We can use positive affirmations to challenge, correct, and tape over that nagging voice in our heads that keeps whispering outdated, non-fact- based negative statements in our ears literally thousands of times a day!
For this article, I’ve drawn up on my own list of harmful thoughts from my past and the positive ones I used to replace them, back then, to help me decrease both their frequency and strength. It took time, but reviewing this list often while I continued to struggle with love, family, work, and money issues eventually worked.
If you are suffering now as I did then, I hope you will use any of these that apply to you, or come up with your own, to help you exorcise your own harmful thoughts.
50 NEGATIVE THOUGHTS TURNED INTO POSITIVE THOUGHTS
A1. I don’t know what I want.
B1. Find out what you want.
A2. I want to be unconditionally loved.
B2. Accept that you will never be unconditionally loved.
A3. I want to be unconditionally accepted.
B3. Accept that you will never be unconditionally accepted.
A4. I want to give unconditional love but only to those who give it to me.
B4. Be glad that you never have to give unconditional love.
A5. I want to give unconditional acceptance but only to those who give it to me.
B5. Be glad that you never have to give unconditional acceptance.
A6. I am extreme.
B6. Make the most of your extreme nature. It’s your strength. Let others be moderate. Or, if it makes you unhappy, work to change it.
A7. I feel inadequate.
B7. Feeling inadequate is the price of being extreme. Everybody feels inadequate sometimes. If you feel it too often, then work to change it.
A8. I feel unloved.
B8. You have no reason to feel unloved. The people who matter love you.
A9. I feel unaccepted.
B9. There’s no reason to feel unaccepted. The ones who matter accept you.
A10. I feel misunderstood.
B10. You are complex and difficult to understand. Make the most of it. Or, if it makes you unhappy, work to change it. Honestly try to make yourself understood. You may need to understand yourself first. You may fear what you will find and fear that the people you love will reject you if they knew who you really are. But, you have nothing to fear. You are good, lovable, and worthy. If anyone rejects you for being you, then it was for the best; and, you will eventually find others who appreciate you exactly the way you are.
A11. I feel lost.
B11. Your constant search is what makes you feel lost, but you are actually on your way to finding the right path for you.
A12. I feel hateful.
B12. Your strong emotions, including occasionally hatred, is understandable, given your extreme nature. Make the most of it for the greatest good. Or, if it makes you unhappy, work to change it.
A13. I feel like a freak.
B13. You are confusing being extreme with being a freak. Make the most of your extreme nature. Or, if it makes you unhappy, work to change it.
A14. I feel unappreciated.
B14. People rarely appreciate what they can’t understand. It is a necessary price of the privilege of being different. Make the most of it. Or, if it makes you unhappy, work to change it.
A15. I feel alone.
B15. You are alone in many ways. Be glad that you don’t run with the herd. But, there are others like you. More than you think. Go out and find them if you’re lonely. Or, if it makes you unhappy, work to change it.
A16. I feel like an alien.
B16. There are others who feel like aliens. You are all beautiful anomalies in a sea of conformity. Or, if it makes you unhappy, work to change it.
A17. I feel desperate.
B17. These are desperate times, so it makes sense to feel desperate. Desperation is a great catalyst for actions that lead to positive changes.
A18. I am jaded.
B18. You lie. You are not jaded. You will never be jaded. Make the most of it.
A19. I am cynical.
B19. Cynicism is a defense mechanism. Instead, let yourself be afraid or sad, if it helps. Fear and sadness are more honest emotions. So, letting them express themselves without the facade of cynicism will help you identify the problems faster and, therefore, the solutions to them faster, too.
A20. I am confused.
B20. Confusion is understandable when everyone wants you to be someone else. Be yourself, and your confusion will lift like a fog as the sun comes out.
A21. I am pulled in all directions.
B21. Yes, you are. Make everyone stop. And follow your own path.
A22. I am ignored.
B22. Even if people act as though they are ignoring you, they are not.
A23. I am underestimated.
B23. You may be underestimated by some, even by those closest to you. But they still keep an eye on you because you always keep them guessing.
A24. I underachieve.
