This question was anonymously submitted to me.
“How can I try law of attraction when all of my thoughts are self-deprecating?
I am aware everything is based upon frame of perception & your cognition is reliant upon events & moments that have occurred in past time. Nonetheless, I am also aware cognition could be altered with positive talking & ultimately trying to change thoughts from negative to positive but it’s difficult when every ounce of your body is declining the new message.“
They say that we attract into our life that which we focus on.
Whatever you give your energy and attention to will come back to you. According to this Law of Attraction if you stay focused on the good and positive things in your life, you will automatically attract better and positive things into your life.
However, your question brings to light the struggle with self-deprecating and/or negative thinking patterns that can keep us stuck in old patterns of behavior.
How do we break through those old patterns to move towards healthier cognition and ultimately manifesting greater positivity and wellness?
Take a minute and think about what you’ve said to yourself today:
Was it critical?
Was it kind and helpful?
How did you feel after you engaged in this inner discussion?
Your thoughts are the source of your emotions and mood.
The conversations you have with yourself can be destructive or beneficial. They influence how you feel about yourself and how you respond to events in your life.
Let’s take a look at the role of realistic, positive, affirming self talk vs. toxic positivity.
Positive self-talk is supportive and affirming.
Consider the following inner statement:
“She is going to speak up in the meeting today because she has something important to contribute.”
This sounds like a positive plan and attitude. In fact it would also help if she did a guided visualization of her contribution.
Sometimes we confuse positive self-talk with over-exaggerated pep talks.
Can self-talk be ‘too positivity’?
Consider the following inner statement:
“You are going to rock this meeting. You are an all-star and deserve to own it up there!”
The last statement has an element of instant gratification mixed with the letdown of being undefined. This is what we would call toxic positivity and it can actually be just as detrimental to our sense of self as the negative self-talk!
Researchers have found that it’s not just about what you say to yourself, it’s also the language that you use to say it.
What’s the Key?
When practicing self-talk, don’t refer to yourself in the first person, such as “I” or “me.” Instead, refer to yourself in the third person, using “he” or “she,” or refer to yourself by name.
Try it now come up with a piece of balance self-talk that sets a goal for today…
Brené Brown, professor at the University of Houston Graduate College and motivational speaker, refers to the negative voices in her head as her gremlins. By giving her negative thoughts a name, she’s both stepping away from them and poking fun at them.
Using the third person in self-talk can help you step back and think more objectively about your response and emotions, whether you’re thinking about a past event or looking into the future. It can also help you reduce stress and anxiety.
We know our moods are affected by our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. In a circular fashion, our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are affected by our mood.
Since unhealed wounds can affect our mood states, it makes sense to pay attention to unhelpful thinking patterns, and to explore our feelings about ourselves and the world around us.
Consider talking with a therapist.
A therapist could help look at the family or origin and see if any of these negative thinking patterns might have taken root as a measure of self-protection.
Deep negative thinking may underline conditions of PTSD, depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns that we would want to rule out/explore together.
For instance, it is likely that these thoughts may fit certain patterns such as the big 10 cognitive distortions discussed by Aaron Beck father of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. It is helpful to look at the pattern of thoughts, and label the thinking, and ultimately reframe our thinking to more balanced self-appraisals.
Sometimes wanting to be positive needs to be predicated on learning how to examine and explore the issues presenting as roadblocks.
After all, we need to find our authentic voice and make sure that we are acting within our nature to manifest that which fits our values.
Remember change takes time!
Also, we are really wired to see the negative first as it is an old coping skill we needed for survival back in cave people time.
Some psychologist call this our reptilian brain response.
Accepting that we cannot control automatic thoughts we can work to respond in a more healthy way instead of reacting and feeding into the negativity.
I love this question and it raises a lot of areas of further exploration. Keeping a thought log or journal may help also to identify patterns of thinking.
In addition, I would encourage you to engage in daily gratitude exercises where you allow yourself a moment to praise and recognize the beauty around you. It is important to shift our mind; to engage and train it to experience the world in a more mindful and present way.