- The Facts:We all experience or are faced with negative thoughts or thought patterns about ourselves or our outside world. There is much information in these thoughts that can tell us thing about ourselves, but it’s important we don’t get stuck in them.
- Reflect On:What are some common negative thought patterns you have about yourself? How about patterns you have about the world or others? Have you asked yourself the questions below to truly understand your patterns and disempower them?
It is often difficult to notice when our own negative thoughts are bringing us down, so let’s take a different route – when you are hanging out with a friend and they are being really pessimistic or negative, do you notice that it doesn’t feel so good? It can be mentally draining or it can pull you into states of judgment or anger if you play along with them. This entire experience leaves you feeling down or just plain fatigued, and that’s because negative thoughts aren’t healthy for us and can honestly make you feel like… sh*t.
Before we continue, it’s also important to note that sometimes we can view things as negative even when that may just be our perception. For example, sometimes people will believe it is negative to talk about some of the more chaotic things going on in our world, as if this is focusing on only the bad things. The things we often forget to ask in these instances is, are these things we must become aware of and face in order to move past them? Are there details within these worldly events that tell us about our individual and collective consciousness?
No matter how you cut it, what happens in our world is a reflection of our current collective state of consciousness. We must take responsibility for our own state, and add a more peaceful energy to the collective, but we also must be careful not to try and aggressively avoid that which we think is negative when in reality it needs our attention and help.
I go into great detail about this difference on a recent CE Podcast episode. I discuss the keys to learning how to navigate these times as it can truly be tough. You can listen to it here.
Personal Negative Thoughts
Looking within now, we might be having ‘negative’ thoughts regularly. Maybe we are judging ourselves or our performance at work, maybe we are complaining about someone or some thing. Maybe we don’t think we are capable of tackling a new task and continually put ourselves down about it. Whatever the case, identify a negative thought pattern you may have within yourself as we go into the exercises ahead.
Negative thoughts can be a neurological habit or simply a behavioural habit. The goal isn’t always to just eliminate the thoughts, but to first observe them. What is the story you are telling yourself? What are you convincing yourself is true about yourself? When we can identify the story we tell ourselves, we begin to see more clearly how we can stop the story, and even why it’s there in the first place.
We’re essentially trying to get to a point where we are not allowing these thoughts to run our lives, and instead, as they come, we observe, learn from them, and continue to break the pattern that causes these thoughts to happen.
Over time, we form new neurological pathways that don’t lean as heavily to negative thought patterns of pessimism.
Once again, ask yourself:
What is the story you are telling yourself?
What are you convincing yourself is true about yourself?
Where did this story come from in the first place? (This one doesn’t NEED to be answered)
While these questions seem simple, they have been truly powerful in my life in understanding WHY I might do or think something, which immediately gives you power over it and allows you to move towards thinking differently. Remember, we don’t want to simply cover up our negative thought with ‘good thoughts’ and affirmations, we want to nip these in the butt and understand them so we can truly end the pattern.
Below is a light-hearted infographic that offers some other thoughts and perspectives to the subject. I believe you may find some details in here helpful in your search to help move past negative thinking and patterning.