But equally important and parallel to fostering positive thinking is eliminating negative thoughts from your life.

That’s right, folks. In a week of learning dedicated to developing and maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude, we’d be remiss not to bring up negativity.

Negativity is a virus—once you let it seep into your life, it spreads and compounds easily. And it’s all too easy to find yourself in a negativity spiral—think about one thing that’s upsetting you, and another thought arises all too easily.

The good news about negativity though, is that it’s 100% controllable. We are in charge of our outlook; we are in charge of whether our first response to a potential problem is optimistic or pessimistic.

According to Brian Tracy, another wonderful self-improvement thought leader, and my personal mentor, 95% of your emotions are determined by the way you talk to yourself as you go through your day. If you talk to yourself in a positive and constructive way, you will have an optimistic attitude. If you think about things that make you unhappy, lower your self-esteem, or cause you worry and social anxiety, you will have a pessimistic, negative attitude.

To be positive, you must deliberately replace negative thoughts and self-talk with positive thoughts.

For example, instead of dwelling on a physical flaw or something you wish you could change about yourself, make the choice to repeat to yourself throughout the day: “I like myself. I like the way I look. There is no one and it will not be out there quite like me. I am special, and good things will happen to me.”

Or, one I like to say all the time, even out loud: “Today is a great day.”

The internal dialogue can be whatever you want it to be, it just has to be positive.

So, the next time you find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts—choose to replace the dialogue. Turn “I can’t” into “Of course I can.” Turn on your internal positive soundtrack!

Another great way to stop your internal negative self-talk is with the “friend test”. Picture one of your dearest, closest friends. The next time you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself, or doubting your own ability, ask yourself: “would I say this about my friend?”

As women, we have an unsurpassed ability to think the worst about ourselves. Worse than we would EVER think about those who are dear to us. We would never tell our best friend “Oh you’re not good enough for that job,” or “you’re not pretty enough,” or “you’re not brave enough…” And if we wouldn’t say those things to someone we love and care about, we certainly shouldn’t be saying them to ourselves—the most important person of all! Remember, you are the leading lady of your own life—and leading ladies don’t take crap from anyone (including themselves!)

Another way to cut off negativity before it manifests in your brain is to remove external sources. Negative people fuel negative thoughts. Identify the negative influences in your life and make a conscious choice to avoid them.

Let’s close out this chapter on eliminating negativity with a quote from the ultimate bombshell herself, supermodel Gisele Bundchen:

“Having the strength to tune out negativity and remain focused on what I want gives me the will and confidence to achieve my goals.”

Be like Gisele—tune out negativity and focus on the good!

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