When I focused on the negative, all that I lacked, I made my problem bigger. When I consistently focused on negative thoughts, all that I didn’t have, I gave those thoughts power. The negative thoughts gained power in my life when they had a constant presence in my mind. Negativity affected my ability to gain clarity.
What do we mean when we say we want clarity? In my journey it meant that I wanted a clear path and a clear destination. Why did I want that clear path and clear destination? I wanted certainty that I was heading in the right direction. I wanted to feel like I knew where I was going and how to get there.
The most obvious area that I wanted clarity in was my career. Yet, as I started to look at the course of my life I realized that I also needed clarity on what goals to pursue. I needed clarity on what kinds of goals I should set and why.
In reflecting on my life, I notice that the times where I felt the most disconnected from any progress in my life were also the times I gave negativity free reign in my mind. I unknowingly got caught in the negativity trap.
The negativity trap
What is the negativity trap? Here are some insights based on my own experience and observations. We let in one negative thought about our situation and we don’t let it go or reframe it. Once that negative thought is running around our brain, unsupervised so to speak, it can lead to more and more negative thoughts. The negativity trap can even make you feel bad for thinking negative thoughts, which leads to negative thoughts about yourself. This is the trap.
Let’s break the negativity trap down more. The more the negative thoughts have free reign in our mind, the more power they gain. We believe those thoughts. When we start to believe the negative thoughts, their power grows. When the negative thoughts gain power they slowly drown out our clarity.
How does it drown out our clarity? This is what I’ve experienced. When I was in the negativity trap I grew more and more uncertain. Uncertain that I made the right decisions, uncertain that my life could make a difference, uncertain that I had the courage it would take to make the big changes, uncertain that I could even figure out the next step.
In my case, I stayed focused on all that I didn’t have instead of being thankful for all I did have. Instead of learning to use what I had in positive ways I focused on all that I wasn’t able to do because of all that I lacked.
Negativity affected my ability to gain clarity. I finally realized what my negative thoughts were doing and I learned to let positivity grow instead. I added a couple practices to my life: reframing my negative thoughts and writing down affirmations. In looking at the positive I started to gain more clarity.
Positivity affects clarity
Positivity affects clarity because we break free from the trappings of negative thoughts. When free of negative thoughts, we can slowly begin to see what is possible.
For me, I grew more certain when I focused on the positive. Certain that I could weigh the pros and cons of important decisions. Certain that I could find a career that embraced my meaning and purpose. Certain that I had the courage to make big changes. Certain that the next step was in sight.
I started being grateful for my experiences and thinking about how I could use what I know. I recognized that I had more than I thought I did and I sought ways to use what I had.
When we are grateful and look at the world and ourselves in a positive manner we clear the path and make way for our destination to emerge. I gain clarity as I grow more positive.
Focus on clarity
In this post I have shared my experience with a lack of clarity being tied to falling into the negativity trap. Negativity affected my ability to gain clarity.
I think it’s important to state that I don’t expect myself to never have a negative thought. However, when do, I am more able to stop myself from getting caught up in it and falling into the one negative thought after the other trap.
I use the practices mentioned above to prime myself for that which maintains a positive outlook. I also have guidance from my faith.
What do you think? Does the way we think and speak affect how we see the future?
There is no magic answer to finding clarity. It takes work. Read more of what I have written on clarity in the following posts:
2 Ways to Cope When You Don’t Know the End Goal