One of the top killers of all successes is the negative thought that dwells in our mind. It is proven that we think more negative thoughts than positive ones.
We are constantly bombarded with all kinds of negative news every day, from the newspaper to Facebook updates. People tend to pay more attention to negative things than the positive.
You will never slow down your car for beautiful scenery, but you will slow down your car when there is an accident on the opposite road.
Negative Thoughts Are Contagious
And negative thoughts are like rats; they come in a group. First, you discover one negative thought, and then the rest will follow and come to you.
For example, when you make a call to a prospect, and he scolded you, your thought might be, “I hate rude people”.
Follow by your next negative thought, “Why do I always have to face with rude people?”
And next, you will think, “Why do I always have to face with rude people and I’m underpaid?”
And next, you will think, “Why do I always have to face with rude people and I’m underpaid and not appreciated by my boss?”
And next, you will think, “Why do I always have to face with rude people and I’m underpaid and not appreciated by my boss and I’m not appreciated by my husband either, and I still have to cook for dinner?”
The negative thought cycle continues. Do you have days like these? How do you feel? Not good right?
Negative thoughts will come in groups if you don’t manage them well. Thus, it is very important to learn how to deal with negative thoughts if you want to be successful.
When you are feeling negative, you will never do anything productively. They will affect your mood and your work. You cannot do well or perform well if you are not in a good state.
Everyone Gets Negative At Times
Everyone gets negative at times, even if you are a very optimistic person, you will feel negative and down at certain times. We are human beings and humans creature of emotions and habits.
Our emotions and our habits will affect us and determine our success in life. This is why we need to learn to handle our emotions to be more positive.
Successful people are always optimistic not because they don’t have any negative thought. It is that they know how to handle it, and they have made it a habit to think more positively than otherwise.
Whenever a negative thought shows up, optimistic people will react and handle differently than people who are pessimistic.
The way you react to any situation that happens in your life is crucial. First, you need to learn to manage the negative thoughts, and then you have to make it a habit so that you will stay positive as much as possible.
Below are the 7 effective techniques how to conquer negative thoughts that you can put into practice and make them your habits…
1. Ask what is good about this
The easiest way to handle a negative thought or emotion is to ask yourself the right question, “What is good about this”, or “What can I learn from this.”
The question you ask will direct your focus. And when your focus changes, your feelings will change, and your reaction will change.
Successful people face the same amount of challenging events like most people do, but they choose to focus on the right thing rather than things that will drag them down.
Instead of asking “Why does this always have to happen to me,” they simply ask a more empowering question that will direct their thoughts, “What is good about this.”
You can do the same thing. By asking the right question, your mind will search for the relevant answers.
For instance, when you hit your car on the road curb and scratch it, how do you feel? Well, it all depends on what question pops up in your head.
If the question is, “Why am I so unlucky?”, then your mind will search for all relevant answers to that question.
“Because it is just not my day,” “It’s the government’s fault to build a curb there”, or probably, “I’m such a careless person and always have been like this.”
On the other hand, if you ask another question such as, “what is there for me to learn about this?”
Answers such as these may pop up, “I should have driven more carefully next time”, “I should be more careful to make a turn on this corner next time”, or “I should put in 100% focus while driving”.
You direct your thoughts through questions. If you ask yourself the wrong questions, you will get answers that will not help you one bit.
However, if you ask the right and empowering questions, you will react to the situation differently, and you will handle the situation more smoothly.
2. Understand that thing can be unfair
There’s no need to be negative; things can be unfair at times. You have to understand that life can be unfair.
Some people were born into a rich family. Some people have an amazing voice. Some people are talented in a certain field.
Not everyone can have a good voice or come from a rich family. Life can be unfair, but so what?
Life still has to go on, and you still need to work on your dreams and achieve higher success. There’s no need to be negative about it.
Whenever you understand that there is no balance in life, you will be more relax because it is just the way it is and will be.
You will discover that some people have the Midas touch, every business they go into they turn it into gold and make a lot of money from it. Are they lucky? Well, I’m not sure, but what can you do if you don’t have the Midas touch?
Are you going to give up or are going to quit? Not a chance right? You will still continue to work hard and learn your way to building the success you want.
Once, the world’s richest man, Bill Gates said, “Life is unfair, get used to it.”
