What Areas of Negativity Do You Struggle With?
Sometimes, you can be succeeding in one area but failing in another. This is a common challenge for many people and it’s often related to mindset. That’s because you may have mastered positivity in one area of your life but not another.
Why Overcoming Negative Thinking is Crucial
Dana had this problem. She struggled with her weight for years until she began using a fitness app on her smartphone to track her calories. From there, she started more healthy habits like drinking plenty of water and becoming physically active.
In two years, Dana lost over a hundred pounds. She went on to discover that she loved running and started doing marathons for charity. She often talked about how many kind, compassionate people she met at these events.
Dana had another dream besides becoming fit. She also wanted to run her own online business. She had dabbled in different businesses for years—she started a blog and ran advertising. She experimented with YouTube and even had her own tutorial channel for a while. Then she tried Facebook marketing and managed to make a little bit of money.
But despite all her efforts, Dana couldn’t seem to breakthrough and make any real progress. She was stumped about what to do until a business coach pointed out that to change her weight, Dana had changed her mindset. “Now you need to do the same thing for your business,” she explained.
Kyle had a similar problem. Like Dana, he had experienced transformation in one area of his life and he was excited about it. He had paid off thousands of dollars in student loans and was now using those payments to invest in real estate.
But Kyle struggled to find a romantic relationship. He was on dating websites but he rarely went on any dates. When his brother finally asked him why, Kyle admitted he was nervous. “All I can think about is the potential rejection,” he admitted. “I don’t want that!”
Kyle’s negative mindset convinced him that any woman would automatically reject him. Rather than thinking about the potential positive outcome, Kyle would zero-in on the worst possible scenario.
Andrea could relate. When she saw a news story about kids in the foster care system, her heart was broken for them. She started a small non-profit to help the children in tangible ways. Even though it wasn’t easy, Andrea was passionate about what she was doing.
Andrea grew the cause into an organization that required over fifty people to handle all the donations and support. She was enthusiastic about what she’d done but Andrea still had another dream she wanted to fulfill: she longed to be an actor on TV.
Her positive mindset had enabled her to start an organization that was making a real difference. But she didn’t tap into that mindset when it came to achieving her own dreams. Instead, she focused on all the reasons why the producers wouldn’t hire her.
A friend encouraged her to try out for local parts anyway, “So what if you’re not perfect? Some of the most memorable actors are known because they’re real about their flaws!”
If you relate to some of these examples, don’t get discouraged. You can change your life, too. It all starts with unlocking the power of your mindset and replacing negative programming with positive messages of hope.
What to Do with Negative Thinking Patterns?
You set a goal to be more positive and let go of negativity. Maybe part of that goal was to stop yelling at your kids and start praising them instead. Perhaps your ambition was to stop smoking and take up weightlifting instead.
But another day or week is starting and you’re feeling down. You’ve failed…again. You feel like you’ll never be able to make better choices. You’re angry at yourself for falling into the same old temptation. You’re wondering if lasting change is even possible. When you fail to be more positive, here’s what you need to do…
Some people struggle with this concept. They spend time constantly focused on what they did wrong and why they’ll never reach their goals. This line of thinking creates mental quicksand that will keep you from becoming your best self.
When you think of your failure, try to tell yourself something positive like, “Today is a new day. I forgive myself and release any guilt I feel over the past. I will not dwell on it. Instead, I’ll see today for what it is – a beautiful chance to start over.”
You may have to say this to yourself a few times throughout the day, especially if you struggle with guilt or shame. Self-forgiveness is like exercising—the more you do it, the easier it becomes.(Source)
Review Your Failure
Without blaming yourself or wallowing in shame, look at why you failed. Be honest about the thoughts or situations that may have influenced you. For example, you meant to think more positively about your relationship but you picked a fight with your significant other instead.
Consider, what may have prompted you to act this way. Were you hungry? Did you have a bad day at work? Were you frustrated about something else and your significant other was simply the closest target?
Was there a deeper issue in play? Are you resenting your partner’s sudden success in one area? Were you feeling insecure or worried they might leave you?
Obviously, there’s no excuse for taking out your emotions on a partner. But taking the time to dig in and discover what’s really going in your heart gives you the ability to learn from your experience.
Make an Action Plan
Now that you know what prompted you to lean into negativity, make a plan to overcome it. For example, if jealousy was the reason you spent the afternoon tearing down a co-worker, think about what you could do differently.
You could start by creating a positive mantra like, “I release all jealousy and resentment toward my co-worker. Instead, I embrace the fact that there is enough positive attention to go around.”
If you were feeling insecure in your relationship and it led you to pick a fight, you might want to choose a mantra like, “My partner and I are in a stable, committed relationship, and she (or he) loves me for who I am.”
At first, these positive thoughts might be difficult for you. But when you feed your mind positive and truthful statements, you’ll begin to believe them.
When you fully embrace them, it will start to affect your actions. No longer will you feel the need to gossip about your co-worker or belittle your partner’s accomplishments. With your new positive outlook, you’ll find it easier to be generous with others and support them.(Source)
Repair Your Relationship
Once you have an action plan for moving forward, you may still find yourself having to stop and heal your relationships. This is especially true if you emotionally injured someone you care about.
For example, if you were unkind to your sister because you’re afraid of losing her, you need to talk with her. This is not the time to justify your actions. Instead, explain what you did and apologize for it.
If your sister or another person you hurt asks, you can share what prompted you to act that way. This can also be a good time to mention what you’re doing to ensure it doesn’t happen again. You might say, “I was worried I was going to lose you. So, I pushed your buttons to start a fight on purpose. In the future, I’ll just be honest and tell you that I’m feeling insecure.”
