May 27, 2018

Retrain your Brain for Positivity: 5 Tips

“Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day the Lord will deliver thee into my hand…”—1 Samuel 17:28-29 (KJV)

My articles are often a team effort. I would like to thank my wonderful daughter and husband for their advice and help with the images and ideas in this writing.

The scriptural passage above references the famous story of David and Goliath, to which many of us can relate.  That’s probably why the word “goliath” is almost a synonym for “challenge” I Samuel, chapter 17, is all about how David was a simple shepherd boy who was mocked by his older brother, underestimated by his king, and frankly despised as a worthless child by Israel’s main tormentor.

What did he have going for him? He refused to listen to them. He didn’t internalize their outrageous negativity. Let’s relate this account to our own lives:

These words can be swirling around in our heads at any time. It’s up to us tune them out or minimize them. Some people are more successful than others only because they refuse to let pessimism limit them. There are two particular phrases that begin a negative streak when we self-analyze:

“Yes, but…”
“I’m not smart enough”
“I don’t have enough talent.”
“’They’ won’t listen.”
“That sounds like a lot of work.”
“It’s never been done before.”

“What if…?”
“My services or projects don’t sell?”
“That idea doesn’t work?”
“People laugh at me?”
“I encounter cruel online trolls?”
“Nobody cares?”
“The assignment doesn’t turn out as planned?”
“This choice complicates my life temporarily?”
“There’s a huge learning curve for this task?”

It’s easy to get into a never-ending loop of unanswerable questions. How do we break the actual paralysis such thinking causes?

1.Make a list of the pros and cons of weighty decisions.

2. Examine the best-and worst-case scenarios. For instance: “I could mess up that piano piece at the recital. Maybe a few people will laugh, but I can practice and try again later.”

3. Realize that, even if something has never been done before, it might work this time.  Here are two illustrations:

The recent royal wedding Meghan Markle recently married Prince Harry of England. They’re now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  There are three huge strikes against them: Meghan is a biracial, divorced, American actress.
Gabby Douglas This stellar gymnast was a member of the 2016 U.S. Summer Olympic Team. She is a history maker in two ways She is the first Black individual all-around champion. She is also the only holder of that title to win multiple gold medals in a single Olympics games.
4. Use empowering affirmations. Here are some common ones:
  • “Just trying is enough.”
  • “I give myself an “A” for effort.”
  • “I can ask for help.”
  • “I can get back up after I fall.”
  • “My best is good enough.”
  • “It’s okay to go at my own pace.”
  • “Nothing needs to be perfect.”
  • “I don’t need to impress everybody.”
  • “I can try again-- as many times as necessary.”

5. Recall Past Victories

My Conclusion

Negative input belongs in the trash, not in your mind.


 You can make your head a container for positivity.

 Related Posts

Faith: the Antidote to Fear 

Are you allowing trash into your brain?

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