Stop Saying No: Tips for Overcoming your Monster

We get used to saying no. “No, I can’t have this.” “No that can’t be done.” “No that won’t happen.” Sometimes we get so used to saying it, that it starts to creep into our dreams, hopes, and opportunities to grow. Then suddenly you’re saying “No, I can’t be normal.” “No, I can’t do that.” “No, ’cause why bother?”

This is your inner monster. The beast inside of you that has nothing better to do than second-guess your every move. And this beast likes rewards, feed it money, food, alcohol, the end of the workday. It’s happy to eat that up, and be quiet for a while. Until you do something it doesn’t like, you do something that is new, unfamiliar, risky, personal, or important to you. And then it’s there, telling you how and why it cannot be done.

The simplest way to control these negative thoughts is to acknowledge them. Acknowledge and explore what anxiety they stem from. Then tell them off. It’s a bit goofy, but simply say to your beast: “That’s nice, we’ll see.” Then continue on doing whatever awesome thing you want to do.

What if that doesn’t work? Maybe these thoughts just keep intruding, here are some more tips for managing negative thoughts.

Self-doubt often stems from how we have learned to react to a given situation. The brain is a funny thing that way, it loves to copy. You look at someone doing something, think about something, remember something, feel something, it wants to fire the same neurons and “reinforce” those thoughts and feelings. Ultimately, what this means is that it takes time and willpower to override your natural programming.

Tip 1: Be an Active Thinker

Tip 2: Self-Talk to Yourself

Tip 3: Build your Self-Esteem

Tip 4: Side-Step your Willpower

Quick final tip: Get started when you’re most energized. Whatever time of day you feel the most motivated and energized, try to find some way to do something good for yourself at that time.

Ready to conquer that inner monster now? Think of what good thing you can do right now! Doesn’t have to be big, just something. Do it! Maybe share what you did in the comments below? The first step is the most important one!

By Zachary Richey

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