And he is right. There’s no need to complain or stay in the lousy state that will drag you down. All you need to do is to do your best and move on.
Therefore, it is alright to be negative, but once you notice that the negative thought is there, move on. There’s no need to stay there.
If you are not sure how to live a worthy life, read this.
There Will Be Sunshine After The Rain, Guaranteed!
There’s no need to worry so much when things go out of hand or when something bad happen because the negative things do not come to stay, they have come to pass.
There will always be the sunshine after the rain. And if you are lucky, you may get rainbows too.
Well, I’m not saying that you should not do anything to get out of negativity; I’m telling you that you don’t have to think much and dive deeper into negativity because things will change and get better.
So if you’re stuck in the congestion, what should you do? Tell yourself that it is alright, there’s nothing you can do at that moment. So just get over it and never dwell any longer in the negative state.
If you fail to close the sale, tell yourself that it is just the way it is. All you can do is to learn from the experience and get on with the next client. Life has ups and downs, so with your sales career and so with everything in life.
Thus, understand that life is unfair, but things will come and go.
3. Apply the pattern breaker
This is a very common technique people use to manage their negative thoughts. What you need to do here is to break the pattern of negativity so that you will never stay stuck in it.
Here are a few ways you can get out of the pattern…
Shout “Cancel!” or “Get away, rats!”
As funny as it sounds, it works to break the pattern. If you attended some seminars, the gurus would tell you to shout “cancel” out loud. They want you to realize that you are thinking negatively and hence, stop the cycle.
The same goes for “get away, rats”. I used rats because I imagine all the negative thoughts are like rats. They come in groups, and they will conquer your entire mind if you let them.
The key here is to stop yourself from progressing deeper into negativity.
Wrist rubber band snap
This is another great technique to break your negative thought pattern. And you can also learn it from some seminars. They will ask you to wear a rubber band on your wrist, and whenever you think negatively, just snap the rubber band.
You will feel the pain, and you will train your mind not to think that way anymore. It is a great method to build an empowering habit.
You can read the full article that explains how to use this technique to remove unwanted thoughts from Psychology Today.
Change your motion or physiology
Whenever you change your motion or physiology, you will change your thinking. Just like when you feel tired, try to stand up and jump ten times. You will instantly feel alert and energetic.
So whenever you think something negatively, all you need to do is to change your motion. You can jump, you can clap, or you can do a fist pump. Your motion will create your emotion.
Combine all techniques
To make things more powerful and interesting, you can combine all the three techniques above to break your negative pattern.
You can wear a rubber band on your wrist; snap it when a negative thought appears. You can jump and shout “Cancel!” out loud.
Remember, the key here is to build a habit so that you will think less negatively and try to focus on constructive thoughts.
Try your best to follow through and use them for a month and see how it can change your life.
Related read: 7 Things You Should Avoid To Stay Productive At All Time
4. Make fun of it
There’s nothing wrong to make fun of yourself when you are thinking negatively. Why so serious about life anyway, especially when you are stuck in the negative cycle.
A smile or laughter will change your pattern and get you out of the negative circle. Whenever you feel like not getting anywhere or stuck in your emotion, try to smile and think of something funny.
If you want to you can even make fun of it. Losing a sale? Not to worry, you can still survive without the sale, so enjoy and have fun with life.
Studies have shown that people who are happy and smile more tend to be more successful and live a more quality life.
There’s a saying, “Happy go lucky”, and I believe there’s some truth to it. Whenever you are happy, you will be more engaging when doing things. You feel better, and you feel great. As a result, you will get more things were done and do better.
So don’t worry about being negative, just smile and laugh more. If you have no idea how to make life fun, check out this article.
5. Do something unrelated
This is another great technique that I love a lot. Whenever you think negatively, stop and do something totally unrelated.
You do not want to continue to think negatively. Hence, you get away from it.
Often, whenever you step outside of a situation, you will be able to clear your mind and see things more clearly. Do you know that taking time off actually increases your productivity? And do you know that travel makes people more successful?
For instance, you can take a walk, you can watch a movie, you can listen to a song, take a nap, eat snacks, get a cup of coffee, talk to someone, etc., etc.
The key to making this work is to do something totally unrelated to the event. For example, if you face a rude customer, instead of feeling angry and negative, get a snack, you will soon forget the incident and focus on other things.
