Why is it so hard to let go of negativity? Much of it has to do with ego, and misperceptions about ourselves. Here are three practical recommendations from spiritual guide Dalai Lama on how to combat self-induced shyness, fear of failure, and unhappy thoughts.
“Sometimes when we meet a stranger we can be excessively reserved and distant. This reaction is not logical. Actually, we have no good reason to fear contact with other people. We only have to realize that they are human beings like ourselves, with the same aspirations and the same needs, and it becomes easy to break the ice and communicate.”
“If you are afraid because you have no self confidence and feel that nothing you do will ever succeed, stop a while to think it over. Try to see why you imagine you are a loser before you have even started. You won’t find any really valid reason. The problem stems from your way of thinking, not from real ineptitude.”
“Transform your thoughts into positive ones. It is a mistake to think that everyone is bad. Some people are wicked, that’s true, but that does not mean everyone is. There are also many people who have a noble and generous spirit.”
Mindfulness can help us learn to observe the mind without judging the contents of our thoughts. When we feel unhappy, incapable, or afraid, many times these emotions are not rooted in reality. The challenge is learning to place value on the thoughts that matter (compassion, goodness, unity), while allowing the painful ones to fade naturally.
*Excerpts from 365 Dalai Lama, Daily Advice from the Heart.