I’m sure you’d agree that thinking positively is a good thing. After all, it could really come in handy during those rough times when life seems to throw us around a bit.
Yet, when those days come, you can’t seem to think, “Hey, that’s fine. I like myself and love my life. Things will be great.”
I’m sure you’ve had a few days like that when things are just absolutely crappy. Or what about those days when you’re so stressed the beings pop out of your forehead? When you hate your job — or you’ve lost it?
What about those days when you are slammed with a series of unfortunate events that makes life seem like it’s no longer worth it?
Yes, I know that negative emotions can eat away at your productivity, creativity, and decision-making skills. And yet, I have to admit that sometimes it’s really difficult to reverse this state of mind.
But it’s not impossible.
You can, with your will, change the path of your life towards positivity. That’s what this mastery session is all about, so let’s tune in.
To tackle negativity you need to focus on these 3 steps:
- Understand that you can simultaneously value both positive and negative thoughts.
- Be consistent.
- Give your brain options.
While these steps are simple, they can be really difficult. Just remember that when you feel that fear or that want to avoid it all, to continue living your life as you are, that you can take control. It starts by taking action towards positivity even when negativity is still there.
Now, I want to hear from you.
What’s the single biggest insight you’re taking away from today’s mastery session? How can you begin to incorporate these steps into your life? What would be the one action you can take NOW towards thinking positive?
Leave a comment below and let me know.
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“It’s apparent, then, that negativity affects our lives by overwhelming our senses, our emotions, and our minds. Fear paralyzes and immobilizes us.
In many ways, fear feeds our doubts and increases our negativity by dividing the mind and preventing concentrated thinking.”
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I look forward to connecting with you again. But until then remember, you are the writer, the director, and the actor of your visions, your story, your life. Take charge and transcend your limits today!
The following is the full transcript of this episode of the Transcendence Mastery Sessions with Giulia Guerrero. Please note this episode, like all TMS episodes, is possible thanks to you and your fellow entrepreneurs, parents, and leaders. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.
Hello hello and welcome to a special mastery session. This mastery session is inspired by a guest blog post I write for Coaching for Abundance. I’ll be sure to include the link to the original post in the resources section of this episode on Nestrain.com.
And as you’ve probably guessed, today’s mastery session is all about the art of negativity and rewiring your brain for positive thinking.
The reason I wanted to talk about this today is because I’ve been meeting with several clients recently and if there is one thing they have in common it’s that they drown themselves thinking negative thoughts, always finding something wrong or bad even when there is positive progress in their lives and business.
So let’s dive in.
continue reading transcript
When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I remember the rush of fear and doubt that went through me as I pondered on the idea of being a mom.
I found myself obsessing about the very same things that my parents worried about when they raised me—and their parents fussed about before that. I was also distressed about the differences between my expectations and experiences of early parenthood.
I felt feelings of anger, anxiety, resentment, guilt, and even a sense of failure. All these thoughts clouded my mind as questions rushed through non-stop.
Am I good enough to be a parent? Am I ready to be a parent? How will I balance my life and being a new mom? Will I never have a social life again? How will I afford hospital fees if anything happened to my daughter? What if she’s born with a disease?
I could not stop being negative about what was to come. So much so, that I sometimes even wished for her to stay inside me a little longer—just pushing that birth date a week or even a month.
As bewildering as this onset of paranoia is, it was all due to one reason—I was realizing that suddenly someone else’s life is entirely dependent on me.
This sudden sense of vulnerability took me by surprise, just as it does many entrepreneurs.
Being an entrepreneur is very similar to being a parent. Your business becomes your baby, and you face a myriad of accusations, most likely from yourself.
What do you have to put out to society? Why should anyone buy your product? What makes you think you’re good enough, huh?
An entrepreneur battles with the fear that nothing worthwhile will come, perhaps even nothing at all. It’s that fear that something started well won’t turn out, or that someone else will do the same idea first, or even better. This is especially the case for solopreneurs who take on many roles at once.
Every day you find yourself consumed with thoughts like:
- I can’t do it!
- Am I really passionate about my product?
