Don’t underestimate the power of positivity. You cannot predict the future but you can influence it. Just think, when was the last time you predicted disaster?
Negative statements, either in your head or out loud, can be very destructive. For example; “The train won’t be on time.” or “No one will come to my play.” or “My boss hates me.” We call this automatic negative thinking (ANT) and it stops you having the happier, calmer and more content life you deserve. Instead, ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) cause stress, anger and resentment.
Here are some more examples of ANTs that can creep into your consciousness and have a negative impact on your actions and behaviours to become a self-determining prophecy.
- Over generalising – “I’ll be alone forever.”
- Focusing on the negatives – “that holiday to Disneyland was ruined by the weather.”
- Guilt – “I must clean the kitchen,” or “I have to write that report.”
- Personalising – taking on blame for something that isn’t your fault
- Catastrophising – “The presentation will be horrific. I’ll embarrass myself and my manager.
Are any of these familiar? Great! It’s a positive thing to recognise your ANTs, because you can overcome them with these two simple but effective techniques.
Challenge your ANTs
- Make a note of where your ANT occurred. E.g. At work.
- What is the ANT? I’ll never get that report completed in time. My boss will hate it.
- What is the consequence of the ANT? I put off writing the report, then had to work late to get it done.
- Logically and realistically, what is the actual situation? My report was fine, I write them every day. My boss liked it. I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time worrying about it!
The ANT was actually the only thing holding you back.
Ignore your ANTs
- Awareness of the ANTs. Interview tomorrow and I’m worried I’ll forget everything I want to say.
- Acknowledge them. There go my ANTs!
- Acknowledge that resisting the ANT gives it power. That’s my ANT talking, not me.
- Recognise your ANT. They’re just ANTs.
- Now, let it go. Sure, it might go badly. But I want this job and a few doubts are only natural.
Maybe you can’t read minds or predict the future, but now you can at least banish your negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.Back to Blog Items