So, what’s it going to be?

We all have things in our life that are toxic. It could be a person, job, habit, lifestyle choice, or even a way of thinking. All of these are a lot more destructive to us than we really realize.

We get so caught up trying to just make it from day to day, trying to avoid conflict, stress eating a box of Milk Duds (Who me?), or constantly jumping from one negative thought to another, that we completely miss that our physical, emotional and mental health are all taking a beating in the process.

We forget that we have a choice. We can stop communicating with the toxic person… or people, in our lives. Or, at the very least, put our foot down and stop being an emotional punching bag. You don’t have to be a doormat, and let people walk all over you. You don’t have to accept the verbal and emotional abuse from others. You don’t have to listen to the negativity. It’s okay to set boundaries and enforce them. It’s okay to defend your own peace. Most importantly it’s okay to do what’s best for you even if it upsets other people. The people who really care about you will get over it.

If your job is sucking your soul dry, you can find a different one. That sounds so simple, and is so obvious, yet it’s often overlooked. I see so many people who feel stuck, running themselves down, emotionally drained, for a job or volunteer position they hate. Most people would rather be uncomfortable and miserable in familiar territory, than to admit there might be something better out in the unknown. They are afraid of disappointing someone or just plain failing, so choose to stay unhappy. That doesn’t have to be your story.

If you have a habit of too much cake, not enough cardio, then make a change. Stop complaining about your weight and do something about it. Maybe you drink or smoke too much, so cut back. If you spend too much time on your phone, not enough interacting with the people in front of you, turn it off. It isn’t rocket science, but it is a choice. You need to choose to figure out what is toxic for you, and decide to do something about it.

Maybe the way you think about yourself and the world around you is toxic. Are you stuck in a cycle of negativity and cynicism? Never able to see the good in any situation, so you don’t believe good things happen to you. Maybe you are constantly in victim mode. Nothing is ever your fault, or your life would have been fine if XYZ hadn’t happened. Or maybe you are just plain angry. Angry that your life hasn’t turned out how you thought it would, angry that you have been hurt, angry that stuff never seems to go your way. You need to start retraining how you think, one day at a time. Make the choice to start seeing the world differently. It’s amazing how fast your entire attitude changes when you do this!

Now, if you are like me, you are going to sit down and realize you have several things that you need to work on. Don’t try to change them all at once, that’s a great way to set yourself up for failure. Instead, stop and think about the one that stands out the most to you, and work on that one. There is no right or wrong answer when you are choosing to grow and heal. The most important thing is that you are trying.

You are only controlled by the toxic things in your life if you choose to be. So, what’s it going to be? Are you going to stay stuck, or are you going to take control of your life and start changing for the better?

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