- I’m not an expert.
- It’s already been done.
- No one will ever buy my product or try my services.
- I don’t know the right people.
- I don’t have the money to get my business started and growing.
You find yourself feeling really down and frustrated because you have negative thoughts and beliefs running through your mind all the time, and you just can’t seem to shake them.
Negativity can be a great foe, and it doesn’t come alone.
It creates a cycle of destructive thoughts including fear, self-doubt, distrust in others. Each thought adds on to the next only proving your negativity is the best choice for you right now. It’s never ending, affecting your body and mind—freezing you from achieving your goals and making your dreams a reality.
Therefore you must ask yourself, can I truly rewire my brain for positive thinking? If so, how?
Let’s tackle the first question. Can you rewire your brain for positive thinking? Yes, you can.
But it won’t be easy. If you plan on rewiring your brain for positive thinking, you need to have some grasp on negativity, where it comes from and why you are in this constant negative loop even though you wish to be positive.
First of all let it be known that there is no true way of understanding negativity. Everyone has their own perceptions of life—and everything that happens in it. It is shaped by our environments, our ideas, our knowledge among other spices of life.
And it’s in constant evolution.
However, behavioral scientists have studied our emotions for centuries in an effort to provide some type of explanation for the causes of negativity and how our brain reacts to it.
Negative events have a greater impact on everyone’s brains than positive events do. Yes, everyone not just you.
We remember them more vividly and they shape our lives in inexplicable ways. Farewells, bad parenting, financial losses, accidents and even insults take up most of our psychic space, leaving little room for pleasant experiences to help us along life’s challenging path.
The brain pays attention to these negative thoughts even subconsciously in an effort to protect us from danger. By default, the brain alerts itself to potential threats in the environment, and then awareness of positive aspects suddenly takes a lot more deliberate effort.
We become hyper-focused on the negative, so we have a hard time seeing, hearing or feeling positive. This naturally occurring feedback loop can lead to significant psychological distress. It is a vicious cycle that leads so many people spiraling down rabbit holes of anxiety, self-doubt, and fear.
Our brains are simply built with a greater sensitivity to unpleasant news. This negativity bias is so automatic that it can be detected at the earliest stage of the brain’s information processing according to a study by John Cacioppo.
John Cacioppo, Ph.D., then at the Ohio State University, showed people images known to arouse a variety of emotions—positive, negative, and neutral. He recorded all electrical activity in the brain’s cerebral cortex to measure results. In the end, the brain demonstrated that it reacts more strongly to stimuli it deems negative, showing a greater surge of electrical activity. It is, therefore, that our attitudes are more heavily influences by sad, depressing news than positive, exciting news.
This is just one of hundreds of studies done by scientists confirming our negativity bias. It is the reason why a positive day ends when we rest to sleep while a negative day carries over into the next morning. Or why our body picks up negative energy from a passerby and suddenly, for no apparent reason whatever, you feel stressed, shaken, and irritated.
It’s apparent, then, that negativity affects our lives by overwhelming our senses, our emotions, and our minds. Fear paralyzes and immobilizes us. In many ways, fear feeds our doubts and increases our negativity by dividing the mind and preventing concentrated thinking. Naturally, we delay doing anything we are afraid of or know very little about.
You don’t need to live your lives captive to your fears and insecurities. You can, through your will, become the master of your fears.
Romantic poet John Keats wrote about life as living the questions, the unknown as what drives science, and the most beautiful experience as that of mystery in his letters to family and friends:
Several things dovetailed in my mind, and at once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously — I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason — Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half knowledge. This pursued through Volumes would perhaps take us no further than this, that with a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration.
In simpler words of wisdom, feel the negativity and within that state do something about it.
Yes, with negativity comes skepticism and uncertainty which leads to fear and doubts. But you can take action. You can still turn it around by instilling constant positive thoughts into your brain, your mind, your subconscious, your memories.
For many, it’s easier said than done. And if you feel like this might be you, then consider the following 3 steps to tackle negative thinking to reprogram your brain for fluency in positive thoughts.
