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Hello there. I sometimes say to people, imagine you were up in space looking down on beautiful planet Earth. You could hear the thoughts of the people on planet Earth and all you could hear was people saying, “Oh I’m so stupid”, “What an idiot”, “Why did I mess that up?”, “Oh I always make that mistake!”
What would you think? You’d think, why are those people being so hard on themselves? They live on this beautiful planet, and they seem like really kind of nice, cool people. So what is the point? Why are they mentally beating themselves up and sabotaging their happiness by doing that?
Quite often, when my clients come to me, they realise that this is the habit that they’ve gotten into – and how much it’s having a negative impact on their life; their relationships, their work, all aspects of their life, and destroying their confidence.
The problem is that, once we realise we’re doing this, it’s not always so easy to stop. You have to recognisethat it’s a habit and find ways to break that habit.
I’ve got a really great exercise that I teach my clients. It’s a kind of CBT-ish exercise that I’ve adapted, and it works wonders. If you’re interested in finding out more about that and having some sessions, do get in touch with me.
A Handy Hint
In the meantime, I’d like to give you a really handy hint about how to prevent negative thinking over time. Basically, what that means is that you don’t try to stop yourself from having a negative thought – because what we resist, persists. The more you try to stop a negative thought from popping into your head, the more power you’ll give it. It’s like putting your hands up and trying to push the thought away, and of course then it becomes a huge thing. Then you can end up beating yourself up even more, about having negative thoughts! It just makes things much worse.
The trick is to actually just notice the negative thought and say to yourself, “There I go, that’s one of my negative thoughts, that’s okay, I have habit of doing that. Now, how can I follow it up with something positive?”
You don’t resist the thought, you notice it, you allow it, and then you choose something more positive.
We can’t always stop what pops into our head, but we can choose what we follow that up with. An example of that might be something like, “Oh I made a mistake on this project, I’m so awful, I’m so rubbish and I always do this!” Then, noticing you’re having that thought, but, instead of saying, “I mustn’t think that, that’s not good”. Say, “Okay, I’ve had that thought, now, what can I think that’s more helpful for me?”
The more helpful thought might something like, “Yeah, I did make a mistake like I’m only human – we all make mistakes from time to time and maybe that’s a mistake I often make. I recogniseit and I’m gonna work on changing that for next time. I’ll do my best, and if I manage not to make that mistake next time, that’ll be great, but if I do, well, I’ll just keep trying not to”
You’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better
You’ll feel a whole better by choosing that more positive thought than by staying with the negative beating yourself up thoughts or even beating yourself up about the negative thoughts.
Once you stop getting in the habit of allowing your self-critical thoughts and then following them up with more positive ones, you’ll find that those original negative thoughts are prevented, the habit just dies away.
You’ll literally rewire your neural-pathways. I talk a lot about rewiring neural-pathways. You’ll find that if you read my posts or watch my other videos, or if you’ve worked with me perhaps, you might be aware of that.
Okay, as I say, if you’d like someone who want some one-to-one sessions with me, just get in touch through the contact form. In the meantime, I hope that handy hint helps you.
Don’t stop your negative thoughts, just follow them up with positive ones. Bye bye for now.