I’m not typically a negative person. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments of pessimism and self-doubt thanks to those little negative voices inside my head.
The other day I was feeling sluggish as I laced up my running shoes and stretched my sore legs, and I found myself thinking, “There’s no way I’m going to finish this run.”
Then I found a pair of pants in my closet that I can’t bear to toss because I’d like to think that one day I’ll fit into them again. As I flung them across the room after unsuccessfully attempting to button them, I thought, “There’s no way I’m ever going to lose enough weight to wear those!”
For the past month, I've looked at the list of the million little details I need to take care of before the movers come to pack up all my belongings, and I think, “There’s no way I’m going to get it all done!”
When we’re juggling as much as we’re forced to as military families, it’s easy for those negative thoughts to creep in. I’ll never get through this deployment. I don’t know how to make new friends. I can’t fix that toilet.
So how do we overcome these negative thoughts so we can indeed get through the deployments and make new friends and fix the toilets?
Tell the negative committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up.” –Ann BradfordI don’t know how you see the sunshine through the clouds, but my method is all about turning up the volume on the positive thoughts to drown out the negative.
I acknowledge the negatives, hear them out, listen to what they have to say without interrupting. Then, after hearing them plead their case, I push them aside to let the positive thoughts give their opening statements. Once the negative committee quiets down and gets out of my way, I can start to take action.
That’s how I not only finished that run, but tacked on an extra mile to my original goal. And because of that run and all the others like it, I’m getting closer to fitting into those pants. And when I look at my dwindling move checklist, I’m certain that moving day will go smoothly because I’m slowly but surely tackling those details.
Some days the members of my negative committee are louder and more obnoxious than other days. Some days it’s not as easy to keep them quiet. But most days, my positive task force jumps in and drowns out the mental heckling. It may not be powerful enough to get those movers to show up on time or prevent them from breaking all my wine glasses, but hopefully it will help me realize that those are just normal side effects of moving. It's not the end of the world. And that negative committee's got nothing on me as long as I remember I have the power to tell it to shut up.