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As we journey through our unique, perfectly imperfect lives, it’s common to feel energy dips and a lack of excitement. That doesn’t mean that we must give in to those feelings – they are not what we should expect or encourage from our Dynamic, Intriguing, Vivacious, and Authentic selves – our DIVA selves.

Often, feeling low energy can be caused by our mindset, particularly when negative thoughts take control, steering us away from joy and fulfillment. Recognizing and altering this negative mindset is not just beneficial; it’s essential for reclaiming our inherent power and enthusiasm for life. Let’s explore the consequences of dwelling on negativity, underscore the importance of nurturing a positive outlook, and discuss practical strategies to bring more of your DIVA self forward.

Why Negative Thinking becomes an Issue

Negative thinking can be sneaky, creeping into your mind and coloring your perceptions with patchy gray clouds like an impending rainstorm. At first, they may not seem threatening and may even have gaps where you can still see the blue skies beyond them.

Once they set in, though, you notice more and more of them, and they get thicker and darker, and suddenly, you can’t see beyond them – the entire sky is gray, the rays of sunshine are gone, and you can feel the temperature dropping as the wind picks up.

This negative thinking “cloud cover” can start as discontent about where you are versus where you imagined you’d be and too much mental focus on what’s going wrong instead of right. The more you think about the negative circumstances, the stronger your discontent grows, and suddenly, your formerly sunny outlook turns into boiling gray clouds like a thunderstorm.

This negativity can grow exponentially, leading you to a mental state where your inner critic becomes the loudest voice in your head, pushing a convincing narrative that you are not enough. As this mindset takes root, you can find yourself seeking validation in the company of others who share that pessimistic outlook, creating a cycle that reinforces the sense of despair and isolation.

When you feel the “cloud cover” multiplying and dimming your light, tap into your inner resilience – that dynamic aspect of your personality that pushes you toward the positive outcome you deserve instead of dwelling in the gloom. Use your natural human curiosity to help you figure out where the negative is coming from and analyze ways to focus your power on it – much as shining a bright flashlight into a dark room can make the darkness less intimidating.

Push your natural energy forward – you can inspire those bursts of energy within you to come out and bring with them the strength to act. Remember that your authentic self doesn’t “give in” to negativity – otherwise, you’d never make progress. Your DIVA nature is one that’s ready to make the changes needed to examine where you are, decide not to stay there, and then take action to move forward into what you DO want.

Why it’s Important to Disrupt a Negative Mindset

Allowing a negative mindset to grow and extend beyond mere dissatisfaction can profoundly impact your mental health, relationships, and the overall quality of your life.

Negativity feeds on itself, trapping us in a mental abyss that can feel impossible to escape. It will dim your light, hamper your growth, and reduce your potential.

Acknowledging the presence of negative thoughts is the first step toward freeing yourself from their slimy and uncomfortable grip. You must recognize that while these thoughts may be a part of your experience, you don’t have to let them define you or your ability to achieve joy, connection, and achievement in your life.

5 Steps to Disrupt a Negative Mindset

  1. Acknowledge and Reflect: Begin by admitting to yourself that negativity has affected you. Reflect on times when you felt happier and more optimistic. What changed? Understanding where the negative thoughts came from and what started them is an important part of the process of changing them.
  2. Seek Feedback: Ask for honest feedback from friends and family that you trust about your attitude and how it’s affected how you relate to them. Be prepared for their honesty – brutal though it may be – and see the feedback as valuable clues into how your mindset can affect not only you but those around you.
  3. Introduce Positive, Pattern-Interrupting Practices: Create a “bad thoughts money jar” where you contribute a dollar or two each time you catch yourself being negative. Put it where you can always see it, and the visual aid can provide powerful motivation to shift your mindset to a more positive one.
  4. Limit Your Exposure to Negativity: Put some distance between yourself and consistently negative influences. This could be people, a news program, a podcast or radio show, or a television show. Spend more time and give more space to positive sources of entertainment and information.
  5. Invest in Positivity: Intentionally engage in activities that raise your spirits and promote a positive outlook. You can do this with affirmations, journaling, spending time in nature, enjoying comedy shows or live comedy, or reading stories with a humorous theme – find what makes you feel more positive and make it a regular part of your life.

Journaling Prompts to Combat a Negative Mindset

Use one or more of these prompts to start or deepen your personal journaling practice. Give yourself time to think about what the prompt brings up for you and explore your feelings on paper. If you need a journal, click HERE to see our available journals.

  1. Reflect on a time when you felt genuinely happy. What were you doing, and who were you with? How can you incorporate more of this into your life right now?
  2. Identify three negative thoughts that come up for you frequently. Write down a positive counterstatement for each and use them in the future to change your mindset.
  3. Consider a recent situation where you had a negative reaction. How could you have responded differently? Do you want to respond differently, and why?
  4. What are the qualities you admire in yourself? List them and describe why you admire them.
  5. Describe a scenario where you overcame a challenge with a positive attitude. What did you learn about yourself?

Affirmations to Combat a Negative Mindset

Read the set of related affirmations below aloud. It’s important to your conscious and subconscious mind to hear the affirmations said in your own voice. Choose one or two of the affirmations from the set to start working with. You only need one or two affirmations, used consistently, to make a substantial change in your life.

Choose one affirmation that feels easy to you and choose another that generates resistance or disbelief. The idea is to practice extending your current self-imposed limits and encourage growth.

Say your chosen affirmation loud enough for your mind to hear your voice saying the words and take notice of how you feel as you begin and as you continue your practice. Repeat your chosen affirmation multiple times a day for at least 30 days and reinforce your affirmation by writing it in your journal.

You can change your life by beginning an affirmation practice – using one or two favorite affirmations over the course of 30 to 60 days can permanently change your mindset and your life.

  1. I choose to focus my thoughts and energy on the positive aspects of my life.
  2. My happiness reflects my decision to focus on positive things in my life.
  3. I can transform my thoughts and my life by using my inherent strength and positive energy.
  4. I attract positive energy and people into my life.
  5. Each day, I grow stronger and more positive in my outlook.

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About the Author Dianne M Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested, proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister with a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

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