3 Strategies to Stop Negative Thinking

Uncategorized Mar 02, 2020

Download the worksheet: Emotions as a Call to Action.


Video Script

Andrew Lawless (00:00):

Do you ever have thoughts that you do not like? Easy fix, right? Then just switch them off and replace them with ones that you do. Like if only it was that easy. I wanted to know how to do that all of my life.

My name is Andrew Lawless. I'm a bestselling author and certified high performance coach. And I asked that question for so many years. If I were in control of my own thoughts, why is it so difficult to switch them off? Especially when I do not like them. And what I've learned is that that's not how our brains work. Because the human brain is made to help us survive. It is wired to detect any kind of change in our environment that can potentially harm us.

May I give an example? If there was a lioness- right here a few meters away from me behind the bush - that wanted to eat me, I would not be able to outfight or to outrun her. Because you know, as a species, we are not the strongest and fastest animals on this planet. So what we're relying on is our brain detecting anything that could potentially harm us early enough so that we do not get into these kinds of situations in the first place. And therefore our brain will always, always see the negative first. Because everything that's negative can potentially harm us.


Andrew Lawless (01:35):


The question now is then: How do we switch this off? Because most of us do not have to worry about the lioness in the bush. It's not there. Still, the brain is sending out radars to see what can potentially harm us. And that's relationships, people, objects, situations, you name it. All of that gets flooded into our brain, and these thoughts come up periodically because it's a good thing [for us].

They want to protect us from harm even though it's not there, or even though it's perceived. How often have you thought, you know, worried about something and you're worried and worried and worried, and it never happened? It happens more often than not. So let's switch off those negative thoughts. And here are three ideas. How you can do that.


First idea is: Interrupt.


Andrew Lawless (02:34):


It is the most important thing you can do. The moment you are conscious of that negative thought, switch it off. One of my clients has a hairband on her wrist, and every time she has a negative thought, she snaps it as a reminder that she needs to switch gears. But you can also just sit there and relax, right? And meditate and realize that you have a negative thought and that you would need to do something about it right now. So, interrupting this thought is probably the most important thing that you can do. But I want you to take it further.


Second idea: Interpret that thought.


Every negative thought, actually every thought that you have, bubble up from some kind of emotion. Negative emotions come up because underneath them is some kind of fear, anger, hurt, disappointment.


Andrew Lawless (03:36):


You feel this, and then those negative thoughts come up. Fear, for example, about the future or your business or an opportunity, is typically a signal that something is about to come that you need to prepare for. So your emotions are always a call to action.

For example, if you're attracted to somebody, just walk over and introduce yourself. Yes. If you fear something, prepare yourself. Get prepared for something that's about to come. If you're angry, for example, and you have those thoughts because you are angry at someone because they have done this, this and that [to you] - the key here is the word 'because' - [realize that] anger is a signal that an important rule that you have was a violated, sometimes even by yourself. That's why people are angry at themselves, or they project anger onto somebody else.


Andrew Lawless (04:41):


So if you feel anger, for example, interpret [this emotion] as a call to action. Switch it off and think: "I'm angry because my brain, my mind, my subconscious, my guts, whatever you call it, wants me to take action.

And by the way, I have here as a download a worksheet called "Emotions as a Call to Action." [Download it here: https://www.teamlawless.com/emotions-as-a-call-to-action]

It lists all the negative emotions that you can have, what they mean, and the action that you can take to address that emotion or that thought or the fear or anger. So download that worksheet down here, and have it by your side. Whenever your negative thoughts come up, interpret the emotion behind them, and then chose the action that you can take to counter-act it. 

Which leads me to my third idea, which is: Invite positive thoughts to your mind.


Andrew Lawless (05:50):


And I have another blog where I gave you five questions that you can ask to solve any problems. And I will put a link in here as well so that you can watch that in more detail [https://www.teamlawless.com/blog/5-Questions-to-Find-Your-Best-Answers-to-Your-Toughest-Life-Problems].

But in general, if you know that you need to take action, here are the five questions that you can ask yourself.

The first one is what is good about this emotion or the situation that I'm worried about? And again, watch this blog here: [https://www.teamlawless.com/blog/5-Questions-to-Find-Your-Best-Answers-to-Your-Toughest-Life-Problems]. You get more examples of what to ask.

But first I think through: What is good about this?

Second [question]is: What can I learn from this situation right now that gives me this thought?

Third is: What is not perfect yet? What's the thing that is not perfect that brings up this thought?


Andrew Lawless (06:45):


For example, we talked about anger and the rule that has been violated. So yeah, that's not perfect. That's the one person, the one group, the one client, or the one vendor, whoever it is, who violates a standard or rule that is important to me. Okay? that is not perfect. And here are the two or three things how they do this. And now, you know.

The fourth question is: What am I willing to make it the way I want it?

If you want to change somebody's behavior, how do you do that best? And there are also frameworks on how to persuade people, uh, and win them over for their own cause. And I would invite you to go through my blogs. I'm sure you find something in, in many of those recordings, but they're also books and, and courses so you can figure it out.


Andrew Lawless (07:42):


How can I address the situation?

And then the fifth question is what am I willing to not to? And that, to me, is even the more important question. Because that's typically the list of things that if you did those, you would have the needed change. And you didn't get the change, and you keep on getting hurt, and you keep on getting angry, and you keep on being fearful because you didn't do these things. Yes?

So that's your area of change and then make a decision. You know what you want to implement. I hope this was helpful. 

I hope you like those strategies. And if you did, I would like to invite you to join my mailing list. There's going to be a button down in here. Do join us, become a part of the Team Lawless family, and never miss any of my new videos or announcements. And I hope to see you on my list and be able to communicate on a more regular basis with you. Thank you very much. Bye. And press that button and join.



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