Cut out the negativity | How to turn your life around series

On my journey of turning my life around, I’ve come across several things that just need to change to make way for better and more amazing things. I will just have to cut out some old things that are not serving me anymore. I think you would probably agree when I say, if you don’t actually cut out the negativity in your life there is only so far you can go till you come tumbling back to your old life again. And boy have I tumbled!

I had made my decision, I want to change my life. I’m done talking about the same problems. I’m done being stuck. I’m done going over this again and again. 

That’s why I started this series. Step by step I’m piecing my life back together. And this piece has been bloody hard to move.  

When I started to count the amount of negativity I had held onto over the years, I was shocked about how much time I was consuming and energy I was wasting over such meaningless things. Every one of us is different and we all don’t have the same things that consume us, but one thing is clear—we all harbour some sort of negativity within us. 

The next step to turning your life around is to let go of all that negativity.

Here is a list of things I made when I had to let go of my own negativity:

Bad habits

Bad habits can make it very difficult to go on with living the life of our dreams. How do you know a habit is bad? Well, most of us just know something is pulling us down. I personally feel sort of guilty or shitty when I do it. Bad habits are not easy to get rid of, but it’s not impossible. One handy tip I’ve learnt from a lot of books is: always try to replace a bad habit with a good one, it sort of tricks your mind and makes you less desperate to indulge in your bad habit.

Bitterness

Let go of all the things that have gone wrong in your life. You are starting over and you cannot do that with a “hit list” of people or things to hate. You need to forgive the people who have hurt you, and you have to forgive yourself. Bitterness is like poison and harbouring it will only make things seem dark and ugly. It will not let you move on and even if you do, it will drag you back to square one in a split second. Trust me when I say that cause it has happened to me so many times where I have made so much progress, but then that one grudge that I thought I could hold onto (because it was just so unfair) would drag me back to my old life. So let go!

Negative mindset

You cannot change if you’re not positive about what lies ahead. And to be positive you have to stop being negative. Stop thinking your life will not amount to anything, stop having this dreary look on life and stop expecting things will not work out. Just remember how important it is to have a positive outlook because it is the first thing to attract more positive things into your life. 

Negative content

Be careful what you expose your mind to. We are all constantly consuming content through music, movies, TV shows, books, websites, and magazines. We need to make sure we are aware of what is filling our minds during this time. When you watch something or read something, make sure to question if it agrees with your values. Content creators entitled to their own opinion but what they are creating could also be influencing you. They can make their case but you need to be on your guard to believing what they say. This is especially true in our social media age where we constantly scroll to things we feel like we don’t have, and see people that are seemingly perfect. I’m not saying keep away from them, but you need to look out for yourself first. If such content is doing more harm than good, what is the point in consuming it in the first place?

Negative Talk

This could be internal or external. It is pointless saying anything bad about yourself or anyone else. The more you criticise yourself the more rundown you will feel to make any real changes in your life. The more you bitch about others the more negative you will feel and you will also be prone to bitterness. There was a point in my life where my friends and I would sit around talking about everyone else. It was probably the most common thing to do in school and college. We would bitch about everyone. It almost felt like that was the only thing we could talk about, what else is there really? But now a decade later we’ve all grown to realise how toxic all that used to be. Our friendship has also become much deeper without all that negative talk.

People

This is the hardest point which is why I’ve put it last, but it is the most important point to take away from. In your life you will meet a lot of people and most of them will change you in one way or the other. But sometimes you will hold on to certain people even if they are no longer helping you. I could probably write a whole other post on this but this is really important. You have to understand that you are not cutting “negative” people because from this post I think we all have understood we are all capable of being negative. But you need to part ways from people who are no longer right for you. Not only will it help you move on in life, but it will also help the other person. I have been cut out and I have cut out people from my life, but either way, it hasn’t been easy at the start. But looking back it was completely necessary. I don’t mean be harsh or brutal. I just mean stop feeding the relationship when you don’t want it to go anywhere. Also, don’t hold on to any grudges or put that person on any People I Hate list, just let go. The person came into your life gave you some nice memories, hold on to that and let go. 


Finally, I have a fun little exercise that might help you. I drew big balloons in my journal once, six to be exact. And inside each balloon, I wrote exactly what I had to let go of
, for example, bad habit – beating myself (which is also under negative talk). After writing on all balloons, I looked over it and as corny as it sounds, imagined it floating away. I read this in a magazine once and to be honest, it really did help. Of course, the problems didn’t literally float away, but it was a starting point and it has made a difference even if it’s a small one. 

Feature Image by Pete Johnson

Other posts in How to turn your life around series

Believe in yourself
Set a goal
Take responsibility