“Be Positive – Overcome your ANTs”

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23rd Feb 2024

Around 65,000 thoughts go through our minds each day. Unfortunately, in the case of most people, most of them are negative.

These Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) occur so often that you’re probably not even aware of them (most of us aren’t).

For example, you know that little voice that points out irresponsible spending choices when you’re looking at your monthly budget?

Or makes disparaging comments when you look in the mirror?

We all know that voice. It makes you hesitate before approaching someone you’d like to meet. It makes you think twice before starting a business or considering a career change.

All of us have different ANTs, and without knowing it, we’re habitually allowing them to destroy our dreams. It’s hard to remain positive when that little voice is constantly spouting off and saying things like, “I can’t talk to her,” “I’m not smart enough,” “I’m out of shape,” “I’m not qualified” etc.,etc.

The way to start exterminating the ANTs in your head is to begin paying attention to them.

Notice when you hear that disparaging voice and recognize how frequently it happens.

More than likely, you’ll find that your limiting thoughts can be narrowed down to a few key themes. Taking note of this is a major step because we can’t change what we haven’t acknowledged.

Once you’ve identified your top negative thoughts, you need a way to stop them from holding you back.

A good technique for this is something called “flip the switch,” which moves thoughts from negative to positive.

For years, every time I looked in the mirror, all I saw were my flaws.

Finally, I started practicing the exact opposite reaction – flipping the switch.

I’d look in the mirror and force myself to say, “You look good!” It took some time to get used to it, but the reality is that positive thoughts and negative thoughts can’t occupy the same space, so I was giving my ANTs an eviction notice.

Another technique I find effective is called the “if/then” approach.

Once you identify when your ANTs typically show up, apply a thought process that allows you to essentially think yourself past them.

Here’s an example: Say you plan to go for a walk after dinner to get more exercise, but when dinner is over, your ANT shows up. If you start to hear the voice in your head that says you’re too tired, too full, or you’ll never lose the weight anyway, then walk to the closet immediately and put on your running shoes.

Often, just taking one positive step in the right direction is enough to shut those ANTs up.

Prepare yourself by creating a list of if/then statements ahead of time, overcome your ANTs & stay blessed forever.