8 Destructive thinking patterns and how to change them

About Steven Aitchison

I am the creator of Change Your Thoughts (CYT) blog and love writing and speaking about personal development, it truly is my passion. There are over 500 articles on this site from myself and some great guest posters.
If you want to learn more about my products you can check out Steven Aitchison's Products or check out my books and Kindle books on Amazon

It can be extremely difficult to focus on the good when, seemingly, bad things are happening in your life. However you can train your mind to focus on the good things in your life rather than dwelling on the bad. No it’s not one of those positive thinking articles that you’ve read all over the web and are sick and tired of. This is about changing the way you think, changing your thinking pattern. Do you use any of these thinking patterns in your day to day life?
8 limiting patterns of thinking

  1. ‘Life is shit’ Thinking pattern –Everything in life is bad, everybody is not to be trusted and nothing good will ever happen to them e.g. “I won’t get that job, the interviewer didn’t like me, I didn’t particularly like them anyway.”
  2. ‘Unsubstantiated conclusive’ Thinking pattern– You tend to make a lot of conclusions without any evidence to back up your conclusions. This can be a really destructive pattern as it can limit you in seeing reality for what it is e.g. “He walks a bit funny, he must be gay.” (I actually heard someone saying this about a colleague last week).
  3. ‘Never to me’ Thinking pattern – This is when you think nothing good will ever happen to you. This can be a deep seated way of thinking and it is a deep down inability to believe you are worthy of anything good happening to you e.g. “I’ll never have money, I’ve never had it before so I’ll never have it in the future, might as well carry on with this shitty job, at least it pays the mortgage.”
  4. ‘The negative psychic’ Thinking pattern – Presuming you know what people are thinking about you and it’s all bad. e.g. “She thinks I’m an idiot, I’ll try to avoid talking to her.”
  5. ‘Should, would, could’ Thinking pattern – This type of person knows what they have to do to change their life, they are capable and they know it and they would do it if only……… e.g. “I know I could go to university and I would, but I’m just to busy with other things right now, I’ll apply next year.”
  6. ‘Emotion based’ Thinking pattern – Your emotions control what you are thinking and therefore your vision of what reality is e.g. “I feel incapable of doing that so I must be incapable”.
  7. ‘It’s all my fault’ Thinking pattern – You see yourself as being the cause of everything bad that has happened e.g. “It’s my fault he left me for another woman.” You’ll notice this type of person does not take responsibility for the good things that happen.
  8. ‘They’re all wrong’ Thinking pattern – You see everyone as incapable of doing anything right and your way is the best way to do it e.g. “He can’t do it right, I’ll stay late tonight and fix it when he’s gone.”

These are just some of the common thinking patterns I have come across in my life and I have used some of them myself, I used to use mix the ‘Never to me’ and ‘The negative psychic’ thinking patterns about everything, “She’ll never go out with me she thinks I’m an idiot.” I made a conscious effort to change what I believed about myself and what I believed about the world and it has literally changed my life.

How to change the destructive thinking patterns

The first stage of changing is to recognise the problem – You will find a lot of people in life who just don’t think there is a problem so there is no need to change. If this is you then do nothing. If you want to change you must think there is a need and you will start to recognise what things need to change and it usually starts with your perception of life. Everybody’s perception of life is different, therefore everyone’s reality is different. I don’t live in the same world as you and you don’t live in the same world as me. That might sound a strange concept to some people, but think about it for a few minutes, it could change the way you see the world. I’ll give you an example:

In 2004 I took a redundancy package from my place of employment and received about £10,000 for my troubles, not a lot at all when I was earning £25,000 a year when I left. I was speaking to my friend about it and he thought I was absolutely nuts to do it, especially since I was married with two children. I explained to him how free I felt and what plans I had to start an online book dealing business and my wife was right behind me. He still thought I was crazy. My perception of the world was one of opportunity, life was great and I was free from the rat race for a while and I would get to see my wife and children a lot more than I had, I was ecstatic and if it didn’t work out I had a lot of skills to offer another employer. My friends perception was one of doom and gloom, he needed the security of a full time job even though he hated it and was working 12 hours per day. It turns out I worked at it for 1 year made a good profit but gave it up due to a huge downturn in business. At the end of it I was still optimistic as I knew I was good enough to get another job until I could do something else.

Everybody’s view of the world is different and it all comes down to the thinking patterns you use in your daily life. If you think life is wonderful you will notice the wonderful things in your life, if you think life is shit you will find shit things about life. Change your thoughts and you literally change the world you are living in. First you have to recognise your destructive thinking pattern.

The second stage is to be aware of when you are using the destructive thinking patterns – We can employ different thinking patterns depending on what we are doing in life. For example you could use a positive thinking pattern at work as you are very confident in your ability and yet use a destructive one when it comes to looking for love. Recognising when you use destructive thinking patterns can help you to change that pattern. Now that you have recognised when you use the destructive thinking patterns it is now time to change it.

The third stage is to replace the bad with the good – This is something that you don’t do immediately. You don’t say to yourself ‘I’ll never be able to do that”, which is you old thinking pattern, to “Oh yes I can”. That won’t work. You have to let the old pattern die slowly whilst slowly introducing your new improved thinking pattern. Here an example:

You are out in a club and you want to talk to someone you are attracted to. Your thoughts are “ She’ll never talk to me, she’s gorgeous.” You will immediately recognise this pattern of thinking and tell yourself something good about yourself e.g. “I’m good at _______(FILL IN THE BLANK), it can be anything. This will not immediately help your situation but it will slowly begin to change your old destructive thinking pattern with a new one.

This stage takes place over time and is not done immediately. The best time to change a destructive thinking pattern is to let it run it’s course and slowly replace it with a thinking pattern that is better for you. I know people want a microwave life, stick it in the micro and it’s ready in 3 minutes, your life is not like that and you cannot change in 1 day, unless something drastic happens.
You can work on more than 1 destructive thinking pattern at a time.

To recap

To change your thinking pattern you have to

Recognise
Be aware
Slowly change and introduce a new thinking pattern
Keep working on all your destructive thinking patterns

Change your life with your new way of thinking

Recognising and changing your way of thinking can be a long process depending on what patterns of thinking you employ and how badly you want to change. People can change, do change and change for the rest of their lives, I know I have, so don’t be thinking you’ll never be able to change, you can and you will if you really want to.

After a few months you will see a huge difference in your life and you will want to use your new way of thinking to good effect. You will start to notice new types of people enter into your life who can help you reach the goals you have in life and in turn you will help them reach their goals, don’t worry about how just now.
Take time to think about your goals and take the time often to do this. I take time every day to think about where I want to be in life and slowly but surely it happens. Personally I find it better in the morning to really think about my goals and then again at night just before I am falling asleep. It works for me but you will have to experiment a little to find your way of thinking about your goals.

I hope this article has helped you a little. If you feel you would like to say something about it why not leave a comment.

Some Amazing Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Larry Jackson says:

    Perception Therapy is a way to change the way you perceive and think via MIND-BODY-SPIRIT-ENVIROMENT. It makes you aware of your way of destructive thinking. Changing ones perception is not as had as you think. Journal the way you percieve life and reorganize your way of thinking into a positive way thru Mind,Body,Spirit and Invironment.

  2. Steve, it sounds so simple when people say “stop thinking that way” – when in fact most of us have been conditioned since childhood to think a certain way. For me life change has certainly come as a result of changing my thoughts, it was simple, but certainly not easy. I have to monitor my thoughts closely moment by moment and keep check on the negatives.
    When first practicing this new way it seems an uphill battle, but I can confirm that with attention the results can be amazing.
    Keep putting the message out there to help others, it is important information that people need to hear.

