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How Negativity Hinders Success

Updated on June 15, 2017
Craypoe profile image

Bob Craypoe (also known as R. L. Crepeau) is a musician, writer, webmaster, 3D artist, and creator of the "Punksters" comic strip series.

Image from, created by Bob Craypoe, also known as R.L. Crepeau
Image from, created by Bob Craypoe, also known as R.L. Crepeau

Many of you have probably heard the old saying "garbage in, garbage out." This saying is basically used for things such as the data input into a computer but it also could apply to our thought processes as well. If we constantly think negatively, then why should we have any right to expect positive results?

I can certainly state, from my own experiences, that I have limited my own potential for success as a result of my own negativity as well as allowing myself to be influenced by the negativity of those around me. This is why it is important to make an attempt to reign in those negative thoughts and try to think more positively.

One negative frame of mind is having pessimism towards trying new things. A person might say to himself "oh, why should I even bother?", thinking that it would never work. So the person in question might not make an effort towards something which could very well work out in the end, if an honest attempt were to be made.

I know that when I was in my teens I had a negative outlook on things and quite often I would make a minimal attempt at certain things. I thought that if I failed, it would be no big deal because, after all, I didn't try that hard to begin with. It wasn't until much later in my life that I began to realize that almost all of my accomplishments were as the result of thinking something was at least worth an honest attempt. Quite often, I actually surprised and impressed myself with the results.

A person needs goals in life in order to truly make progress. A series of short term goals as well as long term goals. If you are always thinking that everything is doomed to failure, you are less likely to pursue goals, since you figure that there would be no point in doing so.

It's like that old story about the Little engine that Could. It starts saying "I think I can, I think I can.", and as it get's closer to the top of the hill it says "I know I can, I know I can." If you go around thinking that you most likely can't, then you most likely won't. It's really that simple.

I'm not saying that with a positive mindset you will never experience failure. We all will experience that from time to time regardless of our mindset. However, people with a positive mindset recover from failure better. They are the type of person who falls off the bike and gets back on it and pedals away.

So, when I adopted a more positive attitude, I started to outline goals for myself. My life actually had very little direction prior to that. I was sort of wandering about aimlessly and achieving nothing as a result. Goals gave me a sense of direction and those goals were fueled by positive thoughts that said that it was worth striving for. I began saying to myself "I think I can, I think I can."

Once I started to reach those goals I set for myself, it made it even easier for me to think positively, which, in turn, made it easier for me to set more goals for myself. This was simply because I had a track record that confirmed that thinking positively could yield some positive results.

In the past, I had periods of time where I would have bouts of depression. But I eventually got to the point where I would start to redirect my thoughts toward more positive things. That is so important to do. After a while, if I did go into a period of depression, it would not last as long. Eventually, the periods of depression were few and far between and they lasted for very short periods of time. It was a matter of redirecting my thoughts from the negative things to thinking about the more positive things instead.

Our thought processes can help to determine our future. Thinking positively yields more positive results whereas negativity yields more negative results. It should really come to no surprise to us but we often have to learn our lessons the hard way before we make the necessary adjustments and change our ways.

Sure, there are such things as bad luck and a sudden negative turn of events that we may not be ready for. Hey, that's life and, by all means, it happens to us all. But a more positive thinking person will be much more likely to recover from it quicker and better.

I saw something on television once where they did a study on people who lived a long life and compared them to people who didn't. There were a couple of things that the people who lived a long life had in common. One was that they recovered quicker from the various tragedies in their lives and the other was that they were more positive thinking people than most.

So I now look at my life as having more possibilities than I used to think it had. I often wonder what I might have achieved if I had adopted a more positive attitude sooner in my life. Then sometimes I wonder how worse things would be if I had not changed my attitude to be a more positive one. But in either case, I will never know. I'm just glad that my attitude eventually changed for the better.

I look back on my accomplishments now and see that I could never have had those had it not been for my self-imposed attitude adjustment. So I consider myself fortunate for having seen where I was going wrong and making the necessary correction. Maybe you could to.


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