I want to share five of the main types of negative thinking –so when they happen you can recognize them and then consciously choose to replace them with something more positive.
1. “Always or Never” Thinking
That’s when you’re just wondering, never, every time, everyone, nothing, and so on.
For example, thoughts like, “I’m not going to get a raise,” or, “Nobody thinks about me,” or, “I’m just screwing up, no matter what.” Not only is this kind of thinking detrimental to your well-being, but it’s also not focused. It’s not true that you don’t care for NO ONE, or you’re never going to get a rise.
Okay, if you never do the job you need to get a bonus, that last one might be real. Yet then you’re the one who causes the scenario. Which means you can change it. It’s not a given absolute.
2. “Focusing on the Negative” Feeling
It is when you’re so busy looking at the world’s bad things, you can’t see the good things.
But the fact is not all life is bad, just as it’s not all good. It’s both a combination. For pretty much all, there’s a positive side and a negative side.
And since you can choose what to focus on, why not focus on the positive?
I promise you that if you do, it will have a much better impact on your life and health.
3. Catastrophic Predicting
This is when you imagine the worst outcome in any situation and are convinced of its inevitability–usually without any real facts to support it.
A good example of this would be that you are beginning to imagine that you will be laid off from work, or that North Korea will send a nuclear missile and blow up Los Angeles, even if there is no concrete evidence to support your prediction. Although the worst-case scenario seldom exists, you’re behaving like it’s just a matter of time or encouraging your thoughts and actions to control.
The reality is we never know what the future holds–and history shows the rare occurrence of worst-case scenarios. So why think about something that hasn’t happened yet, and is probably never going to happen? You’re probably better off just concentrating on what’s going on right now and reflecting on it–like the task at hand.
4. Mind Reading A sly one is the fourth form of negative thinking.
This is when you convince yourself that you know what someone else is doing–and that’s always negative. Are you ever arguing with someone in your head?
You imagine them saying all kinds of awful things that frustrate you and make you angry and injure you or make you feel ashamed? That’s mind reading… you don’t know what that person is thinking. But you’re asking yourself to do it–and you’re letting this false belief affect your friendships adversely.
Note, you certainly aren’t psychic. The only way you can know what someone else thinks is to ask them and have an honest talk about it. That’s also how you form relationships that are deeper and more meaningful.
5. Guilt Tripping
Guilt-tripping is all that makes you feel embarrassed and humiliated when you reflect on all the bad things you’ve ever done, and you allow that to determine your view of who you are. You say you’re a failure and a bad person, and you don’t deserve to feel good or gain the happiness you’re looking forward to. And so, before you even begin, you give up.
It’s been observed that people wasting their entire lives because of their feelings of guilt for something they had done decades ago –divorce, loss of family because of their alcohol or drug addiction, traffic accidents, failure of troops under their control in combat, incarceration, and insistence that someone else’s death and suicide could have been avoided if they had acted differently.
The truth is, EVERYONE has done things that they regret, including me. You’re not supposed to let that define you. You’ve done a lot of great things in your life as well. When you concentrate on the good things and continue to see yourself as a fundamentally good person who has made many mistakes but is also able to accomplish great things, you will once again open yourself to a future of limitless opportunity.
Stop today’s Poor Self-Talk!
Start listening to how you’re speaking about yourself and how you’re talking to others.
Are you focusing on the negative and assuming the worst?
Should you break yourself down constantly?
Would you feel “always or never” in spite of this?
Would you suppose you know what others feel without having to check it out?
Each time you find yourself thinking a negative thought, say the words quietly and softly, “Cancel-Cancel” and then change it deliberately instead of a positive thought.