Do you feel stuck in a life you never truly dreamed about? Trust me, there is so much more to the book than the page you think you are stuck on. Do you still hold onto all your past mistakes, unable to truly let them go?

We all carry beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world, along with the emotional baggage that comes with them. Sometimes emotional baggage just needs to be emptied out. What’s in your griefcase? Most of what weighs you down, sweet friends, is not yours to carry.

Do you know what your negative self-talk sounds like? What have you been beating yourself up over? What opinions do you carry about yourself that define who you are?

It’s no easy feat to peek under the curtain of our minds. We all have core beliefs and we are intensely affected by them. Perhaps deep down you believe that you do not deserve happiness, or that you are not “enough” or even unlovable. Do you ever feel as though your self-worth depends on others, or that you are somehow inferior?

Most of us have one core judgment about ourselves that permeates and penetrates nearly everything we think, feel, or even do. Fill in the blank: “I am…”  “I always…” “People are…” Did you support or condemn yourself right there? Where do those sentiments come from? Those beliefs about ourselves began in childhood, and oftentimes were borne out of pain. Perhaps a well-meaning parent told you often how “wrong” you were. You may have felt unsafe, and now have tremendous difficulty trusting others.

The only time you feel light-hearted is when you’re on an airplane at 40,000 feet? You feel like damaged goods? Simply because something feels real does not make it so. Do you criticize yourself or compare yourself to others? How does that affect you? Does that position and presumption about yourself make you feel anxious, self-conscious, or self-doubt? This way of thinking does not serve you, sweet friends.

Time to disprove those self-effacing thoughts and replace them with ones that will make you feel more content and confident. “I deserve to be happy. I am lovable.” Make a list of things that make you happy. Now make a list of things you do every day. Compare the lists. Adjust accordingly. Speaking of lists, I gave my handyman a list. When I got home, only items 1, 3, and 5 were done. Turns out he only does odd jobs. Heh.

Whatever you believe on the inside is what you will manifest on the outside. Are you the type of person you would want to meet? As awful as that negative notion is, it may have served as a safety blanket all these years. But the end result is chronic unhappiness. What do you emphasize; what do you minimize? Are you RSVPing to your daily self-pity party? Sometimes you need someone to deliver a compassionate truth bomb, instead of always trying to appease you.

What role do you flip into when you’re struggling? You may not be the best person to talk to about you when you are blue to the bone. Are you a hero or a victim in your own life? Most of us never even notice the connection between our feelings and our deeply embedded beliefs. But once you see the link, you can take a step back and challenge some of those assumptions. Changing your thoughts can change your life.

If you’re thinking, you may as well think big. Negative reflections are like magnets t repel any positivity and attract only that which reinforces them. You may view this world as a dangerous place, with only bad things in store for you. Try to find those “ANTS” – “Automatic Negative Thoughts” – during the day. Re-examine how you think about your strengths. You do think about them, don’t you?

Yes, the mind will chatter endlessly. Accept those dark thoughts, but be mindful of the fact that they are simply opinions. You can train your mind to embrace more positive insights and ideas. Scientific research has found a link between blood type and happiness. The best blood type for happiness? “B Positive.”

Others putting you down? Don’t let anyone turn your sky into a ceiling. Out of the 11,000 thoughts you have each day, how many are upbeat and uplifting? Next time something irks you, take a few moments and ask yourself, “Why did that disturb and distress me so much?” You can talk yourself into or out of anything.

Who would you be and how would you react if you did not have that negative thought?

Can you think of a more hopeful view of things? Forgive yourself, sweet friends. Believe in good things to come. Change your words: I am a loser. No – “I feel like a loser.” And feelings are not facts. If you eliminated that thought, how would your life be different? Speaking of which, I’m pretty sure The Hunger Games and “The Biggest Loser” should have switched titles.

But seriously your mistakes were isolated instances. Never stop growing. Remember that guy who gave up? Neither does anyone else.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at