These admissions are never easy but they do set the groundwork to begin healing a relationship. But keep in mind that though someone may forgive you easily, it can take time to rebuild trust and intimacy after an emotional betrayal.
Stanley described himself as a positive person. He thought his outlook was confident and his mood was usually upbeat. But when Stanley attended a business conference, he listened to a speaker talk about the different ways that negativity can manifest in your life and your business. Here are some of the insights that Stanley learned about…
Procrastination = Hidden Negative Thinking
Often, procrastination is a sign we’re holding onto negativity about the project or assignment we’re supposed to be doing. For example, if your boss expects you to learn how to do quarterly reports and you’ve never done them before, you might feel overwhelmed. Perhaps you even think, “I’ll never get all the work done. It’s too hard for me. I’ve never been good at simple reports.”
Because of these negative thoughts, you put off the reports. You do this week after week until you realize you only have three days left to get the work done. Then you must scramble madly and hope you can do it all on time.
If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with procrastination for years because they don’t realize it’s a mindset issue. But once you know this, you can begin to defeat the attitudes that lead you to put off important work until the last possible minute.(Source)
Learning as a Mask for Fear
The speaker at the conference Stanley attended told a story. He shared that he had a fellow colleague who desperately wanted to run his own web design firm and quit his day job as a math teacher.
But year after year, the teacher never acted on this desire. Instead, he was always in the process of learning “just one more thing.” He thought that if he mastered it all, he would then be qualified to work as a web designer.
While it’s important to be educated about what you’re doing, some people use ongoing education as an excuse for not taking the big leap they need to.
Understand that this negative mindset is your brain trying to be helpful. Your brain fears all change and it tells you that you can have everything you want, just as soon as you’re “ready.” This creates a negative cycle that leaves you feeling stuck and frustrated.
Rationalizations that Sound Good
For some people, negative thinking manifests as a list of excuses that rationalize why you’re not living the life you want. You might say, “I want to have a healthy relationship with a loving partner but every marriage in my family ends in disaster.”
The reason rationalizations are popular is because they sound like they’re true and they’re usually hard for others to challenge. For example, you say, “I want to go after my dream of becoming a singer but I can’t afford to quit my job.”
But the problem with rationalizations is they’re like watching your dreams slowly die. You may even get sympathy and understanding from those around you. They’ll reconfirm your justification by say things like, “Of course, you can’t. No one expects you to rise above this obstacle. It’s just too much.”
You need to fight against rationalizations with everything in you. Many people have healthy relationships, despite coming from difficult home lives. There are dozens of singers who worked two or three jobs until they hit it big.
Don’t let negativity manifest in your life as procrastination, over-preparation, or rationalizations. If you recognize these attitudes, take steps to combat them so you can become the best version of yourself.
How to Use Positive Affirmations
One of the best ways to build more positivity and make room for more happiness in your life is to use positive affirmations. That’s because your thoughts are the soundtrack of your life. If you change the soundtrack and make it positive, your life will begin to reflect these changes. Here are just a few ways you can add more positive affirmations into your day…
Pick one positive affirmation and journal about it. Don’t be afraid to explore it in-depth. Think about what it means to you and how you’d like to live it out.
For example, when Dwayne wanted to change his life, he journaled about the positive affirmation, “I am the master of my fate.” Doing this helped him realize he was in charge of his life and that he had to take responsibility for the choices he was making.
Put Them on Your Ceiling
Amanda wanted to grow her business. So she put an affirmation on her ceiling that read: “My business is expanding daily.” She liked doing this because it was the first thing she saw each morning and the last thing she glanced at before bed.
Make Sticky Notes
Sometimes, the best reminders are physical ones. They help keep a message or mantra front and center in our minds. Keeping positive affirmations around you is especially important when you’re beginning a new journey.
When Matthew wanted to lose weight and get fit, he put affirmations on sticky notes throughout his house. Because he struggled with loving himself, he put several positive sticky notes on his mirror where he would see them every day.
Jana was looking to pay off debt and become wealthy. So, she looked online for a background for smartphone that had a positive affirmation. She found one that she loved with these words on it:
I attract abundance and wealth easily.
Now every time she uses her phone, she’s reminded of her financial goals.
It can be helpful to take time each day to visualize your affirmation. For example, if your affirmation is “I love and approve of myself” then you might imagine giving yourself a hug or visualize being surrounded by a pink aura of self-acceptance.
Experiment with some or all these techniques to help change your mental soundtrack. You might feel silly or uncomfortable doing them at first, but just like other activities, you’ll feel more confident as time goes on.(Source)
Stop Negative Thinking- 20 Positivity Affirmations to Improve Your Life
Now that you know how to use positive affirmations, here are a few you might want to implement in your life…
1. I am in charge of how I feel and today, I am choosing happiness.
2. I attract abundance and wealth easily.
3. I choose to be kind to myself.
4. I will not compare myself to others.
5. I am the master of my fate.
6. I am worthy of love and respect.
7. I invite love and forgiveness into my relationships.
8. I open my hands to accept abundance from the universe.
9. I am grateful for my body and I bless every part of my body.
10. I choose to love those around me deeply.
11. I will work daily to chase my dreams.
12. I have the power to create change.
13. I will be my own best friend.
14. I am at peace on my journey.
15. I create prosperity in my life.
16. I choose to walk in generosity.
17. I feed my spirit good things.
18. I am aligned with the energy of abundance.
19. I am building a better life for myself.
20. My spirit is at peace within me.
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