When we share family stories with our siblings, we are often surprised at how differently each person growing up in the same household interpreted family dynamics and what their goals and aspirations were.
We are shaped and molded by our life experiences. We develop core beliefs about what we can and cannot do and how we perceive the world.
But despite their influence, we have the ability to change negative and self-defeating perceptions and re-direct our lives.
Within each of us are passions and personality traits that draw us to different desires and accomplishments. Many of our dreams, however, are sabotaged by a mindset that keeps us stuck in negative cycles that use up our energy before we can accomplish those dreams.
Many things can create unhealthy levels of tension and stress. Here are some of the more typical ones that create problems for people. Do you find yourself in the list below?
- Negative thinking and outlook (pessimistic attitudes, unrealistic expectations and assumptions, worry, anxiety, fears)
- Family pressures (relationships, chaos, lack of structure, single parents, work load imbalance)
- Environment (economy, weather, financial concerns, anything outside of my control)
- Problems at work (conflicts, boring jobs, unrealistic expectations and demands, difficult bosses)
- Care giving (taking care of others, no time for self, assuming responsibility for everything, lack of support and appreciation, exhaustion)
- Letting others take control of our lives (passive, lack of assertive skills and personal empowerment, poor communication skills, passive/aggressive and manipulation to get needs met)
- Short term coping strategies vs. long term solutions (alcohol, overeating, anger/rage, drugs, escape through the internet, gamboling, fantasy, pornography)
- Few stress management skills or coping skills (inability to manage time, set goals, evaluate and prioritize)
- Traumatic events/tragedies with long term consequences (accidents, natural disasters, disease)
Go over the list and ask yourself:
“Is there something listed that I am currently experiencing?”
“What is under my control to change and what is not?”
“Am I ready to make some positive changes?”
“How can I change my reactions and responses so I can redirect my energy in a positive way?