  3. This article is really old, but I just wanted to say I loved reading it, it really made me feel good. All the stuff you said, I already knew, I just needed confirmation and you gave me that. I’ve just come out of a depressed state, it lasted about 5 days and really got me down. My main problem is destructive self criticism, I beat myself up, make myself feel guilty for not accomplishing set goals by unrealistic deadlines. Its like, its not me though… I’ve just gained control of my thoughts again, its almost like a fight between me (the outgoing, positive, happy version) and me (the cold,bitter, negative, cynical version) and the positive me has to shout down the negative me and regain control. Changing my thought pattern is my number one priority, i just need to allow myself time. I believe changing my thought pattern to a more positive one, will keep that negative version of me suppressed, where it belongs.

  4. I love this.. I have so many emotionally and mental struggles right now. My question is.. How would you implement this when you have low self esteem?

  5. karina corona says:

    Good Job!. Very helpful and motivational. Today I noticed that my life is a sequence of “bad” events/patterns it made me feel down. This article is showing me that I should not be so quick to label my entire life as “bad” but bad moments and good as well. I recognize that I need to work on it and my perspective on life is progressing slowly but surely each day. Kudos keep it up!

  6. Demetrius says:

    I definitely have some of the destructive thinking patterns and would love to change them. I thank you greatly for this article. I will begin working on this as soon as possible and I hope it works as well for me as it did for you.

  7. Hi, I just want to share something. This has come about for me after many years of struggling with my deeply ingrained negative thoughts, including work with two cbt (cognitive behavioural therapy) therapists…I have now found that if as soon as something triggers for example sad feelings I ask ‘what memory [do I have] that will give the opposite feeling to this? a memory comes that gives a happy feeling and this neutralises the effect of the sad thought so I feel balanced and not under the control of the negative thought/negative feeling. That’s a strategy that works for me, why not try it for yourself!

    • I just want to say Thank you so very much!!!. I cried like a baby while reading this information. I am ready to begin my journey of positive thinking. I am going to follow you so that I can help others the way youve helped me today.

  8. Hey Steve! I was stuck in a weird situation and I googled “Am I a negative person?” This way I came across your blog and I’d like to tell you what my problem is. I think negatively about every possible thing out there. Even if I plan anything and start imagining it to take place positively, every time it turns out to be the opposite. Even if I think about negative things, they take shape in no longer time. I am scared literally! Is it due to my negative thoughts that these things are taking place or are they destined to take place? I don’t know and I am seriously disturbed! I am unable to concentrate on other things and I can’t afford to lose people due to this. Can you please help me out?

    • Nitu, congratulations! You are developing awareness, which is the first (and most crucial) step to changing any behavior. I’m sad that no one responded to your post previously, especially when you shared how scared you are. I want to share a thought that may be incredibly strange to you: there is nothing to fear. You have allowed fear to become the central pivot of your life, and this negativity is strangling you, and you know it. But what if you have been hypnotized into believing in something that does not exist? You asked “Is it due to my negative thoughts that these things are taking place or are they destined to take place?”

      Imagine a child on Christmas morning who believes in Santa Claus as this loving man who is bringing presents just for him. He wakes up with expectancy and hope, feeling special and magical because of what he believes, and no matter what he gets, his mind will create a story of how Santa picked that toy for him. He will find joy, because he expects it. Meanwhile, another child believes Santa to be a judgmental, punishing man who gives bad toys to bad boys. No matter what he receives, he will feel a let down, seeing that other children got better presents than him.

      Our beliefs are our creations, and once we create, we will defend our creations, even if they harm us.

      You are much like that second child. The world scares you because you believe it to be a frightening place. Go back to your statement, “I don’t know.” That is the key to your breakthrough because the truth in you is beginning to question your creation. When you re-create a new belief, you create a new life!

      You know that something is not working; your way of thinking about the world is NOT getting you what you want. Alcoholics say, “My best thinking got me in this mess.” Say to yourself, “My ways have served me in the past. They allowed me to survive to this moment in time, and for that, I am grateful. Now, though, it’s time to learn new ways because my old ways aren’t getting me what I want. For so long I have consistently chosen fear. Now it is time to choose the opposite.”

      What is the opposite of fear, Nitu? What would you have to know to be true in order to allow you to make each choice from this new belief? What would you have to know in your heart to leave your negativity behind? CHOOSE now to know it!

      Please let me know how that sits with you. Does any of what I wrote help?
      Leslie recently posted..The Overly-Emotional Trap and How to Get Out For Good

  9. This is the great instances ever i have seen in the net. i have come across most of the instances you described, i am in the process of getting rid of all destructive thinking which i named it differently which you named here bit different.

  10. Thanks for putting the time, effort, and money to make this website happen. Recently I’ve been noticing how severely my negative thought patterns have been holding me back. It was to the point where it felt like I was attracting quite a lot of negative attention. It was as though I was causing negative things to happen to me.
    My situation was thus: I stayed with the same company for four years without a raise, I starting getting really irritated with the work I was doing and the environment I was in. I was having trouble keeping up with school work and work work. I didn’t want to address the situation with my manager because I feared I would lose my job or that should would not be willing to work with me.
    So the more I kept with the same pattern of thoughts, the more I would perpetuate and assist the challenges I was facing. It got worse and worse, and then I crashed. I couldn’t bring myself to even start my homework or study. I was showing up late for work, and slept through a shift which got me fired. For a week afterwards I was pretty down and out.
    That’s when I decided it was time to try tinkering with the magic of belief. I was surprised by the way I would put myself down and how it was narrowing my options, and I definitely had a sense or non-deserving. Before I decided to battle the negative thoughts I believed that some of the negative thoughts might be beneficial to my struggle, so I kept them around. I have read quite a bit on how powerful and influential thoughts are, so I decided the first step would be to drop the attitude of “motivation through negative reinforcement.”
    Now I try to find the good in the bad, and I focus on the good while not allowing myself to pay attention to the bad. Then it was just a matter of time before my thought patterns adjusted. I’ve usually been a happy person in general, but I’m much happier now, and I feel comfortable where I used to feel alienated and insecure. I wish I had come across this site when I was going through all that, you have a good method laid out for those who need a starting point. I’m still working on the adjustment, I still find myself being negative at times, but the ball is rolling and I’ve been experiencing more and more positivity as I hum along. It’s amazing how we get into that mindset and how it alters our interactions and our experiences. I was astonished to observe my life getting better and better. Options opened up, and good/helpful things just started happening. It’ll be a while before I can completely free my mind of destructive thought patterns, but so as long as I keep an open mind and try to track my thoughts life will just keep getting better and better.
    I hope my little speel here helps out, I wish I could give you credit for my success, but I can say that your suggestions are exactly what I ended up doing, and am still doing. It’s comforting to see that you all are working on defining and addressing the issues associated with of negative thought patterns. It will help many. It’s funny how it sort of builds itself within you without you noticing. Thankfully we can reverse that and build a positive framework. I’m interested to see and hear from other people how their lives change when they start to address the negativity. Learning how to use your intent will make the task easier, then you can let the positive thoughts buildup just like the negative ones did without having to dissect and analyze every thought you have.
    GOOD LUCK ALL! “POSITIVE VIBRATION, YEAH! POSITIVE” Bob Marley

  11. your way of thinking makes your life, this is 100% true i.e. why to think that you are not happy …. this will make negative feelings that will affect your emotional and physical well being. Can I change the way, yes off course, think your are happy, this again will affect your emotional and physical well being. You will feel much better and you will improve your life, it is a step by step process that will lead you by the end to your goals. I experienced this and I believe in this, it is important that we spend time to discover the relationships between our mind, thoughts and emotions and then make these three elements work correctly.

  12. Anamika says:

    really good article……iam at the third stage……will change my negative thought to positive from today itself even from now it self…..

    thanx for your kind information

    anamika

  13. Catriona says:

    hello steven, i am looking for your advice, i am a very negative thinker and i find it very hard to communicate with people my own age because i’m so negative about myself what should i do.?

