How to Kill Negative Thoughts before They Sabotage You!

Rotten thoughts equal a rotten core...

Hey my sweets! This week, I saw a post by Danielle Laporte on Instagram about The Apple Experiment that I immediately shared with my FB group. The message and timing couldn't have been more perfect, because this week we talked about how words and thoughts we entertain affect our ability to thrive in our lives, our health, and our relationships. 

ROTTEN APPLE, ROTTEN SOUL

Sometimes you may say negative, critical, harsh, judgmental things to yourself. Sometimes they may seem harmless, silly, or spur of the moment. For example, when you are clumsy, you call yourself inattentive or foolish or ungraceful. When you eat a bag of chips you wish you didn't, you call yourself fat, stupid, will-less, weak. When you don't get a call back or don't get a "well-done" at work or school or home, you call yourself not good enough, not smart enough, or not attractive enough. Those words you tell yourself may have lasted all of a hot second. You don't give another thought to what what you said to yourself for the rest of the day.

However, my friends, your body notices. Your soul notices. Your mind notices. Soon, who you are begins to reflect what you have said to yourself. Let's backtrack for a minute. When you say one negative thing to yourself, what do you notice about your posture? Your confidence? Your worth? Now, you may feel a little deflated, but then it passes. Now, let's reflect on a week or month or year's worth of telling ourselves negative things. What is your posture like? Your confidence? Your worth? Your happiness? This time, it takes much longer to bounce back. You may have retreated a mile behind, you may be laser focused on looking for flaws on your face or body, you may have rejected a few opportunities you would have naturally said yes to a one time, you may spend hours watching Netflix, eating pints of ice cream, and staying in the dark, not once or twice, but almost often. You may have lost faith in yourself and in life turning around for you. And you may wonder, how did I get to this place, a mental prison of sorts, where your thoughts are on repeat over and over. Where you self-sabotage because you don't know how to stop eating certain things or thinking certain thoughts or doing certain things. Over time, negative thoughts lead to a rotten core. The good thing is that you can pick yourself back up and change it all. It is never too late, my dear. 

What are some ways you can challenge negative, persistent thoughts:

  1. Become aware of what triggered those thoughts, what brought them on, and when they showed up. 
  2. Reflect on the thoughts for a few seconds. You can journal or take a walk, but definitely address them right away. Ask: Are they valid? Are they how I truly feel? Are they helping me in any way? 
  3. Reflect on what you really want to feel like today, tomorrow, next year. Do those thoughts affect the way you want to live or be? Are they hindering your ability to thrive? Are they affecting your confidence or influencing what you eat?
  4. Once you are done addressing, identifying, and determining how much they affect you, set those thoughts free. Negative thoughts have no place to settle in your life. Allow yourself space to learn and grow from them, decide what your next steps should be that allow you to thrive, succeed, or reach your goals, and then implement them. 

What happens next?

  1. Negative thoughts show up any time and any way, for no reason or whatever reason. They are a part of life. The sooner you accept that, the better off you will be. 
  2. Take baby steps. Keep moving forward. Rather than overthinking and over-analyzing your thoughts, keep putting one foot in front of the other. 
  3. Remind yourself that people you look up to, like perhaps Oprah or Beyonce or whomever you follow, also experience negative thoughts. They are human, with flesh and blood, just like you! The difference is that they know how to move past them and use them to fuel their fire rather than to let it defeat them.
  4. You will learn, grow, evolve as you deal with thoughts that come up. You will also be able to use those thoughts to your advantage, rather than to your disadvantage. Feeling like you will embarrass yourself speaking in front of others? Imagine Oprah owning the stage, imagine you have a fantastic message to share, and feel the fear as you do it anyway. Over time, you get fiercer and more confident as you go! Learn, grow, and evolve, my dear!

Be inspired by some of my favorite quotes on the power of thoughts below: 

~"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts" - Eleanor Roosevelt

~“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves." —Buddha

~“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” —Vincent Norman Peale

Negative, self-sabotaging, defeating thoughts are easy to come. That doesn't mean they are here to stay. Make it hard for them to thrive by taking away their oxygen.  Validating, over-analyzing, overthinking, and entertaining them gives them fuel, the fire gets bigger, can be uncontainable, and spreads like wildfire does. Instead, take a moment, then release them. Feed your soul with positive affirmations, motivational stories, or happy music. Be kind to yourself. Whatever cycle you feel stuck in, you can absolutely break it. It is a new day.  Do that daily until you truly embrace that positive, loving, kind thoughts create the kind of thriving life you wish to have. Love you. Those thoughts won't last long, I promise.

Blessings and love,
Melissa Maria