Growing up in a dysfunctional and abusive household, where the majority of the conversations held consisted of yelling, cussing, berating, and abuse, was how my mentality was shaped and formed into stinking thinking. Thoughts of "why me?", "something must be wrong with me", and other victim-like thinking took over each time I was verbally abused or heard about how my existence wasn’t planned for. Although I had learned how to encourage myself, unbeknownst to me, the experiences I had in my childhood life were the seeds planted which manifested into the stinking thinking I would eventually have as an adult.
Anytime someone did or said anything, I took offense to it. I took everything very personally, as if the world was out to get me. I often doubted something before I had even tried it, and predicted negative outcomes before the day had ever arrived. I was completely unaware of how negative I was or sounded until someone brought it to my attention. Friends and those close to me shared their disgruntlement toward my stinking thinking. They felt I had often spoke down on myself, my circumstances and how I thought others perceived me. They couldn’t understand how a beautiful and intelligent woman could be so darn negative. Well, I didn’t know this then, but now it’s more than obvious, I was trained to be that way. It was as if my mind as a child was trained to think negatively. Unfortunately, when I became an adult, that negative stinking thinking didn’t die down with age.
Once I became both cognizant and disgusted with my negative mentality, I decided to do something about it. It was also disheartening to hear those close to me complain about my negative thinking. I didn’t want people to avoid me over something I had the power to change. By this time, I had already embarked upon a journey in self-development. After experiencing a lot of emotional healing, I decided it was time to experience some mental healing as well.
I began researching and reading all of the self-help material on cognitive training that I could get my hands on. I even invested in counseling and a mentor for added support and accountability. I became intrigued when I learned it was possible to change my thinking around. I never realized how much power I actually could have over my own thoughts. For so many years, I allowed my stinking thinking to control me and my life.
I had my doubts initially. Especially after I read a good book, or had an awesome session with my counselor or mentor and didn’t see any immediate results. I was frustrated in the beginning, but I refused to give up. I constantly reminded myself that retraining my thinking is similar to training my physical body; it takes time, effort, and consistency. Once I put the tools I had learned into practice, and was consistent with my efforts, I was able to see the fruits of my labor.
The best reward I experienced in seeing how much my thinking had changed was recently after my home was broken into while I was at work. Any and everything of value was stolen. Of course, I experienced the natural emotions of anger and confusion. However, my thoughts did not spiral downhill to the bottom of a well like they may have in the past. In fact, I instantly began reciting how grateful I was that no one was home and no one got hurt, and how my flash drives were still in my home.
Despite the material losses, I was grateful for a new perspective I received on life. I realized more than ever that things are replaceable, but people are not. I saw people in my life in a new light as they were there for me like never before. I continued to work on my goals, and did not allow that event to stop me. In the past, I am certain this event would have been the catalyst for a depressive episode which would have caused me to completely shut down. Not this time!
Although this event was tragic, it was a blessing in disguise. I got to see myself with a new set of eyes. I got to see how strong I really am, and how much my mindset really has changed. I could’ve easily fallen into the victim-like thinking and started singing the “woe is me” song, but I didn’t. I created an action plan and got to work!
I shared all of this in hopes to encourage and inspire you to reflect on your own thinking. Also, to know that it is very possible for you to make positive changes, if you do the work! Having a negative mindset not only has an adverse impact on your life, but it is also annoying to those around you. No one wants to hear a Debby Downer, or a complainer all day every day. It’s time to break up with your stinking thinking and say hello to a new positive mindset! Is it easy? Heck no! Is it frustrating at times? Absolutely! But it is all so very worth it!