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Convert Your Negative Thinking into a Positive Mindset

As a business owner and leader, negative thoughts, fears, and anxieties can really get the best of us all, including myself. If we are not mindful, negative thoughts can prevent us from seeing things objectively and clearly. As a life coach for entrepreneurs, my objective is to improve the quality of your mindset.

In this article, we will discuss how you can convert negative thinking into a positive mindset, enabling you to reduce stress, the feeling of being overwhelmed and eventually find more serenity.

First, let’s talk about why we tend to think negatively and what happens when we focus our mind on negativity.

The high of hatred and negative – my online story 

“You hate them. I hate them too. Let’s be friends.”

I hate to admit this, but many of my original connections or mutual followers on X (formerly called Twitter) were based on a common political ideology.

You see, I hated the direction of my personal and professional life for many years. Nothing good was happening to me, and I needed a place to distract myself from my pain. So, what’s a better place to go to than social media?

I got involved in a specific social group and posted away, sometimes for hours at a time.

Nobody could stop me.

I was on a mission to educate everyone that certain people were evil.

I thought that if we took away their power, the world would be a better place. And boy, did I find people who enjoyed my content!

Within a short time frame, I gained thousands of followers. I finally felt sort of okay with myself. Or was I?

I gained a lot of knowledge, but I didn’t improve my personal life. If anything, I became more irritated, paranoid, and bitter. Could you blame me? I spent countless hours researching things which ultimately didn’t improve my life. 

Then, I noticed something interesting.

When I tried to be positive and upbeat, my followers (not from @deniseglee) were extremely uninterested. In the best-case scenario, they would quietly unfollow me.

Bonding over mutual hate

I had one strange moment when someone made a multi-thread post – about me. They called me a dumb “c*nt” who knew nothing. And shockingly, it attracted thousands of views.

Bonding over hate-fueled political beliefs is toxic. The moment you switch directions, most of them will lash out at you either in silence or with words.

Mutual hate creates a powerful and toxic bond. I’ll never engage in that type of behavior again. It hurt my soul and damaged my recovery program.

Friend, are you using free time for healing or running away from your pain? 

Don’t feel despair if your mind tends to skew toward negativity. In the next section, we will discuss the reasons why humans are wired in this manner.

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Why the human mind is wired for negativity

Humans can think negatively for various reasons, and it can be influenced by a combination of internal and external factors. Here are a few reasons why humans tend to think negatively:
 

1. Evolutionary bias

 Humans have evolved with a negativity bias, which means we are wired to pay more attention to potential threats and negative experiences. This bias helped our ancestors survive in dangerous environments by being vigilant and avoiding risks. 

2. Past experiences

Negative thinking can stem from past experiences of failure, rejection, or trauma. These experiences can shape our beliefs and attitudes, leading to a pessimistic outlook on life.
 

3. Fear and uncertainty

Humans often fear the unknown and uncertain outcomes. If things are uncertain or unpredictable, the best way to protect ourselves is to find reasons to avoid it. 
 
This fear can lead to negative thinking as a way to protect ourselves from potential harm or disappointment.
 

4. Social and cultural influences

Negative thinking can be influenced by the environment we grew up in and the attitudes of those around us. If we are exposed to a predominantly negative or critical environment, it can impact our own thinking patterns.
 

5. Cognitive biases

Humans are susceptible to cognitive biases, such as the confirmation bias (favoring information that confirms our existing beliefs) or the availability heuristic (relying on immediate examples that come to mind). These biases can lead to distorted thinking and a focus on negative information.
 

For example, have you been telling yourself messages about what you should or shouldn’t do? Have you told yourself any of the following statements?

  • I cannot do it.
  • It’s too late.
  • Nobody understands my situation.
  • I cannot afford it.
  • Nobody wants to help me.
  • She or he would not approve.
  • It’s too hard to start.

Remember, it’s important to watch your self-talk and make sure it’s constructive.

Once we start thinking negatively, it is hard to stop. And if we are not careful, we will find ourselves trapped in a vicious cycle of pessimism and cynicism.

6. Social media and societal messages

Constant exposure to negative news, social media, and societal pressures can contribute to negative thinking. The mainstream media often highlights negative events, which can influence our perception of the world and contribute to a pessimistic mindset. 
 

