This is something I had to learn the hard way. When I was depressed, I would entertain and accept a ton of negative thoughts that stemmed from low self-esteem. Every time I messed up, was rejected by a woman or said something that was perceived by others as weird or awkward I would wallow in a pit of negativity.
These thoughts would eventually turn into words that I would say aloud to myself and others, something to the tune of “I’m worthless” or “I will never amount to anything” or “I’m such a screw-up”.
The negative thoughts that I allowed into my mind and the negative words I would say to myself eventually led to actions that reinforced the negativity.
This was not as profound in the classroom as it was during my athletic training clinicals. I would think to myself that I was incompetent and that I would surely screw up and eventually this led to me acting this out.
This eventually got so bad for me, that the clinical instructors, classmates and athletes would all see me as that incompetent student athletic trainer who would drop out by his senior year. A clinical instructor even said to me at one point: “If my son had you as an athletic trainer I wouldn’t let him play sports”. And during my senior year, one of the classmates I worked with would tell everyone just how incompetent I was.
Hearing and experiencing all of this was incredibly painful and all because I had at first thought this. My negative thinking and self-talk manifested itself into actions and that prevented me from actually being a competent student in my athletic training program.
Eventually, I had to say that enough was enough. If I didn’t do something soon I would have to drop out of my college’s athletic training program.
This led me to my very first battle against negative thinking and self-talk. No longer would I allow myself to think that I was incompetent. Instead, I would tell myself that I was smart, that I had the knowledge necessary to be a good athletic trainer I just needed to believe that I could do it.
And you know what? Eventually, my practical skills improved dramatically and by the end of my senior year I was offered an internship at a neighboring college and was awarded the “Most Dedicated Athletic Training Student” award for 2014.
My positive thinking and self-talk led me to make consistent action to improve my skills to the point where I pretty much did a complete 180.
I had to work on applying this to other areas of my life, which took a lot of time. But now, I make positive thinking and self-talk a cornerstone of all areas of my life and I have become a much better version of myself over the past few years.
My journey through the negativity and learning how to be positive was what inspired me to create this Empower Yourself Online in the first place, in hopes that my experiences and insight could inspire other people to take action towards positive change in their lives.
So how can we fight off negative thinking and self-talk? How can we adjust our beliefs and mindset so that they serve us rather than hinder us?
Practice, practice, practice:
If you want to adjust your beliefs about yourself, you will have a challenging time doing so at first. You will need to make sure that you form your positive belief system day in and day out.
Just like a plant that needs daily watering, your positive belief system will need to be nurtured otherwise it will wither away and you will be stuck at square one with the old and negative thoughts that you once had.
So how do we go about practicing positive thoughts so we can adjust our beliefs?
We practice this by telling ourselves positive affirmations that will empower us. We tell ourselves that we are awesome, that despite current circumstances we will become the best versions of ourselves.
This is an integral part of a morning ritual and should not be neglected.
Recognizing Negative Thoughts, but not engaging them:
It is just as easy to start having negative thoughts and beliefs as it is hard to instill positive ones into your subconscious.
Because it is so easy for negative thoughts and belief patterns to creep their way into your mind, you must understand how to deal with them in a productive way
You need to understand that just because you are starting to think positively, that doesn’t mean that you will not experience negative thinking ever again. Having this expectation is unrealistic and will prevent you from handling your negativity properly.
There is an empowering and disempowering way to deal with negative thoughts and of course we prefer the former here.
The empowering way of dealing with negative thoughts is understanding that they will enter your mind and that you should be conscious of them when they do.
You need to be able to catch yourself when you get into negative thinking and doing this requires practice.
If you are alone and you notice that you are starting to get into a negative mindset, you need to say out loud “Stop It” and then begin saying some positive affirmations that will counteract the negativity.
The power of this comes from ingraining the positive into your mind by verbalizing it.
Having a morning ritual
Sticking to a morning ritual will help with positive thinking not only because of the affirmations but also because it will set in motion a habit that will give you a boost of energy through exercising, eating well and drinking water.
A morning ritual will also set the momentum for your day. If you successfully complete a morning ritual, you will start your day feeling productive and energized and you will be confident in completing the day’s tasks.
Being more productive and energized makes it less likely for situations to occur that could lead to negativity, and it provides you with the necessary armor to resist the negative thinking and beliefs in the way I mentioned above.
A successful morning ritual doesn’t just involve the mind, it involves the body and spirit as well.
Not Verbalizing the Negativity
This goes hand in hand with the second way of dealing with negative thoughts and beliefs. Just like with positive affirmations, verbalizing your negativity will only ingrain it in your mind. With each word, you will begin to internalize each negative thought as if it were fact and you find yourself going into a bad state of mind.
This state of mind becomes a habit eventually and I believe it is one of the main causes of psychological problems like anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
Feel free to leave a comment down below if you have any other ideas on how to revamp your mindset so you have a better belief system about yourself. As always, be sure to share on social media to spread the empowering words of Empower Yourself Online. Until next time, take care!