“I’ve never been able to do that, why even try?”
“I’ll never get that job, why apply?”
“I can’t do anything right.”
“No one wants to spend time with me.”
“I’m never going to be as fun (pretty, smart, successful, etc.) as my friends are.”
Every thought we have releases chemicals in our brains:
- Positive and hopeful thoughts release chemicals that make us feel good.
- Negative and degrading thoughts release chemicals that make us feel bad.
- What you focus on determines how you feel and act.
Unfortunately, many of our thoughts about ourselves and our situations tend to border on the negative, creating negative self-talk.
“These thoughts severely limit a person’s ability to enjoy his or her life. How people think “moment by moment” has a huge impact on how they feel and how they behave. Negative thoughts often drive difficult behaviors and cause people to have problems with their self-esteem. Hopeful thoughts, on the other hand, influence positive behaviors and lead people to feel good about themselves and be more effective in their day-to-day lives.” (excerpt from Healing ADD, Dr. Daniel G. Amen, MD)
What do to?
- Check the facts. Can you back up what you are thinking with fact? If not, revisit the assumption.
- Acknowledge negative thoughts, but don’t empower them: It’s nearly impossible to not have a negative thought from time-to-time, but we don’t need to empower the negativity.
- Re-frame: “I’m too fat” can turn into “I need to lose 5 pounds.” Turn negative self-talk into an action plan.
- Analyze the negativity from a 3rd person perspective: Would your best friend react the same way? Looking at things from a different perspective is very powerful.
- Assume best intentions: If someone doesn’t acknowledge your comment, e-mail, or phone call, assume they didn’t hear you or didn’t get the message. My guess is that they aren’t intentionally ignoring you, even though your perception of the circumstance may lead you to believe that’s the only answer.
Conquer your automatic negative thinking and negative self-talk by employing the above techniques. Your brain will thank you!
Cindy Jobs, COC, ACC
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National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice-President
International Coach Federation
Institute for Challenging Disorganization
Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADD