I was trying to get rid of the negative and toxic people in my life, and I knew it was time because they started to have a negative effect on me.
When you realize there are toxic people in your life, your first move might be to try to get away from them. It may be hard at first but keeping negativity in your life is never a good choice. I decided to re-evaluate everyone that I knew to make sure I wasn’t being blinded. I started to notice a horrible pattern. Spending a lot of my life with toxic people had an adverse effect me, and removing them wouldn’t make a difference. They had preyed on my soul and self-esteem, and now I am too critical of myself in the same way they are. I had become toxic to myself, and I didn’t know what to do.
It’s easy to get rid of people but how do you get rid of the negativity in yourself?
I decided to pay more attention to anytime I recognized a thought that was negative or disparaging that I normally wouldn’t have had. Each time I wrote down an instance, I looked over it. The things I criticized myself for were mostly the same as what the toxic people from before would have pointed out. It was like I was predicting what they would say before they could say it and shutting myself down before they got the chance.
I knew it had to stop. By removing the toxic people in my life, that was a good start, but I knew I needed more.
I decided to write a list of things I am really good at, then a list of aspects I am average at then a list of characteristics that I am less than proud of. I read all of the positive things from the first two pages; then I decided to adjust the negative page. I really thought about each item and decided to put my efforts into something positive.
Just my discovery of my negative thinking alone solved tons of problems; it kept me aware of how often I was spreading my negativity to others too. I did not want to spread my negativity to anyone else, and it was bad enough I was coming down so hard on myself.
I wrote several things I feel I am bad at on my negative list. Stuff like parallel parking, baking, playing an instrument. I narrowed down on each one and forced myself to write something positive about each one. These, of course, are examples that if you want to follow my advice you can. For parallel parking, I wrote down that I am just extra careful. I also continued saying that parallel parking is hard for most people and it’s ok that I don’t want to be pressured into a tiny spot with my big car.
For baking, it was a lot easier. I was in a great groove and was starting to enjoy pulling the positive out of my negative. I told myself that baking is a very exact and particular science that takes perfection and mastery. I am not a bad baker just inexperienced. From my limited time in the kitchen, I am actually pretty amazing, and even though a lot of the time the things I bake do not look good, they always taste good.
How you feel about things or what you dislike about yourself is all about perspective. I could’ve easily just left my negative list the way it was and just accepted those qualities as my downfalls, but I decided to challenge myself and make even further strides to bring out all of the best things within me.
If you realize that you have formed a negative habit or find yourself being super critical of your own feelings, just take a moment to write everything down and think about the positive. It’s a lot easier to realize how silly you are when the words are right in front of you.
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