• When we want to change something, we often focus on things that we don't like and want to fix

  • Negativity can hinder goal progression, and stop us from acknowledging our success so far

  • If you feel mentally stuck in a rut, therapy can help – find your therapist here

For many of us, the New Year means a time of reflection and planning for the year ahead. When all the excitement and festivities are over, we are given the opportunity to evaluate our lives at a time that feels most natural, to look back at how far you have come, celebrate success and understand the obstacles you have come up against. Whilst going through this stage, many of us may decide that we want to make significant changes in our lives.

Whilst we start the process of change, we often begin with what makes us unhappy, what causes us the most stress and what we find most problematic. The main obstacle we face when identifying these issues and remove these from our lives is our own negativity. Our negativity can easily block our way forward or cause paralysis altogether meaning no change is made.

Rather than letting this negativity overpower us, it is important for us to view it as a fuel for change to motivate ourselves to reveal the real you in 2020. Negativity is merely a message from you to you, to learn from rather than suppress your true feelings, or hold you back.

Below are three quick and easy tips to help banish negativity in 2020:

1) Change the meaning of your negativity

Undoubtedly, negativity is a part of everyone’s life and at one point or another we will all go through hard times when we feel as if we are stuck in a rut. However, this negativity is also a valuable resource for change. By treating it as a bad thing, we are in fact giving it more fuel and allow it to take over our lives further. 

It is important to change the meaning of negativity and see it as something to serve us rather than hinder us; something that helps us to approach uncomfortable and difficult situations in a new way. This will allow us to enhance our ability to engage more with life.

2) Be aware, acknowledge and act on your negativity 

It is all too easy to allow ourselves to feel heavy under the weight of our negativity which then anchors us to our past and doesn’t allow us to move on. We are prevented from making significant progress in our lives. When negativity levels are high, it is too easy to accept failure and accept that change won’t happen.

Instead, we need to become aware of the negativity in our lives to help push us out of the rut. Acknowledge the negativity and become aware that you can learn something new about yourself. You then have the choice to change for the good and act in a way that serves you and the others around you for your inner good.

3) Set yourself up for success

When entering difficult situations, I suggest that everyone should use my ‘WIN’ technique to calm their minds and emotions to focus on the intentions and outcomes:

W: Walk and breathe. Deep, controlled breathing allows our minds to remain calm and will help bring clarity to the situation. I have found that walking in a figure of eight helps access both sides of my brain (creativity and logic) and helps me align my head and heart together to power my intuition.

I: Intention. Walking as above will help your intentions and outline the preferred outcome of the situation. I personally spend a lot of time front-of-room speaking, working with customers and engaging with senior business leaders and so being clear headed about my intentions and how best to serve the situation is of highest importance. Clarity of confidence in myself brings increased confidence and productivity to put me in the best mind set.

N: Nail it. Above everything, it is important to deliver, succeed and celebrate! So often, people move on to new personal aims and objectives without sitting back and appreciating what they have achieved. I suggest that it is so important for people to celebrate their achievement of reducing negativity to evaluate your self-worth. When you start to value yourself, others will too, creating more of a positive experiences in your life.

Further reading

How emotions set high performers apart

Why self-compassion is key to success

What we regret most, and why

Why success isn't everything

Mental flexibility and resilience to change