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5 Tips For Overcoming Negative Thinking
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5 Tips for Overcoming Negative Thinking

Have you ever been disappointed that you haven’t achieved some of the things you wanted in life? If you have, you’re certainly not alone. Many people say at one (or more times) in their life “if only...” . However, rather than saying “if only...” and being stuck in a cycle of underachievement. It’s better to look at the cause/s and then take action. It probably won’t surprise you to hear that negative thoughts play a large part in people procratinating and underachieving and if that resonates with you, then it’s important that you make overcoming negative thinking a priority.

Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well perhaps not, but what you choose to tell yourself is reflected in your self-image and if you choose to engage in negative thinking then you’re likely to underachieve as you concentrate on your inability rather than focussing on possibilities. But where does this negative thinking come from? Well you of course, because you keep it going round and round in your mind. keeping you stuck. But of course, it also comes from listening to the innocent or not so innocent comments from family, friends and work colleagues.

Whatever their motivation, family and friends in particular can stop you in your tracks by hinting or saying why you shouldn’t do certain things or implying that you’re not capable of achieving them. Many a childhood dream is smashed this way and people get into a habit of thinking negatively and carry it on into adulthood. As much as it hurts, their intent is not always malicious, sometimes their comments are borne out of love, wanting to protect you from failing or being hurt. However, jealousy or a fear that you may be developing and growing away can also play a part in some people’s words or actions.

It’s important that you do as much as you can to protect yourself from the negative comments of other people and avoid their opinions affecting your goals and achievement. The negative messages from other people will only have an impact if you allow them to, and you have to develop an ability to laugh them off or ignore them. The more you do it, the stronger you will become about who you are and what you want to achieve.

Here are 5 tips to help you overcome negative thinking.

1. Identify where you are now

In order to tackle any negative thoughts and stop yourself from underachieving, it’s important that you understand where you are now. What thoughts are going through your mind that are preventing you from achieving your goals? Write them down. In order to move forward you need to be self-aware and acknowledge your internal barriers.

2. Switch your thinking

Yes I know that sounds an easy thing to say, but many people think they have no choice about what goes on in their head and will make lame excuses such as “I can’t help what I think”. But you can. You will never have control over other people’s thoughts, but you can control your own.

Every time a negative thought pops into your mind, push it away and turn it into something positive. A friend of mine always shouts “Cancel” to heself when she thinks negatively. I have an image of shooting the negative thought (despite the fact I’ve never held a gun). Whatever you do, it doesn’t matter as long as it works for you and you’re able to quieten the negative self-talk. It will seem strange at first, but you can turn it into a habit. If you don’t believe in yourself don’t expect other people to.

3. Decide whose opinion counts

It’s very easy if you’re in a cycle of negative thinking to allow more weight to what other people think, rather than your own thoughts. Of course there’s nothing wrong with listening to what other people say, but you need to trust in your own opinion and strengthen your own belief in your ability. Remember other people may have an entirely different agenda when they give advice or voice their opinions.

4. Don’t limit yourself

The problem with negative thinking is that it limits possibilities. Write down your goals and start an action plan. It’s well known that the people who set clear goals are more successful than those who don’t.

5. Use back-up strategies

It’s inevitable when you’re trying to overcome negative thoughts that you will experience a wobble at one time or another. It’s going to happen so it’s better to have some strategies that you can use to change your thinking. This will be up to you, but I keep a list of my achievements for a month at a time above my desk in my office. I always look at it, and even if I’m tempted to think negatively I can look back at it and remind myself of the positive.


If you can get yourself into the position where you control your negative self-talk and think more positively, your life will become more peaceful and stop you underachieving. Henry Ford once said “Whether you believe you can, or whether you believe you can’t you are right” You have a choice about what you think and whether you choose to empower or dis-empower yourself.

If you need some positive thinking tips you can find them on my website. What strategies do you use to overcome negative thinking?

Street Talk

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