    • I’m not steven but I think I can help out here, I can at least share what I went through. If your negative thoughts are staying around despite your efforts and its interfering with your day to day interactions, then to me it seems like your beliefs are what you need to focus on to help eliminate the negative thoughts. When you get a negative thought, try to track its origin. We develop a belief system all throughout life which has a profound effect on our thought patterns. You might be holding on to premature/unpolished beliefs and going back over them is just about the best thing you can do. You change all the time, but the belief remains the same until you do a check up on its validity. If you can track a negative thought to a particular belief, then reanalyze that belief and try to adjust that belief so that you prevent that negative thought from reappearing. Really concentrate on it so that you capture its entirety and then make the proper adjustment.
      If you can’t figure out why you had a negative thought, try to reproduce the thought in a positive way, repeat the altered thought a few times and concentrate on what you intend to happen with that thought.
      If that don’t work do your best to deny it and get it outta yer head, thoughts have a way of building up, so I suggest if you can’t locate the source of the thought, or adjust it, forget it even happened as soon as possible. Distract yourself with an activity, it worked for me when I was quitting smoking.
      I just came across this site, I started putting more effort and focus into controlling my thoughts a few months ago when I was really down and out. I’m trilled to see so much activity on this page.
      Anyways, when my thoughts started tending towards the positive side I found myself having much better encounters with others, I made a lot of good friends over the past two months. I was caught up in insecurity and doubts, and now I realize how it affected the way I was interacting with people. I restricted my speech and thought bad of people, I’m still working out the kinks. I alienated myself, but it wasn’t my personality that kept me away from others, it wasn’t that I was different, it was my doubts and my insecurity that restricted me from connecting to others. You’re not going to be able to get along with everyone, and others are experiencing the same problems, but you’ll notice a difference. It’s funny to look back on myself, and what I would do.
      I hope this will help, everyone’s different. You’ll get better results if you dig deep into your psyche and take suggestions, but realize that you may need to make adjustments to the plan to personalize it and make it work better for you. No one is capable of fully understanding how you operate and how you got there. You won’t be able to prepare yourself for all the interactions you’ll have, it’s best to be as truthful as possible with yourself, if you’re unsure, don’t assume its a beneficial belief. Eventually you’ll become more comfortable and confident, and you won’t be held back by trying to connect, you just WILL connect. And if you’re like me you won’t be going back over your conversation thinking about what you said and what you wanted to say. I used to over analyze my daily interactions, and I would feel embarassed sometimes. Occassionaly I still do, but I don’t hold the thought as long because the more I try to prepare for that happening again, the more I disconnect with being in the moment and the less prepared I am for meeting new people in new situations and different settings.
      Sorry this is become a novel, I don’t mean to pour out my success story on you, shucks I’m not even close to having a pure mind. I hope you can take something from what I typed here.

      • one last thing, recently I’ve been making friends with different age groups. Older folks are always willing to give advice and help, and younger ones are eager to learn. Don’t believe that you have any sort of obligation to have friends the same age. Some of my best friends are a few years younger. Now that I’ve been eliminating the negative thoughts and doubts that I had concerning befriending and conversing with older people, I’ve realized how many great conversations I missed out on and the connections I could have made. Don’t get caught up in trying to stay within societal norms and sticking with your generation, you might end up missing out like I did.

  14. Catriona says:

    Hello steven,

  15. Thanks for the article.. It is really helpful and most importantly practical to find out our destructive thinking patterns. And the way you used the examples are pretty good. please do continue to help people like me who wanted to change but doesn’t know how and where to start… And i think now i got to know what i have to change….. thanks a lot once again… Good one.

  16. I see many of these patterens in my thinking and its causings problems in my marriage,Thanks for having this site to help me view what im thinking and give me what I need to change,Sincerley scott

  17. Thank you an unbelievable put up, may read your particular others topics. thanks for your thinking for this, I experienced a trifle strike by this short article. Many thanks again! You wanna make an excellent moment. Displays the beauty through excellent info here. I feel that in case more people considered it like that, they’d have got a better moment in time receive the grasp ofing the difficulty.

  18. I would love to think positively, both my son and I are negative thinkers. It’s a pretty miserable excistence.

  19. i think people need to look on the brighter side of things anyway, because even if things are bad, whats the whole point in worrying about it anyway? it will just make things worse. I know thats easy to say but just lean on others and listen to what they have to say, if need be. If you can make that bad situation go away or turn it into something better, more power to you. OH and be thankful for things too. there is always someone else who has it harder off then you do, and if you notice that, give them a hand, youll feel better and make them feel better as well.

  20. It,s really no new-age enlightened solution, it’s just so few can ever implement the practice to change themselves for the good.It’s too much like work for most..

  21. The thing is.......... says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm the thing is ‘not to think but do’ sometimes if you complete something without thinking it through it actually turns out a lot better……………. as in you know you are not under pressure for a certain time limit, e.g. you have a week to study for an important exam, but you keep putting it off because you know you have plenty of time, then the night before you realise you are doomed and try to pull a fast one and ‘call in sick’, this just leads too enourmous pressure. My view honestly is putting quality and not quanitity into something, but like you said some people know how to do something they just don’t know how or have the courage to face change such as myself at the moment. I’m probably the youngest replying to this but I’m not revealing my age :P

    • “Don’t just think you are faster, know you are faster” Morpheus.

      I’ve been trying to find a way to respond without writing a five page letter, I believe this quote will suffice.

      Next time you’re tossing something in the trash, don’t think. When I stopped trying to perfect my shots, I got perfect shots, go figure.

  22. I knew this little old woman years ago who was so wise. She taught me the 3 A’s-Acknowledge, Accept, Action. She helped me deal with my thoughts by comparing it to playing the Harlem Globetrotters. Long story short… I learned to stop playing their game and eventually was able to stop my destructive thinking patterns. Great article Steve (again lol).
    stephen recently posted..Quotes To Remember

  23. If you really want to take control and discreate your impairing beliefs easily, check out on the Avatar-training.
    This training really changed my life and gave me a set of tools which I can use if I want to.
    Avatar really goes one step further and also gives you the space you need to freely experience who you are and what it is about.

    Check it out!

  24. Ramandeep Sidhu says:

    The biggest battle that we all fight in life is with our own mind. Sadly most lose it. Most people have no patterns of thinking, which is why, they are left with endless assaults of fruitless thoughts and left wishing and wandering for more.

  25. It all makes sense..” You are what you think”.. My bible teacher taught me that years ago and it really helped me understand a lot about myself. I’ve been going through a huge life adjustment and I feel postive about this challenge. I know I can do anything and I feel true happiness and peace within.

  26. Hi,

    Your article is good, but sorry it could not help me as I didn’t find my thought pattern there :(

    I know you cannot put all the possible thought patterns exist, but I guess the way I think must be there as it can be the problem of many.

    Is there a personal way or place other than this where I can explain you how strangely I think, may be you can add it here and provide me some solution.

    Thanks

  27. Great to have this blog to read and write..what do you do when you feel that there is more to this life then what we have already! I feel there is an other layer that needs to be discovered .. an other layer that comes in your life everynow and again…but it feels to strange to accept it! No one speaks about it and people might feel confused and bad to talk about it …. this layer will coe to life with awareness and light!

  28. kashaf Ali says:

    in my 20 years life,i have been faced so many ups & downs.i always think that why this was happened with me? why i am not satisfied with my life? etc..but now i hope so,i’ll change my thought;-) thank you SIR..

