During this Entreprenurturing Tele-Session, we talked about how to stop negative thoughts forever.
Do negative thoughts often in your head. You’re not alone. Research shows that 80% of an average person’s thoughts are negative.
But these negative thoughts hold you back. In this Tele-Seminar, we shared three shortcuts for ridding yourself of negative thoughts. We also talked about two solutions for overcoming the most pesky, persistent, recurring negative thoughts. And much more…
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Entreprenurturing Tele-Session 019 | BIGG Success
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How to Stop Negative Thoughts Forever
There are four ways to categorize our thoughts. The noun is always the second word. It is preceded by an adjective, which describes the secondary action (which may often be another thought).
1) Double positives: Positive action – Positive thought
Example: You just made your biggest sale ever! The reality is good. You recognize it as such and celebrate!
2) Negative positives: Negative reaction – Positive thought
Positive thoughts can be negative if they ignore reality. Research shows that optimism pays. But unrealistic fantasizing is a waste of time and energy.
[George] Here’s an example: I can dream of being a pro basketball star. But I’m 5’10” and look like I swallowed a basketball. Not to mention, I’d be the oldest player in the history of the game!
Winners visualize success. But they don’t “escape into the future.” Research shows if you linger too long in visualizing success, your brain acts as if you’ve already succeeded. It releases chemicals which cause euphoria to set in. So the tendency is to do little or nothing.
It’s better to follow up “winning in your mind” with a visualization of the obstacles which may likely prevent you from achieving your goal. Research also shows positive results from seeing yourself overcoming these inevitable challenges.
3) Positive negatives: Positive action – Negative thought
If reality is bad, you ignore it at your own peril. The two of us can each relate to a situation like this.
[Mary-Lynn] Before BIGG Success, I was in radio. As you probably know, radio is experiencing similar disruptions as the rest of traditional media. I love radio, but I could see there weren’t going to be as many opportunities for me going forward. So I had to consider alternatives. BIGG Success is the result!
[George] In my previous businesses – I had an acquisition blow up on me the day before we were supposed to close. I found myself feeling really discouraged. But I soon realized the time had come to do something else. I sold my businesses to start BIGG Success with Mary-Lynn.
So in both cases, a negative thought emerged which turned positive over time. Had we ignored the negative – or tried to stop the negative – we may have never started the business which brings us so much joy.
It pays to recognize reality for what it is. As humans, we tend to put up with a lot. Only when the pain becomes nearly unbearable do we take action.
W. Clement Stone – one of the patriarchs of success thinking – called this inspirational dissatisfaction. We need a certain amount of angst before we feel compelled to move forward. So you might say, positive negatives are the starting point of BIGG success.
4) Double negatives: Negative action – Negative thought
These occur when one’s perception is not in sync with reality. Unlike in mathematics, a double negative does not result in a positive. Double negatives are destroyers of success. They de-energize you, discourage you, and perhaps even depress you – especially if you end up in what we call the “downward spiral.”
Research shows that we tend to project the present into future. But we need to realize – the future does NOT have to be like the past. But we must be willing to change.
It’s this fourth category of thoughts – Double Negatives – that we want to focus on today. How do you stop them?
Like creates like
It’s important to understand that one thought tends to lead to another related thought. So negative thoughts beget more negative thoughts. Positive thoughts spark more positive thoughts.
Fortunately, there’s a quick way to stop this and even prevent it. It’s our suggested starting point for dealing with negative thoughts.
- STOP the START at the SOURCE
We’re news junkies. But there are days when we just have to turn it off. It’s simply too negative.
[Mary-Lynn] When I was still hosting my own talk radio show, I remember our consultant telling me that I needed to find those agitators which would compel people to call. My job was to make people think negative!
[George] The same can be said of social media. Mary-Lynn has a name for Facebook…
[Mary-Lynn] Yeah, I call it Deathbook. It seems like you can’t go on there without seeing a post about a loved one or a pet dying. Of course, my sympathies always go out to the person. But we used to only hear about these things from close friends. Now we see it for all extended network. It can be a downer.
People watching used to be an activity we did at the mall or in the park. Now we watch people all the time through social media. We see how they’re living.
And it’s easy to think: “Boy, I wish I could buy a new car” or “I wish I could go on vacation.” We forget what we don’t know. In some cases, we should think: “Boy, I’m glad I don’t have that car payment.” Mostly though, we should be grateful for what we have.
We all have days when our biological rhythm is on the downside. On days like this, STOP negative thoughts at the START by tuning out the SOURCE.
