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.
―W. Clement Stone
Why do we think negatively when we know better?
Because thinking negatively, expecting “the worst,” seeing the downside of positive situations, and even downright expecting failure, all convey a kind of backwards-thinking, emotional insurance policy. It goes something like, “If I expect a tragedy, then I won’t be disappointed when it takes place.”
Our desire to want to be right is another common reason we subconsciously choose negative thinking. Sometimes, as foolish as it sounds, we would rather be right about our negative predictions than have a positive outcome prove us wrong. And since negative thinking leads to negative actions, or no action at all in many cases, by thinking negatively we create a self-fulfilling prediction for ourselves. In other words, we think negatively, predict a negative outcome, act negatively, and then receive a negative outcome that fulfills our prediction.
Of course, none of this is what we truly want or need in our lives. So how can we stop talking ourselves into these thinking traps? Let’s take a look at four powerful ways to quiet the negative, inner voice that leads us astray:
1. Start focusing on the grey area between the extremes.
Life simply isn’t black or white – 100% of this or 100% of that – all or nothing. Thinking in extremes like this is a fast way to misery, because negative thinking tends to view any situation that’s less than perfect as being extremely bad. For example: [Read more…]