  29. I appologize, I did not take the time to read every comment here but one thing that comes to mind is that if you do not accept humility and compassion with your positive envisionment, you can make others feel less and insecure, therefore having a negative effect on people who have not developed the same ability for self confidence and assurance as yourself. As my own experience goes, often when others seem over confident and positive, they can come across as arrogent and self absorbed which can result in either disallusament or resentment. I’m sorry if my words are not clear, I am not the most skilled in my own native language, but in summaryI think that even with a strong sense of self assuredness comes the responsibility of being cautious not seem to elevate ourselves above those around us. Strength is not to be gained by being better than others. Strength is gained by being the best person that you can be which as far as I know also means recognizing the good in everyone. Yes, everybody’s reality is different, but I think that it is important that we accomodate as best we can the reality of those around us. It is a delicate balance..

    • After reading all 8 negative thought patterns I felt as though this article could be titled ‘The Inner Workings Of Lindsay’s Brain’!

      It was so bang on and unfortunately I struggle with all of them. Some more than others but nevertheless all of them. This got me to thinking that if someone who has never met me could write an article and describe what goes on in my head and what I live with on a daily basis then these negative thought patters are very common and crippling for many many people. Either that or Steven has telepathy! Ha. So in turn what I wonder about is are we really all that different? No one shares my reality? That can’t be right because after reading ALOT of these intelligent well written responses to this article I felt less alone, LESS different. That’s what is amazing and so healing about support groups. Of course different behaviours and different experiences, past present and future will not be the same but from what I’ve just been reading on here it sure seems that we have all ended up in the same boat. Perhaps how we all got here doesn’t really matter or set us apart because the end result is the same. Each of those 8 points aren’t just ‘generally speaking either’ It’s accurate right down to the very phrases and words that replay in my head on a regular basis. One would not be able to read my mind with such accuracy without ever meeting me if no one shared my reality or perception and then also offer helpful solutions that work! That’s another great part about relating to one another for support and motivation that it can get better. There is a way to turn it all around and it should never be too late to do so no matter at what age or how different our lives, backgrounds and personalities may be. Just have to want it bad enough.
      So, just sharing my thoughts, maybe I’m wrong but just wanted to put that out there. I found everyone’s comments on here helpful, kind and supportive. I don’t feel so alone and most certainly more hopeful in changing it.
      Thank you to all. :)
      L.

  30. Perhaps the wrong place for this comment. I rely on sites like this to keep me positive. Have a home, family, husband who loves and respects me a good job and supportive family. Yet I feel so desolute alone and testy most of the time. Feel like I can’t get any pleasure out of life and I’m struggling to keep playing all these roles and do whats needed. Am I going mad?

  31. Don’t you just love it how people reduce articles about changing cognition and literally repatternign neural pathways into “Affirmations Work!” They really, seriously don’t. Not for someone who is seriously hampered by reduced brain function. Positive thinking isn’t possible for everyone, but retraining the mind and changing the functionality of the brain IS possible for most. This article was about that process, largely. Recent studies done in the Dan Gilbert world of positive psychology clearly shows that people who have suffered clinical depression and are recovering are more likely to have a more realistic and grounded view of what’s going on, and less likely to succumb to wishful thinking that never goes anywhere. In fact, those who avoid their own “darkness” end up handicapped, less able to deal positively with the vagaries of life. Really, no one person or view should be reduced to a better/worse scenario. What you call “negative” maybe just be an inability to deal with another person’s realism. Before judging a person as “negative, check yourself: Maybe you just *don’t like them* (which is fine—you don’t have to). I just find it ironically humorous when people who claim to be “positive” denigrate others who don’t appear to be the same. Pardon me for asking, but isn’t your judgment kind of, well… negative?

  32. Pynnette Mureithi says:

    Great article.i realized afew days ago that i have always been a victim of circumstances why?because i have always had a victim mentality.i am sure with the measures i am now taking well,thats all changing now.thanks!

  33. Arun Kumar says:

    All things are not understandable eg ‘Should, would, could’ Thinking pattern – This type of person knows what they have to do to change their life, they are capable and they know it and they would do it if only……… e.g. “I know I could go to university and I would, but I’m just to busy with other things right now, I’ll apply next year.”

  34. Thank you for this very informational and inspirational article. This is very real! Ways to change are very practical too.

  35. Rabinson Maharjan says:

    This is an Awesome Article…..I want to ask a question..I watched the movie “The Secret”.It taught me that what you think comes before you.Is it true?I had thought a lot about accident happening to me.Will it come true?Please reply!Please!

  36. hi there,

    just a quick question. Can methamphetamine change your way of thinking? for example, if someone was to assume something happened or believed something happened, do they try to make that thought reality and reality becomes fact and to them fact becomes true?

  37. Great message Steve….As a person who has rid myself of self-limiting thoughts and behaviors, I couldn’t agree more. People need to realize that we can “push reset on life” and reboot our brains! I am a huge proponent of an “I Will” attitude (and blogged about this at http://www.recoverfitblog.wordpress.com). If you use the words “I Will” instead of “I can, I should,or I want to,” a new mindset based on productivity and confidence is created! Take care…Scott

  38. qn 1 : can anyone give some examples of negative thinking pattern which commonly people show in a work place ??

    qn 2 : how to check the thinking pattern of my employee??

    qn 3 : any questions to check thinking pattern in work place??

    please try to respond as soon as possible

    thanks :)

  39. My boyfriend and I have been fighting a lot lately. He says I say things wrong and I don’t know how to talk right. I really want to change. He always points out to me that I take things negatively and put my defence up. Sometimes I feel he takes what I say the wrong way, and sometimes I do get what hes saying, but I still feel like im not being negative by what I said.I really want to work on my thinking skills and how I say things. Its just hard when he is always pointing every small little thing out to me. Like for example, The other day I said “HEY!” excitely when I called him and he answered and he got mad bc I said it like I had something important to tell him, when really I was just excited to talk to him. How can I work on this when I don’t completely think I am negative? I want to change so bad for me and for him.

  40. Sadly I can relate to all 8 :( I am in a terrible rutt and dont know how to claw my way out!! Even after reading how I feel none of it applies to me.

    • Pigbitin Mad says:

      I don’t know. I know there are much bigger losers out there than me, but I just don’t see how “BEE-lieiving in my self” (to coin a very 1970′s phrase) is going to make any difference. It’s really all about your age and when you are over the hill nobody will hire you. It doesn’t matter if you are smarter than everyone else. Of course, it doesn’t help that I am a really bad ass kisser and I will tell people the truth.

  41. Destructive indeed. I myself sometimes is guilty of “Unsubstantiated conclusive” and the “Should, could, would” thinking patterns.

  42. I’m always thinking positive just recently had an encounter with an all friend who just dropped some really negative stuff on me. I tried to reach out to my other friends for help to obtain a good vibe to feel better ..an i could not reached them i also constantly dream an imagine a better situation always looking for ways to feel good an take action. but I don’t see results i’m get so frustrated because i always believe an everything you are saying but i feel i’m fitting something makes me feel i’m not in control when i don’t see realization i’m sick of this feeling waiting waiting an waiting for things to happen i feel so alone sometimes thinking i do my part but nothing happens why is this? is my desire it should come true is the law no?

  43. Thank you for writing this article! My whole life has been almost all pain and sadness and I’m going to change my negative thinking, and other habits as well…I really believe doing that will turn me around completely. Thank you again for this article!!!

  44. omg!! i wish i had read this a long time ago, am filled with negative thoughts i think am at a point i beleive everyting that is negative. i was so blinded by pain, hurt, i think everyone hates me everyone is talking about me.the list goes on and on, am glad i click on this link, cause today just today after reading this, i long for change i want to change and reading this has help a lot, am on a new journey finding myself loving myself and changing my thoughts… thanks alot, i think you have just save a life cause i was heading down that road of ending it all. thanks again.

