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10 Negative Thoughts We All Have And What We Should Think Instead

10 Negative Thoughts We All Have And What We Should Think Instead

I probably used to be one of the most negative people in the world. I felt like life was a continuous struggle and I had been dealt one of the worst hands, but what could I do? This is just life. Or so I thought.

I’ll never forget the first time I heard that the way I was talking to myself, directly influenced every aspect of my life. We can be our own worst enemy at times and our internal conversation can be extremely limiting. Like most people, I was blind to this somewhat obvious piece of information.

To say I felt like I had just won the lottery once I really understood this, was an understatement. Why? because suddenly I learned that the negative thoughts I had, weren’t facts at all, but instead self imposed limitations that I was putting on myself which I also had the power to remove.  Over the last decade, it has become very clear to me that most of us actually have very similar negative thoughts. Here are some of the most common negative thoughts we all have and what we should think instead.

1. I am not good enough

Have you ever thought that you weren’t good enough? When we feel that we aren’t good enough, we tend to drown in this emotion of self-doubt and pity. It really relates to a low self esteem, but the truth is, every one is good enough. You might not have the skills or tools to achieve what you want now, but you are certainly good enough and worthy of what you want.If you have a $10 note, and it falls on the floor into a puddle of mud, does that $10 lose value? Of course not! So why do you feel that you lose value based on what you have done in life. Don’t limit yourself, because everyone is good enough.

New Positive Thought – I am worthy of all I desire in this life, just like everyone else.

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2. I can’t do it

‘Can’t’ is one of the most limiting words that you can tell yourself. Henry Ford said. ‘Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.’ So if you tell yourself that you can’t, you are sending messages to your mind and brain that you can’t, and so that will be your experience. Your mind won’t try if you have already told it that it can’t.

New Positive Thought – ‘I can do whatever I put my mind to’

3. I’m not as lucky as other people

This thought normally comes from holding an illusion that other people’s lives are better and they are luckier and that is what separates you from them. ‘Perfect’ doesn’t exist, normally there is a lot of effort that goes behind that perceived ‘luck’. It is very dis-empowering to think that you will never have luck and it is simply not true.

New Positive Thought – Good things can happen to me too

4. I don’t think I’ll ever

Whatever you believe will become your reality, this is true.You shape your future every day by the choices you make and your habits. You can sabotage your opportunities by limiting your thoughts. What would it be like if you believe that you could do what you really desire and have the experiences you wish instead? It is not about getting it right the first time, but trying. Don’t stop yourself before you have even given yourself a chance.

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New Positive Thought – I am confident I will ….

5. I should be better than I am

Using the word ‘should’ in this context is really negative and makes one feel less than they are. How often do you find yourself saying ‘I should be move clever, more disciplined, more productive, etc than I am. Remember how you feel immediately afterwards? Not good I am sure. Rather set yourself goals for the things you are not happy with instead of telling yourself what you ‘should’ be like or be doing. Take action the things you wish to change and remove limiting modals from your vocabulary.

New Positive Thought – I am making an effort to change what I don’t like

6. I am not strong enough

It’s normal to feel that you are not strong enough at times. We are all human and I don’t know anyone on earth who doesn’t feel weak at times. What is important though, is the conversation you have with yourself afterwards. If you keep reinforcing the fact that you don’t feel strong, how can you expect to feel? Instead, tell yourself that you are strong enough and support yourself to find the strength you need in that moment.

New Positive Thought – I am strong enough to deal with this

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7. Nobody cares

It might feel that you are alone at times and that nobody cares, but I am convinced that there are people thinking about you that you don’t even know of. People do care, not everyone expresses their emotions in the same way. It isn’t nice feeling that nobody cares, so stop focusing on that and assuming what other people feel when you don’t actually know. Change your focus to something that makes you feel better instead.

New Positive Thought – People do care about me

8. I am not clever enough

This is a very general statement yet many people tend to say it often and then feel bad about themselves afterwards. What are you not clever at specifically? I bet, if I asked you to identify some areas that you are clever in, you could, if you really tried. Not everybody is clever and perfect in every area and this is what makes us all individual. If you feel that you are lacking in a certain area of knowledge, make time to study and learn whatever it is that you want so that you don’t feel this way any more.

