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7 Roots Of Negative Emotions You Need To Identify And Weed Out

7 Roots Of Negative Emotions You Need To Identify And Weed Out

When it comes to succeeding in life, your greatest enemy is hidden in your mind, in a form of negative emotions. As Henry Ford said: whether you believe that you can or you can’t, you are right. Negative emotions are one of the main causes for self-doubt, dissatisfaction in life and looking for excuses for not doing something.

Fortunately, they aren’t entrenched in your mind for good so you can get rid of them. The perfect point to start at is determining the roots of negative emotions which is what I’ll discuss in this article. By doing this, you open your way to more happiness and success.

1. Comparing yourself to others.

“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.”

Shannon L. Alder

In the world of social media, this became incredibly easy and tempting. As you scroll down your Facebook feed or check out Instagram photos, you are bombarded with highlights of other people’s lives. It’s rare when folks share their insecurity and obstacles. So as you are irradiated with best parts of others’ lifestyle and compare it to your worst moments, it can be really depressing.

The fact is, comparing yourself to others doesn’t serve you well. It’s ineffective to make an in-depth analysis in your mind based only on a surface. Even if some people appear incredibly confident, be aware that they simply developed a higher tolerance of uncertainty. They may still have doubts and problems, but their external self doesn’t show that to the outside world.

If you compare yourself to others, you should give up doing it immediately. The only person you should measure yourself with is your past self.

2. Repeating negative affirmations.

Your brain is a powerful tool, but for most of the people, it works against you by default. It requires some effort to make it function for your good. This begins with replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations.

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Negative affirmations can literally paralyze your ability to become happy and succeed. Once you repeat them long enough, you start to believe in the wrong vision you created in your mind.

Luckily, the same rule applies to positive affirmations: repeating them over and over again makes you believe in these words. Consequently, weeding out the negative emotions almost automatically.

3. Underestimating your abilities.

You should never judge your skills against your favor. Always assume that you can do something and then go for it. If you fail, that just means you need to put more work into it.

Underrating your competencies boosts self-doubt and lowers your self-esteem which is the best environment for negative emotions to thrive.

Pay more attention to your attitude when it comes to facing new challenges and pursuing your goals. Do you easily come up with excuses and tend to rationalize?

If that happens, try to mute the negative inner voice and listen to the reasons why you can. It will surely impact your confidence and remove the bad energy from your mind.

You should use the internal dialog to help you to find reasons to believe in yourself.

4. Avoiding the full responsibility for your life.

Being content and satisfied involves fully accepting your influence on your life and using it properly. Whether you believe it or not, you are the master of your universe.

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Nowadays, when the technology is highly advanced and people more open-minded than ever before, you can live your life on thousands different ways. The best part is, it’s fully up to you.

Sure, you can point some external factors like the economy or your environment, but as I said, in today’s world you have countless other options.

Blaming factors you can’t control for your problems leads to a spike of negative emotions. However, once you accept that you are the king on your own planet, making a change for better becomes a matter of time.

5. Staying around negative people.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Jim Rohn

Your environment has a huge impact on your thoughts and actions. If you surround yourself with five intelligent people, you’ll soon become the sixth one. If there are only negative folks around you, eventually you’ll spread the negativity just like they do. That’s why you should pay attention to your surroundings.

One of the best ways to weed out the negative emotions is to spend more time with cheerful people. Bellyaches and complainers hurt both you and themselves so avoid them at all cost.

Positive people aren’t cheery and bright by accident, but because they separate themselves from the negative energy.

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6. Looking for other people’s approval.

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” Steve Jobs

Through socialization, we adopt an unnatural need to look for the external stimulants in a form of others’ approval. We carefully analyze our behavior so that we aren’t judged and pointed out by the society.

The truth is, however, the crowd is a bad indicator for what’s right for you. It’s because the masses aren’t authentic to their true selves. Instead, they stick to current norms and go with the flow.

The fact is, you will be completely fine once you face disapproval. Furthermore, you’ll be proud of abandoning the need for validation.

However, when you keep pay attention to how others perceive you, you become a slave. In lieu of pursuing your passions and sticking to your own rules, you go against yourself to please others.

The unavoidable consequence is a life full of regret which you definitely don’t want to live.

This article is a good starting point to discover the stuff you don’t need anyone’s approval for.

6. Saying yes when you mean no.

The ability to say no at the right moment is what defines a fully grown-up and responsible person. Plenty of adults still struggle to develop this precious skill. As a result, they end up lost in unnecessary commitments, tons of debt, excess obligations and negative emotions.

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You should never agree on something only to please others. This usually leads to problems and actually hurts both you and the person that asked for a favor.

When deep in your mind you feel like you should say no, it’s the best sign to do so. You know better what’s good for you so don’t let others influence your decisions.

Choosing between “yes” and “no” properly is a huge indicator of self-respect and confidence which are one of the key elements for more positivity in your life.

7. Contemplating about your past mistakes.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

L.M. Montgomery

Whatever messy and awkward things you did in the past should stay in the past. There’s no need to regret your bygone mistakes. Instead, learn from them and make sure not to repeat them in the future.

You can’t turn back the clock so stop getting back to unpleasant moments only to ruin your mood. Making mistakes is a human nature and the way we learn.

The real mistake isn’t when you it, but when you fail to correct it.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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