UPGRADE YOUR MINDSET WITH THESE POSITIVE THINKING TIPS TO STOP DREADING WHAT YOU DON’T WANT TO DO.
Life’s full of things we have to do, not so much things we actually want to do. Which means? Dread and procrastination is kind of human nature.
Clean the house, go to work, face that awkward conversation, go to the doctor, make an appearance at a work outing. The list is pretty much endless. With all of these moments you don’t really want to deal with, how do you fill your mind with positive thoughts to stop dreading them?
It takes practice and self-discipline. You have to rethink your approach to the day-to-day routine and upgrade your attitude. Basically adjust your mindset.
You gotta be positive.
And once you become more mindful about your thoughts when it comes to accomplishing tasks, chasing dreams or just doing those things you’d rather ignore, that same positive mindset will trickle into all areas of your life.
Feeling happy about life’s little joys becomes second nature, and perhaps that (daily) morning snooze fest turns into a healthy morning routine you can’t get enough of.
Tired of feeling trapped by dread? Use these positive thinking tips to find joy and purpose in it all.
Positive thoughts to stop dreading what you don’t want to do
Every time you see someone and think “Wow, she’s so thin,” or look in the mirror and say to yourself “Your hair looks like crap,” you’re playing the comparison game on some level or another. You’re downplaying everything you are and using things like movies, media or peers to tell you what you “should” be.
When you tell yourself enough lies, you start to believe them.
And here’s where dread and putting things off comes into play: You become overly self-conscious and start to doubt your abilities.
When that happens, you may start to dread a casual get together with friends, lose confidence when you’re about to negotiate a raise or sidestep a new opportunity because you don’t feel worthy enough.
Look on the bright side
Looking on the bright side can give you an extra boost of motivation and inspiration to just get. it. done. But it can also help you enjoy whatever it is that you have to do while you’re doing it.
When you continually approach your to-dos with negativity, on the other hand, you risk becoming dissatisfied with just about anything, which is the quick and easy path to finding a way to moan and groan about stuff that’s really just small potatoes.
For instance, instead of grumbling about weeding your once beautiful garden (and putting it off for another season), appreciate the chance to get outside. To breathe fresh air, get some Vitamin D, feel the breeze. To just enjoy nature.
Love your blessings
Start by thinking about the specific thing you don’t want to do. Nothing’s too small—anything goes.
Cleaning your bathroom? Washing dishes for the umpteenth time? Mustering up the courage to tell someone what’s been on your mind?
Bathroom maintenance is by far my least favorite household chore, so let’s look at that one.
First, be thankful you have a bathroom to clean. That your house has conveniences like a solid floor, electricity and running water.
Now think about why you have that bathroom in the first place. Maybe it’s because you’re capable of working (and have a job) to earn the money needed to live in your house. That you have working arms and legs to do it at all.
Imagine life without any of this, and go beyond just counting these blessings. Reflect on them and be grateful, really grateful.
Ditch “have to” for “get to”
In fact, consider ditching “have to” altogether. Go ahead and remove it from your vocab.
When you have to do something, there’s an instant sense of dread that goes along with it. You’d rather avoid doing it, or procrastinate long enough so that you end up tackling it only once you absolutely, well, have to.
The idea is fairly similar to how being grateful can help you see the good in everyday mundane, tedious tasks or things you’d rather not do.
Instead of having to do a load of laundry, exercise or clean up after your kids or pets, you get to.
No more “I have to exercise.” Tell yourself, “I get to exercise.” No matter what your fitness journey is, you have a healthy enough body to get it moving.
Replace “I have to feed my pets for what seems like the hundredth time this week” to “I get to feed my pets, those little fuzz-buckets that love me even when I’ve had a terrible day and just want to shove my face with ice cream.”
Incoming dad joke…
Get my drift? 😉
Learn with everything you do
Take every opportunity as a chance to learn and grow. This might not only mean learning a new skill, but learning how to shift your perspective so that you approach a dreaded task with positivity.
For instance, say your manager puts you in charge of a new project. Because you’ve never done anything like it before, you’re going to have to do some research and figure out how to best execute it. You’re dreading it—the entire thing, and you’d rather bury your head in the sand.
Beyond just not wanting to do the work, maybe this kind of situation intimidates you or gives you more anxiety than you’d like to handle.
Instead of honing in on those negative feelings and jitters, take a deep breath and give yourself a pep talk.
Decide you’re going to give it your all, tackle one thing at a time and learn everything you can in the meantime. Again, you won’t only be developing your professional skills, but you’ll be learning about yourself—how you cope with stress and rise to a challenge all while keeping your head high.
You got this!
Practice staying present
There I was, sweeping my floors, mad. Thinking about how not only do I have to sweep them, but I have to mop them, too. (I know, woe is me.)
The reason I was so crabby was because I wanted to be doing other things. At the moment, I really wanted to be working on my blog. All I could think about was how I was going to be spending a few hours cleaning when I could be putting those hours to (what I thought would have been) much better use.
Who needs clean floors anyway? (Actually, me. I do. Dirty floors is one of my peeves.)
And then it came to me.
I realized that I needed to stop dwelling on the fact that I’d rather be doing something else. So rather than pouting about household chores and letting my mind wander to other, more exciting activities, I needed to focus on what I was doing right then.
Wanna know what happened? Instantly, I felt more at peace. I was able to acknowledge (and be grateful for) my blessings and actually be happy about cleaning my home.
In focusing on the now, you become more mindful. You tune into the present and become more engaged with what you’re doing. Instead of rushing to get it done, you slow down enough to practice gratitude and live in the moment.
Look to the future
Now I know I just talked about being more present, but hear me out on this one.
When your mind starts zeroing in on the negative, picture how you—or your life—will improve once that one dreaded to-do is scratched off of your list.
Would rather skip out on a mandatory team outing at work? Understandable. But think about how you can not only get a little team bonding in, but use those connections for when you might be looking for future opportunities at the company. Or how it might be a good chance to enhance your soft skills. (At the very least, get some free food?)
Or perhaps you’re chasing a new dream and hit your first snag—you’ve lost that drive to tackle the next step. Remember why you chose that goal in the first place and picture what life looks like 6 months, 1 year or 5 years down the road. All because you stuck to it today.
What positive thinking strategies help you replace dread with joy? How do you motivate yourself to do what you flat out don’t want to?