One of the hardest and most challenging habits to break in daily life is one that is fought in the solitary confines of our own minds – it’s with becoming aware of our thoughts and mastering our subconscious thinking. More often than not, our minds play in a negative loop. You have one negative thought that leads to another, to another, to another, as you leap frog your way across a kaleidoscope of thoughts and scenarios. Sound familiar?
Often times, it seems like our minds are literally stuck on repeat. Especially when something is weighing on your mind, you will revisit the same thoughts again and again. If it’s something negative, you’ll naturally entertain more negative thoughts, and in that rut you will stay. There’s a chance you may get yourself back into a positive train of thought, but one little flash of a thought can immediately trigger the negative cycle all over again.
Let me give you a personal example that I think everyone on this planet has experienced. For me, my fallback negative loop is one that consists of what I think people are thinking about me. If I make a post on social media or write a blog post, there are a few specific voices that pop up in my head. I hear them saying negative and hurtful things; I hear them talking badly about me to others; I go through a dozen different scenarios in a matter of a few short minutes, all of them not good and even destructive to a degree. Then the conversation in my head loops back around to where it originally started and… and you guessed it… it’s starts all over again. I think we have all know how that goes.
Here’s the interesting catch: it is entirely subconscious thinking. I will be mindlessly working away on something and my mind will often start the loop without me even realizing it. Suddenly I’m thinking some pretty nasty things and I catch myself, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! WHY are you thinking about this?!”
The truth is, I guarantee that most of the time the things you are thinking aren’t even remotely accurate. These “worst case scenarios” we love to entertain couldn’t be further from the truth. These thoughts do absolutely nothing for you, and, quite frankly, will likely never even happen. Thing is, we enjoy it – we enjoy entertaining those thoughts because that’s our default.
Being negative is a hell of lot easier than being positive. Negativity LOVES to sneak in and find residence within us. There is naturally more negativity around us than there is positivity, so it’s extremely easy to exist in that mindset without much thought or effort. It’s extremely difficult to do the opposite. You may find yourself being positive and upbeat one moment only to be brought down the next. It’s very challenging to stay the course.
There are people around us who live their daily life primarily, if not exclusively, in a negative loop. I’m sure you know a few in your own life. These are people who just CANNOT see the beauty in the world. They cannot find the magnificent joys surrounding them; they fail to recognize the miracle of simply being alive; they refuse stop and appreciate the little things. For these people, it is constant state of “Doom and Gloom” and this rarely changes.
If you are like me, I often have a desire to want to help these people see the happiness and magic of the world the way that I see it. The problem lies when these people don’t want to be helped, which is quite often. You will exhaust yourself trying to do so.
I used to have a friend (key word “used to”), whose world was one where the glass was half empty at all times. It didn’t matter how many times I pointed out some remarkable little moment or the one time we witnessed this awesome view. There was always an excuse as to WHY it could not be enjoyed. “The view may be cool, but it’s super muddy up here and the truck will take forever to clean.” “Yeah my kids are cute but my ex-wife is a pain and I don’t like her and she’s this, and that, and grumble, grumble, grumble.”
No matter what I said it fell on deaf ears. This person existed solely in a negative mindset and any positive influence was not allowed in. You can only try for so long before you realize these sort of people simply DO NOT want to change and you must move on.
I know this person had a good heart deep down, but the reality is that they could not serve me in a positive way. Bluntly put, these people are an emotional leech. If you let them stick around long enough, they’ll drag you down and keep you down. They won’t pick you back up when you’re down on your own luck; they won’t motivate you to dream big or hit goals; they don’t want to see you succeed because they don’t know how to succeed themselves. I recognized the danger with the relationship and decided we couldn’t see each other anymore. It’s a shitty call to make, especially if it’s someone you’re very close with or even if it’s family members, but sometimes it’ll be the greatest thing you ever do for your well-being.
“It’s not Selfish to Love yourself,
take care of yourself,
and make your happiness a
Priority. It’s a necessity.”
Another difficult situation to deal with is when someone you were once very close with begins to cultivate a negative attitude towards you. This happens when a tiny seed is deeply planted, maybe a mistake is made or a negative action repeated and offense is taken. If someone is not willing to forgive and forget, they hold onto those feelings of resentment which germinates that negative seed over time. This clouds their view of you and taints their attitude towards you. They progressively begin to loose sight of the positive, and rather than seeing the good in you, they seek out the bad.
This is a tragic situation and often becomes the poison that can drive two people apart. This happens with friendships, relationships, and even with marriages.
These scenarios are extra dangerous because of the gravity they once held. In my case, a friend and I used to be close and have a solid, unbreakable friendship. I could take my emotional armor off and be vulnerable – a level of trust not many people gain. These people have (had) access to your inner being and the relationship is deeper and richer because of it.
But if things begin to go South, as they sometimes unfortunately do, you will be faced with a tough battle you probably didn’t imagine you would ever have. There are situations where the ones who are upset will never forgive you, regardless of what you have done or regardless of your attempts to make it better. Once that negative mindset of YOU, as a person in general, takes hold in their mind, it is something that is very difficult to change. They have created a negative relationship loop and more often than not, that’s exactly where they want to stay.
Hell, you could save a baby from a burning building and these people would still find fault in you. The lens that they view the relationship through is cracked or broken. They fail to find the positive anymore.
What’s even more tragic is when these people don’t want to change. They forever and always want to think badly of you. There could be a time when they/you try to salvage the relationship in some way, but if they continue to hold onto those wrong doings, they never fully will. You will probably never return to the relationship you once had. Since these people are now existing in that negative loop, they will take every opportunity they can to bring you down. They will remember the chinks in the emotional armor and will do everything in their power to hit you were you are weakest. They no longer wish to see you succeed; they curse your name or talk shit behind your back; they legitimately want to bring you down.
It’s unfortunate but it does happen. You will have to make a decision if staying is worth it to you. Remember, it’s not selfish to take care of yourself, it’s fucking necessary.
“Being Positive Won’t
guarantee you’ll succeed.
But being negative will
guarantee you Won’t.”
A negative mindset is so very easy to exist in and is, quite frankly, pretty average to the human race. To be positive and upbeat, however, is extraordinary. It is crucial that you develop a self-awareness of your thoughts and are able to recognize when you are in your negative loop. Once you catch yourself thinking that way, you can stop the cycle.
The more times you practice catching yourself, the less and less those negative loops will run your subconscious mind. They will slowly begin to fade away because you are no longer feeding into them.
For me, I began to recognize which exact thoughts were the trigger ones that would begin the loop. I knew, without fail, what mental road those thoughts would lead me down, and it was never good. So I would either end the thought loop there or replace the thought with an entirely new one. This mental self-mastery is very powerful and, again, very rare. But if you can learn to control your mind in this way, there’s no telling what you can unlock in your own life.