Negative vs. Positive Self Talk: Who’s Running the Show + 5 Ways to Recalibrate

Who’s Running the Show?

How do you talk to yourself on a regular basis? Does your conscious self-talk tend to have a more positive-bias or negative-bias?

Fun Fact: Humans are hard-wired towards naturally focusing on negative experiences or stimuli (source: Psychology Today) which means it takes a lot more conscious effort and awareness of your own thoughts and perceptions in order to reframe and train that bias 180 degrees to a more positive program.

Think about it…if you put something out on social media and you receive 49 positive comments about it, and 1 negative comment, is your natural tendency to focus on the 49 positive ones, or the 1 negative one?

Chances are somewhat high that the 1 negative comment you received might sting a little bit, and maybe even throw your focus off for an entire day (or possibly much longer if it plays heavily with a negative subconscious feeling you carry).

Sure, you may continue your tasks for the day or week, but has your mood changed? Does your mind keep going back to that one triggering comment every 2 minutes? Why is it triggering for you? Why aren’t you more easily able to focus on the 49 positives?

According to neuroscientists, our subconscious/unconscious minds run a whopping 90-95% of our thought processes (behaviors, patterns & habits, initial reactions, etc)! Which means that all the things you’re actively partaking in throughout your day is mostly being done with 5-10% conscious thought.

In my experience of healing through and past many subconscious patterns of mine, becoming aware of these thoughts and the underlying root emotions popping up is crucial to forward momentum and cultivating your ideal version of your reality.

Now let’s ponder this…if thoughts create our reality, but we’re generally unaware of many of the internal programs running the show (until you’re more aware of your awareness), what evidence do you feel is going to manifest more consistently for you, and will you be more likely to believe for yourself?

Let’s go back to the comment example. If we’re wired to be more negatively-biased, and if for example you personally carry a subconscious program that you don’t carry much self confidence, then that little comment could feel or be detrimental to you putting anything else out there about yourself, am I right?

Even though on the surface, it’s just a comment; a projection of someone else’s opinion or own insecurity manifesting outwardly towards you. Now all of the sudden, you’ve clung to evidence of “I shouldn’t have put that out there, I knew it!”; and you possibly carried that fear within you before you took the brave step to put yourself out there in the first place.

Decisions, Decisions

But let’s not forget! You have 49 other people who loved what you had to share. So now you have a choice:

1. You can continue with the momentum of sharing your passion, idea, or thoughts, and ride the momentum of gratefulness of those 49 positive supporters and continue to manifest a reality that aligns with your soul, because you know what you put out there on some level was in alignment for you.

or

2. You can focus on the negative comment, let it consume you for however long you choose, and potentially find yourself struggling to create any sort of meaningful momentum for awhile, just to get back to where you could’ve been had you chosen option number 1 in the first place.

What’s the right answer?

Actually…it’s both.

You see, healing comes in different ways for each of us, and sometimes manifests a similar outcome at some point, even if our choice of perception is different in a given moment. It can be difficult to manifest and build self-trust if we carry an internalized fear surrounding any particular situation. But, you can still choose the route you want to go (to some degree).

So, let’s play this out (hypothetically):

1. If you chose option one off the bat, you’re now riding the momentum and vibration of love, joy, and excitement of that particular moment. Maybe because of this, your momentum catapults you into a new opportunity that shows up quickly, and was just what you wanted or needed. The “negative” comment still exists, but you chose not to feed it your energy. You’re healing because you’re now building more and more self trust and self confidence because you’ve transcended an internal fear, and it’s happening quickly (painful emotions may come to the surface for release, but may happen more quickly). You can still honor that the perceived negative comment was there (there is a fine art with this when it comes to positivity and toxic positivity), but since you’re not feeding it, the energy behind it no longer effects you mentally, spiritually, or physically. You begin to manifest more and more high-vibrational opportunities, people, and scenarios into your life.

