HOW TO ELIMINATE YOUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS IN 10 DAYS
When things go wrong, and they sometimes will… how do you react? Do you have negative thoughts or do you have positive thoughts?
Well, if you have negative thoughts, know that you are not alone, and it is perfectly okay for you to experience those negative thoughts. If you feel disappointed and frustrated and even if you get angry, it’s quite alright. Allow yourself to experience that anger and frustration. The trick is to avoid staying in that space for too long because those thoughts may prove harmful to your professional career and or personal life.
We all have negative thoughts. Some people seem to have an easy time dealing with negative thoughts, while others are consumed and often destroyed by them.
In this article, I want to share with you some ways that you can move past the flood of negative thoughts and get into a state of mind and feeling that will lead you to greater productivity and effective decision-making. In fact, by following these steps you can eliminate negative thoughts in just 10 days!
What is a Negative Thought?
Negative thoughts are pessimistic, self-defeating, or harmful thoughts that can hinder our well-being, self-esteem, and overall life satisfaction. They often manifest as self-criticism, fear, doubt, worry, or catastrophizing, and can lead to feelings of anxiety, sadness, and even depression.
There are several reasons why we have negative thoughts:
- Evolutionary adaptation: From an evolutionary standpoint, negative thoughts have played a role in our survival. Our ancestors needed to be aware of potential threats and dangers in their environment to stay alive. As a result, our brains have developed a “negativity bias” to prioritize these threats over positive experiences.
- Learned behavior: We may have learned negative thinking patterns from our parents, caregivers, or other influential figures in our lives. If we grew up in an environment where negativity was the norm, we might adopt those patterns as our own.
- Cognitive distortions: These are irrational thought patterns that can contribute to negative thinking. Examples include all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralization, and personalization. These distortions can be the result of past experiences, social conditioning, or genetic predisposition.
- Emotional reasoning: Sometimes, we might base our thoughts on our feelings, rather than objective evidence. For example, if we feel anxious, we might assume that something bad is going to happen, even if there’s no rational basis for that belief.
- Self-protection: Negative thoughts can also serve as a defense mechanism. By expecting the worst, we might feel more prepared to handle disappointment or failure, thus protecting ourselves from the pain of unmet expectations.
It’s important to recognize that having negative thoughts is a normal part of the human experience. However, when these thoughts become persistent and overwhelming, they can have detrimental effects on our mental and emotional well-being. When that happens, your job, career, professional practice, and even your personal relationships are at great risk of permanent damage.
By identifying and challenging negative thoughts, we can learn to replace them with more balanced and positive perspectives, ultimately improving our overall quality of life.
Now, I have heard it said that we have about 17 seconds to become aware of and change our negative thoughts before they compound. Meaning, that if we allow a negative thought to percolate and dominate our conscious mind, other negative thoughts will soon join the original thought and compound the situation. Although I have been unable to track down that research, there is a general consensus in the field of psychology, that the sooner we become aware of and address our negative thoughts the better chance we have to avoid an avalanche of negativity.
Catching negative thoughts early on is helpful in preventing them from becoming more intense and difficult to manage. By practicing mindfulness and self-awareness, you can develop the ability to recognize negative thoughts as they arise, which allows you to challenge and replace them with more positive and balanced perspectives. The quicker you can identify and address negative thoughts, the easier it will be to maintain a positive mindset and prevent negative thought patterns from taking over.
Here is a 10-Day Plan to help you master and eliminate your negative thoughts at will:
Day 1: Identifying Negative Thoughts
Start by becoming aware of the negative thoughts that are holding you back. Thee might be situational or recurring thoughts that seem to come up rather frequently. Write down any recurring thoughts or beliefs that limit your potential or cause you to stress. Recognize these thoughts as mere thoughts, not facts or reality.
Day 2: Challenging Negative Thoughts
Now that you’ve identified your negative thoughts, it’s time to challenge them. For each thought, ask yourself: Is this thought based on facts? What evidence do I have for or against this belief? Consider alternative explanations and perspectives. For example, you might have a recurring thought that people are always judging you. Ask, is this real? Is everyone in my life, or does everyone I meet judging me? If you answer this honestly, the answer is “no.”
