Our minds work in a very weird way, partially attributed to our past conditioning. Most of us (if not all of us) would tend to latch on to negative statements and self-talk. For example, when presented with a challenge (any type of challenge) our first thoughts will probably be along the lines of “what if I failed?” I’ve seen this happen so often in school going children, adolescents, and young adults. This fear of failure has been ingrained into us; that failure leads to undesirable outcomes. While it is true that failure can lead to undesirable outcomes, but that is only from ONE perspective. Failure can also lead to desirable outcomes, when you look at the grander picture. Yes, failure can sometimes lead to someone loosing their job. But, would loosing that job be such a bad thing when you look at it from different standpoints? What if that job you were at was not making you a happy person? What if you would have lost that job due to either some reshuffling, or retrenchment anyways? What if it were the case that leaving that job meant you were leaving a very bad situation? Leaving that job meant leaving a steady stream of income, but are you so sure that nothing better is going to come your way soon?
In any case, the point here is not many (if any) will ever think from the positive end of the spectrum. And our minds work against us in that respect. Given two statements, a positive and a negative statement, our minds will perceive the negative one as the loudest. I have seen this happen in adolescent athletes in a competition. Between self talk statements like “let’s do this… ” and “don’t do this.. ” they will almost always remember the “don’t do this…” statements.
In a previous post, I have mentioned something along the lines of “what you fear most will most likely happen”, courtesy of the law of attraction. In addition to that, when you think in terms of negative statements, you are only limiting yourself. For example, exams are coming up, how many people do you know will think along the lines of “lets start studying now to show those examiners what I am made off. Show them what I know when the day comes.” I am quite sure the first thought will usually be along the lines of “I don’t want to fail!” The statement “I don’t want to fail” means “I just want to pass” and in that you will never do much better than just having a passing/passable grade. Do you think you will be satisfied with just a passing/passable grade? Wouldn’t having higher marks be better in this case? Well think about it, I have mentioned two opposing self-talk statements in the above example. Which would you think will net you the better positive result? You decide.