Overcoming Negative Thinking and ‘Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda’

Overcoming Negative Thinking and ‘Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda’
"Woulda, coulda, shoulda" have been my buzzwords since childhood. I’ve spent a lifetime second-guessing nearly every major decision I've ever made. Of course, this caused me great stress and anxiety and led me to research how to change this negative habit. In the process, I learned that many physical issues stem from psychological issues. I began to suspect that many of my fibromyalgia symptoms were related to this negative thinking.  My decision-making difficulties stem at least partially  from my childhood. My parents allowed me to make few decisions and even fewer mistakes. They had very specific rules about what I was allowed to be, say, and do. And those rules were strictly enforced. The unfortunate result (for me and for many adults with similar childhoods) is that making decisions has always caused me great anxiety. In an effort to avoid making them, I find myself relying on other people's opinions rather than on my own intelligence and experience. If I do manage to make up my own mind about something, I follow it up later with an endless stream of “woulda, coulda, shoulda.”  My spiritual advisor recommended a book to help me with this issue. It’s not new, but rather a classic that's as powerful today as ever. Written in 1968 by Raymond Charles Barker, "The Power of Decision" provides common sense incentives for me to change my pattern of thinking. Chief among them is the reminder that our minds are as unique as our fingerprints. Given this reality, I have a duty to share my uniqueness with the world. Unless I do so, why am I here? So, I'm becoming less anxious about making decisions, and I'm allowing myself to make more mistakes. And guess what? The world doesn’t come to a screeching halt when I'm wrong! With time and practice, I'm
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