When I help clients who have self esteem and confidence issues, they also often run a negative thinking style that just doesn’t help.
Sometimes there is a part of us that gets some form of satisfaction from being in this state which is in conflict with the other part of us that wants to change.
The way we think, behave and feel are linked and the more we do this and act in the same way when responding to something the more our body and mind gets used to thinking that’s normal.
Quite often this thinking style is ‘black or white’. Negative thoughts can drain you of your energy and keep you from being in the present moment. This can easily reinforce our negative feelings because we only focus on what is going wrong and at the other end of the scale have a very high expectation of what is required to go correctly for us to be happy, which makes it easier for us to reinforce what is going wrong. Ask yourself, by thinking these thoughts, what does this achieve?
You need to observe this ‘black or white’ thinking pattern in ourselves. When we are running this thinking style, we will be selectively missing things that proves otherwise to our thinking, instead only focusing on the things that reinforce the extremes.
We need to understand that there are also greys in between. It can be helpful to look at things from the perspective of a scale from 1-10 the highest number represents the best possible scenario and number one represents the worst. Your job is to fill in the grey area. So what would a number 5 or 10 look like, slap bang in the middle for instance. Be as specific as possible so for example if you were trying to stop eating as much cheese and you wanted to exercise more you might decide that the middle number would be ‘I only ate 1 small piece of cheese today and managed to walk half of the way to work’.
Be diligent in monitoring. You need to look for those exceptions when things are going better, even by a little bit, is important to break the negative thought pattern.
Ensure that your outcome you want is realistic and achievable, even if it’s just to achieve a seven on your scale for instance. Rather than only accepting success when you get to the magic ten!