Last week, I let you in on a little secret. If you want to generate more success in your life you have to think positively and visualize the future that you want.
Staying positive can be hard, though. Our lives are filled with negative habits, which are reinforced by the world around us. We cling to our emotional baggage for comfort, instead of putting in the work it takes to get better. It’s easy to just expect good things to come into you life. It’s another to work for by changing your mindset and habits.
We reinforce these negative behaviors which results in negative thoughts. The internal dialogue we have with ourselves usually runs something like this:
“You screwed up again. You’re worthless.”
“You can’t do this. What made you think you could do this? Nothing is ever going to work for you.”
“Everyone around you is better than you.”
This type of self-talk is one of the major reinforcers of negative behavior and negative thinking. Not only is it irrational, it’s damaging. Every time we allow this dialogue, we reinforce our negative thinking and justify it.
It’s time to get rid of that dialogue so that you can create the future that you want.
The 5 Psychology-Approved Tricks You Can Use to Reframe a Negative Mindset
1. Learn to identify negative inner dialogue and thoughts.
We all have a negative inner voice. Learn to pinpoint yours. How does it speak to you? When does it react strongest? Consciously identify the type of thoughts you have every day. Are they mean-spirited and judgmental? Do they relate to a weakness that you feel you actually have? Know your internal dialogue and the language you use daily and consciously work to redirect it toward more positive shores.
2. Keep a journal.
You might be tired of hearing it, but journaling is a great way to get a reign on those negative thoughts. Take mental notes of your negative thoughts. At the end of the day, journal about them and try to get to the bottom of why you felt or thought that way. Really pay attention to the negative words and phrases you use most commonly like: “I can’t do this,” or “You’re an idiot.”
3. Identify your triggers.
As I mentioned in #1, you need to know what triggers your most negative reactions. Do you get especially critical at work or school? Is the negativity induced when you’re around family, friends or strangers? Audit your thoughts — and be honest. Honesty is critical.
4. Take control.
Take control of your thoughts and don’t be afraid to get forceful. When you feel negativity creeping up, tell it “No!” If you need to say it aloud, do so, but don’t let the negative, critical thoughts take over. Think instead of something positive, like the way you’ll feel when you achieve the goal you’re working toward. Focus on the good to drown out the bad. Silence negativity before it stifles you.
5. Dig deep.
Going from a negative mindset to a positive mindset isn’t easy. You’re going to have to really dig deep and analyze the assumptions that you have made in your life. It’s not going to go according to plan all the time. Sometimes, the old ways are going to win out. Stay strong and know that change takes time and nothing worth having was ever made overnight.
If the positivity feels forced, develop neutral replacements for your negative thoughts and feelings. When you replace those negative feelings with something more emotionally neutral, notice how you feel. Ask yourself what you need, and be honest. Authenticity is a critical advantage on the road to success.
By developing the above habits consistently over time, you can cultivate a new pattern of positive thinking that will allow you to improve the quality of your life. You will also be able to develop a sense of optimism and self-confidence, which is hard to do when you’re bogged down in the marsh of self-loathing.
When you develop this critical skill, you’ll be able to perceive yourself and your world differently. Choose your words and your thoughts carefully and treat yourself with a little love and compassion.
The journey, as I said, will be filled with setbacks. You’re going to fall into old thinking. Instead of telling yourself that life is “difficult” and “unfair”, choose to view these setbacks as opportunities. They are opportunities to get creative and flex that optimist muscle you’ve worked so hard to cultivate.
Putting it all together…
By cultivating positivity in your life, you can visualize the future you want for yourself. When you can visualize what you want, you can then successfully generate success and fulfillment in your life. Sit down and work to identify the negative thought patterns in your life. Document them in a journal so you can track them and identify the stressors in your life that cause the most negativity. When you’ve learned how to identify your negative thoughts, develop a contrasting dialogue that can stifle them and help keep you positive.
Dig deep. The journey to change isn’t easy, but it’s worthwhile. If you just commit a little bit every day, you’ll soon create the life you deserve.