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Stop the negative self talk and accentuate the positive

Jane Boucher

Always remember the lyrics from Bing Crosby’s song:

You’ve got to accentuate the positive

Eliminate the negative

Latch on to the affirmative

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum

Bring gloom down to the minimum

Have faith or pandemonium

You’re on your way to work. What are you thinking about? Maybe it’s: “I’ll bet my boss is waiting to get on me about finishing that report … and I’ve got a whole stack of correspondence I have to finish … and I’ll bet Cindy won’t have any coffee made … she is always late and gets away with it … it’s going to be another miserable day. On top of all of this, my retirement is dwindling to nothing and I’ll have to stay in this darn job forever unless they lay me off first. Then what will I do?”

Stop!

Stop right there. You are doing negative self-talk. You are programming yourself, in that big computer in your head, to feel bad. By the time you get to work, you’ve already churned up those negative feelings, the acid in your stomach and the adrenaline in your body. You are stressed-out before you even start your work day. Make a conscious effort to stop the negative talk right now.

While you are getting ready for work, if you can’t think of something at work to look forward to, then try not thinking about work at all. Play some upbeat music in your car. Listen to an interesting radio program or some self-improvement tapes. If you ride the bus, look out the window and admire the scenery. Play a game with yourself and imagine what the people on the bus do for a living. Think about something pleasant that you are going to do later or that you did the day before. The key is to use this time for positive programming; put yourself in a positive, upbeat frame of mind, ready to cheerfully and calmly face the day.

If you really do have something coming up at work that you know is going to be stressful, such as an important meeting, or a difficult client and you cannot keep from thinking about it, try not to anticipate everything that could go wrong. Don’t allow your thoughts to run in a negative direction. Imagine what could go right. Often believing that things are going to work out cause them to work out. It’s called the

Pygmalion effect. If you believe you’re going to have a bad day, most likely you will. But if you believe you’re going to have a good day chances are you will. So much of what happens to us in life depends upon our attitude.

Be aware of your tendencies to think positively or negatively and realize you cannot anticipate everything that is going to happen in your life. Tell yourself that you will do the best you can in whatever circumstances you find yourself. When you honestly think about it, what else can you do? Sometimes what looks to be the worst thing that could happen to us ends up being the best thing. For most people, that bad thing had to happen in order for the good thing to happen later. I once knew a veterinarian who got fired from a job she hated. Even though she hated her job, she wouldn’t quit. Now she is in a job that she loves. Add to this that sometimes we don’t appreciate good jobs or relationships unless we’ve had a bad one first. So try not to create stress for yourself even before you are in a stressful situation. You never know what gifts life may have in store if you keep a positive, open mind.

Jane Boucher is an author and professional speaker with offices in Reno. Reach her at 853-0226 or jane@janeboucher.com.