B24. Perhaps with your social life you have underachieved. With your career, you have not. Improve your social life.
A25. I overachieve.
B25. You only overachieve when you set goals. Make more realistic goals.
A26. I am never satisfied.
B26. Satisfaction is overrated. Keep working on yourself, and you will go far.
A27. I might get fired.
B27. You might and you might not. But worrying about it won’t help. Doing work and asking for feedback will.
A28. I have $155,000 in debts.
B28. Yes, you do. You are doing all you can to pay it off and succeeding.
A29. I am in an unhappy relationship.
B29. Yes, you are. But things will work themselves out one way or another. No use letting it affect your overall happiness or your work.
A30. I am 20 pounds overweight.
B30. Yes, you are. You are doing all you can to lose it and succeeding.
A31. I have puffy bags under my eyes.
B31. Yes, you do. You are getting plenty of sleep and eating well, so you’re doing everything you can to get rid of them. I believe you will succeed.
A32. I despise looking older.
B32. Good. This will motivate you to better habits and improved health.
A33. I no longer believe in love but don’t know what else to believe in.
B33. Believing in love was very harmful to you. Believe in yourself instead. You rarely let yourself down.
A34. I look at suicide as an easy way out.
B34. Always remember that outliving your problems is the best revenge.
A35. I want people to like me, even if I don’t like them.
B35. It’s normal to want people to like you even if you don’t like them.
A36. I have both low self-esteem and an overblown ego.
B36. Yes, you do. That’s all part of being extreme. Either make the most of it, or change it, if it makes you unhappy.
A37. If I get fired, I don’t know what I’ll do about my debts or with my career.
B37. You know you’ll manage and end up on top of everything somehow.
A38. I feel unattractive most of the time.
B38. Nevertheless, you are still attractive most of the time.
A39. I wonder if my best years have gone.
B39. Definitely your best years are yet to come.
A40. I want to be excellent at just one thing that is important to me.
B40. You are an excellent diarist, conversationalist, stylist, film critic, teacher, and friend. That’s six things off the top of my head.
A41. Making a lot of money is important to me.
B41. You are making close to six figures now. If you continue, you will be making today’s equivalent of half a million dollars by the time you’re fifty-five. You are make a lot of money. Especially, if you don’t spend it.
A42. Being attractive is very important to me.
B42. You have always been attractive. It’s time to finally accept this.
A43. Being liked is very important to me.
B43. You have always been liked. It’s time to finally accept this.
A44. I want to live out my childhood fantasy of total freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want with whomever I want.
B44. You can. Forget the naysayers. “Kick the can.” They can watch from the sidelines if they want. [This was a reference to an old Twilight Zone episode about how if you want something badly enough and believe you can have it, you will. An old man convinces a bunch of elderly folks in a retirement home to play a game of “kick the can” to not only feel young again but to be young. Only his old childhood friend is too sensible and skeptical to participate because he doesn’t want to loosen his firm grip on reality by indulging in foolish children’s games at his age. But he changes his mind—a few minutes too late—after the entire group is transformed before his eyes into laughing kids who sadly no longer recognize him.]
A45. I want to keep outdoing myself in my achievements.
B45. You are. When you feel complacent, pick up some new interest.
A46. I don’t bill enough hours.
B46. Bill enough hours at all costs, steadily. Making them up is too difficult and not worth the guilt, stress, unhappiness, loss of sleep, and depression.
A47. I don’t work steadily.
B47. Make work more fun by cutting it up into “bite-sized” pieces. Break it down into 50-minute increments. Do anything to bill nine hours each day.
A48. I don’t take my career seriously.
B48. Take it seriously. It’s the easiest way out of a financial mess. When you’re debts are paid off, you can do whatever you want. But, you have played all your “get out of jail free” cards in your career. Take it seriously.
A49. I am conflicted about my work.
B49. Resolve all conflicts in favor of taking your career seriously.
A50. I both want to succeed and am afraid to succeed.
B50. Your fear of success is phantom. You will not lose anything by becoming a successful lawyer, except your debts. Three and a half more years and you’ll be home free. By all means, take your career seriously.
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