Negative thinking includes any thoughts or forms of self-talk in which criticism, doubt, low expectations and put-downs involved. These thoughts usually stem from our insecurities that are repeated automatically by our subconscious many times through out the day. If left unchallenged, these negative thoughts can lead to lower confidence levels, below average performance, and diminished mental skills.
Negative thinking can have an adverse effect on both of your personal and professional lives because it leads to self-doubt. This self-doubt can lead to problems with decision-making, lack of motivation and a tendency to fail.
Think about what you have learned about positive thinking so far. It’s a pretty powerful tool, right? Now, apply that same principle to negative thinking. If positive thinking can motivate you to succeed, it’s possible that negative thinking can motivate you to fail. If you are capable of achieving anything that you believe, then it stands to reason that if you believe you will fail, you can achieve that too.
The main problem with negative thinking is that it is so subtle and so automatic, which in many times you do not even know that you are being affected by it. For example, if you are about to launch a new product, your conscious mind may be very excited and optimistic about it. However, if your subconscious mind is allowing negative thoughts to slip through day after day, they will eventually influence you. This slow and steady influence will eventually lead to a lack of motivation or even to defeat.
So how do you beat negative thinking at its own game? The first step is to get to the source of the problem.
Its source – internal and external
Negative thinking has two main origins, internal beliefs and external sources. The internal beliefs stem from any negative feelings that you may be harboring. The external sources, on the other hand, can come from any person or event that caused you to become unsure of yourself or your abilities.
Most negative internal beliefs stem are come from insecurity. These insecurities can be based on actual events, honest mistakes or, more often, misconceptions. If these events are left unchallenged, they can lead to feelings of low self-esteem, low self-confidence and anxiety.
Once you allow a negative internal feeling to reside in your subconscious, it steadily grows until it has the power to immobilize you. Then, the next time when you experience a negative event, your insecurities will use that event as fuel to reinforce the negative thoughts and feed you up with your negative self-talk.