Yesterday I was talking with a client about the power of negative thinking. It is my belief that we use negative thinking as a way to self-protect. If we are struggling in a relationship we will ‘prepare ourselves’ for the worst by thinking negatively about the relationship: ‘he won’t call’, ‘she doesn’t really love me’, ‘he will say no to my request’.
Rather than thinking positively: ‘I am lucky to have this wonderful person in my life who cares for me’, ‘he might say no but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for me’, ‘this relationship might have its ups and downs but I am going to celebrate the ups as they happen.’
Or if we are wanting a new job we say to ourselves “I won’t get a new job, I am not qualified, I don’t interview well, they won’t like me” rather than saying “I interviewed, I am qualified, I deserve this job and I did the best I could and will deal with whatever comes my way”.
Somewhere in our ego minds, we think that we can protect ourselves by being negative OR we are being too selfish if we think positively about something. Bottom line is that life is better when we think positively. If we think positively about a relationship and our partner and give it all the good energy we can muster–not only will the relationship feel better it will BE better. We miss the good stuff (the time our partner really listens to our story, when our partner empties the dishwasher without being asked, when we get positive feedback at work) because we are concentrating on the negative (our partner forgot to ask about a big presentation at work, our boss gave us some areas of improvement)
As with any great theory–it is easy to say ‘think positive’ but hard to practice. First step–awareness. Pay attention to your negative thoughts as you go through your day–Are you self protecting? Are you trying to be humble? or Do you really not like something? All are valid and all need to be brought to awareness.
How much of your life do you miss because you are negative? The truth is you may not get that job but why not enjoy the fact that the interview went well and you nailed it, or the interviewer complimented your tie.
As I said to my client, the relationship might not work out but why not enjoy the fact that right now it is–you enjoy spending time with this person and there might be things about him that drive you crazy but for now there are more positives– let us embrace those. Start paying attention to your negative thoughts–are they blocking out your blessings?
This was great! I know there have been times in my life when I have done this a lot- turning into a real you know what in order to somehow protect myself against the pain that I felt was coming. This can be a real emotional barrier and I have had to work hard, and still do, to not put up those walls because I got to the point in life where I felt like I was missing out on a lot of the good by always trying to insulate myself against the bad.
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