Today’s topic is little negatives and how to overcome them. One of the things I frequently talk about on this blog is the idea of clearing up negative thought habits and replacing them with healthier and more productive thoughts, on the premise that when we change our thoughts we change our world. And one of the most effective ways of doing this is to get rid of some of the little negatives we’ve unconsciously accumulated over the years!
What the heck are little negatives?
“Little negatives” is a term coined by Norman Vincent Peale in The Power of Positive Thinking. Little negatives are the small negative thoughts that clutter up our minds and pepper our conversations. They are the “worry words” that we unconsciously inject into our thoughts and phrases throughout our day: “I hope we’re not late.” “What if there’s traffic.” “What if it rains? I hope I don’t forget my umbrella.” “I’m never going to finish in time… there’s too much to do!” “There are so many applicants… I’ll never get the job.”
Taken one-by-one, they’re not such a big deal (they are “little”, after all). The problem, however, comes when all these little negatives get added up. Taken over the course of a day, and by extension, over the course of weeks, months, years, and a lifetime, all those little negatives add up to a really big negative attitude overall. More importantly, they condition our subconscious minds into seeing everything through negativity-coloured glasses, casting shadows over every aspect of our lives without us even being aware of the damage they’re doing; little negatives can actually have a really big impact on our overall mental health and passion for life, and not in a good way!
Think of your subconscious mind as the soil in which you cultivate everything that is made manifest in your life, and you can get a better understanding of how important it is to weed out these little negatives before they can take root and choke out the dreams and goals that you’re trying to achieve. If you want your flowers to be healthy, you have to give them good soil, feed them and water them. The same is true of your dreams… if you really want to manifest them into your life, you have to give them a good medium to grow in and you have to feed them and water them with positivity and thoughts of success. A mind full of negative thoughts is not conducive to growing beautiful dreams!
How to weed out the little negatives
Fortunately, weeding out the little negatives is just a matter of shifting your ingrained thought patterns. Start by making it a point to monitor your thoughts and conversations for the little negatives that you tend to use. You’ll start notice patterns in your little negatives; there will be specific ones that you tend to use more often than others, and you’ll start to notice the types of situation that tend to trigger you to negative thoughts more than others. Once you are aware of these patterns and the negative thoughts you’ve been automatically defaulting to, it will be easier for you to stop yourself from using them.
For example, when you realize that you’ve made a negative comment or found a worrying thought floating through your mind, deliberately tell yourself to stop. Reframe the comment or thought into something more positive and then say it out loud or think it to yourself. And once you’ve become aware of the situations that trigger you, you’ll even be to head the “usual” negative thoughts off before they even surface!
We all deal with negative thoughts running wild in our heads sometimes, but if we take the time and make it our intent to overcome these little negatives, we can do it! By making it a point to speak in hopeful and positive terms as often as we can and by deliberately choosing to reframe our negative thoughts with strategies for optimism whenever they occur, we can reign in those wild, unruly negatives and create a more positive, peaceful and enjoyable life for ourselves. 🙂
photo credit: (c) Can Stock Photo
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Really needed this today! Worrying was set as my default mode. Very exhausting, I must say! I was raised in an environment in which feelings were shut down immediately, never further discussed let alone understood, and there was the constant reminder that all hell would break loose, things would be pear-shaped and we would be homeless. There is an origin to these feelings, so it is good to know that, but more importantly, we need to go back to our natural mode of happiness and exploration.
Did any of those things we were told to be afraid of manifest? Absolutely none! It was all a ploy to control and make the life of parents easier, to the detriment of their children.
We are slowly getting out of it. We have good days and bad days, but we are getting there. There is only one way to live, this being the best way, as with the others one does not truly live.
Yes… living in a default mode of constant worrying is very exhausting. It’s not only mentally exhausting, it’s actually physically exhausting, too, because when you are constantly running a stream of negativity through your mind over the course of your day you’re always stressed. It’s like constantly being on that fight-or-flight edge, always a little afraid that something bad is going to happen. Definitely not a fun way to live your life!
And you’re right — most of what we fear never actually manifests! So really, all that worrying is kind of a wasted effort, no? 😉 Learning to let go of it and replace the ingrained negative thought habits with more positive thoughts does take some time. It’s a process. But when you’re aware of what’s going on and make it your intent to change those thoughts, it will happen, as long as you keep going. Big hugs to you!