No Room for the Negative – Karen Hogle Brown

I am a big goal setter. I find it helps keep myself on track to where I want to go, however, in January I usually begin the new year with a thorough self-flogging about how I did not accomplish all I wanted to last year, and how another year has passed and I don’t feel I have much to show for it. Now some of this, admittedly, is me being hard on myself, and when I do look back I can see many things I did accomplish that year. However, in the beginning of 2012, I seemed to be more in the negative state of mind than ever before, and it really began my year with a heaviness and heartache, when what I needed was just the opposite.

In the first few months of 2012, every new goal I set that didn’t succeed felt like another blow pushing me even further away from my goal till I felt completely stuck in the mud. I even found myself trying to brainstorm, “what else am I passionate about besides singing, and could I do that?” When I answered myself that there wasn’t anything I was just as passionate about as my singing I had to be very honest with myself about how I would proceed next. I felt disparaged, unsuccessful, and helpless to do anything. Even with several tools at my disposal for organizing, teachers for lessons, friends for support, I felt they wouldn’t get me anywhere.

My biggest lesson I learned this year, and the biggest take-away for years to come, is that most of us think the negative thought first. When we think of our endeavors, we criticize before praising, we judge before we accept, and in doing so, we put a handicap on what we can accomplish before we even start. It’s going to be hard no matter what, so why put a weight on top when we start? There is no room for that on the train. We need to not make room for it on the train. It is definitely not easy, and some attempts are more successful than others, but when I think of a negative thought towards myself or my pursuits, instead of trying to reason with it or rationalize it away, I simply say, “there is no room for you here. Now that I don’t have that weighting me down, where can I go next?”

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