How to Free Yourself from Negative Thinking
I’m going to tell you a story about a boy who was once full of negativity and absolute despair as a result of the situations he faced in life. That boy was me. As a child, and even more so as a teenager, I was frequently the target of school bullies. Every day for five years I was subjected to physical and mental abuse, but never really knew why. I hated the bullies and how they made me feel. I felt weak and like a complete loser.
I left school at eighteen years old and went out into the wide world. It should have been an exciting time in my life but I actually felt crippled by the fear of not being liked. I was worried that I would be bullied in the workplace, as I had been at school. Due to the traumatic experiences I had as a young person, I was consumed by negativity as an adult. I hated people and hated myself even more.
Over the years I attended counselling sessions and tried hard to work on reducing the negativity that I felt. The results were positive, although I still had negativity to work through. Then one day I was talking to someone about how I felt and they suggested that the bullies were still controlling me all these years later. The person said that my outlook will only change if I take control and change it.
There’s something about those words that struck a chord with me. It resonated, and from that day on I felt more in control of my own destiny. I decided that I was no longer going to let the bullies control my life. I was taking the control back.
I spent the next few years working on my self-development, which included going back into education to train as a hypnotherapist, counsellor and psychotherapist. During that period, I learnt so much about myself and my fellow humans, which has been invaluable to this day. That time also enabled me to develop a number of beliefs that I now put into practice daily to ensure that negativity never consumes me again. I’d now like to share my top five tips for freeing yourself from negative thinking.
- What other people say about you is their problem, not yours
This is something to always keep in mind. There will always be people out there who don’t like you, will want to knock you, or take out their jealousy on you. But - and I’m being cheesy here - let your haters be your motivators. Most people who act negatively towards you are probably projecting their own issues or self-loathing on to you. It certainly says more about them than it does about you. So let it go and be free. Which leads me to my next tip.
- Know that you are free to be yourself
Why be like someone else when you can be yourself? Nobody really has control over you. You are the keeper of your own destiny, so don’t be afraid to live your life authentically. You will thank yourself for it in the long run and people will admire you for having the courage to be yourself.
- Having off days is ok
It’s not realistic to expect that you will feel positive every single day. We all have our wobbles. Just remind yourself that life has its ups and downs, that we sometimes have bad days and that tomorrow is a new day. Down days will happen but the key is to learn to be at peace with them and be ready for a brighter day tomorrow.
- Be grateful for what you have and let that be a foundation for gaining more in your life
Many people focus too much on all of the things that they don’t have. Instead, think about all of the things that you DO have, even if it’s the most basic thing. The simple, most basic things often bring the most happiness, and happiness thrives when the list of things you’re grateful for is longer than the list of things you worry about. So, what are you thankful for?
- Making mistakes and going through negative experiences is a fact of life
Disappointments and failures are often what makes us. Rather than letting them harden your heart, pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Those disappointments and failures are just stepping stones to your success. They will help you to grow and learn.
Happiness is always going to be a result of your own thinking. It starts and lasts with you, not with anyone or anything in your life. Of course it’s not always easy to find happiness within, but it is always possible. Regardless of the situations you face, happiness is always a choice and will be a result of your attitude. When negativity takes hold, it controls you. Once you realise how powerful your own thoughts are, you can regain control and never let negativity bother you again.