Do you tend to assume the worst? When someone – particularly a boss or other authority figure – says “May I speak to you?” do you immediately think the conversation will be a negative one and spend time trying to figure out what you’ve done wrong?

We all experience these moments of negative thinking and self-doubt, it’s natural. But I’ve found that getting into these types of negative thought loops on a regular basis really stems from an underestimation of your skills and talents. From a very young age, the world around us trains us to focus on the negative; this leads many of us to mentally magnify our mistakes and minimize our accomplishments, causing ourselves a lot of unnecessary stress.

As I reflected on this, I was reminded of an incident a few years ago where the director of a program I was participating in asked to “speak with me later.” I spent the whole day wracking my brain, wondering what he wanted to speak to me about, replaying the day’s events looking for misspoken words  or other errors and… well just driving myself nuts! Later finally came, and it turned out that rather than reprimanding me, he had wanted to tell me how impressed he was with some of the things I had said during the program and to ask me to help lead a panel discussion. Leading that discussion was the first step toward me obtaining a prestigious internship with the same organization and having the opportunity to live and work in Europe for 3 months.  

This incident was a true lesson to me; I had spent a lot of unnecessary energy trying to identify something I had done wrong when I should have been looking at the things I had done right! Had I spent the day focused on the positive, I would have gone into the conversation calm rather than nervous and expecting a blessing rather than expecting the worst.

If you find yourself in a negative thought loop over a particular situation, take a moment to regroup and focus on what positive things may come out of it. Don’t your waste your energy focusing on the negative. You are skilled! You are talented! Live in expectation of positivity and blessings, always!

Have great days!