Recognizing that we are negatively biased really sucks. After all, it is the positive people that seem to be having all the fun…. and wouldn’t you much rather be one of them? Well, the good news is that you can be! Because the reality is that YOU ARE NOT YOUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS- AND YOU CAN CHANGE INTO A MORE POSITIVE PERSON!
Currently, we have a brain that is programmed to think in certain habitual ways. These are the ‘well-worn beliefs’ that it keeps referring back to again and again. And this is the reason certain negative thoughts keep popping up often…… because they are hardwired into dominant neural pathways that fire quickly and easily at the slightest provocation.
So….. it’s not ‘US’ that’s actually negative. It’s our brain’s neurology that has been programmed into negative neural patterns that are our problem…. And it’s not our fault! Most of our habits were formed when we were young and impressionable- when our minds were wide open and were programmed what to think from those closest to us. You can learn more about how this happens in my article: Your Life s A Result Of the Programming You Received When Young!
However, having a brain wired towards negative self-talk is not a major problem because it can be fixed… but it does take time and a strong desire to change. And we are fortunate that we are in the ‘classroom’ of life….. and our biggest lesson here is How to change your thoughts to change your world.
How Can I Change From Being Negative Into A More Positive Person?
Your thoughts, the good and the bad, are just pieces of information that are traversing your mind at any given time. They are not set in stone, they are not factual, and they change over time as we are exposed to new ideas, people, and experiences. This means that the predominant thoughts we are going to have in the future CAN BE POSITIVE…… IF we start making better choices from this moment on!
WE ARE NOT OUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS (and neither are we our positive thoughts.)
It’s important to make a distinction between ‘US’ and ‘OUR THOUGHTS.’ We are the greater consciousness that is having an experience in this physical plane at this time. And we are comprised of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects. Our thoughts (mental) are just one aspect of us.
Thoughts are pieces of information, derived from our senses and memories that enable us to make some sense of the experience we are having…… So, our thoughts are just a tool we are using to help us understand the world and our place in it. As such, our thoughts are often very changeable- depending on what we are experiencing at any given moment. Therefore ‘thoughts don’t represent truth!’
As an example: we may believe and have negative thoughts that reinforce the idea that we will never be able to swim 100 meters. However, if we learn the proper techniques and put in enough hours of training, suddenly it becomes possible. So our ‘updated thoughts’ will include the fact that we can now swim 100 meters. New thoughts may also suggest that it’s possible we could swim much further with more practice.
So, were you the negative thought that ‘couldn’t swim 100 meters’, or are you now the positive thought that “can swim further?’….. You’re neither! Both are just a way of evaluating ourselves and our place in the world at this time. Neither is true, and both are changeable….. and it’s up to us which we choose to think! And the point here is that WE GET TO CHOOSE to think either negative or positive thoughts…… IT’S ALWAYS OUR CHOICE!
How do we choose which thoughts are playing in our minds at any given time?
Most people spend much of their waking lives (according to psychologists- up to 95% of the time) in ‘autopilot mode.’ This is where we are not consciously engaged in what we are thinking and doing, but instead, we are just going through ‘the motions.’ This means our minds are free to be engaged in an unconscious dialogue with themselves. And it is during this time that our old programs, habits, and thought patterns resurface from our subconscious minds ….. and this is a problem for us as this is the main source of our Negative thoughts.
I have written several posts on this subject before so won’t repeat myself here. But if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, check out my previous posts What is the best way to change my life? and Conscious Thinking Creates A Better Future.
For this article, I’m want to share with you seven practical techniques that will help you teach your mind new behaviors so YOU CAN CHANGE FROM BEING NEGATIVE INTO A MORE POSITIVE PERSON.
These techniques are in a way ‘Mind Hacks’ because they are carried out with the intent of rewriting our automatic negative responses, and replacing them with more beneficial positive, life-affirming thoughts…. And the purpose of practicing these hacks is to turn yourself into a more positive person so that you get to enjoy more of the fun stuff, more of the success, and more of the abundance that life has to offer.
So, if I was you, I would begin implementing some or all of these hacks right away….. because to change your life, you need to change your predominant thought patterns. It’s the only real and lasting way that will enable you to journey from where you are now, (with a negative mindset,) to where you want to be (happier, healthier, and more successful,) You can begin creating a more positive outlook on life right NOW!
1) You should always treat yourself as if you are your best friend.
Why is it that we are so quick to be critical of ourselves, and yet we are a lot more careful with how we treat others that we love and respect….. Do we really have no such feelings for ourselves?
We somehow grow up believing that it’s wrong and egotistical to love ourselves. And society does a great job of teaching us that we need to put the thoughts and feelings of others ahead of our own……
……Seriously, this one learned habit is the root cause of so many of our issues…..it’s difficult to describe how insane it is! The most obvious issue here is that if we don’t think we are deserving of our own love and appreciation, why do we think anyone else should love and appreciate us?
Learning to ‘self-talk’ in a positive way about ourselves opens up a whole new world of possibilities for us. Once we learn to become comfortable and happy with ourselves, our whole persona will shift… we will exude positivity, and with that comes confidence, attractiveness, and likability. And these are the qualities that attract others to us, others that will be like-minded, others that we can enjoy a pleasant, happy, successful, and fun-filled life with.
So, next time you catch your self-talk being in any way critical or judgmental, just remind yourself that this is not the way to treat someone you love and respect. Then, after reflection, speak to yourself in a way that will uplift you, that will inspire you to feel better and do better. Talk to yourself in a way that reminds you that you have choices and that…..
FROM NOW ON YOU WILL ONLY TALK TO YOURSELF IN A WAY THAT IS UPLIFTING AND INSPIRING….. because that’s what best friends do!
