Persistent negative thinking is the soundtrack of a harsh inner critic that won't shut up. It's an endless loop of chatter; it makes you anxious and zaps your confidence.
Why does it sometimes feel so much easier to walk the path of doubt and negativity, rather than be positive and confident?
The bad news is that our brains are predisposed to negative thinking, and we are more inclined to engage deeply with the resulting emotions. It feels like there's not much to positive emotions because they tell you that everything is okay, so there is no need to think about them for very long. Sad, but true, it's easier to preoccupy the brain with negative thoughts.
“Wait a minute,” you're probably thinking. “You mean I have to deal with these nagging voices in my head forever?”
The answer is yes–and no.
It is possible to get your bullsh!t thoughts (because that's what they are) under control. It takes discipline to challenge your negative thoughts and form new habits, but it will change your life. It will also make your business more profitable.
I call it BullShifting!
Here are a few tips that you'll learn in my BullShift™ Group. If you're a solopreneur who knows your business can be more, but you keep getting stuck, this group is for you.
For now, carve out a few minutes here and there to begin forming these habits. And then, tell me about your success–and challenges!
Separate the B.S. from reality.
One negative incident can override a dozen (ok, a hundred) positive achievements. You have many client success stories, but when one client judges you, all of those achievements go out the window. You'll question yourself, rehash the event, dwell on what you should have done differently, and beat yourself up for it.
Start doing this instead: keep a diary of your wins. Put emails from happy customers in a folder for quick access. Entrepreneurs forget their achievements easily, mostly because they don't take time to celebrate them. The next time you doubt yourself go read about all of the things that you have done right. You are a Rockstar, and don't forget it!
Disrupt the loop of negative thinking.
If you spend a good portion of your day thinking trash about yourself and the world around you it will rule your life. Your brain is a computer, and it's up to you to program it. Your negative life experiences have programmed your brain to produce draining loops of unpleasant thoughts. It's automatic and feels easier and more natural than thinking good thoughts, especially about yourself.
There are so many ways to reprogram your brain; my favorite is EFT tapping, and you'll get plenty of that when you join the BullShift™ group. For now, begin to physically change your state when the head trash starts talking.
It can look like going for a walk or run or watching comedy for a good laugh. Or, (and this one is crazy-sounding) get your butt up out of the chair and pace the room repeating positive affirmations—loudly. Stand tall and accentuate your words. Shout it out!
I AM strong, smart, and UNSTOPPABLE!
I'm DAMN good at my work; I'm AMAZING!
No one else can tell me how to feel, I ROCK and I KNOW IT.
Go ahead; no one's around. Give it a try!
Kick catastrophic thinking to the curb.
Oh, how quickly the mind travels down the path of destruction! How often have you felt down or panicked about something that didn't end up as bad as you thought it would be? When your thoughts get out of control–imaging disaster over a positive outcome–ask yourself if these imaginary events are absolutely, positively true. The answer is usually no.
Find the good in the bad.
The goal is to stop your magical negative thinking when something goes wrong, so this may sound counterintuitive. I want you to think about the worst-case scenario. I've been forced to use this strategy many times in life, as I'm sure many of us have. Typically, even an outcome we dread isn't as bad in real life as it is in our fantasy world. In fact, during some of the most devastating times in my life, I've conquered negative thoughts by finding good in the bad when I faced the worst-case scenario.
When your fear is larger than you are, it makes all things impossible. Stand up to your internal bully and look at the truest facts (not your negative magical thinking), ask for help, and be kind to yourself. Your world will be a much better place.