  45. Great feedback: positive thinking is not wishful thinking. It’s having a clear understanding of what is happening and why. It’s being real with yourself and making sure you are not blaming others for where you are in life. A winning combination is positive thinking and being emotionally mature. We live in a society where adults throw temper tantrums like toddlers over the most simplest things. The reason most people find it difficult to think positively is due the amount of negative reinforcement they receive on a daily basis. Humans are the only species who can change the course of their lives at will. Other species are hard wired to respond based on instincts and adaptability. Just a thought

  46. lamiae mghari says:

    hello i am 23 years old i am Moroccan my request is i had always the same issue about asking myself consentingly why am i always wrong why people always get to understand me in a weird wrong way it hurts me when i get back to myself and think is it my fault or what! i tried every way possible to explain but i found out that what am saying is not what am thinking am having a hard time to let people see the real me and not judge me for being stupid without i even know but when the question cammed to my mind i Google it so i found your blog and it helped but am still struggling if you can please help me get out from the mess am having in my life i will appreciate it very much.

  47. Thank u for your comments

  48. i love your work, the little write up on your blog i read this morning really touch me

  49. Wonderful! I definitely say YES to positive thinking. It’s crazy how people keep using a negative vocabulary even when trying to be positive about things. Being optimistic and changing our thoughts pattern is definitely something that has to be learned as this society doesn’t help with that at all!

    Thank you! Love the website BTW. :)
    Louise – Affiliate Marketing Guide recently posted..Make Money Being An Affiliate- Dos and Don’ts!

  50. Thank you Steven for your sincerety. I’ve been on self-growth & personal development for about 3 years now (: it’s amazing, the positive changes that has happened with just the small effort I’ve made throughout the years. There are times though that I regress back to old thinking patterns, & seek inspirational articles such as yours. Thanks again!!!

  51. Thank You! Amazing article. You never quite realise how much all of these things, that you tell yourself, affect you. I thought I was a positive person, however, reading this I have noticed that I still let certain negative thoughts creep in. I’m all for personal development and cant wait to start on changing these patterns!! How exciting!! Thanks again Steve :)

  52. Jessenia Marrero says:

    This was very helpful! I’m trying to build a business and become a successful entrepeneur but I have those self destructive thoughts holding me back. I took some good notes and will definitely start to apply this to my life immediately. Thank you so much! -Jessie

  53. Thank You for sharing important, basics on how I used to think & feel! We as humans, have a way of changing our way of being, without notice, due to lifes personal ups & downs…..

  54. JACKSON OWENGA says:

    As youre talking to me am blessed

  55. The ‘first’ step was finding out that destructive thought patterns even exist~ I learned so much from this article. Its nice to label what I’ve been doing. Got a way to go…but I’m going~

  56. I like your tips..i am sure it will help me in my wonderfull life.
    Thanks and Regards
    Maninder Singh Panesar

  57. Really destructive thinking patterns! They should be changed first of all when trying to change your life!
    Roman Soluk recently posted..7 simple health hacks that increase your energy levels

  58. Excellent! I find myself following that part of thinking …. I chang a untrue thought into another version that is more kind to myself… BOY DOES IT WORK!!!!!!

  59. amazing….think I’ve been through every single one of these thinking patterns nd the funny thng is that when i read i realised. And once you retrain yourself, you tend to notice other people using them more, as you did with us . thanks a lot.

  60. oH, DEAR sTEVEN, I GET ALL THOSE THINKING PATTERNS i AM DESPERATE WHAT CAN I DO??/ PLEASE HELP ME!

  61. Thanks for the tips. You changed my life for the better.

  62. also another favourite of mine i always like to keep in mind is the buddhist expression”much of what you believe in life is an illusion” and positive attracts negative repels..bye bye.

  63. Replace the bad with the good that`s a simple idea which i will remember and make a start on right away actually. :p

  64. Thank you for these tips. I especially liked thinking about the fact that we all live in our own worlds – this explains so much and will help me to realise why we all react differently to life.

  65. Always good advice Steve! The “Feeling Good” (by Dr.David Burns) book that Chris Adkins mentions is a really good foundational tool for taking baby steps in changing negitive thinking and thoughts. I read this book back in the 80′s and it was a life changer for sure. It is a step by step guide for analyzing your thoughts in an attempt to discount all the negative self defeating ones. It is like taking baby steps to not only changing negative thinking but understanding it as well. It would save many thousands on self help books and Anthony Robbins seminars and costs only about $15 on Amazon. I very rarely see this book referenced, but it is by far the most comprehensive and helpful out there.
    Keep up the good work. Any Blog that helps is a blessing.

  66. Maybe I could start a blog :)

  67. This article’s perspectives were logical, simple, and efficient. I tend to reach a place where I implement great strategies to improve my well-being and release destructive habits… then after about a month or two, I give up/find something else to do. It’s largely due to wanting everything to be perfect immediately, as well as running from the deeper wounds that are inevitably encountered when you decide to become comfortable with yourself.
    When I don’t see immediate results (emotionally, physically, or otherwise), I sometimes freak out and give up on the strategy and myself, believing that I am not worthwhile or that I am broken somehow.
    The truth is, it’s a conscious lifestyle change. It takes time, dedication, and consistency.
    I’ve about had it with the destructive patterns. Why wade through decades of fuzzy thoughts and a victimized/frantic reality?
    Just do the work.

  68. Very interesting article. I think we all have a tiny bit of each of these inside us, some more than others.
    .-= Trevor´s last blog ..Today’s Goal: No more gossip sessions =-.

  69. Change your thoughts to positive ones will change your life in a profound way.

  70. In families and on the job, jumping to the ‘wrong’ conclusions due to emotion based assumptions seems to be running rampant. Giving the benefit of the doubt rarely exist.

    Recognizing the error in ‘our’ thinking not blaming ‘them’ is key to change. Funny thing happens, suddenly they change!

  71. Another great article Steve. It help immensely that you’ve so clearly summarized each issue.

    One of the things I run into, is being overwhelmed with all the things I have going on. So a concise list and recap is an easy format to follow.

  72. These thinking patterns are similar to those described in a recent blog post of mine regarding overcoming negative thinking. A really good source for learning to overcome these types of cognitive distortions is “Feeling Good” by Dr. David Burns, MD. He describes 10 common cognitive distortions, or destructive thinking patterns, in detail then outlines methods for overcoming them. The approach is commonly referred to as cognitive-behavioral, which works on the premise that our thought control our attitudes and moods, not the other way around.

    Great post. I look forward to reading more!
    .-= Chris Akins´s last blog ..What is reality? =-.

  73. I like this post. I relate to this one as I have recently begun the same changes. Replace the negative with the positive.
    .-= Joshua Shear´s last blog ..How to expand readership? Our Mission =-.

  74. Reading this list was like listening to someone describing my attitude. I think it’s time for a change! Thanks for the wakeup call

  75. I’ve looked everywhere for this kind of advice on changing destructive thinking patterns. It’s brilliant. Thank you.

  76. “When you really desire something with your heart & soul, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it… – Paulo Coelho (‘The Alchemist’).”

    make sure that you desire positivity and not negativity, because either way, you will succeed !!!

  77. I think you bring up some excellent points about changing your thought patterns by introducing a positive one to take place of a negative one. It is so true that we can control out minds in that way–if you do it long enough, it becomes something you teach your mind and becomes habit.

    There’s a reason that those extremely positive, happy, energetic people always have good things happen to them. There’s a guy I met in college who lives a truly charmed life. Opportunities present themselves to him, good things always happen to him, his luck is amazing. It took me a while to realized it’s because his attitude is so positive, he’s never down on himself, he just keeps on moving forward and smiling.

    It’s true that you can shape your mind and literally become the person you want to become. There is so much negativity out there. It just takes effort–as you point out–to instill the changes necessary to change your thought patterns.
    .-= Chris´s last blog ..Four Ways to Promote Your Blog and Gain a Following =-.

  78. Hi, this is a great post.. To get rid of this thinking pattern needs time, we need to get accustomed to the new mindset and let it be our new habit as time goes on
    .-= Darmawan´s last blog ..Sony PS3 Slim Official Specifications =-.

