Broaden Your Boundaries – Get Out of Your Head
There are many benefits of positive thinking. One of them is that you get more done and become more skilled at what you do when you think you can. Today, we’re going to look at the flip side. When your thoughts turn negative, they have just as much impact as positive ones. However rather than helping you accomplish your goals, they slow you down and can even bring you to a complete standstill instead.
Let’s take a look at exactly how they do this. Going forward, I want you to start to pay more attention to how your thoughts and attitude affect you in both a positive and a negative way. Going forward, we’ll work on having more positive and less negative thoughts.
Negative Thoughts Undermine Your Confidence
When you think you can’t do something or convince yourself in your mind that you’re not going to succeed, you’re also hurting your confidence in yourself. Without that confidence, you don’t have the drive, energy, and desire to make progress. Your thoughts run more along the lines of “why bother, it’s not going to work anyway.”
As a result, you tackle things slowly, if at all. Your progress comes to a standstill all because of your negative thinking. Don’t let that happen. Some positive thinking and self-confidence will get you back on track and moving forward.
Negative Thoughts Make You Doubt And Second-Guess Yourself
Along with this lack of self-confidence and your own abilities, negative thoughts also make you doubt yourself. You’re not sure if you’re on the right track or doing things the right way. What do you do when that happens, and you start to second-guess yourself?
You stop, or at least slow way down, so you can reevaluate if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You get a second opinion. You try something else to see if it works better. In short, you slow down or even have what you’re working on come to a standstill.
Compare this to times when you’re thinking positively and know exactly what you are going to do. You breeze through those projects and get them done ahead of time. Don’t let negative thoughts rob you of that.
Negative Thoughts Take Something Fun And Turn It Into A Chore
Think back on a time when you had to tackle a big project. Let’s take cleaning out your closet as an example. If you’ve just finished reading a great book on decluttering and refreshing your wardrobe, you’ll be excited to get in there and sort through all the clothes you own. It’s a positive job and something you are tackling with lots of positive energy.
If on the other hand, you go into it with a negative attitude and think it’s something you have to “get through,” then something that had the potential of being a positive and empowering task becomes a dreaded chore.
And, you’ve known since childhood that dreaded chores take a long time to complete. Don’t let that happen. When you find yourself dreading something you have to do, find something positive in it and turn it into a rewarding experience.
Journaling Warms Up Your Creative Muscle
Do you keep a journal? It’s a great way to think things through and find patterns in your life. It’s a great way to record memories and personal growth. It’s also an excellent way to cultivate positive thinking habits.
“Habits” is the key word here. How we think is a habit. We grow accustomed to seeing the glass half full or half empty. We make it a habit to focus on the good stuff or the bad stuff. To get better at positive thinking, we have to make it a habit, and a journal can help us do that.
When we sit down to write, we focus our mind. We force ourselves to examine what we’ve been doing or thinking. It helps us clear our mind and find the important stuff. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing in an old fashioned journal, in a word document or blog on your computer, or if you use an app on your phone. The process of putting words on the page helps us organize and evaluate our thoughts. That’s why it’s such a valuable tool when it comes to building new habits.
By sitting down with your journal each day, you start to examine what you’ve done and how well you’ve kept up with the habit of thinking more positive thoughts. The beauty of a journal is that it is private. You can be – and should be – completely honest with yourself. Record your wins, but don’t be afraid to admit when you’ve slipped up and went back to negative thought patterns.
It’s important that you realize when you do it. Until that happens, it’s hard to break those old habits. You have to realize when it’s happening. Once you do that, you can start to catch yourself in the process of sliding into negative thoughts. The next step is to stop in your tracks, realize what you’re about to do, and then find a way to turn it around. The journal will help you with that process by going back each day and examining when you did well and when you didn’t.
After a little while, you’ll see patterns emerge. Maybe you’re good about thinking positive thoughts until you come home at night. In that case, it may be time to figure out what’s giving you a negative vibe in your space. Maybe it’s small, dark, and too crowded. What can you do to make it a more positive and inviting space to live in? Maybe you find that you do well unless you get in contact with certain people. What can you do to change the relationship dynamic and keep from sliding back into negativity around them?
There’s a lot to be gained from journaling. Not only is it great for recognizing patterns and establishing new habits, but a journal will also document your progress. When you are feeling low and are wondering if all your hard work towards a more positive attitude is making a difference, go back and read earlier journal entries. You’ll see right away how much progress you’ve been making. It may be slow from day to day and hard to see, but over time all those small changes add up to something big. Give it a try!