The school wasn’t a pleasant part of my upbringing. The question How Can I Stop Negative Thinking? It was too small for my brain to process because at that moment what mattered was a feeling of belonging. Unknowingly I had triggered negative thinking for myself, situations & people around me.
Not just negative thinking but feeling like absolute shit. This is the story of that phase where I overcome my negative thinking pattern & do something worthwhile with my life.
It was a phase where all I could see around myself was groups of people flaunting what they have, what aspirations do they have for their career & relationships, all the glorious talks about football & pop culture which made me feel I was way behind time. And if you don’t fit in the criteria of being cool, you can never be a part of that group.
This feeling of not belonging always got to me & I did nothing but always underestimated myself in every aspect. Self Sabotage is the worst negative thinking can do to you.
Well, not everything was the school’s mistake. I somewhere knew, if things had to change, I had to change. But at that point, everything seemed to be blurry. It was not clear to me why I was feeling overwhelmed, why I feel I’m not welcomed & most importantly why the f*ck do I feel underconfident around people?
It was not like I was a complete waste of space. I had my own set of accolades to cheer me up but somehow I couldn’t see that. The environment consumed me. The fear of not knowing what’s trending these days was much more than scoring well. To add a cheery on the cake, I was out of shape. Wow, there is so much to complain about.
I was so underconfident to the point, I remember I was part of my school football & throughout all matches & different years I only sat on benches. Later on, one day for one of the matches, the coach asked me to get ready to enter the game. I started warming up. But eventually, he said, no worries mate I think we’ll do just fine, let it be. It broke my heart yet again.
Later on that day, the coach told me something that blew me apart inside & opened my eyes. He explained to me why he didn’t let me go into the game. He said, “Look Dhrumil, whenever you are going to enter a game you need to be fearless. I looked at your body language & you looked fearful, the way you were warming up didn’t give me any confidence on why I should let you in”
And to my bad luck that was the last match of that year we were supposed to play & it was last year of the school as well. This advice was so relevant in all aspects of my life.
This continued till Junior College. But at around 17 years of age, I discovered self-help & personal development. I vaguely remember searching on the internet for top self-help books & I bought this title by Robin Sharma, “A Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”.
Interestingly, During that period, I was tired of my out of shape body. Although I was exercising & gymming since the age of 15, there was no difference in body composition at all. Maybe endurance was a bit apt. But all the other habits remained the same.
Initially, for the first two years, I went to the gym not more than 50-60 days. But I was a Shotokan Karate Black Belt, I used to skate a lot, I used to go for a swim every Sunday. And somehow, when I used to play football with a different set of groups I was scoring af.
One day, coming back from college with one of my senior college friends, whilst on the train, he started showing his exercise skills by doing near to half pull-ups on the handles attached at the top of the train. He challenged me to do it as well. I was not able to do it.
But the feeling of humiliation without the act of actual humiliation got me & to top it off, my friend whilst he was still pretending to do pull-ups in a running train, made this statement sarcastically & to satisfy his underconfident personality. “ Dude, you will never be able to do it ”
That day onwards, he was never my friend. I was my own best friend. At that moment everything started to fall in place, everything was making sense. Somehow my negative feelings about my self were not so bad. I felt so motivated & inspired. And I was feeling sorry for that friend.
He didn’t even realize what powers he gave me. The power to channelize my energy.
I was more self-aware than my entire childhood. And more importantly, I found something for myself that would make me happy. It was self-help & Exercise. I no longer needed to look for happiness in friends & groups. There was no such thing as negative thinking, only being fearless. Only doing the things that I love doing. It is the best feeling in the world.
It is from this instance I learned How To Stop Negative Thinking & take the damn action. And it is this habit that is a lifetime profitability habit & I’d like to share it with you.
If you have read my story so far, firstly, thanks & you must have got an idea that The Answer Doesn’t Lie In Staying Positive. The Answer Lies In Behaviour Change. And that is what I implemented. The ultimate solution to overcome negative thinking is how you respond to situations. How you behave when life gives you lemons.
