your mind: best friend or worst enemy?

The mind is a powerful thing. It has the power to build you up but it also has the power to tear you right back down again. Everyone has had one of those days, when you wake up feeling good about yourself and suddenly, at the back of your mind, you hear these whispering voices of doubt that make your heart drop and your self-confidence melt into a bubbling pit at the bottom of your stomach.

It’s normal. If this is a regular occurrence for you, trust me, you are not alone. But remember that those voices do not define who you are.

The negative voices in your head are just your mind’s way of reflecting on past experiences, the good and the bad. It will keep you fearful of making the same mistakes that you have made before and also remind you that there are certain standards that people expect from you due to the successes that you have already achieved and even those you have yet to achieve. These thoughts will make you stressed, insecure and stunt your personal growth, not to mention put a damper on what could have been an incredible day.

Some people become workaholics, to shut out all the worry by keeping constantly busy so that during the day, they aren’t alone with their thoughts and at night, after a long tiring day of work, they’re too tired to think. Others turn to substance abuse which temporarily dulls their senses and their brain’s capability to properly process things thus allowing them to lose sense of reality. Both are common, albeit unhealthy, coping mechanisms that work to an extent but running away from your problems is never the answer. Problems tend to grow like monsters if you don’t face them head on and I don’t think you want to see just how monstrous they can really get in the long run.

Your mind is primitive, instinctual. It’s like a wild animal. If it’s not tamed, it can overwhelm you and tear you to pieces without mercy. But it needs a lot of patience, love and guidance to train and develop. It takes time, as well as unavoidable mental and emotional breakdowns, but once you’ve got your mind and thoughts under control, it will become your greatest ally, capable of propelling you to incredible heights.

When negativity threatens to cloud your mind, it’s up to you to realise that you are not defined by the insecurities that constantly resurface. The recurring fear of judgement and failure are merely illusions that the mind conjures up to prevent you from stepping out of your comfort zone, from stepping into the unknown. The mind fears the unknown. It fears change. But remember that it is okay to make mistakes because you will never learn or progress without trying. The leap of faith is scary but only when you accept and rise above the negativity can you truly be happy and prosper.

As Buddha once said, “Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are. It solely relies on what you think.” And I think those are some real wise words to live by.