No one is perfect. We’re all human. Each one of us has had a negative thought at some time or other in our lives. Negative thinking can be damaging to our self-esteem, and can begin a cycle of thought and behavior which leads us to set ourselves up for failure.

For example: Perhaps you’ve been assigned a special project at work. You’re confident in taking it on, but upon completion you notice one tiny error. That’s usually when the negative thoughts like to creep in. Those thoughts can ultimately cause a downfall in your work performance.

While your boss is telling you what a great job you’ve done, you begin to brush them off and continue to tell yourself how horribly bad you are at your job. Eventually, your effort in the rest of your job duties start to decline and your job performance declines as well. You could ultimately end up losing that job; all over the one mistake you found in that one project.

The key to prevent this from happening is to stop the cycle of negative thoughts right when they start to occur. By preventing them from escalating in your mind, you can allow yourself to keep trying to reach your goal and avoid failure.

What steps can you take to avoid this pattern?

First, you need to recognize a negative thought. When you can spot negative thoughts, they will be easier to turn into positive thoughts. A negative thought is when you put yourself down. For example, “I’m no good. I can’t even do my job right.” If you tell yourself that often enough, you actually start to believe it.

Second, after you’ve recognized them, then you can start thinking of other ways to phrase that thought. For example, if your negative thought is that you screwed up that whole project with that mistake; then you can turn it around and start phrasing that thought with something more positive like, “okay, I made a mistake, but the rest of the project turned out great!”

That’s it. Once you can see that you’re starting to set yourself up for failure by invading your mind with negative thoughts; then you can break the ugly cycle they can bring. Rephrase your thoughts with something of a more positive nature and your self esteem will be saved as well as the goal you have for yourself.

Negative thoughts in someone you care about

Probably the most intensely negative thought processes are experienced by teenagers. They don’t always recognize what they’re doing when they call themselves ugly, worthless etc. This would be a case where someone else needs to step in. You would need to help them rephrase what they’re saying, so they can break that negative cycle.

If you feel the situation is severe then help them to get the help they need to deal with whatever issues their having. Teenagers can have the toughest time with pressures from their friends, teachers and their families. Their drive to please everyone can cause this downfall of negative thought pattern when they don’t think they are meeting the standards set up for them.

Persistent negative thoughts can be bad for us, but they can cause those around us to push away. Its tough being around someone whose mood is almost always downbeat. Learn to break that harmful cycle, so that you set yourself up for success and not failure.

Author's Bio: 

Aurelia Williams, certified Personal Life Coach and owner of Real Life Coaching invites you to take advantage of a free consultation today. Isn’t it time to break free from negative thoughts?