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It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Self-Talk! Lose the negative and bring in the positive!

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

It’s true we all experience negativity in our lives. One day you’re in a great mood until you talk to that one friend or family member that always manages to bring you down. They may have been well intentioned, but they were just so negative it was an energy-suck. You may have even been that person a time or two, possibly thinking you were being helpful or cautious.

The average human has about 48 thoughts per minute. Only 6-8 of them are conscious and the other 40 or so are running in the background, in our subconscious. That means that almost 80% of your reaction to the world is literally on auto-pilot.

What’s even more alarming is that psychologists say on average 70% of unconscious thoughts are negative or limiting. YIKES! If you’ve ever wondered why you’re just not that happy or feeling stuck, read on….

Here are a few of the most common automatic negative thoughts (ANTS):

1. All or nothing thinking: Everything is black or white. Think of the words always and never. “I always mess things up “ “I never get what I want”. “I never do anything right”, “Nothing is ever good enough” “It’ll never work out”

2. Catastrophic thinking: Fixating on the worst-case scenario. “If I fail, I’ll never recover, and life will be ruined.”

3. Emotional Reasoning and/or Mind Reading: You are so sure of an outcome you actually create it. “I know she won’t go out with so I won’t even talk to her” or “I know he’s mad at me so I just ignored him”.

4. Should-ing on oneself: Feeling guilty or trying to live up to others values. “I should lose weight” “I should have studied more”. While seemingly harmless, should-ing on oneself is based in guilt or shame and keeps us stuck in a cycle of fear. It is not the same as “I want to lose weight” or “Now I’m going to study more seriously”.

5. Labeling: I’m “lazy, stupid, a terrible cook, cheap”.

6. Blaming others: Chronically being the victim; “I would have been ok if you didn’t…” “I am trying but everyone else is…” “This place is just so…”

These are just some of the biggies, but there are countless more. Any inner-talk that is telling you why you can’t do something is a limiting belief or ANT. Not ALL negative thoughts are bad. Some of them keep us safe. The key is to understand which ones are working for you and which ones are not.

The good news is, that once you understand your limiting beliefs, you don’t have to allow this negativity to rule your life! We all have a choice to either run on auto-pilot or consciously choose to boost positive thinking. The question is, do you have a true desire and willingness to look inside to improve yourself?

Have you noticed how much more energizing it is to be around positive people than negative? Negative people leave you feeling tired and depleted. Positive thinking not only feels better emotionally, it creates endorphins in the brain that make you feel better physically and open you up for bigger possibilities and creativity. Building confidence and self-esteem.

You can turn the negative thoughts that no longer serve you into positive ones that do! And, changing the way you think will change your life! Here is a practical approach to practice:

1. Awareness is the stepping stone: You can’t change anything until you know what it is you want to change. Practice thought awareness. One way to start is to pay attention to your body’s cues. How do you breathe when you have certain thoughts? What thoughts make you feel anxious? Laugh? If you want something badly, and the first thoughts you have feel depressing or give you a feeling of angst PAY ATTENTION. They are likely limiting beliefs and probably distorted lies! Listen to the “inner-voice” that is telling you why something isn’t possible. Try and figure out who is telling you that your idea isn’t good. Is it you? A friend or family member? Maybe a teacher or boss?

Try journaling. Writing down your thoughts without judgement is a great way to go deeper into them. Often when we uncover one thought we become aware of two or three more that are running behind it. Try this until you feel sure you have gotten to the “core” of the belief. This may be going back years in your life. Our childhood experiences dramatically shape our world view. What served us as children may not necessarily work for us as adults.

2. Is it really true? Does it always (or never) happen this way? Really? If it was true in the past, is it really still relevant? Who or what situations have defied this lie?

3. Consciously choose a better thought. You do have a choice. Decide on a moment-to-moment basis that you are going to stay aligned with happy and cheerful thoughts. This works better when you state them positively. Don’t tell yourself what you’re not going to do (for example: “I will not overeat”). Even if the intention is positive,

it is still a “negative” thought. State this in a positive manner, like “I only eat until I am satisfied”. Believe it or not, thinking positively will create pleasure hormones in your brain which will make you feel happier.

4. Fill up with positive, motivational and inspirational messages and people. There are a bunch of ways to do this: daily affirmations; videos; pod casts; blogs; my personal favorite is guided meditations. Focus on positive thoughts and your mind will begin to recognize and eject the negative ones easily. Surround yourself with positive people and you will naturally become more upbeat.

5. Make a conscious effort to notice how much better positive feels. There is a real domino effect that is going to take place either way. If you stay negative, you will continue to feel more and more negative. When you begin to think positively, you will create more positive situations in your life which will leave you feeling and thinking more positive again.

6. With practice, most people begin to have awareness of the underlying core issues that drive limiting beliefs. It is common to realize our negative and limiting thoughts are rooted in something deeper than the surface. Don’t be afraid of it, it is only a thought. If it feels overwhelming or you just want to connect with someone who is highly charged and positive, life-coaches are trained and experienced at helping people uncover the root causes of limiting beliefs and overcoming them.

