061: Supercharge Your Inner Game: How to Stop, Avoid, Destroy & Overcome the Negative Thinking Patterns in Your Life (and Become Happier Without Losing Your Edge)

I'm going in for surgery on the ankle today (Friday) and it has me thinking a lot about being negative (or rather, avoiding or "fixing" that negativity that creeps up), being honest and owning up to things like procrastinating without labeling and feeling sorry for yourself, so you can actually make progress on yourself -- because no one else will do it for you.

As internet marketers, we need to motivate ourselves. Let's be real... sometimes stuff just happens.

You have to find the good in situations, get some perspective, and be honest without feeling sorry for yourself and labeling your situations or the emotions. Then, you are better able to look at things in a positive light.

Be Honest With Yourself

This is probably the most important thing we're going to talk about today. Just think about how you would answer these questions and we're going to talk about some solutions afterwards.

  • Do you find yourself filtering out the positive things that happen to you? Or, do you minimize all the good things while only focusing on one negative circumstance?
  • Do you blame yourself for everything that happens, even if it is out of your control?
  • Do you always expect the worst in any situation?Do you only see things in terms of black and white?

If any of these 4 things apply to you, then you might have some negativity problems. Let's talk about some ways to combat those.

Approaches, Strategies and Solutions

Do you have a support system that gets you out of that "rut" you sometimes fall into? It's tough to go it alone. Just explaining the problem or the frustration itself can help you get past it.

Are you preventing the problem before it even happens? "Play out" the scenarios of what could happen. A good strategy here is to make a list of the "enemies" you're fighting against and categorize the fears. Out of those, what's the simplest one to take care of?

Let's say your situation is that you're going to be broke and your fears about it are losing your car, your marriage breaking up, and becoming homeless. Which one of these can you work on first and easiest?

A lot of the issues that led you to a problem are by you not getting out of your comfort zone or not having real goals to drive you.

Let's use the money example again. You are basing all of your income hopes on this one product launch and it doesn't go well and you're afraid you're going to lose it all.

Then, it would be time to get out of your comfort zone and do things you might not want to do so you don't lose your shirt. Things like joining Fiverr, freelancing, getting a part-time job, etc. "Always do what you're afraid to do."

Are you aware of simple mindset tools? It's simple. There are simple mindset tools and strategies all over the place-you can just search the internet for "self-help mindset." For Robert, there's no one solution. There's probably 5 or 6 at any given time. it's a matter of identifying which one works for the situation.

A mindset is also called "a state", which is a collection of emotions that can get you thinking and acting in a certain way. Sometimes you just need to "change your state." Maybe you've been in front of the computer for too long working on a problem. Go for a drive. Go to a movie.

It might also mean removing the triggers that put you in that state. If you get in a ‘bad mood' from something that you can remove, then do so.

Think about the words you're using. We tend to describe "positive" feelings in one syllable words, like "good" while we use big words for negative feelings. Start replacing the ‘positive' feelings with big words, like ‘fantastic', ‘fabulous', etc. They're less automatic, meaning we have to think about them more. The more you think about something…you guessed it-the more it becomes your ‘state'.

Think about the words that you're using to describe situations. Turn "negative words" into "challenge" words. Instead of something being a "disaster", call it an "adventure."

7 Quick Exercises To Turn Negativity on its Head

1. What's good about the situation? What could be good about it? Take the negative and make it a positive. If you're a procrastinator, and you're close to a deadline, now you're not a slacker; you are motivated to get the project done.

2. What are 3 things you're grateful for today? The sky is the limit!

3. What small step could you take today to fix your situation? Are you thinking about going back to school? Print out the college brochure. Do you need or want to replace your old car? Get a catalog for the new one you like.

4. Are you predictable? What usually sets you off? And, what can you do to avoid it? Expecting a bad result "off the bat" is a typical coping mechanism for a lot of people. But, negativity is a self-fulfilling prophecy so just don't do it this time. Just tell yourself you're going to expect the best this time. Break that pattern.

5. Do you journal and meditate? Both of these turn your thoughts into words so you can make sense of them and seek out a solution. The plus to journaling is it can help you to identify those triggers that set you off.

6. If you have a negative person in your life, how do you deal with them? It sounds simple, but tell them the thing that's bothering you. If they can't change it, you have to. Call them less. Don't go ‘hang out' with them unless it's necessary to see them for family events, etc.

