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Sometimes, we engage in self-sabotaging, negative actions and/or thoughts. Instead of rationalizing all the positive things that have occurred in our lives, we focus on those things that had gone wrong. We give more attention to things that are less edifying. Negative thinking causes us to stop trying and often sees us talk ourselves out of opportunities. We all have those “tiny voices” in our heads which we hold long conversations with. If we develop negative thoughts, those voices would transform to key players in self-doubt and this would create defeat even before we accomplish or start out any task. Negative thoughts cause unnecessary worry and anxiety. While many people feel it is easy to snap oneself out of such thinking, it’s not as easy because those thoughts would contradict every positive emotion you had acquired. It drains you of the energy you would have harnessed in fulfilling your tasks. What more can worry do but to create more work and more things to worry about plus, let’s not forget, Almighty lifestyle-related health problems, like high blood pressure, depression etc. Why take a trip to “worry express” when you can travel to dreamland? Self-sabotaging yourself with negative thoughts can reduce your self-esteem and make you feel really worthless. Imagine you are in an interview with people looking better experienced than you do, and you leave the venue right before you are called in, just because you had allowed your dreams to be crushed by your fears. Negative thoughts put limiting labels on you. Unconsciously after your friend informs you about a particular life challenge, you begin to put limiting labels on the friend using that particular information she had provided about herself. So, when next you both meet or speak, you won’t ask her about the numerous good things that she has going on for her but would give preference to that “negative” thing in her life. It’s OK to talk about it, pray about it, however, do not give prominence to that aspect of her life.  So get rid of those limiting labels you put on yourself and stop putting limiting labels on your friends, family and colleagues.

Here are healthy ways you can anchor your thoughts to positive ones:

  • Think of a past experience that made you happy, begin to relieve that memory in your mind, the smells, the sights, of those what spiked your happiness.
  • Create an anchor stimulus, when you are at the peak of your happiness. Try it repeatedly till you can call your emotions with the anchor stimulus; which means you can easily get into a positive mental state almost by simply by snapping your fingers.
  • Ask yourself the right questions whenever you are struggling with self-doubt. Focus on your present and your future, rather than questioning your past and what you did wrong or what you could do better.
  • Make absolute positive statements about yourself to mentally plan your thoughts.

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This article was first published on 22nd October 2017


Adepeju Adenuga is a writer (considering where you are reading this, makes perfect sense). She holds a Masters Degree in Literature in English from the University of Lagos.

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