You can also talk to someone about your experience. However, please choose someone who is more positive to talk to. If you talk to someone negative, things will get worse. Both of you might end up discussing how “unlucky” you both are and how unfair the life is.
So if you want to talk to someone, pick the right person to speak with. Or else you can just do other things like take a walk or grab a snack.
Walking away from a tough or negative situation not only eases the situation, in the same time, but it also helps to boost your creativity.
This is why extraordinary leaders such as Steve Jobs love to walk when he discuss business with others. He prefers to take a walk than to sit in a room and talk about the issue.
It is said that Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors of our time, used to take a quick nap during the day. Alibaba founder Jack Ma takes cat nap as well whenever he faces problems that he doesn’t know how to solve.
What I usually do when I’m stuck or think negatively is that I will take a walk, even in my house, I will walk around. Or most of the time I will pick up a book and read it.
6. Focus on the result
Whenever negative thoughts pop up, focus on the result you want.
In other words, you need to think about your goals and your dreams. Imagine the outcomes that you want and things that you want to accomplish.
Most people get stuck and focus on the problems instead of the solution. They think too much of the problem. They have thoughts such as “Why am I so unlucky”, or “Why does this always happen to me?” and the likes.
These are the problem-focusing thoughts that will lead you nowhere.
You need to choose the right thought and think about empowering things that will get you moving.
Your goals and your dreams will help you in this. Whenever you are down or feeling negative, check your goals and review your dreams. Look at all the previous accomplishments that you have achieved. Look at how far you have come.
You have to force your mind to focus on your targets and not the problems. You want to ignore the negative thoughts and go on taking action anyway.
Thinking about what you want is one of the best ways to conquer negative thoughts.
The international best-selling book, The Secret, says that if you imagine success, you are guaranteed success.
7. You are in control
Remember that whatever happens; you are always in control. I love this quote:
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
Yes, we cannot control what will happen to us, but we can always control our reaction to create better results.
We cannot control the economy, but when the economy is soft, we can try new things to boost more sales.
We cannot control the traffic, when it is jam, try to control your temper and listen to some songs. Sing along if you want to, it will make your day.
We cannot tell when bad things are going to happen to us, but we can always be optimistic and ready to accept.
When you understand that you are always in control of your reaction, you cannot be negative because it is your choice of emotion and reaction.
Sometimes Things Will Just Go Out Of Hand
We can’t control everything in our life, but there’s one thing that we can always have control, which is our reaction.
Whatever happened to you doesn’t matter, what matters most is how you react to it.
When you are stuck in the jam, you can choose to be angry, or you can choose to listen to your audio-book.
When you lose a sale, you can choose to be upset and disappointed, or you can choose to go ahead to meet with another client.
When your business failed, you can choose to feel down for the next three years, or you can choose to learn from the situation and start all over again.
It is all your choice. Read this line again – it is all your choice!
If you are facing tough times right now, I recommend you to read this to overcome tough times.
You get to choose how you want to live and how you want to react. Yes, things may go out of hands some of the time, but you don’t have to react negatively. You can always choose to react in a constructive way to handle things positively.
You are in control of your emotion and your reaction. Buddha once said this…
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Whatever emotions that you have in you, will ONLY affect you. Therefore, if you feel negative, you will get affected by your negative thoughts, not other people.
This is why it is so important to understand that you are in control of your state, emotion or your thought.
You can choose to feel happy, to think positively, or to feel the success you want. You have the right and the power to do so. Thus, take control over your emotion and thinking now, choose to think empowering thoughts that will help you.
There are many ways to get rid of negative thoughts in your mind. However, please remember that negative thoughts are very common, and there is no way you can remove them completely.
We are human beings, and we have our brain to think genetically about fearful and negative thoughts whenever things happen. This is our biological needs to protect us from sabertooth tiger in the Stone Age. However, this brain function does not helpful in this era anymore.
Hence, we need to learn to control our thoughts and make sure that our thinking is wired in such a way that it is helping us and moving us toward our goals and our dreams.
These 7 techniques above to battle negative thoughts work. It does not matter which one is the best, in fact, all can be a great technique to remove negative thought from your mind as long as it works for you. So try them out.
Let me know what you think about these techniques. Share your thoughts with me in the comment section below. Cheers