Have you ever heard the phrase, “thoughts become things“? Well, it’s true. The things that you think become the things that you experience.
Now, I don’t mean this in a creepy “I was thinking of something and then a Facebook ad popped up for that very thing” kind of way. What I mean is that if you think that you can do something or can achieve something you’re more likely to actually achieve the thing that you were thinking of doing.
And just as positive thinking works to get positive results, negative thinking is more likely to lead to less than desired results.
When I was in elementary school, someone introduced me to the concept of Stinkin’ Thinkin’. At the time, they applied it to test taking or sports tryouts or something like that. Stinkin’ Thinkin’ is a cute phrase given to an ugly habit. It is the practice of having negative thinking that restricts one from moving forward, accomplishing goals, and/or living life to its fullest potential.
Some people don’t even know that Stinkin’ Thinkin’ is controlling their lives. They shrink themselves by thinking that tasks are too difficult or goals are unattainable.
They refuse to dream big, as a way to protect themselves from failure. Viewing failure as negative thing is often the beginning of the Stinkin Thinkin Sink Hole. Failure should instead be viewed as a learning opportunity and not the end of the world.
Here are two exercises to keep yourself from succumbing to negative thinking.
Silver Lining Writing
When we are faced with a decision, often times we weigh the pros and the cons. The same can be true when facing doubts.
In the silver lining writing exercise, you write out a list of pros and cons for the thing that you have negative feelings or thoughts about. Next, you take the list of cons and write them using more positive verbiage.
Let’s say that you’ve been having negative thoughts around making a career move. Maybe, on your list of cons you have “I am not fully trained to do this job”.
With silver lining writing, you could rewrite that statement as “It will give me an opportunity to acquire more on-the-job training”. Doesn’t the later statement feel better?
Complete your list and go back and make better feeling statements of your cons and voilà, SILVER LINING!
Related Content: 7 Ways to Increase Positive Thinking
Untie The “Nots”
Yes, the “Nots”.
The Nots refer to any word or phrases that negates a thought. Examples include not, can’t, won’t, shouldn’t, and couldn’t.
When you find yourself thinking phrases like, “I can’t date someone who is that gorgeous and intelligent,” stop and untie that not!
That is negative thinking taking over. Just take that not right on off of that word!
Now, what are you left with? CAN! Your new thought is “I can date someone who is that gorgeous and intelligent”.
And yes you can! And you want to know why? Because you just kicked Stinkin’ Thinkin’ in its behind!
These exercises may seem elementary in nature and may even seem silly, but sometimes it is simple exercises like this that help you to hold on to joy and release those negative thoughts.
Just remember that the more you practice, the more you don’t have to practice. It will begin to come naturally to you. Before you know it, you will be in control of negative thinking before it has a chance to still your joy!
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