Are there skills which you suck at, simply because you’re stuck on negative thoughts and feelings? For example, there are skills like driving or swimming which some people irritatingly find easy to learn, thus, increasing their enjoyment of life. And yet, these are the very same skills which others hopelessly struggle with all of their lifetime. If you are one of those people without the ability to swim or drive, then you’d be the first to know that these do not only prevent you from going places, but they also render you immobile and dependent on others.
Likewise, have you always been anxious about speaking in front of a crowd? Even before you begin to deliver, are you held back by feelings of apprehension, such that you experience the same, old mental block? Inspiring and moving as your speech was meant to be, you might find it hard to get past the first few paragraphs without stammering and sweating, all because you’re feeling fearful that you’ve already been criticized and judged.
Unfortunately (and it does happen often enough), we are our own worst critic. We get stuck on the notion that what we temporarily feel is who we already are. These feelings subconsciously override our thoughts, and we begin to fret and worry.
Once this subconscious negativity kicks into action, it will be hard to mobilize our thoughts, all because the negative feelings have already set in. What’s worse, these thoughts and feelings go beyond being confined to our mental and emotional state, as they begin to manifest physically.
If you’re stuck in the same boat as many other people who suffer from subconscious negativity, then here’s how you can move away from it and get unstuck in three easy steps:
- Recognize the pattern.
The first, most important step is to realize that negative thinking is a PATTERN. You fall into this pattern through constant repetition. The sticky part about repetitive, inner negativity is that the more you keep repeating negative, self-defeating thoughts to yourself internally, the deeper they get etched into your memory.
Thus, if you keep thinking that you’re going to fail (again) in your next attempt at learning to drive or swim, then you’ll detest any succeeding lessons and remember the initial ones to be difficult, even insurmountable. You’ll keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again, simply because they have become a learned response.
- Become more aware of your reactions.
Along with RECOGNITION comes AWARENESS. Once you begin to accept that being negative has become a pattern in you, you’d be more open to the idea of changing this pattern and getting rid of it. By observing yourself, you’d also become more aware of how you usually react whenever feelings of negativity set it.
For example, when you feel anxious about delivering a piece, you sweat and tremble. You forget to breathe. You panic. You freeze. A bunch of nerves, in your mind, you’ve already associated public speaking with a nerve-wracking experience rather than a productive one.
Like we said earlier, these reactions have already become a learned response. They have already become hard-wired into your system, and you have already been programmed.
The good news is that it is entirely possibly to reprogram yourself, and this brings us to our third step.
- Focus on positive thoughts.
In terms of self-improvement, the ability to focus means to center your energies on what you want to achieve and where you want to go. In a state of being goal-centered, you move forward with efficiency, while remaining calm and balanced.
Focus requires determination and attention. You must be determined to change old patterns and overcome useless fears. More watchful of your thoughts this time, be quick to move out those negative thoughts once they occur and replace them with more positive ones.
Certainly, being mindful about positive thoughts won’t happen overnight, but it can be done! It’s a process that can be achieved more easily through training and practice.