Toxic Thoughts to Avoid in 2020

  • “As a man thinketh, so is he.”
  • “Your attitude determines your altitude.”

Many of us might be familiar with those quotes. We have had them drilled in us by our teachers; in our Sunday School classes; at empowerment seminars or read it somewhere. We are constantly reminded that the state of our lives is determined by the state of our mind.

I believe that to be more than popular wisdom. Our thoughts affect our mood and our actions and ultimately our quality of life. We must, therefore, win the battle against negativity in our minds before we can win at life.

I promise you that this is not yet another, “positive thinking” blog post. I know that life happens and dishes us some serious curve balls. It is okay to throw a little pity party for yourself but then when the party is done you have to clean up and get ready to start yhe next day. So, this is really a post about OVERCOMING!!??


You need to be validated to move.
That need for validation will cripple you from moving forward. Part of the reason we seek validation from others is because we:
i) Don’t know who we are (our gifts, strengths, attributes that allows us to add value).
ii) Don’t believe in ourselves. We are socialised to believe in God but nobody teaches us the power of believing in ourselves – in our inherent worth and value and that which we have to offer the world. Self-belief has been mistakenly rebuked as conceit and being “cocky”. The dream may seem ridiculous and fantastic but your belief is not in the dream but in YOU – your ability to get the job done.

Failing at something makes to a failure. STOP!!! This kind of thinking makes us afraid to try. In my mind, there is nothing called failure. How can one fail if there are lessons learned? I plan and execute workshops and I remember when I just started, I paid and booked a room and nobody showed up. I was so despondent. I had to step back from the situation and assess what I could have done BETTER,  I came away with LESSONS LEARNED. I applied those lessons and have managed to execute better workshops.

Comparing yourself to others. Comparison is not only the thief of happiness; it is the thief of purpose. As human beings we have the tendency to measure our success by other people’s journey. Again, STOP!!! You don’t know what people had to go through or do (il/legal) to get where they are. Furthermore, you have your own unique journey that perhaps if you were not busy trying to live someone else’s you’d be further along in your own lane. Honour your process. You’re in a class by yourself. There is absolutely no need for comparison.

Competition. Competition exists in a mindset of scarcity and lack. When you live with a mindset of abundance, you recognise that there is enough for ALL of us. Choose collaboration. Leverage your strengths to benefit others as you benefit from theirs. Competition steals from your inner peace. Remember you are in a class by yourself. There is no competition.

And finally…

Hard work brings success. Work SMART instead. Set SMART goals. That is more than the acronym. Setting SMART goals begins with aligning goals with a purpose driven vision for your life. When you set smart goals, you then can create a workable plan that allows you to work SMART instead of working hard.

We’re already halfway through 2019. If we start to practice this paradigm shift now, we will possibly gain mastery by 2020. Whatever we do, we cannot carry those toxic thoughts with us into the next phase of our journey.

Damien Marcus Williams is a community development practitioner, resource mobilisation specialist, social enterprise and business development consultant, author, speaker and strategic life management coach. He lives in Kingston, Jamaica and you may follow him on Instagram & Twitter on @damienmwilliams and Facebook and LinkedIn at Damien Marcus Williams or Email

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