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  • Writer's pictureTraci Kanaan

Staying Positive in Negative Times

Our world has changed dramatically since the dawn of January 1st, 2020. Negativity and hatred is being spewed on a daily basis by political groups, media, and social media…but they are doing it on such a subtle level that most people don’t even notice it until there’s a riot. This is not healthy and these language patterns are dividing us as a society.

I’m going to show you how to spot these negative trends perpetuated by our politicians, the media, and social media so you can spot them, and see how they are being used to influence your emotions and behaviors, and just how destructive they can be.

This week’s negative phrase of the week: “All-or-Nothing Thinking”

Everything vs Nothing. Black vs White. Everybody vs Nobody. Always vs Never.

“All-or-Nothing Thinking” means you only have 2 options. Things MUST be one way or the other. It’s either “this or that”. There is no “gray area.” There is not “some of this” and “some of that.”

People use it to define themselves, their values and their beliefs. It’s a convenient way to measure your worth as a person, a way to make sense of the world around you.

The problem is, “All or Nothing Thinking” creates extreme perfectionists. These people end up creating impossible expectations for themselves and others. “All-or-Nothing Thinking” forbids variety, creativity, and doesn’t allow for progress. When perfectionists see themselves or others falling short of their expectations, they become anxious and depressed. Their self-esteem and self-worth lowers, along with their motivation. Negativity creeps in and compounds the issues, and then they sit in their misery and continue to spin it out of proportion. Pretty soon, they start thinking “Why bother, it’s just not going to work anyway.”

The best way to stop negative “All-or-Nothing Thinking,” is to notice it!

Train yourself to spot the language patterns so you don’t fall into the trap of the negative thinking that follows.

If you can’t spot the language, then you can’t change how you think about it. Be on alert for the language, both open and concealed. All, Everyone, Everything, Nobody, No One, Never are good clues that “All or Nothing Thinking” is nearby.

Use the word “and,” instead of “but” and “or.”

Instead of thinking people are either “good” or “bad,” consider changing that mindset to “People have good and bad qualities.” “People do a lot of good things and sometimes they do bad things.” It helps the perfectionist realize that they and others are humans. We do our best and sometimes mistakes are made.

Instead of thinking “I had the worst day ever,” consider flipping your thoughts to “I had some wonderful things happen to me today and some things that were challenging.” It helps the perfectionist put back into perspective that they shouldn’t allow a bad 30 minutes ruin the other 23.5 hours of an otherwise good day.

Instead of saying “She’s got beautiful eyes, but she’s curvy,” consider changing it to the following: “She’s got beautiful eyes and she’s curvy.” Using the word “and” helps perfectionists become more accepting and understanding of both themselves and others…and that is huge step towards staying positive in these negative times.

Tuesday, July 7th at 8pm Eastern, I'll be doing a Free Webinar called Self Hypnosis for Happiness, where I'll be teaching a hypnosis technique to help protect you from the overwhelming negativity dominating the media. You can register for that HERE.

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