How Negative Thinking Patterns Limit You
Negative Thinking Limits Your Life
Negative thinking can really limit your place in life and how well you advance with your life. In the 8 years that I served as a minister and altar call servant, I have learned that many people have aspirations but they have negative thoughts to match those aspirations. It was exhausting having to reassure people so often about how they are equipped to tackle whatever endeavor or desire they wish. I quickly learn to show them how they could be so much further along if they would stop canceling out their hopes with doubt and negative words.
It was quite simple. I accomplish this by pointing out a very poignant fact everytime they spoke something negative. If the person says they will never be able to accomplish something or tears themselves down negatively, I would quickly respond by saying, “of course you won’t.” Imagine the dismay when they look at me with that puzzled look. I then say, “You won’t because you just said you won’t.” Words have power and so does your thinking pattern. When you think negatively, you place limits on yourself and your ability.
Identifying Negative Thinking
Some of us are so used to thinking negatively that we do not realize when we are doing so. It will take some training to identify when you are engaging in negative thinking. This can be challenging because some of our negative thoughts or core beliefs come from internal feelings about ourselves or preconceived judgments about a situation. These are called schemas. Schemas are perceptions that one has about something or someone or themselves. It can be compared to a lens in which we view the world like a worldview. Color blindness can be described as the inability to perceived a certain color. A person who is color blind will not be able to identify certain colors and their interactions with things will reflect this. Likewise, a negative schema will stop us from taking action on ideas and plans.
Schemas are difficult to overcome because they are rooted in deep internal feelings that have been shaped by environment and experiences. You must be able to identify if a pessimistic attitude is the result of underlying feelings that you have that have created a lens in which you perceive your abilities. Read this in-depth analysis of the concept of Psychological Schemas by clicking Psychology Today.
Challenging Negative Thoughts
Now that you understand how to identify negative thinking, you are in a position to challenge those negative thoughts. This will take commitment on your part and a brutal awareness of what is going on in your mind and emotions. Whenever you find yourself thinking negatively about anything, catch yourself and rephrase your conversation. Negative thinking will lead you down a path of roadblocks and dead end streets. The next time you decide to reason with your doubts by encouraging them, do yourself a favor and tell them to chill out.
Everytime you reason with your doubts, you reinforce any negative feelings and thoughts that you have about yourself. Saying things to yourself like, “I can’t do this” or “I’m never going to lose this weight” will only cause you to reinforce the pleasure sensors in your brain whenever you use those doubts to justify why you still allow bad patterns and bad behavior. You have to be adamant about changing how you speak and how you think. Change your perspectives about yourself. You would be surprised on how much confidence you can gain by saying I can instead of I can’t.
Practice Positivity Posturing
Do what I like to call Positivity Posturing. What exactly is that? It is a tool to use to combat negative thinking. Most of us have bad physical posture. We slump when we sit with an arch in our backs. This is not good posture and it will only lead to bad things later. Treat your attitude the same way. Always place your mind in a posture of positivity. You are nothing more or nothing less than exactly what you think. Negative Thinking will always rob you of the freedom to be happy. Negative thinking leads to negative expectations which lead to negative results always.