In our previous post, we talked about what is negative thinking and reasons that caused those negative thinking. Today, we are going to talk about how to stop the negative thinking.
There are two ways to tackle the problem of negative thinking, the approach you choose will depend on the source of that thinking. The first approach deals with negative thinking that comes from your own thoughts and actions. The second approach deals with the comments and actions of others.
To stop negative thinking that comes from Within Youself (internal) will need to work to change your insecurities and your reactions to negative self-talk. Below are some of the tips that could guide you to get this process done.
Become Aware of Your Thoughts and Reactions
In order to stop negative thinking, you must first be aware that it exists. To do this you must make a conscious effort to pay attention to your thoughts.
There are two ways to accomplish this. You can either keep a notebook handy and jot down the thoughts running through your head every time a difficult situation arises, or you can set aside some time and purposely think about a difficult situation while you write your negative thoughts down. Either technique will work as long as you do not try to suppress the negative thoughts and as long as you remember to write each and every thought down.
Once you complete your negative thinking self-talk, you can move on to the next step, which involves examining that self-talk.
Challenge Your Negative Thinking
Yes, you need to challenge its rationality. For this step you will need to go over your list of negative thoughts that you jotted down and examine each one individually. For each thought, ask the following question.
1. Is this thought based on the reality of the situation?
2. What facts can you find to back this thought up?
3. What emotions does this thought evoke?
4. Is this thought tied to a past failure or event?
5. Can this thought be changed?
Now that you know which questions to ask, then you need to put this step into practice.
Let’s say or image that one of your negative thoughts is you think you will never be able to write a compelling sales letter.
Is this thought based on reality? Do you have any skills or background on this topic? If you do, then this thought is irrational and most likely it just based on your feelings of insecurity. If you don’t, then you can always find the resources to help you to attain these skills. Once the appropriate skills are attained, this negative thought will be eliminated.
For the back up facts towards you cannot write a compelling sales letter, it may because you written one that failed before? If so, review that letter and determine what you can do to make it better. If not, then find out what are the other facts that are contributing to this thought? It perhaps because you have a lack of experience with the topic or inadequate knowledge of the task itself. Both of these facts can be changed with a little effort and research.
What emotions are tied to the act of writing the sales letter? Do you have a fear of failing? Whatever the emotion is, you need to remind yourself that emotions are not facts. Rather, they are just associated feelings which can be changed or eliminated through positive thinking techniques.
Is the thought tied to a past failure or event? If the answer is yes, remind yourself that this situation is a completely different event which contains different possibilities, and you can use your positive thinking skills to change the outcome of the event.
Can this thought be changed? As you can see from the previous answers, almost every negative thought can be changed in some way or another. The key to this question is to recognize the extent to which the change can take place. If your negative thought did have any factual basis then the reality-based parts of the thought cannot be changed, but your feelings and reactions to the thought can be.
Correct Your Negative Thoughts
Now that you have good understanding of your negative thinking and its origins, you can begin turning those thoughts into positive thinking. So, how do you correct negative thinking? You can change the language of the thought by using positive words and you turn the negative statement into a positive affirmation.
For practice, let’s turn the negative thought “I will never be able to write a compelling sales letter” into a positive affirmation, example.
First, we need to address any facts that contained in this statement. Let’s assume that you did write a previous sales letter but it failed and you do lack of the experience to write a better one. The first part of your affirmation will need to be written to reflect these facts in a positive manner. For example, you could say, “I can read a book about successful sales letters and follow the examples to create my own winning letter”.
Secondly, we need to address any emotions that were attached to the negative thought. For instance, you could say, “I have prepared thoroughly for this task and I know that I can succeed this time around”.
Last, we need to change the language of the thought. Here, you could say, “I will write a compelling sales letter.”
Now, let’s compare the two statements.
* Negative thought: “I will never be able to write a compelling sales letter.”
* Positive affirmation: “I can read a book about successful sales letters and follow the examples to create my own winning letter. I have prepared thoroughly for this task and I know that I can succeed this time around. I will write a compelling sales letter.ā
See the difference? Now that you have a positive affirmation in place to challenge and correct the original negative thought, just repeat it frequently until you have overcome your negativity and completed the task in a desirable and deliberate way.