As a nutritional, fitness, and life coach, as well as a motivational speaker, I have met hundreds of people with the same problem: negativity. Whether due to difficult life circumstances or simply their dispositions, these people have fallen into a pattern of self-doubt. Most of these people have no idea that this is a dysfunctional way of thinking; they assume that everyone is just as negative as them, or they have done something or are inherently bad and deserve low self-esteem. This type of negative self-talk is a self-perpetuating cycle; negativity makes them think that they can’t accomplish their goals, so they never bother to go after them. It has horrible ramifications for their body, mind, and soul, and they are forever limited by what they think they can achieve. The way you talk to yourself creates your reality. When you tell yourself you are a bad person who will never amount to anything, you make it true because you won’t put the effort in that is necessary to accomplish more. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Fortunately, there is no reason for you to live this way. You can free yourself from these negative thoughts, pushing yourself to be the best you can be. Read on, and I will tell you how to break free from negativity.

Identify Rumination

Rumination means that you keep dwelling on negative feelings. When you ruminate, you keep reflecting on how terrible you feel about something, and these feelings become all-consuming. It is a vicious cycle that is difficult to break, as one negative thought leads to another. The first step to stopping this behavior is to identify it. They say that acknowledging something is the first step to overcoming it, and that is certainly true for rumination. When you realize that you are ruminating, it can be helpful to pinpoint that this is what you are doing. It may even help to point it out verbally to yourself—say out loud, “I am ruminating right now.” While this doesn’t mean that you will instantly stop ruminating, this simple act can help you start to be able to identify and stop ruminating in the future. While negative thoughts have a tendency to creep back into our consciousness, identifying when they are there can help you regain control of them.

Challenge Negative Thoughts

Now that you know how to identify rumination, it is time to challenge the thoughts that come with it. When you find yourself consumed with a negative thought, challenge it with these questions:

  • Why am I thinking in this negative way?
  • How does this negative thinking serve me?
  • Is there a different way for me to look at this situation?
  • Is there anything positive about this situation?
  • What is thinking like this doing to help me achieve my personal goals?

Your Mistakes Do Not Dictate Your Worth

Mistakes are an inevitable part of being a human. Everyone makes them, and they in no way determine your worth. In fact, mistakes can be viewed as a positive. Every mistake is the opportunity to learn and change your course in life. You can use your mistakes to change your behavior for the better, and truly successful people welcome mistakes as a necessary and important part of life. The key to mistakes is not letting them define you. Many people who engage in negative self-talk spend a lot of time beating themselves up over not being perfect. When they make a mistake, they think it speaks to their character and ability to succeed. It helps to change the language you use when you make mistakes. Instead of thinking, “I am a bad person because I missed this important deadline,” think instead, “Forgetting that deadline was a mistake, but in the future, I will make sure to write deadlines in my calendar to remind me.” By identifying mistakes as an action that can be changed rather than something that defines your self-worth, they become an opportunity for change.

If you have been living with negative thoughts your entire life, it can be difficult to break the pattern. If you need help moving past negativity to become the best person you can be, a life coach may be exactly what you need. As a fitness, nutrition, and life coach, I have the experience you need to help you get back on the right path. Contact me today!