1. Understand that you can simultaneously value both positive and negative thoughts.
The reason negative thoughts keep coming up for so many people is because they’ve given it more value and weight than positive thoughts. I already covered this a little but let’s expand on that idea.
In his novel, 1984, George Orwell coined the term doublethink to describe the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
For example, you can value that you’re a great person and you’re a loser, and think in these two different ways at any time.
So why does this matter? What does it have to do with rewiring your brain to think positively?
Well, if you want to rewire your brain for positivity, this basically means that you only want to think positive thoughts and never anything negative. But doublethink interferes with that.
Remember that negative bias I spoke about?
That’s exactly what this is. And because you give more value and more weight to negative thoughts, there is no room to wiggle around some good ole positivity.
So instead, you have to be very mindful and present in the moment realizing when you’re being more biased towards negative thoughts. This means paying attention to what you say, what you do and how you do it or say it. So that in that moment, you can stop yourself and give more value and weight to the positive thoughts.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t think negatively. It simply means that you’re taking control of which thought you want to portray at the moment.
2. Be consistent.
Reprogramming your brain is not an easy walk in the park.
It will take willpower and determination, practice and most of all, consistency.
You have to make a choice. What do you prefer in your life? Positivity or negativity?
With positivity comes dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and oxytocin. Four little hormones that make you feel happier, more upbeat, more confident, and more energized.
With negativity you’ll tend to feel down, be less confident, have a lower self esteem, and be tired more often than not.
So if you allow your brain to automatically take charge of thinking at any time, the way you feel and act will be less predictable and erratic.
This is why sometimes you can be moody, volatile and less reliable. To your friends or family, you might be bipolar. To an outsider, you’re just crazy.
But if you’re clear that you want to stay happy consistently, and hopefully you are if you’re listening to this episode, then it’s very simple:
Always value positive ways of thinking and being and give less value, none at all if you can, to negative thoughts and actions.
It’s therefore very important that you do everything in your life while being present in the moment. This is how you can take control and begin to reprogram your brain.
And the more you consistently do it, the more your brain will naturally begin to favor positive thinking than negative.
3. Give your brain options.
The truth is that if you’ve been negative for most of your life, your brain probably doesn’t even know how to be positive.
So for the next week, begin to jot down any time you’re negative: how you feel, what triggered it, what you said and thought. Let your brain automatically take charge for this week so that when you write this list of negative thoughts and actions, you can create a counteraction.
If you think something like “I always have bad luck in all I do.” Pick a relevant competing positive thought like “I don’t have bad luck at all. I’m always so lucky and feeling good.”
You want to make sure that as you do this, you create a positive statement that is more powerful and meaningful to you than the negative one.
Why? Because there are times when you might know of a positive way to think rather than negative but it doesn’t do any justice to your overall well being.
For instance, you might normally think “I’m not that bad” instead of “I’m a loser” but what does “I’m not that bad” really do to you? It still gives more weight and value to the negative thought.
Using something like “I’m a winner” it’s a much better and powerful thought than “I’m not that bad”.
Don’t forget to do the same thing for positive thoughts. This might seem like a contrary thing to do but it truly pays off in the end. If you have started to think positive and don’t really have a negative thought to that positive one, then create one.
You always want to eliminate a competing negative way of thinking even when you have started to be more positive.
This helps to place more value on the positive thought and slowly allows your brain to reprogram itself to mainly thinking in ways that will make you feel, think and be amazing.
And of course, if none of these steps seem to help, remember Theodore Roosevelt’s eloquent passage in Citizenship in A Republic:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Our thoughts are powerful. They can lead you to wonders just as much as they can lead you to failure. So take a step to actively put forth the effort of being positive, pushing negativity aside.
It is only then that you will begin to blossom in a more proactive way, helping you achieve your happiness in life, business and wealth.
In that state, abundance will besiege you and you will transcend your limits.
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And lastly, if you have any question(s), be sure to reach out to me. I will answer your questions in a promptly manner. Who knows: your question might be the next inspiration for an upcoming episode. 😉
I’m honored to have you as a listener and I can’t wait to engage with you again.
Cheers and thanks again!