It probably would be fair to say that the last year has been like no other we have ever experienced! It has been a time of uncertainty, worry, doubt, anxiety, fear and has also produced a huge number of ANTS!!!

Little wonder then that our happiness and confidence levels in ourselves, the world, the situation may have dropped during these times!

Beliefs are influenced by what goes on around us and what we choose to believe. We are not born with them. Beliefs are not reality, they feel real, but that is just a perception. Beliefs exist because of the way we think, not because the world is that way. Worries and fears are only tricks played on us by our minds.

Our inner critic influences our view of the world, filtering experiences and shaping beliefs. We are much harsher on ourselves than on anybody else or how anybody else would be with us.

Automatic negative Thoughts (ANTS) pop into our head from the subconscious. These are the negative thoughts that criticise us and tell us what we can’t do. They tell us we are stupid, a failure, that we can’t be and do what we want.

They also have the ability to creep into our minds with sentences that start with “What if?” or “I should.”

“What if I lose my job?” “What if we never come out of lockdown?” “What if life never gets back to normal?”

“I should be more patient with the kids” “I should have seen my friends and family more when I could” “I should have made more effort to find a job.”

The more of these ANTS we have, the more we believe them, the more it becomes self- fulfilling. When we think of ourselves as stupid, a failure, or whatever other negative label we give ourselves, the more we start to feel and behave that way to prove ourselves right. The more “What ifs?” or “I shoulds” we come up with the more we start to believe them to be true!

 And that’s all these pesky ANTS need!  They can then build anthills that grow higher and stronger, until they become mountains!!!

So we need to challenge the ANTS, from the start and stamp them out, so they don’t get chance to build!

When you experience a colony of ANTS exterminate them by replacing them with thoughts that are more constructive and empowering. Choose alternative thoughts that are feasible and realistic given the situation, instead of the totally negative thoughts such as “I’m useless,” “I’m a failure,” “What if….?” “I should….”  And the list goes on!!

Consciously monitor thoughts and spot ANTS for what they are. Pests!!!!

To be happier, you only need to live in the present moment and tackle thoughts that bother you now. What happened in the past can stay in the past. It’s done. Over. And the future is something we cannot predict! But what we tend to do is to try and control the future by worrying about it! Which simply does not work!

Beliefs are just one way of thinking about situations and circumstances. Not right or wrong, but empowering or disempowering.  So the trick is to replace those disempowering thoughts with empowering ones.

A good way to do this is wear an elastic band on your wrist and every time you notice an ANT creeping in to your mind ping it!! Yes, it may sting your wrist a bit! (ANT bites do!) but the more you practice, the more you will notice those ANTS and the more you can then stamp them out as you change those negative thoughts to positive ones! Resulting in a happier and more confident you!

The difference between confident and less confident people is not how much anxiety or fear they feel, it’s about recognising those feelings for what they are, just a perception, not real. Then they start doing what they need to do!

 Exterminating those ANTS by taking action, taking control and building confidence,  rather than Anthills!

 Give yourself credit for your strengths rather than beating yourself up for what you perceive to be weaknesses. And stop the negative thinking about “What ifs?” and “I shoulds.” Let it go!

Confident, happy people believe in themselves and because of that they tend to achieve what they put their minds to!

You can improve your confidence and happiness levels by consciously changing your thoughts to a positive, more empowering take on both yourself and the world!  

And get rid of those pesky ANTS once and for all!!

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