I read a lot of self-help books. They're naturally what interests me most at this point and I do feel like they'll help me in the long run. I really do believe in the power of affirmations and getting back what you put out into the universe.
Actually, it's a lesson I came to naturally before I found myself stalking the self-help aisle. My last year in college I told everyone that I really didn't want a full-time job, I wanted to be a freelance journalist. Some people thought I was crazy -- and there are definitely days when I agree with them -- but I knew I was just telling my truth. I'm the daughter of an entrepreneur and, although it took me a while to realize that I too have that entrepreneurial spirit, I just don't have it in me to work a 9-5. Then, about six months out of school, it hit me: I'd spent more than a year telling people I wanted to be a freelancer and I didn't want to work full-time, and that's exactly what the universe wanted for me too. As many times as I filled out applications for full-time positions, I've only interviewed once for a traditional full-time position.
I was getting out of life what I said I wanted. My biggest problem is that I keep thinking that wealth (or even fair pay) is my right. I bust my buns as a freelancer so doesn't that mean I should get paid $2 a word? Ha. At least I can laugh at myself.
Also, as a writer, I inherently know how much power our words contain. Whether posted publicly in forums like Facebook, muttered to ourselves or even just thought of repeatedly, our words become our beliefs. Here are three phrases I've said often in times of stress and pain, why I've said them and what I vow to say instead.
"I give up."
When/Why I Say It: I say or think this a lot when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I must've muttered it to myself today after my credit card got declined twice, one of my bank accounts is in the red by more than $300, the other has about $5 in it, and I still can't find my $30 Apple headphones. I seriously just felt overwhelmed and exhausted. For a few seconds, it felt like someone was sitting on my chest and all I could think was, I'm done. I give up. That's it. I can't give anymore.
What I'll Say Instead: "I can handle this." I'm not affiliated with any specific religion so I can't bring myself to say something such as "God only gives you what he knows you can handle," but it's a similar idea. I've gotten through some tough stuff before and I can do it again.
When/Why I Say It: This is another one of my go-to sentiments when I'm throwing a rager of a self-pity party. When something goes wrong, I wonder why it had to happen to me. This may be one of the most depressing things I could say to myself. It almost always makes me cry harder (or start crying if I haven't already).
What I'll Say Instead: "Within every adversity is an equal or greater benefit. Within every problem is an opportunity. Even in the knocks of life we can find great gifts." This one I'm taking from my bookshelf. In his book, The Millionaire Course, Marc Allen shares this as his 67th key to life. My recent feelings of overwhelm and frustration led me to writing this, which I hope we can all learn from. It may not always be quite this literal, but I have to believe that there's a silver lining.
"I'm losing my mind"/"I'm going crazy."
When/Why I Say It: I've said this a few times recently. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. I've come pretty close to insanity lately; I've lost a pair of headphones and a card and I am repeatedly looking for them in the same places. Neither item has turned up, and I feel dizzyingly mad when I think about it. I've told my boyfriend a few times, and quite adamantly, that I'm losing it.
What I'll Say Instead: "Can you help me?" It stands to reason that if I'm saying "I'm losing my mind" because I've got too many responsibilities or too much on my mind, then saying "I need help" -- and actually getting that help from someone I trust (my boyfriend, my life coach or a friend) should help me feel less like I'm going crazy.