  79. this is really helpful to come out from nervous thinking and try to become a creative.

  80. Eren

    Thanks for your comments I really appreciate them. It’s amazing how switched off people are to their own feelings and even more amazing that they are not willing to accept help or listen.

    Thanks for the tweet.
    .-= steven aitchison´s last blog ..How to develop true courage =-.

  81. Wow! I am definitely going to tweet this article. How completely insightful!
    I have been noticing in the last year that people that I truly love have negative thought patterns and this affects all of the decisions that they make (in a bad way).
    They can’t even see things from a different perspective. They only see the bad. It’s amazing. I try to show them and they get really mad at me so I have to just not say anything in order to not provoke an argument.
    I’m teaching my boys to think in a positive manner and I believe it is really helping them.
    This article is awesome.
    All the best,
    Eren
    .-= Eren Mckay´s last blog ..Discover these sun safety tips for summer protection =-.

  82. its nice to know how to came out negative to positive.

  83. I think I’ve been through every single one of these thinking patterns over the years. And once you retrain yourself, you tend to notice other people using them more, as you did with your friend.

  84. Negative thinking can really inhibit your ability to succeed, which is why eliminating the negativity is crucial if you are to succeed past your current limits. If you think you are just mediocre and cannot get past mediocrity, then you won’t have a chance. While positive thinking doesn’t necessarily mean you will succeed at that attempt, at least you will have had a chance because you will just try again.

  85. It is worth reading and it can be used to make a personal evaluation how one thinks.

    George karunakkal

    g.karunakkal’s great blog post..What You Grow inside Grows Outside

  86. farzana says:

    i found this article very helpful as i am working on deconstruction of thinking patterns. hope i will see more such helpful articles

  87. #1 Challenge yourself to write something from your own experience
    #2 Start using something outside of the box
    #3 Remember that fresh is better than out of date
    #4 Be someone who thinks about helping others
    #5 Expect to see yourself going somewhere other have not gone
    #6 Never settle for the same old stuff
    #7 Read something new every once in a while

  88. I like what you have done.

  89. Great piece of work I like this.

  90. I have problem with negativity thinking. I guess i assume people won’t like me and assume people are thinking bad about me. It just that people do make bad faces sometimes and i takeit personally. oh well, try harder next time. and also do you think i should try affirmations? helen

  91. Really Nice Tips. Thanks For sharing the Useful tips. In Mind People are Think the 2 types one is Positive thinking and second is Negative Thinking.

  92. I tend to be too critical of myself and guilty of those items in the list that effect a person to hard on themselves. Thanks for posting this. :)

  93. sorry i didnt know you can spell it two different ways my bad for the negative thinking

  94. if you think youre so smart and anylitical you should learn how to spell recognise

  95. Special thanks from Lebanon for your advice :)

  96. Nice and very productive article. It has some some of my confusions……..I just like to know……Why and how negative thinking pattern is developed?

    Zubair
    Pakistan

  97. I definitely fall in to that “should, would, could” trap of thinking. I always over analyze everything but lately have been forcing myself to “do” instead of just consider.

  98. This is really tough for me… I have always been a negative thinker. I have been trying to change my train of thought it is just difficult to do so when I am so trained to my old way of thinking. Anyways, thanks for the post!

  99. Also check out a great book, “The Optimistic Child” that talks about how thinking patterns impact who you become.

    http://www.elementsofmemory.com
    http://trevorponder.com

  100. ‘They’re all wrong’ Thinking pattern – You see everyone as incapable of doing anything right and your way is the best way to do it e.g. “He can’t do it right, I’ll stay late tonight and fix it when he’s gone.”

    I used to act like this but then i learn t that it is in working with others that we achieve the best results.

  101. Positive thinking is what it’s all about! When you start to get those negative thoughts, instead of thinking about what you don’t want, or what you don’t want to happen, focus on what you do want, and what you do want to happen!

  102. Its a very good article. I found it in the heat of my anger and negative thinking… And now im calmer… Thanks! :)

    Im 21, full time uni student and i still live at home with conservative parents. I find that when im at home, thats when most the negative thoughts start… And i think its because every1 at home has mostly negative thoughts… I cant escape it. They say that they dont have a problem and that im the 1 with the problem. I dont have my own space, so isolating myself from them is just not an option…

    My question is, how does one stay positive when there are so many inescapable negative influences around?

  103. Life will always have its ups and downs; this is why it’s called life.

    But each and every one of us has the ability to change our destiny just by our thought process.

    Negative thinking will always produce more negative results!

    Positive thinking will always produce positive results as long as you become part of the solution, and apply yourself to get them!

  104. may G and I be happy, grow together, accept each other, build trust,love and caring.

  105. Author Debbie Ford has a book about 10 questions that can change our lives and one of them is, “Am I looking for what’s right or am I looking for what’s wrong?” Pretty powerful question. It’s simply about >awareness<! Is it really helpful to be doom and gloom?

  106. personal experience of life has taught me that positive attitudes can determine who and what comes into our lives it is not always possible to be in control of circumstances o r people but we can make choices every cloud has a silver lining

  107. Change your thoughts to positive ones will change your life in a profound way.

    http://www.inspirationforchange.com

  108. What you think about, you bring about. I agree with Pjean, I have a negative friend who has many negative things happen to her and I think she brings it on herself. It must be awful to feel that much hate.

  109. So right on. I had in one conversation these responses. “I can’t help it. That’s easy for you. You know how not to let things get to you.” It’s too bad that when the lesson needs to be learned that the teacher comes but the student doesn’t listen. They can’t see through the haze of their own self-limiting behaviors and beliefs until it’s too late.

  110. I would like to thank you for writing this article. I sometimes ‘get stuck’, and this article is just the thing to bail me out.

  111. Diane, You said that you have all three books free on-line. I would so much appriciate it if you would share the link to access those books.

    Steve – I have read many articles ect. reguarding positive thinking. I loved your article and I think it’s important for us all to get a reminder sometimes to take check on the way we are currently thinking. Sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves in this crazy world. Thanks!

  112. You can always try to see the positives in life. And you manifest in your life what you focus most on. A book called the secret teaches about giving thanks everyday. Remembering the things you are grateful for always helps banish these destructive thought patterns

  113. Anonymous says:

    Some of these things are correct, but you can’t always look at life in a positive way. Thinking positive all the time leads to expectations and anxiety, and if you do get let down, it feels so much worse

  114. I think this post pretty much summarises why the power of positive thinking is so important, and that if the majority of depressed or unhappy people could recognise the “triggers” or the patterns in their thinking, the world would be a happier place.

  115. you want to be happy in life you don’t get it free show your wild life the love you have for them feed them in the garden turn to your home and look at it think wow what a lovely home I love my room and space no I dont need nothing roof over my head food in my mouth friends family I got what I need but if it comes to me it’s an extra bonus why is it feeding the birds am I a good person well you will have to wait and see what comes to you but be wise with it.if it’s allot think of retirement at 50 with property and enjoy life to the full if your single married could loose half we all live in a jungle if your rich marry someone rich. if your not good luck I am a sentient of life never be rich but love the life helping others take care in all who reads me.

  116. Sandwhich says:

    How come peanut butter taste like peanuts?

  117. Denver S says:

    I have a lot of anger problems in my life and that causes the people close to me think of me in a negative way. I never really knew how to change that until I read this article. Thank you for opening my eyes and helping me to become a better person. I’m very glad to have stumble upon this page

  118. Thank you. I decided to actively work on my mind and perception of the world around. I am glad that I stumbled upon your page.

  119. Peter099 says:

    No, I’ve seen hundreds of instances where straight people are oblivious and gay people are clued. I don’t mean to pull rank, but if you’re straight you have no basis for claiming that ability.

  120. I think you just described exactly the same thing except that you think it is something only gay people can do, which it isn’t.