- START the STOP with SUPPORT
Stopping negative thoughts really shouldn’t be the goal. Prevention is better. A vibrant support network will help you with both.
Are you surrounded by positive people? If not, find new people! They’ll help you put a STOP to negative thoughts even before they START.
Now let’s talk about the two types of double negatives and how to overcome them.
3 shortcuts: Habits to stop random negative thoughts
Random negative thoughts hit your radar occasionally. But you can stop them with the right habits. You form the habit in one of these three ways:
Remember the bubbles you used to buy in bottle as a kid? You would dip the bubble wand into the bottle and then blow bubbles.
When you have a negative thought, picture yourself blowing a bubble. The bubble captures the negative thought inside itself. Can you see it?
It floats away, getting further and further from you. Eventually, it pops. The negative thought is gone.
We also like this because you don’t have to blow just one bubble. It’s fun to see a bunch of bubbles floating around. It’s liberating to see them exploding – negative thought after negative thought gone!
Since this is completely a mental exercise, you can do it anytime anywhere. Turn it into a habit by performing this visualization every time you have a negative thought for at least three weeks.
- Rubber band
As a kid, how many times did you put your hand on a hot stove? Pain is real motivator! It’s also what makes this shortcut work.
Put a rubber band around your wrist. (Make sure it’s loose enough to keep the blood flowing!) When you have a negative thought, snap the rubber band.
Once again, make this a practice for at least three weeks and you’ll turn it into a habit. You won’t need the rubber band anymore. More importantly, you’ll find yourself not letting random thoughts turn negative.
We love this one. It makes your intangible thoughts feel tangible.
When you have a negative thought, write it down on a piece of paper. Then throw the paper away! Research at Ohio State University showed this helps you forget about the negative thought.
The researchers also found that you can accomplish the same thing on your computer. Type the negative thought into a Word document. Then drag-and-drop it into your Trash bin.
Although not our focus today, we thought we’d share one more thing. The third thing the researchers found was how to hold on to a positive thought. Write it down on a piece of paper and then tuck it away in a pocket, a purse, a wallet, etc.
So literally, toss a negative thought to get rid of it and tuck away a positive thought to protect it!
2 solutions for recurring negative thoughts
Psychologists call the three shortcuts we just discussed as “thought-stopping” solutions. But some psychologists say it doesn’t work.
We think they’re both right. We’ve already shared research which showed thought-stopping works. But other research shows that the harder to try to “stop” negative thoughts, the more pervasive they become! So here’s what we suggest:
Use one of the three thought-stopping shortcuts above to tackle your random negative thoughts. Then use one of these two solutions for negative thoughts which are pesky, persistent and recurring.
- Scheduled negativity
(We learned about this through Dave Carbonell, the Anxiety Coach. He suggest scheduling regular sessions – daily or twice daily at the start – to deal with negative thoughts.
Between sessions, write down negative thoughts as they pop into your head. Then during each session, let the negativity fly!
For 10 minutes.
No positives. No solutions. No reassurance. No downplaying it. But here’s the key:
Say it OUT LOUD, IN FRONT OF A MIRROR
Here’s why this works: Imagine someone spouting off negative after negative after negative. What would you do? After a while, you’d ignore them!
The problem is we tend to think we’re right. So our thoughts must be right – even when they’re negative.
Plus, negative thoughts tend to sneak into our consciousness. We rarely give them our full attention.
This duo – assuming our thoughts are right about something we haven’t given much thought to – give negative thoughts their power.
When you spew forth your negative thoughts out loud to yourself in front of a mirror, you see it being said. You hear yourself saying it. You feel it. You focus on it. You give it your full attention. You think about it. And you take away its power.
- Cause-Control-Impact Process
With this solution, you use a more formal process to uncover the reason why you keep having a particular negative thought.
Cause: State your negative thought. Then ask: “Why?” When you have your answer, ask “why” again. Keep doing this; it may take five times or more to get to the root cause of your negative thought.
Control: Now classify this root cause in one of three ways. Is it an interest of yours? Do you have influence over it? Can you control it? You want to spend your time and energy on things you can control.
Impact: It’s decision time. How can you make the most impact? You have three choices: actively let it go, file it away for later, or take action.
With both of these solutions – as with the shortcuts – make it a habit by practicing them daily for at least three weeks. These are baby steps which lead to BIGG success!
We’ll close with a quote from W. Clement Stone: “There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”
Here’s to your BIGG success!