For me, it was super easy to find negative people. All I had to do was go to places where people were upset about other people, institutions, cultures, or ideas.

Controlling negative thoughts can be challenging, but with consistent effort and practice, it is possible to gain control over them. In the next section, you will learn how to create a positive mindset.

While it may make you feel "safe," to not take action, you may be missing out on so many opportunities to grow, learn and heal.

How to think positively

Controlling negative thoughts can be challenging, but with consistent effort and practice, it is possible to gain control over them. Here are some strategies to help you:

1. Awareness and recognition

Start by becoming aware of your negative thoughts, noticing when they arise and the impact they have on your emotions and behavior. 

I suggest buying a clicker counter, such as this one from Amazon, and pressing it every time you have a negative thought. At the end of the day, tally up the total number of negative thoughts you’ve had and use this information to work on changing your thought patterns and habits.

2. Challenge negative thoughts

Too many of us give too much power to our negative thoughts. Now is the time to question the validity and accuracy of your negative thoughts.

Ask yourself if there is evidence to support them or if they are based on assumptions or distorted thinking patterns. Replace negative thoughts with more realistic and positive ones.

Below is an example of how to challenge your negative thoughts.

Example of Challenging your Negative Thoughts
Example of Challenging your Negative Thoughts

3. Cognitive restructuring

Reframe negative thoughts by consciously changing your perspective. Focus on finding alternative explanations or more constructive interpretations of events or situations. This can help shift your mindset towards a more positive and balanced outlook.

4. Thought-stopping technique

When you catch yourself engaging in negative thoughts, use a mental cue or phrase such as “Stop!” to interrupt the pattern. Replace the negative thought with a positive affirmation, or redirect your attention to something more uplifting.

When my mind starts to drift into anxious thoughts, I instantly ask myself, “How is this thought helping me?” Stopping to sincerely answer this question prevents me from going further down the rabbit hole of despair and self-loathing.

5. Gratitude and positive affirmations:

Develop a habit of gratitude by acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of your life regularly. Practice positive affirmations, which are empowering statements that contradict negative self-talk and strengthen positive beliefs about yourself.

The Louise Hay website provides beautiful and inspirational daily affirmations.

6. Mindfulness and meditation

Mindfulness is the intentional act of focusing one’s attention on the present moment’s experience, without judgment or evaluation. It is a skill that can be developed through meditation or other forms of training. Practicing mindfulness daily can help one observe their thoughts without judgment.

Additionally, meditation is also advisable. Meditation can facilitate the development of a calm and focused mind. As a result, one can learn how to eliminate negative thoughts and cultivate a more positive mental state.

Meditation can involve meditating on words, sights, or even sounds; there is no specific “formula” for doing it right. To initiate your meditation journey, here is resource that explains one of the many forms of meditation. 

7. Surround yourself with positivity

Seek out supportive and uplifting people, engage in activities that bring you joy, and consume content that inspires and motivates you. Create an environment that fosters positivity and reduces exposure to negativity.

8. Self-care and stress management

Take care of your physical and emotional well-being. Engage in activities that reduce stress, such as exercise, getting enough sleep, and practicing relaxation techniques. Prioritizing self-care enhances your resilience to negative thoughts.

9. Stay focused on your vision

Keep your mind focused on success. Remember: Your attitude will determine your altitude in business and in life. Focusing on why you challenge yourself and why your goals matter will help you control negative thoughts.

Finally, I will share my thoughts on how to stop negative thinking and cultivate a positive mindset.

A woman jumping in the air with her hands up.

Final Thoughts

Remember, controlling negative thoughts takes time and practice. The only thing that is stopping you from success is your mindset. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you develop these skills.

If you find that negative thoughts persistently impact your daily life, it may be helpful to inquire about my 6-month coaching program. It is a custom program designed to help you become the best version of yourself!

If you enjoyed this article, then you will enjoy my course, “Amazing Attitude.” It is a self-study, 21-day program designed to help you rewire your mind to think positively.

Dig deeper. Click here to listen to this podcast episode about thinking positively or press the play button below.


DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE

The information in this article is for informational purposes only. No material in this article or website is to be a substitute for professional medical and/or mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read from me or anyone else online.

Also, this article is not designed to diagnose or treat you or anyone with a suspected mental health illness. Please, if you need help, seek appropriate help from a lawyer, health care provider or law enforcement officer.

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