Negativity can be a major productivity killer. The worry and stress that can accompany major negative thinking patterns can be paralyzing and render you less capable of making the right decisions that will move you and your business forward. Use these 4 tips to overcome those thinking traps so that you can move closer to reaching your goals.

Focus on the Problem, Not the Person

Deal with the problem at hand, not the problems that could come in the future. It can be easy when things start to go wrong or problems arise to start thinking far into the future of all of the other worst-case scenarios and things that could go wrong. While being prepared for the future is very important, letting it distract you from present challenges that need your attention will only cause you to fall further behind your goals. It’s difficult, but try to focus your energy and attention on what is right in front of you. As you make progress on that problem you will begin to see your overall outlook start to change for the better.

Surround Yourself with Positive Influences

it’s not always possible or practical to remove every negative thinker or negative influence from your life, but the power of one or two positive thinking and encouraging friends in your life can far outweigh the influence of any negative thinkers in your life. Get mentors, or friends in your life who are rooting for you to succeed, who you trust, and who are good critical thinkers and then stay connected with them regularly and often. Never be afraid to ask for help from trusted friends when negative thinking threatens to trap you. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”, Jim Rohn.

You Must Anticipate Challenges

While focusing on all those future “what-ifs” is a bad idea, be prepared for some challenges or obstacles to arise is wise and necessary. Some of the simplest ways to prepare for future uncertainties are to have emergency savings set aside, build in some contingencies in your project budget, or add some extra time for unforeseen issues to your project timeline. If you don’t end up needing the additional time or budgeted resources, then you will have saved yourself stress, if you do need them, then you will be well prepared and can avoid the panic and doom and gloom thinking as you try to dig yourself out.

Change Gears, or Walk Away for Awhile

Sometimes big problems or tragic events prove too much to deal with in one sitting, without some time to process. It’s important in times of great struggle, sadness, or loss, to not fall into the trap of feeling guilty, on top of the negative thinking. Recognize that positivity takes practice, and it doesn’t always happen right away. Take a break, take a walk, or do something you enjoy for a while, and come back to the problem after you have had time to process. Sometimes just physically stepping away can give a new perspective on the things right in front of you.

Changing a thought pattern or habit takes time, so be patient with yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance from someone you trust!

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