I have struggled with negative thoughts (like most people) for as long as I remember. It’s like ongoing battle that shows up. Negative thoughts drain us of energy and limit us to dare great things in life.
It happens more often than we realize. Negative thoughts just kill great dreams.
Here are a couple of examples from my life. I still struggle with this, but I’ve learned to deal with it. Will tell you in a bit. But, first, the example I promised.
I’ve always known I’m an entrepreneur, but I’ve always not allowed myself to believe in it, because I figured I’ll be better off getting a regular 9 to 17 job (nothing wrong with that), but I know it’s not for me. Reason? Everyone around me follows the “normal path”. So I did the same and felt like a misfit for a long time. Fear and negative thoughts can be really powerful like that. We stay in safe zone and don’t even question our choices.
But, I enjoy building stuff, I see hidden opportunities when I allow myself to be creative, I negotiate whenever I get a chance, because it’s fun and I push through stuff, when going gets tough. I like to take charge and be responsible and I don’t let people down.
But, then I’ve allowed negative thoughts to stop me in the past. I’ve let my dreams down because of that. I’m guessing you can relate?
- I’m not an extrovert (actually, many entrepreneurs are introverts)
- I’ve never owned a business before (
- I don’t have a fancy degree from college (well, now I do, but back in the days I didn’t and I thought I needed to have some paper to prove my worth. Couldn’t be more wrong! Some of the best entrepreneurs don’t have any degrees.)
- I don’t have large enough network
- I don’t like selling (yet, I’ve sold stuff before)
- I look too young (haha, I wish I still had this worry)
- I’ll fail anyway
- It takes time and money to get started (true, but these are really excuses)
You get the picture. Negative thoughts can be sneaky and very limiting. We can’t be authentic, unless we face them. I’ve dealt with them long enough and I still fall into the trap once in a while.
But, here is what I’ve discovered and how to take some control back…..no matter your goal or dream. Afterall, life is too short.
Here is how to deal with them.
- Accept, that thoughts are just thoughts. Nothing more. We don’t actually have to believe them. I’ve learned to watch the negative thoughts. Say you have a bad day, but you’re in the middle of commitment or project and then you have ney sayer going nuts in your mind. Good news is that, we can just Watch these thoughts as they occur, but choose to not react or believe in them. I know….mindblowing.
- Learn to know your automatic thoughts. These often come in form of intern dialog. The trick is to learn to recognize this pattern. I’ve learned that when I have a bad day, I more likely to believe in negative thoughts. So, I’m extra attentive to my thoughts on a bad day. I catch myself thinking something limiting and I just notice it and watch it, but don’t let it take over me and choices.
- Replace negative thoughts with constructive ones. I’ve used meditation and mindfulness for this purpose. It doesn’t happen overnight, but when I pay attention to my thoughts during the day and I meditate, I pay attention to these negative patterns and I question most of my negative thoughts. By doing this, I’m less likely to fall into the trap of believing them.
Tell me in comments…. :)
How do you deal with negative thoughts?
What have you always dreamt of doing?