Are your thoughts keeping you from pursuing or reaching your dreams? How many times have you found yourself talking yourself out of something? You may not know this but we (meaning our brains) actually listen to what we tell ourselves. Yes! Our self-talk is powerful and has some say so (if not all of it!) about our mood, how we make decisions, whether to quit or go forward, and even what we may tell ourselves next. Read on to find out just how powerful our negative thoughts are.
Negative thoughts weigh heavily on our minds and can sway us in ways that you may not be aware of. Here are three types of negative thinking. Which one do you relate to the most? Comment and let’s discuss it.
1.) Black & White Thinking
It’s all right there in black and white. Or, is it? Also called “polarized thinking” this one is powerful. This is when you start thinking in terms of “either/or”. When measuring success, you fail to see shades of gray. Either you succeeded or you didn’t. For example, suppose you started a new service in your business and did not reach as many customers as you had hoped for and deemed it a failed attempt. Success or failure. All or nothing keeps us anxious, ruminating over the past, and loathing the future. It will have you telling yourself that if you did not do something perfectly that you have failed. If you didn’t win employee of the month then you are not a good employee. If your husband doesn’t thank you for cooking supper then you’re a horrible cook. Find your shades of grey– a mixture of good and bad!
2.) Mental Filter
Mental filtering will make you dwell on the negatives rather than reviewing the positives. When you dwell on negative outcomes, negative words that were said towards you, and negative actions taken against you, and focus on those. Doing this brings on negative emotions and moods! You might even begin to feel like a failure. Feelings of failure will have you procrastinating about your next move or obsessively trying to find the “why’s” of a failed relationship. Do you see the downward spiral? Mental filtering is only paying attention to and magnifying certain evidences and ignoring the rest.
P. Jae \Spēks\!
Believe it or not, our brains take on what we tell ourselves and acts accordingly!
Similar to the other two, magnification is blowing things way out of proportion. Perhaps your husband is late picking you up and instead of understanding that traffic was bad or he had a late start, you blow up and start an argument on the way home. If you have children then a few items laying on their bedroom floor becomes a messy room in need of an overhaul and a coat of paint. Or maybe your wife serves ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner and you become angry because the bread was a little too brown for you. Another way to look at magnification is “catastrophizing” or making things worse than they are; always asking “What if?” What if you were late and I was kidnapped? What if you trip over those shoes and knock yourself unconscious?!?! What if I break a tooth on this burnt bread? GASP!!!!
Our personal thoughts or self-talk is powerful! Our brains take on what we tell ourselves and acts accordingly. Don’t believe me? Smile. That’s it…just start smiling. Continue smiling for the next five minutes and think about something funny, a happy moment in your life, or the new baby in your family. You will see that your mood will change. Pay attention to what you’re thinking the next time you notice that you’re in a not so great mood!