I once heard a story that former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan shared. His teacher showed his class a sheet of white paper. On the corner was a small black dot.
The teacher asked the kids to ask what they saw. They all saw the spot. The teacher then asked the question, how was it that everyone was drawn to the tiny spot and not the vastness of the white sheet. Not a single person had commented on the white paper, all they could see was the distracting spot.
The teacher said Don’t go through life focusing on the negative; see the positive as well!
Being negative can quickly become a habit. Is the glass always half empty or even worse, empty? Are we naturally programmed negative?
It is very easy to imbibe negative patterns, think negative thoughts and even speak negatively. Our languages even have negative expressions like I am dying to see you! Can we not be excited to see a person instead?
Or I am afraid I can’t help you, is another negative expression. Do we have to be afraid not to help someone?
But Zoe, it is only an expression. Yes, they are only expressions…negative expressions! Negative expressions which subconsciously drives negativity into our spirit every blessed day…every blessed day we make negative.
Small wonder by the time we are hitting a certain age, some people have become bitter, twisted and negative. And don’t even say, that is just the way you are. Because even negative people don’t like being negative. So what can we do?
##1 It starts with the mind
If our mind is negative, our life will quickly become negative. You can’t go through life with a negative mindset and expect good things to happen to you. If our mind is wild with negative things, this has come about because of what we have put in it. In the digital world, we say, garbage in, garbage out.
So begin to fill your mind with the right thoughts. How? Be very choosy what you put in your mind. Read the right books, watch the right movies. If over time, you do this, your mind can quickly decipher negative and positive and will develop a repulsion of negative words, and things. Eliminate swearing too from your vocabulary. Swearing and cussing achieve nothing but frustration anyway. It is all negative venting.
The Bible says as we think so are we. So we become negative by virtue of our negative thoughts! The law of attraction is the name given to the maxim “like attracts like” which in New Thought philosophy is used to sum up the idea that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts a person brings positive or negative experiences into their life (source: Wikipedia). As Joyce Meyer says, think about what you are thinking about!
We therefore need to renew our minds daily as the Good Book implores us to do. This mind exercise of choose the right thoughts is therefore not a one off thing, or just a 3 month project, but something you will need to do for the rest of your life!
##2 Guard your tongue
Our tongue often gets us into a lot of trouble. The Good Book says the tongue is untamed. The tongue can spew good, the bad and the ugly. If your tongue is used to spewing a lot of wrong, negative stuff, put a clip on your mouth…well not literally.
Silence can be golden especially while we are retraining our tongue. Practise speaking less for a while till you know and are confident that when you open your mouth the right things will come out.
Words after all are powerful. The reason you are in a perpetual cycle of negativity is because of the words you keep saying thereby creating the right environment for the negative seeds of words to grow! So remember this point very well!!
##3 It is all about perspective
Two people can experience the same thing, good or bad, but each can tell their experience differently. It is all about perspective. Why does the glass have to be half empty? Can it not be full instead?
Why do you think you are realistic because you have seen all the negative side to something? Thinking negatively anyway, will cause things to be negative because a) our mouth has paved the way for it to happen and b) we stop trying to make things work.
Why imagine the worst….emphasis on the word, imagine? Human beings are the only creatures that have the power to imagine. Make up your mind to use your imagination creatively and purposely,rather than as a breeding ground for negative pictures.
“Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something you said could not be done” – Sam Ewing. Yes, it is all about perspective.
##4 Stop being suspicious
So you come into the room and everyone suddenly goes silent. Why do you think everyone was talking about you? Following on from point above on perspective, why not develop a positive perspective? Is it hard to give everyone the benefit of a doubt. Someone once got into a foul tantrum over something like this. Lo and behold, they were planning a surprise party for her.
Consider good reasons as well before jumping to your conclusions. When you negativity oozing through your pores, all the negativity has somehow shut down something in your DNA to see positivity in others even when it happens.
##5 See the good in others
Again this follows on from our point on perspective. There is good in everyone. No one is born a monster. People just become one! So, why not start seeing the good in another person. Stop over generaliising due to experiences too.
The fact someone has been late twice in meeting you up, does not mean they are always late. Give them more chances.
Stop building stereotypes too. All people with purple hair are not crooks just because you heard someone mention in the office that a purple headed person stole their money!
##6 Stop being around people that are negative
The thing is negativity can be contagious. At this point in your life when you are working hard on getting rid of negativity in your life, you need to flee temptation literally. Stop hanging out with other negative people until you are strong enough to be handle the negative vibes that will try and lure you back in the negative den.
##7 Learn to compliment
When was the last time you complimented someone? The people you are negative towards especially? (Don’t need to say anymore on this point I think).
##8 Stop being sarcastic
Somebody once said sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. People who are sarcastic a good deal of the time, are often trying to mask their negativity through so called witty sarcasm. Sarcasm is the bonus scheme for negativity. People laugh at your sarcasm, enjoying your dry sense of humor but all you are doing is creating more negativity for yourself, thinking up more negativity at your expense!
##9 Stop complaining
The thing about complaining is that once you start complaining, it can quickly become a habit, and one that will harm you in the long run. Any habit can be broken. Decide to stop complaining today. It all starts with a decision. Follow with action.
##10 Be thankful
Having a gratitude journal is always a good idea. It shows that there are good things happening to you. It means that the sun does shine even after the rain. List your accomplishments. Writing it down helps especially if you are negatively programmed because keeping it in your mind, you may tend to forget especially when the negative flag is flying. Start a journal today.
On a final note, think well of yourself. Congratulate yourself firstly that you read this post and you got to the end. At the start of this blog, you may have thought yourself a negative person but if you look at the title of the blog, we have been careful with our words. Ha…we practise what we ‘preach’.
Being negative does not necessarily entitle you to being labelled as a negative person. And even if you were, that changes now. So stop calling yourself a negative person, because you will find it a struggle becoming a positive person.
Instead, see yourself as someone who had a wrong habit of negtivity that is working on it. And if other call you a negative person, no longer accept this. As we have said before, it is not what you are called that matters but what you answer to!
And on that positive note, why note share this post positively on your social media networks.