Most people have at least some inkling of the fact that they should be working to make their lives as positive as possible. While this is absolutely admirable, it can be difficult to pinpoint sources of negativity in order to stop it in its tracks. Here are some of the sneakiest kinds of negativity – and ways you can stop it from infiltrating your positive frame of mind.
Selfishness is different from taking good care of your body, your mind and your spirit. It is blatant disregard for others, and the belief that you are the only person who matters. Check yourself for signs of selfishness periodically – most of us find it tends to come into play at least occasionally!
- How often do you use “I” statements that exclude others from the picture? Do you often interrupt others while they are speaking, or interject your opinion over theirs, even unintentionally? Even though you might not mean to do this, it is a selfish form of negativity. Fight it by watching your thoughts and statements, and really listening to others as they are speaking.
- Focus on sharing whenever possible, and you’ll learn to stop selfishness of all kinds. There is a wonderful quote by the Buddha that bears repeating: Thousands of candles can be lighted by a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
Investigate your motivations periodically, to see whether greed is involved. Greed is one of the worst, most pervasive kinds of negativity. It has brought rulers to shame and powerful nations have fallen to their knees, all in the name of greed.
- Be grateful for what you have, and share it. When you are grateful for the things you have, and the people in your life, you manifest even more things to be grateful for.
- Treat employees fairly if you are in a position of power. Do not use other people for your own betterment, unless you treat them as respected members of a team. A good example of this kind of greed is wealthy manufacturers who use sweat shop labor to produce cheaply made items, then keep the profits for themselves. Their employees live in unspeakable conditions and make barely enough money to eat.
- Do not take what does not belong to you. Stealing is a form of greed that can cause you to manifest even more lack in your life. If you are in need, ask for what you require and it will be delivered to you.
Pettiness is another form of negativity that can come into play in just about any situation. By opening your mind to others and taking a look at the bigger picture, you can stop any pettiness from causing problems for you. When you do this, you gain the respect of others, and the Universe rewards you with a strong, positive outlook that can help propel you to bigger, better things.
While we are sometimes in a hurry for good reason, and sometimes hurry cannot be helped, most hurrying is a source of negativity and worry. If you are often in a hurry, take a few moments to think about why that happens.
- Plan your day in advance and stick to your plans. Spontaneity is a wonderful thing, so be sure to leave room for it – but if you know you have to be somewhere at a certain time, make plans to be there in advance so that you don’t have to rush. When you do this, you’ll find you have a little extra time – and that’s a great thing!
Procrastination can get in the way of progress, and it can happen to anyone! Serious procrastination can prevent personal development. Missed opportunities and signals that should never have been ignored, pile up to make a mountain of regrets that can be hard to face.
- If you find yourself procrastinating, make a plan to get back on track immediately. Look at the big picture. If you do the small things you are procrastinating about now, how might your future be better?
- If procrastination continues to be a problem, consider getting help from a therapist or life coach. So many people die with their life’s work still inside them, all because of procrastination – and that is a real shame.
Fear is one of the worst types of negativity. Sometimes what looks like simple caution is actually fear, so check yourself for it frequently. Do you make decisions based on fear, or do you charge boldly ahead despite misgivings? While some fears, like the fear of large toothy predators, is natural and ought to be listened to, the fear that creates doubts should be ignored.
- If you are afraid, ask yourself why. What kind of risks are you taking? What is at stake? If you give in to your fears, what might you be missing out on?
- If you can, periodically face fears that trouble you. If you are afraid of the dark, gradually work on turning off more and more lights within your home until you are comfortable. If you are afraid of failure or being laughed at, stop to consider the fact that most people are fairly compassionate. No one is going to laugh at your heartfelt attempts at success – and if they do, what will it really hurt? Facing your fears might be difficult at first – but the more you shut out the voice of fear, the less it will intrude in your daily life.
Doubt can hold you back in many ways – stop to think for a moment, what would have happened if Thomas Edison had listened to the voice of doubt telling him that his theories about electricity were preposterous? What if the Wright Brothers listened to the naysayers and gave in to doubt?
The fact is, you can do anything you set your mind to – it never hurts to try. And, while you may not get the intended outcome when you laugh in the face of doubt, you’re sure to find that you develop into a better, stronger person along the way.
While these are, by no means, all the types of negativity that can arise, they are definitely things that can blow the ship of your life off course. So be courageous, and you will win every time.