We tend to focus more on our failures rather our successes … Why is that ?
Our brain seems to have an in-built radar that looks at the negatives and stores these associations in our memory bank. Which, let’s face it, is not always terribly helpful.
So, how do we lessen this barrage of negative thinking?
Developing our Positive Thinking is simply a matter of re-programming our Unconscious Mind.
It is worth noting that one of the prime directives of our Unconscious Mind is that it works on the principle of least effort.
So, the brain says “Been there and done that – and this is how we reacted in the past.” or “We already know this – so let’s act like we did before.”
The Unconscious Mind is geared to our common good though, so storing our learnings this way can, in a strange way, be to our benefit. For example – don’t put your hand in the fire as it’s hot and it will hurt.
But this approach is not always useful in relation to the constant negativity and corrosive self-talk we are subjected to on a daily basis. Our Unconscious Mind requires repetition until habits are formed. So unless we want this negativity to become learned behaviour – we must learn not to give these constant harmful thoughts too much air time.
I am an optimist – my glass is invariably half full – and believe you me it is a lot less exhausting looking for the good rather than always expecting the worst to happen.
I suggest therefore that we consciously need to take more control :
1. Pay attention : Be more aware of what we are actually thinking – is it constructive or not?
2. Choose what we focus on : Having identified whether these thoughts are positive or negative, we should to opt to place emphasis on the supportive thoughts rather than the disruptive ones.
3. Be Grateful : There are many ways to count our blessings. Some people fill in a gratitude journal whilst others take stock at the end of the day, recognising their successes and achievements. Others just stop and remember to say thank you. Whatever floats your boat – it all helps your brain to store the positives more readily.
4. Repeat Positive Affirmations : Yeah OK, so this might sound a little bit American. Just as the big advertising agencies broadcast catchy jingles that burrow into your minds, the same rule applies. The more you hear it – the more you believe it.
If it’s not your style to peer in the mirror each morning and say “Every day and in every way I Love and Approve of myself,” there are alternatives! Place motivational post-its around your office or your home, or have a positive statement on your phone. Better still look at my daily facebook quotes which are designed to motivate you and get you onto the path of positivity.
5. Challenge your Inner Critic : If you are prone to negative self-talk make a conscious effort to challenge what you are saying to yourself. Hearing negativity day in day out is extremely corrosive. Would you truly talk to a friend in the same way that you talk to yourself?
6. Take Action : Behaviour trains the mind. Prove that you mean business. Improve your posture by standing up straight and throwing your shoulders back and just smile. These physiological changes have a huge impact on the way that you feel – and you can instantaneously trick your brain into feeling more positive.
Admittedly, it may take a while in getting used to this way of thinking – but believe me, after a while the positive self talk will become second nature.
In the meantime, if you are feeling stuck or underwhelmed – give me a call – maybe I can help.
Cai’s ultimate driver is to empower individuals to make the necessary changes, through Personal Breakthrough Sessions and Performance Coaching; using recognised methods from Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and TimeLine Therapy & Hypnosis.
For more information please contact Cai : firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02891853478.