How I changed my negative mindset


Ondrea Machin, Columnist

For a long time, I always doubted myself and kept thinking I was never good enough or that I would never be good enough for myself or others. I didn’t know that my negative mindset was hindering me from being my best self. 

For the last four months, I have been changing the way I think about everything and changing my perspective to see the positives throughout my day.

Retraining my brain to think positively was a challenge and at first, I didn’t know how to stop thinking negatively. But then, I came across a TikTok video of a creator, @biteswithbuddy, talking about finding one positive thing everyday and making that one positive thing the reason to have a good day. So, I started with that and it was a simple way to start a chain reaction within myself.

Looking for one positive thing that happened in my day seemed simple and in the beginning it was not due to previously having a strong negative mindset. I self-sabotaged my progress and began to give up on changing my negative mindset.

This TikTok creator also recommended reading the book “The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz and, wow, did that book change my life for the better. This book pointed out that we tend to make agreements with ourselves; for example, when I would say “I’m not good enough,” I made myself believe it was true even though it isn’t. But since I made that agreement, I believed I wasn’t good enough.

One of the four agreements that has really helped me change my negative thinking was to not take anything personally. This agreement allowed me to realize that what others do, say and think about me has nothing to do with me. 

Instead, their opinions and actions are a projection of themselves that they pushed onto me. Once I stopped taking things personally, I felt much happier and mentally freer.

The second agreement that really helped me was to be impeccable with my word. Each day, I try to remember to think positively about myself and others because this agreement surrounds the idea to only say what you mean. 

If I say negative things about myself it defeats the purpose, but if I use my words in the direction of truth and love, then I can make positive agreements about myself. This agreement is a bit more difficult and I’m still figuring out how to do it.

“Don’t make assumptions” is a third agreement in the book and this one is more helpful in not judging others. When we make judgments of people, we are projecting our judgments on them and making them believe our judgment, thus making them agree with our judgment. 

But making these judgments can cause misunderstandings and create drama. To avoid these issues, it is best to ask questions, express what you really want and clearly communicate with others.

Lastly, the fourth agreement: always do your best. All we can ever do is our best, and it is constantly changing as we change and grow. Doing our best also changes with how we are feeling; for instance, my best will be different when I am healthy from when I am sick.

There is a difference between doing my best and doing too much or too little. If I do too much, I deplete my energy and it will take me longer to reach my goals but not doing enough I risk being overly stressed and self-judging. Taking in this agreement can help to avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

I have been on this journey for about four months now and since I decided to make this change, I have never felt better. I am happier than before, I feel more motivated and, honestly, less stressed about life. 

That’s the thing with having a negative mindset, it made me worry about the “what if’s” of life and had me questioning everything; but now, I am becoming free of past agreements and living my life to the fullest.