All was going great last week. I was looking good, feeling good, and had plenty of interesting work on the schedule. Then one morning when I awoke, my mind insisted on telling me I was fat. The next morning, my mind was peppered with thoughts of death and dying.
What the heck was going on?
The negative thoughts brigade was going on. This brigade is a steady stream of woesome, worrisome and often downright terrifying thoughts that like to come along seemingly out of nowhere. Yet they’re not out of nowhere. I noticed they tend to crop up most when everything is going great.
Their one and only function is to stop me from feeling good. Jerks.
Negative thinking as self-sabotage
The reason these negative thoughts want to stop me from feeling good is because somewhere in my subconscious there is a blockade set up with that upper limit we’ve discussed in past posts. Once our levels of joy, wealth, abundance or feel-good vibes send us above the level we subconsciously feel we deserve, we start to self-sabotage so we can pull ourselves back down.
One way to self-sabotage is with a slew of negative thoughts. These thoughts typically have nothing to do with:
- What’s going on at the moment or in our lives at the time
- What we know to be true in our hearts
If we’re not aware of why this negative thinking crops or what it’s trying to do, we can quickly and easily fall into their trap. And their trap is magnetic. When one negative thought pops into our head, it can quickly attract a load of additional negative thoughts, making our morning go something like this:
- I’m fat
- Now none of my clothes will fit
- I can’t go anywhere if I don’t have clothes to wear
- I’ll have to stay home all the time, wearing a mumu
- I’ll turn into a recluse and no one will love me
- Even my dogs will run away and leave me
- I’ll be lost, alone and probably have to go live under a bridge
You can easily see the rabbit hole of negative thinking into which a single thought can drag us, effectively ruining the moment, our mood or even the entire week. Told you these negative thoughts jerks.
Flipping negative thoughts into positive thinking
One technique I’ve been using to get rid of the negative thinking is what I call the Negative Thought Buster. It’s essentially a two-column list that lets you track your negative thoughts in the first column, then refute them or flip them into positive thoughts in the other column.
|Negative Thought||Refute or Flip into Positive Thought|
|I’m fat.||My doctor told me I just lost 7 pounds and am an ideal weight|
|I’m going to die one day.||But I’m not dying at this exact moment. Let’s enjoy the morning coffee instead of fretting about a future event over which I have no control.|
|My dogs will leave me.|| Yeah, right. |
With all the treats I give them, they’re not going anywhere.
Trying to ignore negative thinking doesn’t work. It just gets louder. Trying to fight negative thoughts just makes them stronger. But acknowledging them, and then refuting them with evidence or flipping them into positive thinking, takes away their power.
That’s just one out of many ways to develop and strengthen a positive mindset. This one seems to work pretty good for me, since I can draw little pictures to reinforce the positive. Give it a go to see if it works for you, too.
I help amazingly creative souls who want more out of life than sleep-work-sleep get their dazzle back so they rock their world.
Developing a positive mindset is the topic of the August SHE RECOVERS Sharing Circle Tucson on Aug. 22. It runs from 6 to 7 p.m. at Lighthouse YMCA. Click here for more info and to register.
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