For a lot of people it is far easier to see the negatives in a situation than the positives (especially if its a rotten situation) Seeing negatives in itself isn’t really much of a problem unless of course, that’s all you see.
Negative thought patterns quickly become habit and those habits start to take over. Have you ever thought about doing something and then decided it would be bad, or you wouldn’t be able to do it anyway? Did you then go on to do it? Of course not!
That there is a negative thought process controlling your actions!
But how do we stop?
By building new and better thought processes. One exercise I often suggest to clients is to ‘outweigh your negatives’.
It’s important to appreciate the negatives as long as they aren’t calling the shots. Listen to those negative thoughts and rationalise them. Are they keeping you safe or stopping you doing something not so great? After all, it might be a really bad idea to try firewalking while drunk in your garden anyway! 🙂
How do you begin? Quite simply you find 2 positives for every negative.
Take thinking about an advertised job promotion for example. A negative person would say to themselves “I’m not good enough to get that job so I wont apply”.
Rationally, that may or may not be accurate, but if you add to that 2 positives such as;
- Someone hired me to do this job, at which I am capable and talented.
- Now I’ve read the job description I can see that I do have the relevant experience and qualifications to apply and stand as good a chance as anyone else of getting it.
Now that looks a lot better!! You have not only considered the negative, you have rationalised it and found 2 positives that are reality based, factual and can motivate you past the initial thought.
Do you still feel like not applying for that job? Go for it!
It takes around 66 days to build a new habit so if you can go a little over 2 months outweighing your negatives and thinking rationally about what your negative brain is telling you, you could have a fantastic new habit for life!
Let me know how it goes for you!
When we are moving forward in life, especially looking to make a change, we tend to hear a lot of ‘don’t look back’ or ‘only look forward’.
I personally don’t agree. I think the past has a lot to teach us.
One of the most important things to mention is that Life Coaching is not counselling or therapy. We don’t look at the past to ruminate on it or focus on overcoming feelings attached to past events. It is important to note that if past events are stopping you moving forward, it may be beneficial to seek the services of a therapist or counsellor to tackle these issues.
In coaching it is important not to discard the past but to use it to help us springboard into our new path.
I always advise clients to reflect on the past, not in a negative way, or to think about the difficulties associated with past events. I ask them to remember what worked for them before in a similar situation. What happened the last time they got a job promotion? What was going on for them that is different to now when they entered into a relationship?
It is also important to think about what didn’t work last time and why. What stopped you from moving out of home at that time? What led you to decide no to take that job offer? When you decided something, what was it about that situation that didn’t work last time?
Lastly, how can you improve on your previous experiences, good or bad. There may have been a decision you made that you regret or didn’t turn out the way you wanted, but it may be a positive move for you now in life. It may also be just as important to figure out how you can stop yourself returning to that cycle (with the help of a coach perhaps 😉 )
I hope this can help you think about looking back to look forward in a new light.
Let me know what you think in the comments 🙂
This week for ‘Motivational Monday’ I asked my followers and clients to do an exercise. I also did the same.
The task was as follows;
- Choose an area of your life that you want to change. Think about where you are now and where you want to be.
- Write a list of all the reasons you can think of as to why you feel you cant change that right now.
- Draw a large circle with a smaller circle in the middle of it.
- Looking at your list, put all of the points you wrote down that you think are out of your control in the outer circle.
- Put the remaining points that ARE in your control in the inner circle.
- Use the inner circle list as items to action this week.
- Stay Motivated!!
This task allows us to come up with all the negative aspects of something which quite frankly is much easier to do than finding positives.
Once that part is done, you can focus on each point and decide what you are actually in control of (whether you want to be or not)
The things you put in your outer circle you should revisit and consider whether they are really out of your control or whether you are just not taking responsibility for them. If they are truly out of your control, can you bypass them or go around them? If they seem truly unsolvable, try talking them out with someone, preferably a Life Coach.
The list in the centre circle allows you to see clearly all the actions within your control to allow you to change your current situation. Look at each point in turn. Why haven’t you taken steps to do this? What is holding you back? Again if you are struggling, write it out, talk it out or seek out a Coach to help you on your journey.
This task is a good ‘go-to’ to help you refocus and discover what is possible and how you can achieve more without even thinking too much.
Let me know how you got on in the comments!
This week I have been doing 7 days of gratitude visits, one thing per day I am grateful for. My list was fairly standard and consisted of the following;
Day 1 – My car and the ability to drive.
Day 2 – My family.
Day 3 – My children.
Day 4 – The roof over our heads.
Day 5 – My best friend
Day 6 – SLEEP!
Day 7 – Food and clean drinking water on tap.
I didn’t know what I would write each day beforehand and hadn’t planned anything so these were all natural and genuine gratitude visits.
I feel that I have learned about myself from looking at my list. Material things seem not to make much of an appearance other than my car on day 1, but more for ferrying people around reasons than the actual car. My list focuses on people. The people I am grateful to have in my life are what make up the majority of my gratitude visits and I feel like that’s telling of the sort of person I am.
I’m not saying that everyone can tell what kind of person you are from a list of 7 things like this but this is how I’ve read my own.
I feel more positive on the whole, and think I will continue to do the gratitude visits each day in my own journal as it has given me 10 minutes at the end of each day to reflect, if nothing else.
What do you feel your list says and what have you taken from the week?
Let me know in the comments.
Recently I have been thinking about gratitude visits and random acts of kindness.
Gratitude visits are stopping to write down or record something each day that you are grateful for. It could be the roof over your head or seeing your partner smile when you get home in the evening. These are something that I enjoy doing, both to ground myself to appreciate what’s around me especially if it’s a tough day.
Random acts of kindness are just that, randomly helping or being kind to people just, well, just because. I love that I feel very positive after these acts but also it’s satisfying to spread that positivity and happiness to others.
I love the idea of paying kindness forward. This literally means that any good deed that is done to you, you do a good deed (or 2) for someone different. That way you are making kindness contagious.
There are various studies that have looked at the beneficial aspects of volunteering and helping others. It is claimed that it increases wellbeing, happiness and could even make you live longer.
No one is saying you should now go in search of as much voluntary work and good deeds as you can, unless you really want to that is, but it is definitely something to think about.
Volunteering could be at you childs school, local community centre, working with animals, helping out local groups, working for a larger organisation that needs the support of volunteers or anything else you can think of. Each county usually has a local voluntary services base.
Random acts of kindness could be anything! Helping someone with heavy shopping, baking cookies for your neighbour, writing a thank you card to someone who always helps you but is rarely told how much they are appreciated, leaving your pay and display parking ticket with time left taped to the ticket machine in a car park (yes I’ve done that one!) or a whole host of other things.
Feel free to add suggestions in the comments for volunteering and RAK. I’d love to hear them!