Is your negative thinking keeping you stuck or unclear about what you want in life?
Updated: Apr 25, 2022
Do you focus on what is wrong with your life and how hard it is?
Maybe you see the world as a bad place? With power hungry greedy people?
Do you see your own potential or shut yourself down whenever you think of making changes in your life or come up with ideas?
Our past experiences influence the way we see the world because we have specific associations with labels, experiences, people, animals and events. From that we start to project into the future by making assumptions and believing them. If your upbringing was not particular positive or your care givers were often negative you may have internalised this trait without realising it.
What beliefs about the world did you grow up with?
Becoming aware of how judgments and assumptions that influence our thoughts and emotions enables us to be more aware of what is influencing our decisions and results in life.
Where is your focus in life? Is it with the things you don not like about this world or is it towards all the opportunities that are around you?
In order for us to live a more optimistic, happier life we need to focus on what we want and not what we don't want. To do this we need to process and knowledge the beliefs that we created to keep us safe as children. This is the power of therapy.
If you're stuck with your career, relationship or family life, ask yourself am I focusing on what I want in life or don't want? Do I know what I want in life?
In this process we need to also acknowledge the part of us that is hurt, sad, angry or frustrated with the world we live in and why we have this view of life. One reason for this is that we have had a challenges growing up that have created our beliefs, such as:
I don't deserve nice things
People hurt me so I need to protect myself
No one cares about me
I am not smart enough
I am not good enough
I am not strong enough emotionally or physically
What's the point it will get taken away from me anyway
Good things don't happen to me
I have never been good at anything
I don't have any strengths or I don't know what they are
We have the power to create what we want if we're willing to take full responsibility for how our thoughts and beliefs are impacting the action or lack of action we take.
If we focus on what we don't want or make decisions from this place, we're missing important information. This is when we create undesirable patterns and outcomes in our lives.
This important information is knowing what we truly want in life that lights us up
and not what we think we "SHOULD" be doing or what we're doing out of fear. The way you know whether you're doing something out of fear or obligation is that it feels, heavy, unmotivating, drains your energy, you want to escape from it, you don't feel good doing it. whether this is in a relationship, family life or your career.
When we stay in situations that are heavy, unsatisfying and make us feel miserable we are reaffirming our beliefs about the world and ourselves.
What is the psychology behind this?
"A self-fulfilling prophecy is a belief or expectation that an individual holds about a future event that manifests because the individual holds it as true (Good Therapy, 2015). For example, if you wake up and immediately think—perhaps for no particular reason at all—that today is going to be a terrible day, your attitude might make your prediction come true. You may unconsciously work to affirm your belief by ignoring the positive, amplifying the negative, and behaving in ways that are unlikely to contribute to an enjoyable day."
Reticulated Activation System (RAS). Have you ever noticed that when you buy a car or talk about a specific type of car you notice these type of cares everywhere? It's because you have brought it into your awareness. This theory also applies to the ideas we come up with, opportunities we see in the world and everyday choices we make. If you're looking at changing your life in some way it's worth knowing that there are ample ideas and opportunities out in the world and you could be missing. Staying in the same environment with the same people, could be limiting your opportunities and creativity. To explain the psychology behind what happened when you watch the awareness test YouTube clip watch this short YouTube clip on our RAS.
This means we can make a conscious effort to refocus our thoughts towards something we want in life rather than what we don't want.
This does not mean we ignore the difficult stuff it means we process and work through our challenges, past experiences so we can move forward with a plan towards what we want and
what we can do to improve our lives.
GAIN A DEEP AWARENESS
RESPOND WITH AWARENESS
What does it mean to have these worst case scenarios, negative thoughts repeating over and over again?
Something is bothering you for good reason and your body and mind is trying to bring attention to it. You may have created a habit of thinking about the worst case scenario and focusing on the negatives, possibly learnt behaviour from a care giver. When we're in the thick of it, changing parts of our life can feel hard and challenging. We can feel depressed, stuck and anxious. We can find it hard to focus on the positive.
If I think negative thoughts, will I continue to have negative experiencers? No, not necessarily this is different to you fixating on the problem as opposed to becoming curious about it. There are different ways of looking at it.
It's important that we don't avoid our negative thoughts and emotions and that we don't judge them or believe them
Become curious and see what they're trying to express to you
Validate them by accepting that's how you feel and there is a reason for that way
You address this from a objective point of view where you can start to understand the reasons as to why you think the way you think .
This brings awareness to your situation and is very different to replaying it over in your head and living in it.
Sometimes we can't put a finger on why something is disturbing us.
This is in our unconscious. You can tap into the underlying disturbance in your life that is causing you to feel and think this way so you can start to changing your focus towards improving the way you are experiencing life. Our negative thinking, judgments and fear are the surface level of what's happening for us. If you identify the underlying disturbance you can make changes in you life with clarity.
Our Beliefs, Behaviours, Thinking can happen on an unconscious level.
So what is the unconscious?
You can think about it as our thoughts, feelings and experiences in life that we are not yet aware of. Something may not feel right and we're not quite sure what it is.
Without being consciously aware of it, we are reacting to life rather than responding consciously.
To respond in a proactive way you can:
Become curious and gain insight into what is influencing the undesirable results and outcomes in your life.
Try sitting with yourself in a quiet space and see what pops up. We tend to avoid our unconscious by distracting, numbing and suppressing the unconscious.
To come up with your next career idea sit in a quiet space and for 15 minutes write down all your career ideas.
The best question you can ask yourself when you write down your list is, if I had all the time in world and 1 million dollars what would I do for a career?
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