Negative thinking often begins with the unrealistic expectations that the path should be clear for whatever you’re trying to accomplish. When things go wrong, this doesn’t need to reaffirm the idea that you’re no good at anything. Instead of dreading failure, look forward to it as an opportunity to learn.
Take each challenge as a signal that you are working toward something worthwhile. Use setbacks as a chance to hone your skills rather than seeing them as a sign that you are no good. Decide to do this ahead of time – don’t waver no matter how you’re feeling.
Negative thinking allows us the “luxury” of not expecting too much from ourselves and others. If we always expect to be let down by others, we spare ourselves the pain of being let down. But, it keeps you from the joy that comes with personal growth.
Is a past hurt or painful memory fuelling your negative thinking? Choose to let go of that memory every time it comes to mind, and to forgive the person associated with it. Know that this takes time, and there will be days when you won’t feel like letting go. But when you do, you’ll begin to experience inner freedom.
You can free yourself from the mental trap of thinking negatively toward others by thinking “People are doing the best they can.” Choose to believe that they are not purposely trying to hurt you.
We can fall into the trap of all-or-nothing thinking, engaging in faulty interpretations of the actions of others. If things don’t go exactly according to our expectations, we immediately turn to the worst-case scenario. This is usually a distortion of reality.
If you’re a procrastinator by nature, what steps can you take to combat this? You can say something like, “I will limit my time on Facebook and Twitter.” If you’re disorganised, you could say “I will start using a calendar to track deadlines”.
Acknowledge and own the problem of negative thinking patterns. Understand that only you can choose how you react to your circumstances. Only you can challenge your negative thinking and change your life. Reclaim your power to choose a different response.
Be a friend to yourself and let a friend’s drama go when you walk away. A lot of the drama we experience in life comes from our interpretations of the things we experience – particularly after the moments have passed.