Beth's Posts, Experiences, Observations

Don’t Dwell!

Stop Sign

When I put a post out here for you to read, I don’t like to tell you to do something.

Recently I spent time at Purdue talking to lots of people about my experiences since graduation, and I found myself sharing a couple of things I wouldn’t recommend doing. Dwelling on something you did and later wished you did something different is one experience I suggested as a poor use of their time.

Dwelling on an experience represents spending time and valuable energy on a past event that you wish you had done differently. The unfortunate part about ‘dwelling’ is it puts energy on something you can’t change. It’s done. It’s in the past.

Instead, change your thought process to acknowledge it as a learning experience (not a failure!) and then move on to thinking about what you want, incorporating that learning. Reframe the negative experience into a valuable lesson you can use to get what you proactively choose for your future.

I used to spend lots of time wishing I had done something different and thought about how changing my actions would result in a different result (read – a solution I wanted). I can tell you it doesn’t change a thing. It uses valuable thought time and adds to feelings of your inadequacy.

I challenge anyone who reads this post to stop yourself in this trivial pursuit.

Instead, ask ‘how does this thought pattern benefit me?’ When you interrupt your thoughts like this, it immediately changes your thinking to ‘yeah, what’s in it for me?’ It also does a great job to redirect your thoughts in such a way as to get you focusing back on your desired future.

It is a simple trick I use to check my thinking when I am intentionally choosing to change a thought pattern or belief. It has an added benefit of creating a pause in my continuous, random thinking. I begin to question those thoughts that are occurring without effort.

So don’t ‘dwell’! Instead, choose to spend your valuable thought time on what you want.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Dwell!

  1. This one is really well said!! I totally agree. I think this work that you speak of is simply about gently taking my attention off of what I don’t want and back onto what I do want.

    Thanks for this blog, Beth.

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