Explore And Refute Inner Negativity

The battle with inner negativity can be very real and damaging. It can cause one to lose hope and happiness. If you find yourself in a negative way, try the following method:

(1) Take a piece of paper or open a text document.

(2) Make two columns, or, if a text document, a table with two columns and many rows (maybe 20 to start, you can always add more)

(3) At the top of the first column write “Negative”, and on the other, “Positive”

(4) Begin by writing ANY negative thought. Basically anything that you don’t like.

(5) In the “Positive” column, write a response that is positive, but truthful. The truthful part is the most important, as you want to make sure that you’re lifting yourself up using reality and not being fake. Also, if you don’t understand the negative statement, you can write a clarifying question like “Why do I feel that way?”

(6) Write down the next negative thought and positive response, and continue like this until you feel better. This part is important: allow your negative side to be as negative as it wants for as long as it wants to – honor your own negativity, otherwise you’re just disliking it and trying to cover it up, when that negativity is a part of you, with its own reason for being.

For example, if the negative statement is something like “I don’t know how to control my emotions…”, the corresponding positive thought could be “I may not need to control my emotions.”, which might evoke the next negative thought, “but I just don’t want to feel so sad anymore!”, to which the positive response could be “Well, what am I sad about?”. And then, in one’s negativity, one could think about what makes you sad, which might take some time to really uncover.

This could go on and on, the negative side representing you getting down on yourself, or down about life, or down about anything, and sort of giving up or losing itself in throws of misery. The positive side represents you refusing to give up and looking for a positive way of looking at things no matter what, sticking with your negative self through the potentially long haul of getting back to feeling good.

Article adapted from the comments of Oliver Kaufman, founder of The World Within. I am the founder of OTTYCB. I believe in seeking out a positive and happy life.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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