  121. Peter099 says:

    “What that person said about your colleague is commonly known as ‘gaydar’ – the innate ability to tell if someone is gay”

    Wrong. Gaydar is the innate ability of *gay* people to recognize other gay people who are NOT usually recognized as gay by straight people. What you’re talking about is stereotyping, not gaydar.

  122. What that person said about your colleague is commonly known as “gaydar” – the innate ability to tell if someone is gay, often by the way they walk or speak. If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then I will call it a duck. Perhaps you should take another look at your colleague, this person might be right (some gay people do not even admit they are gay, how messed up is that!?)

  123. I enjoy reading all of the remarks. One thing that hasn’t been mentioned much is how much more “fun” a postive person is to be around. I work at a Nursing Home where there is one lady who is usually negative all the time. “I am a dumb. I can’t do anything right. Why does God allow me to live. I would rather be dead.and on and on”. I can’t wait to get out of her room because being around such a person is such a downer. I am always trying to make her see something positive and feel better about herself but sometimes it is a never ending project.
    I have others who are happy even though they have problems such as not being able to see
    One thing I beleive is that everyone has problems amd it is just the way you see things that make your life miserable or bearable.
    This is our anniversity today so it is more important today see the positive things in life.
    We just put up with each other faults. He still leaves the seat up, hates shopping, hates long trips etc. I found that I could put the seat down and go shopping without him or go traveling alone
    I think that my husband should bring all the postive things in my life like I did as a newlywed and was crushed when he said something I didn’t like.
    I don’t depend on my husband, kids, job to bring me joy. I love living and am thankful everyday for another day. I believe that an Attitude of Gratitude
    I have had some miracles in my life that have only increased this Attitude

  124. Very interesting and helpful article to aid in meditation and living a satisfying lifestyle.

  125. Saying stuff like “winning the lottery could be really bad for you” or “don’t tell someone with no legs to be positive” is pretty naive. Regarding the “lottery” thing, obviously noone can predict every outcome of every event that takes place, that doesn’t change the fact that it is in our interest to do what we think is good for us. What else would we aim at? Doing what’s bad for us? Doing nothing? That’s like saying “since we can’t theoretically prove that humans have free will, there is no point in doing anything at all”. What you are talking about is unwanted consequences of (potentially) uninformed decisions, which is an important aspect of managing to live a successful life in its own right- utilizing our intelligence to choose things that will further our survival and happiness is pretty much the reason we were equipped with these huge-ass brains. There will always be a chance that even with the best of intentions and accurate information, we will screw everything up. What did you expect? Negative outcomes are part of life, we try to avoid them to the best of our abilities- noone in their right mind actively seeks them out, it’s a psychological imperative. It certainly does not mean that we should avoid making choices at all, in fact, refraining from making choices altogether because of potential negative outcomes usually yields far worse results than any other choice would have done.

    As for “people with no legs”, I can’t wrap my head around the fact that people still throw this around. Yes, sometimes life serves you a big fucking lemon, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Tough luck, it’s the same for everyone. That doesn’t mean that the advice given here don’t apply to anyone, anywhere, ever. The majority of people on this planet still have both of their legs, you know. Yeah, I get what you’re saying- a positive attitude isn’t an automatic solution to all of our problems. However, all things equal positive thinking (or rather a realistic and neutral form of thinking as I like to see it) will more often than not award you opportunities that would have been closed to you had you been in a more moody mindset. It is a creative way of interacting with the world, where you don’t let negative emotions color your experiences, bringing you down and therefore making you less inclined to solve your problems rather than wallow in them. And, by the way, this kind of thinking will perhaps not bring a guy’s legs back, but then again, what will? Is that a reason to ignore all mental and emotional aspects of ones life? I don’t believe the advice given here is contingent on any particular physical capabilities- as long as you’re a sentient, rational being, there are better or worse ways to deal with your life, experiences and potentials. Thinking like this, at least for me, has been much more effective at producing desirable outcomes than the alternative. It’s more enjoyable as well.

  126. I love this :)
    I have read ..As a man thinketh,Byways to blessedness…and the best of all is Charles Haanel,The Master Key System…that book is over 100 years old and everything here is mentioned there.I just love it and it is my very favorite book.
    I have the free online e-book,of all 3 of these…should anyone want :)

  127. I love it. Very positive. Very helpful.

  128. that shits real. ive been doing the same recently and i can definitely say i notice the difference.

    good article

  129. awesome article about teaching people to lie to themselves!

  130. Steve, I just wanted to mention that I am sharing your article on my blog and recommending readers to subscribe to your rss. Great article!

    Brett

  131. I couldn’t agreed more with you. It is your thoughts that will determine your life. Think positive, act positive, take action and your life will be a lot different. Cheers.

  132. Great article Steve, I think the confusion comes with the positive thinking. As you say, it’s very difficult thinking positive when we are suffering. However, after you accept what it is right now and focus on the positive you have, you can move on to change your perception. Living without legs no doubt is a tragedy, but you have to accept the reality sooner or later. Then, you can “dwell” with the same obsession in things you love to do that don’t require legs. You might be surprised the light you find underneath the ashes.

  133. You pretty much covered all the destructive thinking patterns – well done! Not only is it hard on the individual to be thinking this way all the time, but it’s hard on the people around him too. Negative thinking can turn into negative conversations and actions and then everyone suffers. As you say, positive change is possible; your steps are a practical way to improve. Thanks.

  134. Cath, I have noticed this a lot over the years, it is a quandry whether or not to tell people. In the end I don’t end up telling them, you’ve got to let people find their own way and if they ask for help so much the better.

    Thanks Melissa.

    Hi Funny dogs, nice to have you here.

    Ximena, that’s an important point you have brought up and is the main focus of the article. I haven’t seen that film, I will try and source, thanks.

  135. What Steve mentions at the very beginning of the article is important: everyone lives in the world they perceive. Keeping that in mind, positive thoughts will project a positive world for that individual.

    In the movie “Turtles can fly”, which projects a radically harsh reality in some place of the Middle East, the characters show how -even in the worse situations- the positive approach can make a difference. And even those who choose the “negative” alternative (i.e. death), under their particular perspective, such alternative is not negative at all.

  136. very good articles about this patterns.bookmarked your site

  137. Melissa says:

    The United Kingdom spells it like that.

    “Comment by Emily on 5 July 2008:

    I know there’s two ways to spell it, but it’s recognize not recognise!! haha I know I know but come on! Who spells it like that!”

  138. Hi Steve – I think I’ve been through every single one of these thinking patterns over the years. And once you retrain yourself, you tend to notice other people using them more, as you did with your friend.

    This article is a great reminder – it’s easy sometimes to slip back into bad habits.

  139. Wow, thanks for all the comments on this even the negative ones, without you people we wouldn’t recognise a good comment so I appreciate you taking the time to leave your negative thoughts here, I have to say on every single negative comment not one person has had the guts to leave their real details, this tells me a lot about you.

    • HI, Steve
      I have been struggling for a long time to change my thinking.
      The thought patterns you described are exactly the patterns that fill my head every day.
      I do have anxiety and have been under the care of a psychiatrist for two years and medication has helped get me to a point,that I can see the patterns happening over and over again, and finally I am taking the steps to change my thought patterns, are there any more affirmations you can suggest. or maybe positive thought patterns?
      thanks
      -v

  140. hippies…

  141. Ok this whole “negative thoughts are bad” thing? NO SHIT SHERLOCK!

  142. I know there’s two ways to spell it, but it’s recognize not recognise!! haha I know I know but come on! Who spells it like that!

    • Hmmm … it’s called the WORLD wide web for a reason. RecogniSe and recogniZe are both correct depending on what country you are in.. I take it that you are from America and don’t recogniSe that other countries do actully exist…

    • Recognise is the UK English spelling and Recognize is the American English spelling!!!!

