habit, I have found I recognise it sooner. I recognise it before I get to the big black wall at the end of the alley – I take one, two or more steps in and think “nope, not today” and move along. 

I hope that this helps someone else identify/see a similar habit in themselves and in their own life. Hopefully the next time it starts to happen you might remember this or have a glimpse that you don’t need to take any more steps. 

Stu