September 20


Are Negative Thoughts Your Default Setting?

By Sue Ingebretson

September 20, 2011

failure, I am, negative thoughts, Norman Vincent Peale, positive thoughts, Reset


Do your thoughts have a Default Setting? For some, one small, minor setback can send them into a tailspin of remorse, regret, and self-chastisement.

Does that sound like you?

If the small things can really turn into big things for you, it may be a reflection of your Default Settings. We are, after all, simply products of our environments. If we learn to feel responsible for others’ happiness, then we’ve learned to feel as if we’ve failed when happiness doesn’t come. If we feel obligated to perform in ways that are contrary to our own goals and desires, then we’ve learned that our own desires are the source of our feelings of failure.

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure
is trying to please everybody.
– Bill Cosby

Here’s what I mean by Default Settings. We each have a set of feelings and emotions that are familiar to us. Even if perhaps they’re negative and don’t serve us well, we gravitate toward them out of familiarity and habit.

What happens if you begin to take notice of your Default Settings?

By paying attention to your thoughts, you can learn to question the validity of them. When you think, “I’m ___________ (fill in the blank)” look at that thought with new curiosity. Ask yourself these questions: Is it true? Honestly? Is it something that I’ve learned from someone who turned out to be unreliable or at least not always truthful?

Be very careful of the “I am” statement. These are two very powerful words! Whatever description you use to follow them will be something you hold firmly as truth. If your familiar (think Default) statement is “I am a procrastinator” consider re-framing that into something more like, “I am capable of completing the tasks that I choose to do.”

Questioning your own beliefs is a tough road, but one that’s so worth it! As you turn over new ideas and new thoughts, the path of possibilities can lead you to new healthy and healing experiences.

For now, when your thoughts take a negative turn to your Default Setting mode, hit the RESET button and think again!

Those who send out positive thoughts

activate the world around them positively

and draw back to them positive results.
– Norman Vincent Peale

  1. I really loved this post Sue! When I was a teenager, my inner chatter became very negative. I formed beliefs about myself that weren’t true, but because I held them as fact, let them guide me. Many years later, I realized I had to change the way I talked to myself in order to become the woman I wanted to be. It made all the difference!

    It’s amazing how your thoughts become your actions, and how that affects everything in your life…the way you see the world and how you experience events. Life is so much better when you come from a viewpoint of abundance and opportunity rather than deprivation and skepticism!

    1. Very well said, Kristin! You’re so right and what an amazing feat that you were able to see how your thoughts affected you AND make the changes necessary to see you through to success. Kudos to you!

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