  143. Having a positive mental outlook is the first step to achieving anything you that you desire, nothing can stop you from becoming successful, happy or whatever it is that want out of life, the only thing that can stop you is, yourself!

  144. Since quantum physics shows us that you get what you focus on, it’s important to stay positive! Negative thoughts create negativity, and loving, positive thoughts will bring you much happier results.

  145. Great reminder on positivity.

    I find that when I focus on the positive rather than the negative I put myself in a better situation to find alternatives, options, and opportunities.

    To the person who said don’t tell the man with no legs that he can run, I hear what you are saying.

    But perhaps if that man decides he WILL run, he will look for the possibilities that could make that happen. Because you know, someone had to dream up the possibility for prosthetic limbs to exist.

  146. Thanks for the article. I really believe it in. Negativity brings negative things. Positive thoughts might not change the initial situation, but you can think you way out of it. Negative thoughts just leave you in a black hole with no light to see your way out.

  147. I have fouind out that when I think negative thoughts,nothing good ever happens, so now I pry myself on thinking only positives and see the disappointments as a test for a bigger and better blessing

  148. Thanks for the reminder – good, sage advice.

    And to return the favor, I suggest your article can and probably does help more than just “a little” – hope for it to help, maybe a lot!

  149. The reason there is so much talk / writing about positive thinking is simple: it works. Changing your thinking doesn’t have to be time consuming or painful either. Affirmations will take you there quickly!

    Cheers

    • Thanks Paul

    • Agreed, Paul. Thank you!

    • Thats true. Positive thinking works. For about a year or more, i seem to be suffering from low self esteem.its so bad that it affects my communication with people – fluency, voice, body language etc, leading to lack of self confidence…pls i would like some body to recommend the best audio tape that can help me regain my self esteem and self confidence. i really need a tape that can work on my subconscious mind and thought pattern. thanks. You can email me.

  150. if you’re telling people to not think negatively because they do not know the outcome of the situation ahead, you shouldn’t tell them to think positively about it either. remain neutral. in unknown circumstances there is no reason to be scared, but there is also no reason to create false hope(setting up a fall)…
    personally, i think life can be great, don’t get me wrong. but please don’t say “it’s not that bad”. that’s your opinion, not a fact. you don’t need to lie to yourself to do the things you want to do. but being inexperienced or unfamiliar shouldn’t stop you either.

  151. Awesome advice. I find similar advice that is very helpful in Andrew Matthews’ books and tapes.

  152. Life is shit, you just don’t notice it when good things are hppening to you that pre-occupy your mind!

  153. Brandon Miller says:

    I think it’s funny that people read this article and then reply with NEGATIVE responses. That is exactly what the author is trying to get across to people. JEEZ! I employed positive thinking in my life years ago, and yes sometimes life sucks, but you just have to realize that it’s NOT THAT BAD. Unless you die things will always get better if you try.

  154. There is a saying that you should be careful what you wish for because you might just get it. Sometimes you have to recognise that what might seem good could really be bad. A lottery jackpot for an alcoholic might just end with their death from alcohol abuse. So maybe things are not so bad – it is just how we perceive them.

  155. if a man with no legs complains to you that he cannot run, telling him to imagine he has legs wont make him grow some.

    • Way to take shit out of context

    • obviously a man with no legs can grow them back. but a man with no legs can make a goal of getting prosthetics and learn to run. Or he can make a goal of becoming athletic in a wheelchair. There are many athletes that are in wheelchairs who inspire me, along with those with prosthetic legs. You didn’t get the point of this article.

      • I don’t see why it’s so hard to understand his analogy, but let me re-iterate. When there is nothing to be happy about in your life, it’s very hard to think about the happy things in your life… you cannot think about the positive impact you’ll have on friends and family when they’ve been gone for years, and you’ve become a hateful person that nobody wants to be around… you cannot appreciate your good health if all you want to do is end your miserable existence… you can’t focus on working and making ends meet when you know tomorrow is going to be even worst…
        Those who claim the solution to depression is to envision a better future have simply never had a taste of true depression.

    • YOU, jon, are the man with no legs, but you have arms – that can propel a wheelchair, use a computer, play the piano, hold a baby, etc. Lynzi is spot on.

      • The way I perceived Jon’s comment is clearly different to how some other’s have. I read it in that a person who feels incapable of something isn’t going to be able to do it unless he really decides he needs it. Less complaining, more action.. More often than not I find that just telling someone “you can do it”, isn’t enough. They must realise the possibilities and the need for themselves. Don’t feed their problem, like in Jon’s example, by telling them to imagine it instead. Living in a fantasy, rather than reality isn’t going to change things. I could imagine I have all reached all my goals, but I will still come back from a daydream to reality eventually. The only way to change it is to realise the need for change, realise how to change it and then the steps involved. I find a mind map of goals, or a scheduled or planned out step by step goal sheet where you can see it everyday works wonders. Break the goal into steps, and the steps into smaller steps if possible. eg, losing weight. First step, find out how to do so. (food and exercise). Next, break them down, food- smaller portions, healthier meals, regular times. Exercise- When can it be done, where. Plan SMART. Goals need to be specific, measurable (or meaningful), attainable (achievable), realistic (rewarding) and time framed.

        Looking at the overall goal may seem like its impossible to achieve. Breaking it down makes it easier, and will also help you realise you’re capable of achieving it, and boost your confidence.

  156. Thanks for sharing these great tips. Part of our work on improving our own thinking is to avoid spending time with people who are stuck in negative thinking with no plans to get out.

    • “avoid spending time with people who are stuck in negative thinking with no plans to get out”
      Good point Flora- A challenging proposition when they are our spouse/ partner or child.
      Antony.

      • you just said what i had in mind and which is presently one of my biggest problem…….and that is ………….what if the person is your spouse (wife in my own case)

        • Comes a time when you need to put yourself first . If your wife won’t get on board and cannot see what is going on or NOT willing to accept change then you will have to decide . Do I want to stay in a dead ended relationship or do I want to have a happy fullfilling life ? It is about choices and you may have to make a hard choice and may end up leaving the relationship . People change people grow that is what we do if we don’t we become stuck , but it is your choice . If you have given it your all and have exhausted all options and nothing has changed for the better and you want more from life than what you are getting then leave and move on to a new path and a bright future !

          • you can change your wife; by changing yourself; she will follow; she is a woman; we follow; fight a little but in the end will do anything to keep u

          • This is part of what’s wrong in today’s culture, people are being taught to quit by watching others, and listening to bad advice. (DI)
            youre missing the whole point of the article…change the way you think…you are more than likely a single person,or very young… giving someone advice like that. /Allesa you are on the right track!
            Everything is not going to go our way no matter how we look at it, but how we address it does make a difference/ you can’t go around in life dumping your spouse just because she dosen’t think like you.

        • Married for 50 years. totally from two diff. worlds.
          It is almost a battle to agree,in any thing we argue, usually don’t get us any where. Lot of heart feeling .
          I am ready for change. This is the most difficult time ,love our home but now ,its too much for us to keep up…
          I think a condo will be where we can live out the remaining time of our life, for my husband its not enough things to keep him busy.
          Whats your opinion??

  157. Very intriguing article!

  158. nothing new. Same old think positive story.

  159. This is a great article. Our perceptions are very powerful and surprisingly, they influence how people treat us. This in turn reinforces our negative (or positive) perceptions.

    Beware, the zombie apoclypse is coming!

  160. That book is by James Allen. These ideas are not new, but they are still very usefull. – Michael Adkinson

  161. These are great tips. Have your read ‘As a Man Thinketh” – Benjamin Koshkin

  162. Great article Steve, our thoughts are our biggest roadblock to success.
    Another thought pattern I believe that holds so many down is taking the wishes of others for our life to heart, rather than listening to our own dreams and needs. I recently wrote a post about this – http://billriddell.com/it-is-your-life/

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