What are “little voices”?
The earliest I can remember letting negativity take root was around 8 years old. I started to have thoughts about myself that weren’t elevating. I then began to find external voices that mirrored those negative thoughts. These thoughts would show up when I was about to try something new. Negativity was my mindset and it affected my actions.
Through my teenage years these kind of thoughts were persistent. There were times when I felt that no one cared about me. I even had a moment where I wondered if people would even notice if I weren’t around.
With these types of thoughts comes a heaviness. It feels like you are weighed down and can’t move forward. The thoughts always had a similar tone, such as:
- You’re not good enough
- You can’t do that
- People don’t like you
- It’s too hard
Eventually, I developed a chip on my shoulder. Everyone was out to get me.
At age 25, a co-worker finally told me “Not everyone is out to get you, you know”. That stung. I didn’t realize my attitude was apparent in my actions. It stuck with me, but I didn’t know what to do about it.
Over the next few years, I struggled with changing how I thought. I tried a few things, but I really didn’t find anything that solved the problem.
As parents, we had been through a lot. With three special needs kids, life can be exhausting, especially when your mindset is negative. Then we began taking some classes and something clicked. I learned techniques that could help me change the negativity into something positive. This helped me as a father to look at things in a new light. I am able to dismiss the negativity when it surfaces instead of allowing it to affect my children negatively.
It is a simple statement, but it tells my brain that I am in control and that I decide what to think. I have been using this mantra for the past year. There are occasions when I have to repeat this mantra in order to get rid of stubborn negativity, but using it consistently and persistently forces the negativity out of my mind.
I am a more positive person. I have become less reactive to external situations. My outlook on things has shifted from the negative to the positive.
I have used other mantras to help me stay positive. These are ones that I have used to chase the negative away:
“I am a good father”
“I have knowledge and experience to share”
“I am balanced, empowered, and inspired”
“I am courageous”
“I have faith”
“I have wisdom and understanding”
“I endure to the end”
“I spend time with my children”
“I look for teaching opportunities”
Each of these mantras helps me to get past the negativity that comes into my life and focus on the positive.
Controlling my thoughts has also led to being a better parent. I find that when I have control, I am more patient with my children. I listen more, help more, play more, and stop trying to fix and/or solve everything for them.
As a parent, I can see when my children’s thoughts are turning negative. I teach them to recognize negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.