New Positive Thought  – I am clever and I am studying xx to master this area as well

9. If I don’t do well, I am a failure

Holding high expectations for yourself and having conditions attached to your self worth on your performance isn’t fair. If you don’t try you will never know, you need to take chances in life if you want to get different results. Don’t be scared of failing, the real failure lies in never having tried.

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New Positive Thought  – I am going to try, I am not scared of failing, that is not what is important

10. Worst case scenario

Thinking negatively in general is thinking that whatever happens, it is most likely going to be the worst case scenario. What would it be like if you imagined the best case scenario instead? Our thoughts are very powerful and it’s common to use visualization as a technique to imagine the best case scenario. Whether you imagine the worst or the best case scenario, you are influencing your results. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen and rather on what you want to happen.

New Positive Thought  – The best will happen…

We all have negative thoughts from time to time, after all, we are human. When the majority of your thoughts are negative however, you are undermining your happiness at the end of the day. Our thoughts directly affect how we feel and therefore, what we do in life. Don’t limit yourself or what is possible for you, master your thoughts and change your results. Whatever you think, you are right!

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on December 17, 2018

Why You Think You’re Not Good Enough and How To Believe in Yourself

Why You Think You’re Not Good Enough and How To Believe in Yourself

Have you ever wanted to say something at work, but a little voice of doubt crept in and said, “what if you are wrong”?

Maybe you wanted to apply for that promotion or ask that special someone on a date, but something kept you from taking action. When you think you’re not good enough, you tend to fear the outcome and lack faith in your abilities. That is why it is vital you discover how to believe in yourself so you can accomplish your goals and create your dream life.

Whatever your situation, the fears and self-doubt your false beliefs create will always stop you in your tracks. Identifying the beliefs that cause you to sabotage your life is the first step to removing them.

Self-doubt causes inaction, and inaction leads to regret. When you are not following your passion and living your dream life, you are left with a lot of questions:

  • What if I took a chance on myself?
  • Could I have had a better life if I took more risks?
  • Am I be satisfied with the legacy I am leaving behind?
  • What could I have accomplished if I did not settle for less?

So why would you think you’re not good enough?

1. Parenting

The perception you have of yourself is based on your past experiences. There are studies that show children mimic everything from their parents ability to regulate emotions, to their parents belief about money.[1]

I have had clients who did not believe they were good enough because they did not receive any positive reinforcement as a child. When they were young, their parents were extremely overprotective.

Think of your childhood challenges like dragons you had to slay. Each obstacle you overcame was another dragon you successfully removed from your life. As you slay more dragons, your self-esteem and confidence increase. When someone has overprotective parents, their parents end up slaying the dragons.

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As a result, the child builds more confidence in their parent’s abilities, while still doubting their own.

If you are never encouraged to slay your own dragons, you start to doubt whether you can. It is only natural for a child to conclude their parents are always helping them because they think they need it. This child ages into an adult who still believes they are not good enough. They seek the help and confirmation of others, and they rarely stand-up to opposition.

Solution: Slay Your Dragons!

If you want to believe in yourself, you are going to have to take steps to rebuild your trust in yourself. Start by keeping your word to others and arriving on-time. By showing yourself that others can (and do) trust you, you are going to feel more comfortable trusting yourself.

As you move onto larger and more challenging tasks, you have built a foundation of trust in your ability to keep your word. Next, you are going to want to reclaim your sword from others. At first, you may want to confide in whoever it is currently slaying your dragons.

Understand if it is your parent or someone who loves you, they want the best for you and mean well. You are simply going to tell them that you want to do the work, and will ask them for their thoughts in the planning phase. Feel free to check in with them and give them updates on your progress, while making sure they understand you are wanting to do the work yourself.

Then when the task is completed, let them know so you can celebrate together. Now that you have slayed your own dragon, you can start to reclaim your confidence. By you utilizing them as your guide, you get the added bonus of someone you respect and admire, telling you how amazing you are.

