About a year ago, I made this sign for my room as a reminder....
Here's what it says....
....beating yourself up
....putting yourself down
....dwelling on the negative
....dwelling on your insecurities
....anticipating the worst
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6
....trusting in God's love
....accepting love from others
....believing in His total forgiveness
....trusting in God's goodness
....accepting gifts from Father God
The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid? ... Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. ~Psalm 27:1, 14
The poster has served as a reminder to me of what to think about and what not to think about.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~Philippians 4:8
Just recently, I came across a website that had two lists: 30 things to stop doing to yourself and 30 things to start doing for yourself. I think they fit in well with what I wrote above so I'll summarize them here and provide links to the full lists.
30 things to stop doing to yourself:
- Stop spending time with the wrong people. – .....it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
- Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.
- Stop lying to yourself.
- Stop putting your own needs on the back burner.
- Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else....Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself....
- Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
- Stop being scared to make a mistake. – ....Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
- Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – ....We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles....
- Stop trying to buy happiness.
- Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. –
If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy
in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.
- Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront.
- Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.
- Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
- Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work.
- Stop trying to compete against everyone else.
- Stop being jealous of others.
- Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself.
- Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
- Stop letting others bring you down to their level.
- Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others.
- Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
- Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments.
- Stop trying to make things perfect.
- Stop following the path of least resistance. – ....Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.
- Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
- Stop blaming others for your troubles.
- Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.
- Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.
- Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen.
- Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.
30 things to start doing for yourself:
- Start spending time with the right people.
- Start facing your problems head on.
- Start being honest with yourself about everything. –
Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be
honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become. Be
honest with every aspect of your life, always....
- Start making your own happiness a priority. – ....Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.
- Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself....
- Start noticing and living in the present. – Right now is a miracle. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future. Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past. Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening. Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.
- Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. – ....Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again....
- Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others....
- Start enjoying the things you already have. – The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life....Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind. You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now. So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.
- Start creating your own happiness. – ....Smile because you can. Choose happiness. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be happy with who you are now....
- Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance. – In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! ....
- Start believing that you’re ready for the next step. – ....embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges....
- Start entering new relationships for the right reasons. – ....Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment....
- Start giving new people you meet a chance. – ....Trust your judgment. Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory....
- Start competing against an earlier version of yourself. – Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. Aim to break your own personal records.
- Start cheering for other people’s victories. – Start noticing what you like about others and tell them....Cheer for their victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly.
- Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. – When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope.
- Start forgiving yourself and others. – We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others. And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long. We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go. Forgiveness is the remedy. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.
- Start helping those around you.
- Start listening to your own inner voice.
- Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks. – Slow down. Breathe.
- Start noticing the beauty of small moments. – Instead of waiting for the big things to happen....find happiness in the small things that happen every day....
- Start accepting things when they are less than perfect.
- Start working toward your goals every single day. – Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen. Get out there and DO something! ....
- Start being more open about how you feel. – If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it. Talk to those closest to you. Tell them the truth about how you feel. Let them listen. The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.
- Start taking full accountability for your own life. – Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them....
- Start actively nurturing your most important relationships. – Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people....
- Start concentrating on the things you can control. – You can’t change everything, but you can always change something....Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.
- Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes.
- Start noticing how wealthy you are right now. – Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You didn’t go to sleep outside. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning. You hardly broke a sweat today. You didn’t spend a minute in fear. You have access to clean drinking water. You have access to medical care. You have access to the Internet. You can read. Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.