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One of the common sights on the internet these days, and a favourite for sharing on the social networks is quotations.
Some of these are aimed at being motivational, amusing or inspiring. Sometimes though the quotes in question carry a payload of beliefs and ambiguous meaning that can really backfire.
At an unconscious level, we take in information. Our subconscious mind just takes it in and files it away for future reference. It makes no judgement, just follows instruction.
When we feed in ideas and thoughts without checking their ecology, we can wind up with beliefs that don’t help us but can be counter productive. This then can feed back to us through our self talk.
I thought I’d assemble some less than positive quotations that I’ve seen online, with some feedback on where they present a hazard to good thinking.
Duty gets a bum rap. We usually have a sense of duty to the things we love. Learn to love that too. That’s where your character will be revealed.
Duty can be hard. It is one of those things that we can face in life that can really push us to the limit. Avoiding duty is a temptation sometimes but when we walk away from a duty we can lose something valuable. Self respect. If we then seek to avoid owning the walking away, we are on the way to denying reality too, and that’s not helping us at all.
Finding a useful frame for the duty we take on can make it much less onerous and ultimately we can learn to find something in the experience we quite like. Like visiting elderly relatives in care. Their time may be limited and this can be our last chance to spend time with them, and give something to their lives that they cannot do for themselves. Giving our time with good grace is a wonderful gift. We can do it for them… then discover we feel pretty good afterwards that we did make the time. We can get something out of it that we didn’t expect. Look for the bright aspect and focus on that. It may be a memory that stays with us a lifetime.
When you come through for someone like that in fulfilling a duty, feel proud that you followed through. Take some credit. That’s a bit more investment in your self-esteem bank account.
Now mind, that is not to say that everything others might push you to do is something you are duty bound to accept. You must decide for yourself which things are rightfully your duty to carry out.
Trust yourself to know the difference.
This is funny when Snoopy says it. It isn’t funny when adults say it. Pinning happiness on cookies at one level is a cute joke but remember… your unconscious mind doesn’t make judgments, just takes it in. Suddenly cookies feel like a real good idea when we’re not hungry just want comfort, or feel sad, or are let down, or want to make ourselves happy. Happiness doesn’t come from cookies – but cookies can lead to bad eating that really doesn’t make us happy. Not at all. Just gives us problems we don’t need.
Jokes about eating chocolate, drinking too much alcohol, may be fun occasionally, but is a momentary pleasure that can lead to side effects that make us far from happy. Steer clear of that emotional eating trap…!
No. Just nooooooo.
This one? This is just pissy. Think about it. If our ex is so bad – with nothing to redeem them, then what is this saying about our choice?
Relationships end. Salvage something that you can respect about that person even if they have acted badly and treated you less well than you deserved. There are lessons in every relationship and sometimes stuff hurts. That’s bad enough. Let go of the hurt and keep the learnings. Getting petty won’t fix anything but it can delay healing.
Sometimes it can feel like life really is falling apart. Some people have a habit of explaining life as “unraveling”. Even when it feels like it, remember, knit-ware unravels. People don’t. Even when everything seems to be falling apart, look for a better frame through which to view it. When we turn every setback into a “catastrophe!” we make it harder than it needs to be and more difficult to just keep going.
Remember … everything is temporary. This too shall pass.
Feed yourself imagery that helps you – that makes you feel stronger, not imagery that takes away from your strength. By doing so, that helps us build resilience and improves our self esteem.
Collect your own gallery of positive quotations. Check each one to make sure it is all positive and not carrying a secondary meaning that can sabotage your efforts. Put the funny ones into a gallery just for jokes so they don’t get confused with something important. You can visit one of my quote boards here on Resilience for some ideas.
Feeding your mind with great thoughts that support you is a fantastic way to keep your mind well-nourished – and can act as reminders which help keep behaviour in line with intentions and aspirations. That’s all good!
Do you have some favourite positive quotes? Add them to the comments or on my Facebook page.