Before we talk about how we let go of crappy, negative thinking, let’s define what it is. Let’s talk about how negative thoughts can affect your life and well being.
Negative thinking is having thoughts that don’t serve us and our highest good. They are thoughts such as “I’m not good enough. I suck. Who do I think I am to be doing this” (whatever this is). They are the “I can’t…” thoughts. I can’t do this, I can’t do that… ” thoughts.
They are the excuses that we tell ourselves why we can’t do something. They are thoughts that hold us back. For some of us, the negative thoughts we have about ourselves we would never say or admit to another person.
Your Thoughts Affect your Actions
I’d like to share with you that your thoughts create your actions and your behavior. And if you are thinking negatively, how likely are we to take actions that support you or move you forward? Probably a continuous stream of negative thinking about what happened or what might happen is going on in your head. We’ve all heard someone say “I need to move on” or even “You need to move on”.
If your goal is indeed to move on and change your negative thinking, how do you do that? Here are my 7 Steps to Letting Go of Negative Thinking that will help:
STEP 1: Pay attention to what you are saying both to yourself and out loud.
Notice what is positive and what is negative. Also, take note of the feelings attached to or associated with it. I used to say “I can do this!” out loud, but internally I was saying “Who do I think I am to do this?” Negative thinking is tricky. Pay close attention. Once you recognize the negative thinking, move to Step 2.
STEP 2: Create a turn-around statement.
I used to constantly feel that no matter what I did, I wasn’t good enough to get to where I wanted to go in my business. What ended up happening was that I wouldn’t complete things. I created a simple turn-around statement that said: “I know how to take the right amount of action to get me to where I want to go.” You don’t have to be fancy here. Just turn your negative thought into a positive thought.
STEP 3: Write down your turn-around statement and read it throughout your day.
Especially important when you notice that you are in a negatively-thinking state and getting yourself caught up in the “I can’t do this” cycle.
STEP 4: Make an action plan of concrete steps.
These are steps you will take that will lead you to your end result. In my example, first I needed to get clear about where I wanted to go in my business. At the time, I just wanted clients. I, therefore, needed to lay the foundation in order to get them and then I needed to act on it.
STEP 5: Take consistent action no matter how small.
A lot of people are all or nothing. Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you can’t complete what you want to do in one sitting, there isn’t any reason to bother starting and/or doing it in the first place. By doing just 5, 10, 15 or more minutes of action a day you can easily and without struggle reach your end result.
STEP 6: Track your progress.
One of my clients decided to rate how he did with what he was trying to change. He created a chart and would rate on a scale of 1-10 how he felt he was progressing day-to-day. He did this to keep himself on target and it worked. It’s important to be consistent, daily, when trying to make changes in your life and your behavior and especially in your thinking.
Step 7: Understand and be okay with the fact that you will slide back.
The key is to remember that there is no failure, only an opportunity to learn. I had the biggest shift in my business and life when I started to ask questions of myself: “How could I have done that better?” and “What will I do differently next time?”
See it’s a different story (and if feels better) when you ask yourself “What will I do differently next time?” rather than “What did I do wrong?” Don’t berate yourself for all the things you felt you didn’t do and slide back into that negative thought pattern of “I’m not good enough.”
Remember, you ARE good enough just the way you are!