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Overcoming Negative Thinking

How do you approach unfamiliar situations? Do you expect to succeed, to thrive when faced with new challenges, or do you expect to face problems, even failure?

Your view of yourself and your ability to cope is a powerful force that effects every part of your life. There are countless studies demonstrating this fact. You may have heard of a few of them like the elephant that is staked out with a heavy chain that it cannot break. Once it learns that it is helpless, the chain can be removed and replaced with a slight thread. The elephant could easily break the thread, but it remains tied in place even when it thinks it is in danger.

Or, perhaps you've heard of groups of students randomly split into two IQ groups. Students who are told their IQ is low begin to do poorly in school even if they actually had a very high IQ while students told their IQ is high begin to do well even if they actually tested low.

Any number of things in your past could have led you to believe that you weren't good at something, that you don't deserve success. Unfortunately, once you get in that cycle, it quickly becomes a trap. You expect to fail, so you do fail which gives you more reason to expect to fail next time which of course you do, and so on and so on until you can barely imagine yourself as successful.

Imagining yourself successful though is the key to breaking out of that trap. Just as those students who tested poorly were able to improve in their schoolwork when they believed they were smart, you can teach your mind that success is easy when you believe in yourself.

The trick is understanding that your mind doesn't know the difference between what has actually happened and what you've imagined has happened. That's why Olympic level athletes will often spend time visualizing themselves performing perfectly as part of their training routine. Imagining that you have done something, convincing yourself so that you actually believe it, is the same as doing it to the mind. This is especially true in the case of learned helplessness where it is the mind that was preventing you from doing it in the first place.

If you're stuck in a cycle of learned failure, or even if you just haven't reached the level of success that you desire, you should begin an immediate program of positive reinforcement. Begin by paying special attention to the successes in your life.

Like most people, your day is most likely filled with a series of small successes that pass unnoticed. Begin to pay attention to them. No success is too small. Your looking for quantity over quality here. You finished typing that letter. Great, praise yourself, reward yourself for a job well done. You pulled a file. Tell yourself of course I pulled that file, I'm a smart person for whom success is a matter of course.

On the other side of the coin, refuse to dwell on the negative. If you find yourself thinking about failure, drive it from your mind by reliving a successful moment.

Before you begin each separate task, imagine yourself succeeding. Tell yourself that you are a smart, capable person who deserves to be successful. Keep repeating that to yourself until you begin to take it for granted.

It sounds corny. You may even feel a little embarrassed, but give it a few months. Once you learn to accept praise from yourself. Once you begin to expect success as a matter of course, you'll be amazed at how former barriers to the growth of yourself and your career will begin to seem like small, insignificant bumps that you can easily step over on your way to enjoying the success you so richly deserve.

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AppleOne is an agency that cares about your success and will definitely put your interest first.

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