When we monitor our thinking we will usually find that most of the time our thoughts are at the negative end of the spectrum.
Many of us have picked up this habit of being critical as a result of our upbringing, and often through culture at work. Critical thinking does help to maintain high standards, but is not always appropriate in relationships. At a personal level persistent self-criticism leads to poor self-esteem and unhappiness.
The first step to changing this habit is with our own thoughts of self-criticism. Realising that our mind is taken up with mainly negative thoughts is a start. The negative thoughts are just ‘thoughts.’ They are not who we are. Who we truly are, are human beings that are peaceful, caring tolerant, determined and a whole host of other qualities.
This is something we can begin to realise if we make time to be quiet and get to know ourselves. In the space of silence we can learn to slow thoughts down and view them in a non-judgemental manner detached manner. Even with practice this can be difficult but it is worth persisting building this new way of dealing with thoughts so it becomes the new habit.
One can then choose positive thoughts that you have about yourself. Substitute, ‘I am not good enough’ with ‘I am a peaceful, caring person,’ and ‘I always get that wrong’ with ‘I can learn from this situation.’
If at first it is hard to believe that you have your own special qualities and many more, repeat them to yourself over and over until you really feel it. There is a saying, ‘Fake it until you make it.’
As for dealing with others whose negative aspects of their personality seem all to obvious, try to look for their positive qualities. Again, say them to yourself or even as a compliment to the person. ‘I admire your determination and understanding.’ It becomes easier with others if you have already started on yourself.
Craig’s free meditation podcasts can be accessed by clicking here.