2. If you happen to end up succumbing to what you perceived to be a negative comment and fell back into a bit of a downward spiral, this too is an opportunity to face the perceived problem at hand. In this scenario, the issue wasn’t the comment…it was your perception of the comment triggering something inside you that feels painful. As mentioned before, maybe you’re carrying a lack of self confidence in a lot of areas of your life (which may have a root issue from childhood for example), which made it difficult to put yourself out there in the first place. Then the comment triggered that internalized, underlying fear that has been running from your subconscious for awhile, keeping you stuck and unable to easily move past it. But now, maybe you start to begin to build awareness around the fact that it wasn’t the comment, but just something within you. You begin taking steps to release these thoughts and fears from the body, eventually teaching yourself to feel safe about the scenario, which may slowly give you confidence to try again. It may take longer, but you stepping up to the plate to face and transcend that old program is powerful and commendable. You may have also learned through this process how much energy you decided to give to that comment in the first place; also a learning lesson, and may have been necessary in order for you to become aware of that wound.

Identify and Let Go

In my experience of healing through and past many subconscious patterns of mine, becoming aware of these thoughts and the underlying root emotions popping up is crucial to forward momentum and cultivating your ideal version of your reality. You may be blocking yourself from so much good and not even know it at first. Having said that, there is so much valuable knowledge and insight to be gained by learning about these blocks.

We all do life at our own pace, and when our emotions do come up, it is much better to sit with them and find a way to honor them, instead of blocking them out (but also being mindful of what or who we give our energy to). By doing so, you give your emotions a chance to be seen and let go of.

Once they’re actually let go of, you’ll no longer be affected by similar scenarios triggering that old wound. Eventually, transcending them becomes easier, and possibly less paralyzing the more you heal and begin to trust in yourself again.

On a personal level, I feel I generally carry an optimistic attitude towards a lot of things in life, and have always sort of been that way since childhood. However, just because I do my best to be a bright light on the outside, on the inside there have been many internal wars fought within.

What I’ve found to be true for me is that I began to realize there was so much subconscious clutter (old patterns, triggers, traumas) playing against me, that it made making any forward progress feel like I was pulling a semi-truck up a mountain.

In other words, I began (and was sort of energetically forced) to face many of my insecurities…and as not fun as that has been in some ways, by choosing to go through the ringer a bit has absolutely helped me to heal many of the internalized fears I’d been carrying for so long. Like anything else though, we’re always growing in some way and do so at our own pace, and will always have something to learn.

Even if I was saying something like “I’m grateful for my current situation,” but if there was a part of my mind that was truly feeling ungrateful or frustrated or was subconsciously focusing on the negative, then I was finding it difficult to see things to be grateful for, and at that point, was just reaffirming my negativity-bias towards a situation. And the cycle continues until you can transcend it.

5 Tips for Recalibrating

So how can you train yourself out of negativity-bias to balance things out a bit? As I mentioned before, so much of ourselves is run from our subconscious mind, so a lot of it starts there in my opinion. But, I feel there are things that you can do (speaking from personal experience) that can help you at least begin to recognize some of your patterns and triggers, which in turn may help you to begin cultivating a more “positive-bias” outlook (which I feel can help you build better momentum in many areas of your life).

1. Meditation

I’ve talked about this before in other posts, but when we turn off our screens and do our best to block out any distractions and truly connect to the soul you, it helps you bring yourself back to this very present moment.

When in this state, allow those thoughts to flow and see what comes up. Meditation isn’t necessarily about “blocking” thoughts out and fully clearing your mind. Sure, the goal may be to get to a clearer mind with less clutter, but in order to do that, you have to let the clutter come out. See what thoughts come up in a session, and if you keep sticking to a thought that comes up, maybe it is something you need to address.

You don’t necessarily have to sit there for hours and may only need 15-20 minutes a day to see results from this. It is a practice, and you’ll probably have some better results the more consistently you show up for a routine that includes this, but just do your best, and try not to be hard on yourself if you do fall out of any positive routine you may start. You can always find your way back.

2. Stop, Ask, and Listen

If you notice that you tend to over-react to things that happen for you, or if you do find yourself clinging to negative self talk (or even creating untrue future scenarios in your head (I recognized I do this a lot haha)), see if you can slow yourself down a bit in that moment.

