Date posted: 16/07/2019 5 min read

6 ways to break your negative thinking habit

In evolution, habitual negative thinking keeps us safe, but in the modern workplace, it can be a means of self-sabotage.

In Brief

  • Habitual negative thinking developed as a survival mechanism, but is less useful in the modern workplace.
  • Positive ideas and goals help put you on a path to success.
  • Listen to your intuition about what is and isn’t working in your life, and take action.

Research tells us that 95% of our thinking is habitual and up to 80% of that thinking is negative. That’s not as dramatic as it reads. It’s your brain’s way of keeping you safe.

When you have a thought that something or someone is unsafe, for example, your brain looks for the relevant evidence so that you avoid that situation next time. And, unfortunately, if you have a belief that you’re not ‘good enough’ your brain will look for evidence that you really aren’t, so you don’t risk your emotional or physical safety.

Our brains are naturally wired to look for the negative, but that’s not how most of us want to live or work.

What you think determines how you feel. How you feel determines the actions you take. The actions you take determine the results you get.

So are you ready to bust your own excuses and create new ways of thinking? What goes on in your head really is up to you. Here are some strategies you can implement today:

“To create new thinking, you need to have new experiences. That can be scary but it will be worth it.”
Lisa Stephenson

1. Identify your new beliefs

What new beliefs do you need to be the best version of you? Write them down and say them aloud. Commit to these beliefs and identify opportunities to practise this new thinking.

2. Tell your tribe

Share your newly found thinking, ideas and goals with your closest friends and family so that they can hold you accountable. Ask them to let you know when they see the old negative thinking creeping into your conversations.

3. Have a clear vision of your future success

Spend time working out what your personal version of success is for the next two years and refine your vision as your positive thinking evolves.

4. Pay attention

You are constantly receiving messages from your environment about what is and isn’t working in your life. Listen to your own intuition and take action.

5. Get uncomfortable

The greatest learning really does happen in times of discomfort. To create new thinking, you need to have new experiences. That can be scary but it will be worth it.

6. Do what others aren’t prepared to

The world is full of people who start stuff but don’t follow through. Successful people do what’s required and keep going even when it’s hard. Don’t depend on motivation to get you through.

Read more:

Read Me First by Lisa Stephenson.

Read Me First by Lisa Stephenson.

Stephenson’s book draws on her decades of experience to provide thought-provoking coaching questions and strategies for success.

Download from the CA Library