Do you ever find yourself feeling stuck in negative thought patterns that dampen your expectations? You know the kind I mean, where you start expecting the worst possible outcomes. Have you ever thought or said: ‘I don’t think I can make this work, or I seriously doubt that I can pull this off.”
This is a common mindset that often proves very difficult to change even after you finally decide that you’ve had enough. That’s because the negative thoughts behind the negative expectations tend to breed and multiply like a malicious virus in your internal computer.
The good news is that turning a negative thought pattern into a positive one simply requires a bit of patience and persistence. You just need to make a conscious effort for a short time until the positive thought process begins to take over.
3 simple steps to begin forming positive expectations
1) Develop self-awareness to recognize negative expectations. One problem with negative thoughts is that they often form below your conscious level of awareness. You can get so used to them being in your head that you hardly notice them anymore. To turn the tide of negativity, you’ll have to develop a stronger level of self-awareness. One good way to start is by performing an attitude check-up several times a day. Pay attention first to how you feel. If you’re feeling positive and productive it’s an indicator that you’ve been thinking positive thoughts.
However, if you notice that you’re feeling irritable, pessimistic or stressed, you’re probably focusing more on negative thoughts. When that happens…
2) Challenge and change the negative thoughts. Believe it or not, it is fairly easy to challenge and change negative thought patterns and expectations with a little focus. For example, if you find yourself feeling doubtful about your ability to finish your work on time, you might engage in a bit of encouraging self-talk. For example, you might say: “Okay, so I’m a bit worried right now, but really everything is under control. I’m strong, I’m smart and I am definitely capable of finishing this project on time. I just need to focus, do my best, and everything will work out fine.”
Even though your circumstances have not changed, your attitude certainly has. This type of self-talk can get you thinking and feeling in a much more positive direction.
3) At the same time, while you’re changing negative thoughts to positive ones, work daily on developing a general positive expectation habit. Each day when you wake up, affirm confidently, “Today is going to be a great day because _________! I feel fantastic about being able to _________.” Fill in those blanks with three specific reasons for holding positive expectations about your day. Make them realistic and achievable so that your reality aligns with and affirms your positive expectations.
Change your perception, change your reality
When you encounter obstacles or problems, try to view them as opportunities to learn, grow and strengthen your overall perception of yourself and your abilities. Perception is always 99% of the game! If you simply work on shifting the way you look at the experiences of your life, you will naturally start forming more positive expectations.
How do you push aside negative thoughts?
Do you have a favorite “positive expectation” tip to share?
The lines are open!