There’s an old saying that “the fight is won and lost before either army enters the field.” More often than not we are defeated by our negative thoughts well before we actually fail at achieving our goals in life. Thoughts are powerful things, and thoughts that revolve around why the supposed reasons why something won’t work inevitably lead to failure. If you are going to succeed in life, you need to learn how to stop negative thoughts.
We all know this, but we all know that stopping negative thoughts isn’t a particularly easy thing to do. When we start to develop negative thoughts it’s common for our minds to run around and around in vicious circles that ultimately solidify our negative thinking. There are few things that we are better at doing than coming up with end-of-the-world scenarios and all the reasons why something we want is impossible and unachievable. In some ways our minds seem pre-wired for negative thinking.
How to fight negative thinking
The matter isn’t made any better when we attempt to simply stop thinking negatively. We might be able to tell our brains to shut up for a couple of minutes (more likely a couple of seconds) but eventually their just going to start churning those negative thoughts all over again.
It’s not enough to simply stop negative thoughts, doing so just creates a vacuum in your mind. And when your mind senses a big old vacuum it will just fill that vacuum with what it knows best- negative thinking.
When you temporarily halt your negative thoughts you need to immediately fill that space with positive thinking. There are a lot of ways you can do this. You can start by attempting to use all that energy thinking up why your goals won’t be achieved and direct it towards thinking up all the ways and reasons by which it can be achieved. You can have a handy list of affirmations ready, written out at an earlier time, and you can start repeating to yourself over and over again to reprogram your brain to think positively. You can even distract yourself by thinking of something that you always consider in a positive light.
No more negativity
Retraining your brain to stop producing negative thoughts isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do. It isn’t something you’re likely to perfect that first time you try it. But anyone who has run in vicious mental circles seemingly without end understands that any escape from negative thinking is a welcome one. And once you are able to get even a minute of positivity, you’ve laid the groundwork for two minutes, then ten, then as many as you could ever want.
Essentially you want to replace your habit of developing negative thoughts with a habit of developing and replicating positive thoughts. It’s nearly impossible to just shut your brain down, no matter how much you might want to when it just keeps telling you “no, no, no, no.” Your brain is always going to be spinning and churning and working as long as you’re alive, so you might as well put it to meaningful work running in positive circles that will launch you towards your goal.