2) Changing your mind can be as easy as changing your perspective
It’s common to be hard on ourselves when we think we have stuffed up! We may have said or done the wrong thing and we didn’t achieve the result we wanted….. OMG, the world is probably going to end….. any moment now…….wait, wait, I’m sure it’s going to happen anytime soon….. Nope!
….. So we didn’t get what we wanted, and the world didn’t end. Instead, life continues pretty much as normal….. and therefore, we will have many more opportunities to make an ass of ourselves, or not!
The point is this: In five seconds, ten minutes, or two years, no one will even remember or care what happened! So, is it really helpful in any way whatsoever for us to generate negative self-talk about it now or at any time in the future?….. No, it’s not. It won’t serve any useful purpose, and no one, absolutely no one benefits from it…. especially you! SO DON’T DO IT!
I’ve often heard it said that time is a great healer. And, so is distance.
3) Distance and space are other great concepts for gaining perspective on our lives, our issues, and our negativity.
Imagine a universe that is trillions of years old and is ever-expanding…….Imagine the trillions of suns that host trillions more planets…. Even they come and go according to the natural laws of the universe….. and yet, here we sit, filled with negative self-talk because we missed a shot that would have given our team an extra three points……. Wow….. Get a bit of perspective!
Yes, what we do every day matters. Yes, all of it adds to our understanding and expansion of what it means to be alive, here and now in this body…. and yes, we can choose to beat ourselves up over some small details, OR we can choose to believe that the very experience of being alive is what we are here for….. and it is all good….yes, even the times we missed the three points….
It’s all good because it’s the experience we are here for, the journey that takes us from being a baby and being helpless, to becoming an aware human who is the conscious creator of our lives. That’s what life is all about….. and sometimes we need the ‘bad’ stuff to happen so that we understand what good is!
Learning to embrace and enjoy ALL ASPECTS OF THE JOURNEY is the only sensible thing to do because we never know when it is going to end.
4) Stop identifying with Your inner critic
Our thoughts come and go, and most of them we are not even aware of. Many of them are contradictory in nature, and some of them we just know are not true. It’s really helpful for us to realize that we are not our thoughts. They are just ideas, memories, and beliefs that we have that are passing through our minds at any given time.
Fortunately, it’s possible to learn to disassociate ourselves from our unwanted thoughts. and mindfulness and meditation are great practices that help us become aware of but not identify with our thoughts. Both practices teach us to ‘notice from a distance, without judgment’ the thoughts that traverse our minds. They help us understand that, firstly, we don’t have to agree with our inner critic, and secondly, that our inner critic talks a lot of ‘bullshit’ much of the time.
Knowing these things makes it possible to sometimes just laugh off the nonsense that is going on inside our minds. And then we can replace the negative chatter with a more positive and uplifting conversation. Laughing at our critic essentially disarms it of any power or hold it has had over the way we are feeling…, and by choosing better thoughts, we will naturally begin feeling better.
5) Your thoughts don’t represent the truth, so challenge your inner critic
I’ve already mentioned several times that just because we think something doesn’t mean it is true. Truth is a relative concept, and that is a discussion for another day. However, for this article, I want to point out…… When we say “I’m no good at this,” what do we actually mean? Are we the worst person that has ever lived at this, or are we not yet where we want to be…. in the top 5% category? Because there is a huge difference between the two scenarios.
The thought “I’m no good at this” is basically meaningless without a defined context. However, that does not mean that these thoughts, when used against ourselves, have no power. Because they do…. They are slowly eating away at our self-confidence, self-esteem, and our ability to feel good about ourselves.
So, when you become aware of negative thoughts, you can challenge them! Ask questions like “what are you talking about?” “what do you mean?” “Can you be more specific?” “Do you have any evidence to back up what you are suggesting?”…… By doing so, you will find that your inner-critic will back off, and it’s then that you pick yourself up with happy, loving, and more supportive thoughts.
6) Accept the journey!
Every desired change requires that we journey from where we are now to where we want to be…. And as with any journey, there may be detours, delays, and distractions along the way. Great…. These things are what make life interesting and challenging, but they are not things that will prevent us from reaching our destination….. if we truly desire to get there!
So, if we can accept that ‘this is where we are now,’ and ‘that is who I want to become,’ then we have a map. And all that is involved in our journey is that we change/challenge/ignore some small negative thoughts that are occurring in our minds from time to time, and replace them with better quality thoughts.
The process becomes easier and easier with time as the positive neural pathways in our brains gain strength, (just like when we exercise our muscles) and the negative pathways become weaker from lack of use/recognition.
7) If it’s really difficult to talk to yourself lovingly, start with less intensity
If you have been particularly hard on yourself for a long time now, you may need to begin by changing the intensity of the language you are using. For example, when you catch yourself saying “I hate it when I do that,” you could tone it down to something like “I don’t like it that I reacted that that way this time, and next time I will do it differently.”
“Why am I so stupid!” can be changed to ‘next time I will get more information before just splurting out rubbish on a topic I don’t really know anything about. It’s all about being easier on ourselves and it helps if we understand that we don’t know everything, don’t need to know everything, and that other people don’t expect us to know everything or be able to do everything!
If you’re still struggling to change from being negative into a more positive person…..
Some people find it difficult to change negativity into positivity, and I get that. It’s a process we get better at with time and practice. And the more we become consciously aware of our thoughts, the quicker we can achieve the positive results we desire.
The best thing you can do to speed up the process of changing from a negative to a more positive person is to ask yourself 1000 times every day, “what am I choosing to think NOW, and NOW, and NOW?