Remember: Negativity is contagious.
The more you're around it, the more it infects you.

7. Can you identify your own negative thought patterns? Do you find yourself the "victim" in most situations? In life, you can be the hero, the villain, or the victim. It's easiest to see yourself as the victim and hardest to see yourself as the villain. Why? Because if you're the villain, then you might be the problem and you might have to change.

In many situations, it's helpful to take a step back and say "The thing I'm doing right now-maybe it's not working", "Am I really doing the right thing?", "Maybe I need to change".

There 7 "Flavors" of the Negative Mindset

The Echo Chamber: "If you think you can or you can't, you're right."

Negativity leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. You end up attracting more negativity and then you surround yourself with other miserable people because misery loves company. Pretty soon it's a merry-go-round of negativity.

Your Solution: Anticipate the best. Stay away from other negative people.

The "I Told You So" Syndrome: Many people will root for someone else to fail so that they can be right.

It's easy for someone else to make fun of you and look for you to fail because they hate themselves, they want to be you, or they're threatened by you. It's easier for them, instead of being as good as you, to tear you down and root for you to fail because when you do, they were right all along.

Your solution: Success is the best revenge.

The "Realistic" Fallacy: This sounds like, "I'm not being negative, I'm just being realistic." The problem with being "realistic" is that it causes you to give up too soon.

The other side of the coin, being "unrealistic" is another form of self-sabotage. Sometimes people set huge, huge unattainable goals.

Your Solution: Just look at the situation for what it is. Don't make it huge and don't belittle it. Give it all you've got but don't make it so unattainable that you'll never achieve it.

Social Policing: Setting absolute rules for society. Why don't they play by your rules?

"I never lie, so neither should anyone else, ever.", "It's so unfair that they get away with that and I don't.". This is playing the victim again.

Your Solution: Don't try to apply so many rules to everything and pick your battles.

Mind Reader Pitfall: Many negative people somehow think that they have been granted the ability to read minds. They just know what someone else is thinking and can anticipate everything that person is going to say and do, generally for the worst.

Your Solution: Give people the benefit of the doubt. You don't know what else they're going through.

Overgeneralizing: Be  careful about thinking that things "always" seem to happen to you. Most of the things that happen to you are random and happenstance. Fate is not conspiring to give you a bad day. This is victim mode again.

Your Solution: The only time you should even let this enter your mind is if you're going to use it as motivation for you to discover better things.

Playing the Tape: You think about what others might say and their reactions to everything you're doing.

It's a bad place to be when you're letting someone else live in your head rent-free. You're letting them control you.

Your Solution: find a better, more positive, person to ‘talk' in your head, someone who supports you.

Seven Helpful Thoughts

  1. "I'm not smart." We all think we have more common sense than we have. If we think we've seen it all, there's no point to keep driving. You need to be a little bit naïve. It keeps you learning.
  2. Negative people are negative about everyone and everything. Don't take it personally.
  3. It is what it is. Sometimes stuff just happens. Stop worrying because you're bigger than your problems and you can choose to ignore those bad incoming thoughts.
  4. Control what you can control. You don't have to take responsibility of everything good and bad that happens. If you are little more optimistic and happier to do things for your business you'll probably make more money which will lead into a feedback loop.
  5. Imagination can work for or against you. Turn the things that you don't want to focus on into tiny, silly little hallucinations and transform the good things into big powerful things.
  6. Replace what you delete in life. If you decide today to stop talking to everyone negative, you might find yourself with no one to talk to. Instead, replace talking to the bad people with new people. Join a new group or club. Join a different mastermind. Devote the time you used to spend on bad habits to doing something positive.
  7. You can't compare your inside to someone else's outsides. Robert calls this "The Facebook Projection." Many people put on a "face" of living in paradise, although they have the same ups and downs as you or they might even be a total fake. Don't worry more about someone else than you do about yourself.

Closing Thoughts

When you're faced with feeling negative, narrow it down to one of the "mindsets." Then, you can approach it with a solution.

Understand that for so many people, the worry, stress, and fear of the upcoming situation is almost worse than the event itself. Redirect that negative energy.

If you see someone doing better than you, you don't need to take that personally. There's no point in comparing yourself to others. It's a losing game. Realize that you are on a different path than that person.

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Filed in: Archive 1: 2012-2016MindsetPodcast

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