Table of Contents
1. Stop Comparing Yourself
Stop comparing your life situations with others, stop comparing everything. You have to write your own story, you are the creator of your own story. Some people realize it early & some people like myself realize a little late. But in all totality any comparison you do with any situation or person, it will never be fair, you will always feel behind.
Life can get pretty complex & in such an environment you don’t want to add any more ingredients of complexity. Keep it simple.
2. Love Yourself
Don’t try to find happiness outside of your environment. Make yourself happy, then make everybody around you happy. You can’t help people from the position of insecurity, discontent & fear. Also, there is no need to please people. Let everybody’s true colors come out.
The most important person in your life is you, no one else. By far the most important lesson I have learned to date. Until & unless you don’t accept your true self until you are one with yourself you cannot expect other people to make you happy. You can’t expect other people to validate you.
You have to love yourself, take care of your mind & body, only then you can love other people, help other people. It starts with you. If you want to change the world, transform yourself first.
3. Validate Yourself
Success is lonely at the top. That is why
This is the fundamental thought process of any successful person. Because there are as many doubters as to the ones who believe in you but you will never able to see that with your blind eye.
That is why validating yourself is the best habit you can ever develop. I started validating myself by positive self-talk & affirmations. I used to recite a small prayer that helped me restore my belief in myself whenever I used to feel insecure & low. The only person that believed in me was me. I want to thank my past self for doing that.
When you stop caring what other people think of you everybody is happy. Trust me.
For a very very long time, I was confined in a box. A box of self-doubt, insecurity, under confidence. A box that was full of fear. I was afraid to be myself, afraid to talk to people.
I found the answers to this problem in books initially, then in good people that I met eventually. It was like I deserved that help. But people who seek answers for their life & are true to themselves eventually find the answers they are looking for one way or another. You just have to try.
It gave me the ability to foolproof my self from the negative environment (at least I thought that) & focus on what mattered to me.
5. Channelize Your Negative Energy
Weight training & powerlifting was like an escape to me, it was like worship. I started channelizing my negative thoughts & energy into my training. It helped me become more focused, I used my energy from my failures and turned it into motivation. Like absolute motivation.
I started to let go of pain from failures of things I couldn’t achieve & started focusing on what mattered i.e developing myself mentally & physically. I understood that things that are not in my control aren’t supposed to be messed with. But things that are really in my control, I need to nourish it, be patient & enjoy the process.
6. Sharpen The Saw
Because more money or more people won’t solve your problems, your attitude will, your craft will. This is the difference between an expert & an amateur is that the expert is willing to do the same thing again & again despite getting bored. But an amateur gets bothered in his personal growth by external situations. By his own emotions.
I say this often that A writer is not a great writer if he only writes when he is inspired to, a painter is not a great painter if he only paints when he is inspired, a businessman is not a successful businessman if he only does sales once in a while.
Whatever is it you are doing, in whatever situation you are, people will come & go, the money will come & go, vacations will come & go, presidents, will come & go and so many other things that we get bothered by. But in the end, your craft remains with you. Your ability remains with you. And it is you who need to sharpen it.
Keep working on your craft, on your skills. Keep working on your life & never forget to love yourself. Taking action builds belief. If you can’t remove 30 mins from 24 hours to work on yourself, to work on your craft, maybe it’s time you start doing it.
7. Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself
This is the most dangerous space to be in. To act like a victim. To act as if you are entitled to something. This is the ultimate source of negative thought patterns & feelings.
The trouble is you expect too much rather than giving back. You consume a lot rather than creating. The trouble is we complain a lot rather than feeling grateful for what we have. From this standpoint, negativity will always catch you in some form or the other.
Because you are constantly looking to find solutions outside of your environment. Instead start focusing on your own actions
Take action today. Choose faith, not fear
To your success