Can negatives be used as positives? In today’s world we are told to “eliminate the negative” have “positive mindset” but sometimes we need to give ourselves some positive negative feedback to motivate us to move forward. What do I mean by positive negative feedback? Make sure we are NOT saying negative things about who we are but rather about our actions. Some people do not like using the term “I messed up.” Why not? We all do from time to time. I think there is a vast difference between saying “I messed up or I made a bad choice” than saying “I AM a mess. I am incapable of making good choices” “I am (fill in the blank). I think you can “mess up” “screw up” and still use this for positive in your new lifestyle. No one is perfect and in creating a new healthy lifestyle it is progress and not perfection that reaches the goal! It is reasonable to conclude if progress does not demand perfection than “messing up” now and again is OKAY and not being negative but being human. You should be able to say you blew it or messed up but never ever say you ARE a mess up or stupid or incapable, etc.
Keep negative adjectives paired with action words or as action verbs/words keep the negative adjectives about the action and not about who you are!
- My weight was up this week this week because I made several poor food choices.
- My results were not what I had hoped because I did not track all the food and drink I consumed this week.
- My portions were too large this week because I didn’t weigh or measure my food.
- I was upset and ended up eating an entire large triple meat and cheese pizza last night for dinner and it was not within my points.
- It is difficult to resist eating doughnuts, they are a trigger food, so I do not buy them.
- My choices this week were not healthy and were driven by my emotions.
- Eating a half-gallon of chocolate ice cream last night was not the best choice for me to make, next time I will make a healthier choice.
- I chose to eat 20 points worth of potato chips last night but I know it wasn’t a good decision to help me reach my weight loss goals.
Do not allow negative words to become self descriptions. I used to “talk” to myself using many negative self descriptions before learning how to turn the negatives into positives. I did this so frequently it became a habit, a very bad habit! The good news is you can change habits!
- I am so stupid.
- I am a big screw up.
- I am weak.
- I’m lazy.
- I am a huge fat pig.
- I do not deserve to be healthy
- I am worthless.
- I can’t control myself.
- I am incapable.
Can you see the difference between the top statements and the bottom statements? Can you see the top talk about a poor choice, a bad action, a consequence of a conscious decision, whereas the bottom statements place “blame” or “label” the person and not the action?
Example of reframing:
OLD thinking: I am totally incompetent, I can’t finish my project today.
NEW thinking: Today wasn’t a good day, things happened beyond my control and I could not finish the project I was assigned.
We have to learn to love ourselves and talk to ourselves more positively. This takes time and practice but can be done by taking small steps. The first step is to be aware of how we are “talking” to ourselves. Do we often say negative things to ourselves when our actions do not match our goals? Try restating those negative thoughts inside your head into a more positive thoughts.
YOU CAN DO IT!