Negative thinking – A thought process where people tend to find the worst in everything, or reduce their expectations by considering the worst possible scenarios. This approach can allay disappointment in some situations; but, negative thinking tends to manifest into a pattern that can cause tremendous stress, worry, or sadness over time.
Read Quickly for now…
(Figure 1) Unfinished Negative Thoughts
It’s not fair that _____ because _____
Why can’t I be _____ like…..
What’s the point of _____ since…
I can’t _____ because in the past…
I want _____ to but…
I know the benefits of _____ but…
I don’t think I can _____ because…
I can’t _____ because…
The worst part of _____ is…
These are just a few examples, but if a thought begins like this odds are it’s probably going to harm your self-confidence, motivation, or both in some way.
Negative thoughts are selfish by nature, they will always try to distract you with something that you are more comfortable doing. I repeat, they don’t want to hurt you–they want you to be more comfortable by taking you away from a fear, insecurity, or just plain self-doubt.
Imagine that all of these thoughts are coming from just one point of your mind, and realize that IT IS a part of you and that IT IS NOT your enemy. It’s simply a part of you that doesn’t want to be positive or self-disciplined or whatever.
Now imagine that your mind is a news program and all the news playing is being biased by this part of you that is being negative. This leaves you with the choice of either not watching the news and being ill informed (in this case about yourself) or change the narrative by challenging the negative bias.
It’s simple your conscious brain can overcome your subconscious by simply by using vocal, positive, and relevant self-talk. Because that’s all a positive attitude is, simply countering the negative thoughts with positive thoughts. It’s not as if positive people don’t have dark thoughts. They just know how to use positive self-talk to redirect their focus into taking action.
A few examples.
(Figure 2) Unfinished Positive Thoughts
I can do ____ because…
I am not giving up on ____ because ____
I am ____ now because ____
I want to ____ instead because ____
I believe in myself because ____
I am better prepared ____ now because…
The point to keep in mind before you start with the exercise is that you’re attitude has everything to do with your success. At this point, the part of you that doesn’t want to be self-disciplined and positive should be feeling cagey. Remember this part of you isn’t an enemy.
The goal is to get the part of you being negative to work with the part of you that wants to be more positive.
Here’s a Quick Recipe for Being Less Negative
(Spend No More Than Fifteen Minutes)
[WARNING] If it hasn’t already, the part of you that doesn’t want to positive, will soon be nagging you to think and not write these down–DO NOT LISTEN TO IT. Tell yourself if you do this you will be better prepared to combat negativism in every aspect of your life.
- Pick three from of the list of ‘Unfinished Negative Thoughts’ in Figure 1 or come up with your own and finish them with some of the negative thoughts that go through your own brain about a single topic.
- Identify the Pain– Think carefully and use details that depict exactly where and how it hurts. Then be masochistic and try to identify why it hurts.
- Listen To the Facts and Not the Sentiments
- Pick three from of the list of ‘Unfinished Positive Thoughts’ in Figure 2 or come up with your own and finish them so that they overrule the completed negative thoughts from the first step about a single topic.
- Identify Improvement– Something to remember about self-talk is that you have to focus on improvement and not immediate success. You’re not a wizard learning spells, you are just someone who wants to be more positive and self-confident.
- Listen To the Facts and Not the Sentiments
- (Optional) Share what you wrote in the comments section.
- Keep what you wrote somewhere you can discretely access it. Read it periodically. The More Times the Better.
(Show Don’t Tell)
- Three Finished Negative Thoughts
- The worst part of _not being able to find a programming job_ is that I don’t think I deserve or am worthy of one.
- I know the benefits of _networking to find a job _ but I feel like if I was good enough just interviews would be sufficient.
- What’s the point of _working on Jaunty or even programming_ since no one is going to even give me the chance to learn or prove myself.
- Three Finished Positive Thoughts
- I can find an awesome programming job because I have improved every year since I began and I have been consistently programming on my own time to be better prepared.
- I am networking more now because _it might let me jump on an opportunity before others and be more knowledgable about being a professional programmer__.
- I am better prepared _to take a risk _ now because I have become much more self-disciplined, self-confident, and focused and because I can’t grow without risk.
Let me know what you thought of the exercise in the comments.