5 Powerful Tools To Break Free From Negativity
Negativity! Learning how to fight against my negative spirit, is a lesson that I have to continually learn, relearn, practice and repeat. The hardest battle field I fight on a daily basis, is the one that takes place between my ears.
I know my negative thoughts are less than helpful. In fact, I know that in many cases, they are downright destructive, but I return back to them time and time again.
“Her husband brings her flowers when he comes home from work. Mine doesn’t, so hers must love her more.”
“My thighs are so fat, the military could rent them out for extra parking for their aircraft carriers.”
“Her kids are so perfect. They are all in honors programs, excel at sports, do their chores without needing to be asked. My kids are just a bunch of schlubs compared to hers.”
“Seriously you have got to be kidding yourself, if you think you will ever be able to be anything other than a yoga pant wearing, SAHM, who cleans up peanut butter and jelly off the counter all day, everyday.”
“There is no way you will ever be a successful business woman, you don’t have more than an associates degree in college.”
I joke in some of these scenario’s, but you know what they say…”To every joke, there is a little piece of truth hidden inside.” I think the worst, expect the worst, see betrayal from my family and my friends, all before I even get out of bed in the morning. For me, I think my negativity has become some sort of “emotional armor”.
“If I expect the worst, it will hurt less when bad things happen”.
The truth is, when I allow these negative thoughts so cloud my brain, I steal every ounce of joy from my life. I could experience an incredible moment with my husband or my kids, or reach a huge accomplishment in my business, but find myself thinking “when is the other shoe going to drop”.
I could easily distance myself from a friendship when I find myself getting to close, because surely when they get to know me they will run away and I will be left with a painful void.
So, I fight hard against negativity. Some days way better than others, but I fight.
How do I fight? With these 5 tools.
Build Habits and Celebrate Wins:
It is extremely hard to be negative when you constantly celebrate small wins, daily. One thing that I started, that has helped so much, is planning what I want/need to accomplish the next day. Focusing on the 3 most important items on the list and then celebrating them when they get done. I have also built in significant habits into my day that allow me more opportunities to celebrate quick wins when they are accomplished.
Some of my daily habits are: Get 30 minutes of exercise, spend 30 minutes on devotions and prayer, learn one new idea/concept/skill daily, or connect with and send a word of encouragement to someone everyday. On the days when I complete all of my routine habits as well as the items on my to-do, I mentally celebrate. My brain gives my heart a huge mental hug. The items on my “daily habits” list are ones that fuel my body and feed my soul. I know that these are powerful tools to help me beat my negativity.
Leave The Past Behind You:
My past is dark and ugly. If I get down in it and wallow around, I get up out of it dark and ugly. One of my absolute favorite scriptures to help me fight is Lamentations 3:22-23,
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
You probably have mistakes, hurts, betrayals, and all manner of negative in your life’s rearview mirror. I think it is pretty safe to say that we all do! In God’s great compassion and love, all of those things that are dark and ugly behind you are just that, behind you. You were not consumed by them. Take the truth out of them, apply the lessons that need to be applied, and stop looking back. Your future is in front of you. You have new mercies and new experiences ahead. What is behind doesn’t shape what is coming in the future.
It is almost impossible to feel negative, when your heart is swelling, because you made an impact in the life of another human being. Serving others fills our “positivity pocket” so to speak.
There is a Friends episode that I have never been able to forget. In this episode Joey challenges Phoebe that all good deeds are essentially selfish, because they make the person doing the deed feel good. Phoebe disagrees and spends the rest of the episode trying to prove him wrong. No matter what good deed she did, good in some form or another was returned back to her. The same is true in the non-sitcom world too. When we do good for others, ultimately we do good for us too.
If you need to fight negativity, go out and serve others, you will find that your perspective shifts with the quickness.
Negativity can creep in from all sorts of directions.
- Maybe it is from Facebook. You get on there and see the persona that your friends have on their pages and you find yourself lacking.
- It might come from the romance novels that you love. The hero of the story is always some rugged, handsome, incredibly sensitive and romantic, and you cause yourself to measure your real life against fiction.
- Your negativity could even be creeping in from the people that you have surrounding you.
- It could be coming from the shows and movies you watch, or even from the music you are listening to.
The first step to setting boundaries, is to figure out where your negative power source is coming from, and stopping the flow into your brain. Do your best to set boundaries to keep external negativity away.
Just remember Garbage In-Garbage out!
Take Room To Breathe
My biggest battles happen when I am overtired and overextended.
I put so much pressure on myself to be a certain way, look a certain way, to reach certain goals and milestones; when I fail to meet up to my own expectations, the battle begins.
I know that I have to pull the plug, intentionally, to give myself the strength to fight the daily mental battles.
Make room in your life to take a step away from the madness to just breathe.
I know that I am in good company, with others, who have experienced negativity at various points along their journeys. Their negativity may have been a result of fear or feelings of inadequacy, as mine is. Or maybe they suffered failures or disappointments that put them back at square one.
Whatever the cause, there would be no success stories without corresponding stories of struggle. The people who fight and achieve their goals, do so because they fought to break FREE from negativity.
You too can use these tools to do battle against your negativity.