Day 3: Creating Positive Affirmations
Replace each negative thought with a positive affirmation. Make sure your affirmations are specific, believable, and empowering. Write them down and repeat them daily. For example instead of “thinking” that people are always judging you, consider replacing that with this thought: “I am admired and respected by everyone I meet.”
Day 4: Practice Mindfulness
Cultivate mindfulness by engaging in activities like meditation or deep breathing exercises. This means that you should stop what you are doing multiple times throughout the day and check in with yourself. Notice what you are feeling and what events may have triggered those feelings, whether negative or positive. These practices help you stay present and aware of your thoughts, making it easier to recognize and deal effectively with the negativity.
Day 5: Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude
Create a daily gratitude practice, where you list at least three things you’re grateful for each day. This shifts your focus from negativity to the positive aspects of your life. Many experts recommend, and I happen to agree, that the best time to acknowledge the things in life for which you are grateful is when you open your eyes in the morning. Greet your day with the knowledge that you have been given yet another day to become the best you.
Day 6: Surround Yourself with Positivity
Evaluate your environment and relationships. Surround yourself with positive influences that uplift and support you. This may involve distancing yourself from negative people or situations. It has been proven time and time again that we become like the 5 people that we spend the most time with. If you don’t believe this take a moment right now and reflect on who you spend the most time with. What are they like? Positive or negative? Are they always getting into trouble, or are they moving forward and upward in life?
Day 7: Develop a Growth Mindset
Embrace challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning. Recognize that mistakes and failures are natural and necessary for improvement. I have had many clients ask me to teach them how to avoid mistakes in their personal and professional lives. My answer is always, why would you want to avoid them? Now keep in mind that “mistakes” are generally actions or behaviors that are misguided or wrong due to lack of education, or experience. Whereas, if someone engages in wrongdoing, knowing that it is wrong to do that thing, or that harm will result from their behavior, that is not a mistake.
Day 8: Focus on Solutions, Not Problems
When faced with challenges, shift your focus to finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems. This promotes a more optimistic and proactive approach to life. In other words, if something does not result in the positive manner that you intended, avoid drowning in the fact that you did not get the desired result. Instead, focus on why you did not achieve the result, and come up with a new or different approach. For example, if you have launched a new book and people are not buying it, avoid the trap of thinking your book is no good, or that you are not a good author. While this possibility does exist, the more probable situation is that you are marketing to the wrong audience, or you are not promoting your book consistently.
Day 9: Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, both big and small. Recognize the progress you’ve made and the positive changes you’ve implemented. Many people, myself included, need to work on celebrating our achievements, especially the small ones. I happen to hold myself to a very high standard in everything I do, such that when I do something right, I fail to acknowledge its importance. However, let me misspell a word in an email to an important client, or be late for an appointment, and boy do I ever let myself have it! I need to celebrate my wins more often, and this does not mean a trip to the Bahamas every time I accomplish my objectives!
Day 10: Reflect and Reassess
At the end of the 10 days, take some time to reflect on your progress. Identify any areas where you may still struggle with negative thoughts and develop a plan to continue working on them.
At the end of the 10 days, make a note of how you feel. Are you smiling more? Is your energy higher? Are other people saying you “look different” or are they accusing you of being in love (yes, remember that feeling of cloud 9 when you first realized that the person you desire to be with, feels the same way about you?). That’s what you should feel like after these 10 days!
Remember, eliminating negative thoughts is an ongoing process that requires practice and persistence. By incorporating these strategies into your daily life, you’ll continue to cultivate a positive mindset and unlock your full potential as a professional.
Thank you for joining me on this journey, and here’s to your grand success!
P.S. This would be a great time to send me an email letting me know of your experience with this 10-day Challenge! Please write me so I will have another reason to go to the Bahamas!
Steve Gallegos is a transformational coach, speaker, and author dedicated to helping individuals unleash their full potential and achieve extraordinary success. With a background as a U.S. Marine, law enforcement officer, board-certified civil trial lawyer, singer-songwriter, and entrepreneur, Steve brings a unique blend of experiences to his work. Through his dynamic coaching and captivating speaking engagements, he empowers individuals to overcome challenges, develop exceptional communication skills, and create lasting impact in their personal and professional lives. With Steve’s guidance, you’ll discover the power within you to achieve greatness and leave a legacy that inspires others.