Think of it like a symbolic passing of the torch. Now, you are both dragon slayers. Which means all the positive attributes you attributed to them slaying your dragons, now belong to you.

2. Over-Exaggerating and Oversimplifying

Your past experiences may involve you or someone close to you failing. When you experience failure, you can lose your desire to continue. This has less to do with whether you are brave or scared, and more to do with the fact that your mind does not like failure.

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No one enjoys participating in events in which they under-perform. Outside of the usual reasons of embarrassment, feelings of inadequacy, and fear of failure – it is simply not fun.

Who wants to play baseball if they strikeout every time it is their turn? Would you enjoy singing in front of an audience if you were booed off the stage every time you performed? I could go on, but I think you get the point.

The thing about those two examples is no one really strikes out “every” at-bat. It is also unlikely someone could be booed off the stage “every time” they performed in-front of an audience.

What ends up happening is you oversimplify and exaggerate your past experiences and then your mind believes you. If you believe you are not good enough to ask someone on a date because they “always” tell you no, then do not be surprised you never muster the courage to do so.

If you want to overcome these feelings of inadequacy, start by changing your beliefs. This exercise does not need to be complicated. If you believe you strikeout every time it is your turn, I want to you to go to a batting cage and keep swinging until you hit the baseball.

When you experience success, I want you to take a mental note, write it down, or have someone video it. This is your proof that you do not always strike out. Then, whenever your belief that you are not good enough resurfaces, you are going to replay that video.

Regardless of the situation, you can find a successful experience that you are overlooking.

Solution: Read About the Failures of Others

It sounds a little crazy, I know, but reading about the failures of other successful people will improve your confidence. In a study conducted by Columbia University, they found that teaching students about the failures of great scientists encouraged them to do better.[2]

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When you are battling fear and self-doubt, you tend to over-exaggerate the abilities of others and diminish your own by comparison. You start to believe the successful are successful because they are courageous risk-takers, who do not take no for an answer. You tell yourself, they are meant to succeed, while you on the other hand are not.

When you are able to relate to the successful, you start to realize they have the same struggles and challenges you do. The only difference is they kept going.

Now it is not a question of whether you can succeed, it is a question of whether you want to succeed.

3. Undervalue Yourself

What is the main difference between someone who believes they are good enough and someone who does not? The person who believes they are good enough understands they are a person of value.

What I mean by this is if you do not believe you are worth being listened to, you will not have anything to say. If you do not believe you are good enough to be respected and treated as such, you will accept and rationalize all kinds of mistreatment.

There is an old saying that we are treated as we allow ourselves to be treated. When someone has the confidence and self-esteem that commands respect, they will not accept being treated any kind of way. However, if someone does not see themselves as worthy, they will remain in toxic situations because they do not believe anything better is on the horizon.

Dr. Jennifer Crocker, who worked on a series of self-esteem studies, found in her latest research that:[3]

“College students who based their self-worth on external sources–including appearance, approval from others and even their academic performance–reported more stress, anger, academic problems, relationship conflicts, and had higher levels of drug and alcohol use and symptoms of eating disorders”

Solution: Internalize Your Self-Worth

Instead of valuing yourself based on the awards, recognition, and accolades of others, you need to search internally. By basing your perception of yourself on your core values, you can regain control over self-image.

Instead of focusing on things that are outside of control, keep your mind on what it is that makes you special. You are not defined by your job, relationships, religion, or education. Rather, you are defined by the manner in which you participate in these things. You may be a creative, hard-working, and compassionate person; and that shows up in every thing you do.

Understand that you do not need to be creative, hard-working, and compassionate all the time to consider yourself these things. You are not trying to be perfect, but you are trying to connect with your true self.

By understanding the similarities in which you tackle objectives, you will build a consistent and powerful self-worth that stands apart from external confirmation.

Final Thoughts

Do not allow your past experiences do dictate your future success. You do not want to look back on your life and have a lot of questions and regrets.

Build trust in yourself by taking action today. This will help you build the confidence you need to believe in yourself and your ability to become the champion of your life.

More Inspiration About Motivation

Featured photo credit: Riccardo Mion via unsplash.com

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