Counsellor & Psychotherapist
Masters of Counselling & Psychotherapy UofA
Member of the ACA College of Supervisors
Level 3 Member Australian Counselling Association
Do you think that you are becoming negative? Is it becoming increasingly difficult to take the glass half full perspective? If that is your current reality, you are more than likely acting out some or all of these tried and true ways to turn into a negative Nellie.
As Henry Ford said: Whether you believe that you can or you can’t, you are right. Negativity is one of the main causes for self-doubt, dissatisfaction in life and looking for excuses for not doing something.
How do you arrive at negativity?
1. Comparing yourself to others.
“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.”
Shannon L. Alder
In the world of social media, this became incredibly easy and tempting. As you scroll down your Facebook feed or check out Instagram photos, you are bombarded with highlights of other people’s lives. It’s rare when folks share their insecurity and obstacles. So as you are irradiated with best parts of others’ lifestyle and compare it to your worst moments, it can be really depressing.
The fact is, comparing yourself to others doesn’t serve you well. It’s ineffective to make an in-depth analysis in your mind based only on a surface. Even if some people appear incredibly confident, be aware that they simply developed a higher tolerance of uncertainty. They may still have doubts and problems, but their external self doesn’t show that to the outside world.
If you compare yourself to others, you should give up doing it immediately. The only person you should measure yourself with is your past self.
2. Repeating negative affirmations.
Your brain is a powerful tool, but for most of the people, it works against you by default. It requires some effort to make it function for your good. This begins with replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations.
Negative affirmations can literally paralyze your ability to become happy and succeed. Once you repeat them long enough, you start to believe in the wrong vision you created in your mind.
Luckily, the same rule applies to positive affirmations: repeating them over and over again makes you believe in these words.
3. Underestimating your abilities.
You should never judge your skills against your favor. Always assume that you can do something and then go for it. If you fail, that just means you need to put more work into it.
Underrating your competencies boosts self-doubt and lowers your self-esteem which is the best environment for negativity to thrive.
Pay more attention to your attitude when it comes to facing new challenges and pursuing your goals. Do you easily come up with excuses and tend to rationalize?
If that happens, try to mute the negative inner voice and listen to the reasons why you can. Surround yourself with people who will support you in your quest to overcome negativity.
Use the internal dialogue to help you to find reasons to believe in yourself.
Unsplash Mikail Duran
4. Avoiding the full responsibility for your life.
Being content and satisfied involves fully accepting your influence on your life and using it properly. Whether you believe it or not, you are the master of your universe.
Blaming factors you can’t control for your problems can lead to negativity overwhelming you. However, once you accept that you are the king on your own planet, making a change for better becomes a matter of time.
5. Staying around negative people.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Your environment has a huge impact on your thoughts and actions. If you surround yourself with five intelligent people, you’ll soon become the sixth one. If there are only negative folks around you, eventually you’ll spread the negativity just like they do. That’s why you should pay attention to your surroundings.
One of the best ways to weed out the negative emotions is to spend more time with cheerful people. Bellyaches and complainers hurt both you and themselves.
Positive people aren’t cheery and bright by accident, they work on it through self-awareness
6. Looking for other people’s approval.
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” Steve Jobs
The crowd is a bad indicator for what’s right for you they can stick to current norms and go with the flow. Which is OK only if you are hanging out with the “right” crowd.
Disapproval will only harm you if you choose to treat yourself negatively because “someone” in your crowd can’t support your quest to better yourself. If you abandon the need for their validation you will bask in the glow of your own approval. When you keep focusing on how others perceive you, you become a slave. In lieu of pursuing your passions and sticking to your own rules, you go against yourself to please others. The unavoidable consequence is a life full of regret which you definitely don’t want to live.
Unsplash Elijah O'Donnell
7. Saying yes when you mean no.
The ability to say no at the right moment is what defines a fully grown-up and responsible person. Plenty of adults still struggle to develop this precious skill. As a result, they end up lost in unnecessary commitments, tons of debt, excess obligations and an inability to trust their own judgement.
You should never agree on something only to please others. This usually leads to problems and actually hurts both you and the person that asked for a favor.
When deep in your mind you feel like you should say no, it’s the best sign to do so. You know better what’s good for you so don’t let others influence your decisions.
Choosing between “yes” and “no” properly is a huge indicator of self-respect and confidence which are one of the key elements for more positivity in your life.
8. Contemplating about your past mistakes.
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
Whatever messy and awkward things you did in the past should stay in the past. There’s no need to regret your bygone mistakes. Instead, learn from them and make sure not to repeat them in the future.
You can’t turn back the clock, so stop. Getting back to unpleasant moments only ruin your mood. Making mistakes is a human nature and the way we learn.
The real mistake isn’t when you make it, but when , you fail to grow from it...you fail to grow from it.
So are you ready to get back on the pathway to positivity?