Stop, bring yourself to the present moment by putting your hands over your heart and ask yourself “what is this scenario trying to teach or show me?”

From there, listen to the thoughts run through, but try to recognize and pinpoint the thoughts that have a more calming response behind them, instead of the ones that might say something like “because you suck” for instance.

Sometimes the deepest answer may come out of left field and not make any sense on the surface, but if there is a potential old memory trying to come out, that may be the key to opening that old door, and eventually allow for healing.

3. Walk It Off

Another good way to disconnect from the grid and reconnect to our essence is through movement and with nature. If you’re able to find a way to get away from the noise of a city or your household, put your phone on silent for a bit, and just be present with the grand scheme of nature around us, it will teach you a lot. Plus, walking is great exercise and movement with our bodies also seems to create movement in other areas of our life as well (in my observations).

4. Hypnotherapy

Don’t knock it before you try it! Though I’ve personally been drawn to many holistic healing practices over the last 10 years of my life, hypnotherapy was a remedy I tried with a local practitioner for the first time just last year, and the difference I felt in my thinking after just a session or two was mind-blowing (no pun intended…ok maybe it was slightly intended haha).

During the times in my life when I have felt like I noticed a negative program playing in my mind that was difficult to overcome, it can be hard to totally identify and release (or re-program) some of those thoughts. These thoughts may play on repeat at times, keeping you from making progress or feeling more at ease within.

Hypnotherapy is a way to dive into the subconscious mind by accessing theta brainwave frequencies where the subconscious operates (source: HuffPost). This form of therapy has a wide range of benefits, including helping to resolve issues such as anxiety, fears & phobias, self-esteem problems, relationship challenges, and even smoking (source: francescaelisia.com/hypnotherapy).

In my experience, it may not be a one and done type of remedy (like anything else, results may vary from person to person), but I feel it absolutely helped me to recognize and release thoughts that were hindering me and helped me feel more at ease within myself. And when you feel more at ease with yourself, things tend to flow better and you likely will carry more focus and better energy into your daily living.

5. Journal Your Thoughts

One of the best ways to clear our heads is to de-clutter our minds by writing things out. This could be something you do at the end of a day, or if you want to potentially experiment a bit, start writing down the thoughts that pop up for you when a perceived negative situation happens to create a “log” you can reference later to find patterns.

For example, you could try writing down what the situation was, your initial reaction, brainstorm what you could’ve done differently by reframing the situation, and also if any other thoughts or feelings came up because of the situation.

For instance, if someone made you upset because they forgot to call you back, maybe you decided to lash out in that moment (to yourself, or to them later), but an hour later realized that was not the best reaction you could’ve chosen. Maybe by sitting with the thoughts, perhaps you figure out that your reaction actually stemmed from a childhood wound where someone you looked up to often ignored you and you just didn’t understand why (because you were a child).

You may have kept that experience and created a belief around it, so that anytime someone doesn’t get back to you in a self-perceived “sufficient amount of time,” you externally blame them as it being their fault. Perhaps as well, maybe the other person needed space of their own for that day, or maybe had to take care of something that came out of the blue for them. Do your best to be mindful.

If you can hone in on this, you can potentially release that childhood wound of feeling ignored (which was catalyzed by the external situation that did happen in regards to the person not calling you back), and by releasing those stored emotions and beliefs, when similar situations happen in the future, your response and attitude will likely feel and be much different. Aka, healing.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and hope it reframes some things for you if you are struggling with momentum of new directions or are getting caught in a negative feedback loop! You can do it!

Thanks for reading,

Corey

 

Corey is a freelance creative and spiritual explorer, coach, and consultant who enjoys deep conversation, excavating for deeper meanings in the universe, and uplifting others by helping them thrive in their own lives. He loves inspiring through writing or creating content, but also revels in the arts in its many forms.

Follow me on Instagram, and please subscribe to my YouTube! 

DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed therapist, practitioner, doctor, or lawyer. Any advice given that is potentially related to legal, therapeutic or medical professions is all in good faith, but should not be taken as professional advice. I speak from my experiences in hopes that it will help you and others take steps to create a better life. Please see the full disclaimer here for more information.

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