7. If you can, minimize negative or toxic relationships – None of us need people in our lives who chronically make us feel bad about ourselves. Sometimes we can step away from them, but other times we can’t. Do your best to detach both physically and emotionally whenever possible. If you can’t remove yourself from negativity you still don’t have to let it drag you down. Try to focus on something that brings you joy.

8. Be true to yourself. We can’t make everyone happy all the time and sometimes we just have to say no. It can be hard, but it is better to say no than to lose yourself and end up resentful.

These are just a few practical suggestions that can help you lose the negative self-talk and replace it with positive thoughts. It is time to say good-bye to limiting beliefs and say hello to empowering thoughts that will enable you to feel truly happy and achieve your dreams! If you have a personal favorite strategy you’d like please share it below or email me directly at wcope@lifecoachlibrary.com.

By Wendy J. Cope – Recovery & Positive-Change Coach

About the author:

I was a rebellious teenager and at the age of 20 found myself in a recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction. That was 30 years ago and I have been passionate about the pursuit of personal-growth ever since. At one point in my recovery I felt really “stuck” and needed to do something different. That was my first encounter with coaching. I completed a 12-week program and the changes I experienced were profound. Like more than 5 years of therapy profound.

I felt inspired to become a Positive-Change Coach and later to create a platform that serves both coaches and clients. Hence, I created Life Coach Library. Educating people and getting the message to them that they CAN reach their goals while providing a practical means for great coaches to grow their businesses is what Life Coach Library is all about.


I hold a bachelor’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University in Justice Administration and I’m currently pursuing a graduate degree in professional counseling from Walden University. Later in my career, I completed a career switcher program and hold a professional teacher’s license in Virginia and Delaware. Additionally, I am a certified hypnotherapist and Reiki master. I completed my coach certification at Coach Training Alliance and I am committed to personal-growth and life-long learning .

Merry Christmas!


For my December blog I thought I’d write some helpful tips to stay sane through the holidays. However, two days ago, I was at the grocery store. I was third in line in the express checkout lane. While waiting, I notice three different magazines with articles on managing stress during the holidays. I pick up one and skim over it. If I’m honest, I can’t add a whole lot to it. Still third in line in the express lane. I pick up another, and again, it steals my thunder even though I believe I could make it funnier 😊

Now, second in line in the express lane, I pick up the third one. I don’t know what it said really because the cashier is having a social conversation with the person in front of me (deep sigh) and I am suddenly fixated on why the heck the express lane is taking so bloody long. I start to feel annoyed and impatient. My heart beats faster and the thoughts in my head aren’t exactly “Merry Christmas and Good Will to all”. I just skimmed three articles on surviving the holidays yet here I am growing tense and annoyed because I am not getting through the express lane fast enough? Hmm…that starts to sink in.

(deep breath) I have come to believe that we really do have a choice in how we feel. It starts with how we think. I know from experience that I have about a ½ second window between thinking and feeling to decide if I’m going to spiral down in negativity or consciously turn in a positive direction. For simplicity, let’s say that all feelings can be grouped as68

either positive or negative; pretty easy to grasp, right? Good. Now, what if all I said that all positive feelings are rooted in LOVE and all negative feelings are rooted in FEAR and in the end, those are the only two feelings there are. LOVE and FEAR. Every feeling we have roots in one of those two. I read once that love only exists in the light (I prefer to say God) and fear lives in the dark; darkness cannot exist where there is light, and fear cannot exist when there is love. A slice of darkness cannot destroy light, but shine a light and darkness disappears. Love easily destroys fear.

So ‘tis the season when everything is supposed to be all happy and joyous and from a place of LOVE. What happens if it just isn’t? There are so many scenarios that a person may not be feeling all love all the time. Sometimes, fear just creeps in and negative feelings come up; it’s part of the human condition. While we can’t always stop it (fear) from creeping on us, we can empower ourselves to change our thinking and therefore change how we feel (which will change the way we act and that shapes our realities).

Back to being third in line in the express lane and it’s taking much longer than expected. Maybe you’ve skimmed three articles and now the cashier is chatting it up with someone. If you’re like me, there’s a ½ second window to choose between:

“this is the longest express line in the history of the world and I can’t believe she’s just chatting it up…can’t she see me waiting…groan, sigh.”. Heartbeat races, nerves feel prickly, head gets busy. And then there’s the domino effect…leave the store and feel annoyed at the bells the Salvation Army volunteer rings, exasperation at all the people and traffic in parking lot, get home and the damn dog is spazzing out just because someone’s home….you get it.


“It’s kind of sweet to see the connection between these two people and the quaintness of this area. I not really in a hurry to get home to……to fold laundry.” Heart stops racing, nerves calm down, head stays in the here and now. And then there’s the domino effect…leave the store and the bells from the Salvation Army volunteer sound festive and bring a wave of gratitude, there’s a sense of excitement seeing the people scurrying in the parking lot, I get home and feel blessed to have 80 pounds of puppy love jumping for joy that her humans are home…you get it.

It really is that simple. We choose how we feel, and the only two feelings to choose from are LOVE or FEAR which live in either light or darkness.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a 2019 full of love!

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