What you think is what you see: 4 Ways to stop negativity

When my husband and I moved this summer from Arizona to Georgia, I noticed an interesting phenomenon. I already knew that the things you think about are the things you see, but the principle became real to me at that time.

During the time that we were shopping for deals on moving trucks, we saw moving trucks on the road all the time. Then when we decided to go with Penske, we suddenly saw Penske trucks everywhere on the road. Was there an influx of moving trucks on the road because summer is the time of year when people move? Maybe. But more likely we noticed the trucks because we had moving trucks on our minds. After we moved, I no longer noticed or cared about moving trucks on the road.

This illustrated to me perfectly just how powerful the mind is. My thoughts dictated what I saw and payed attention to. The world is what it is, but how we see it depends upon what we're looking for. I guess you could say that it's like the law of attraction (though I'm not talking about it the way some people do. I don't believe that if I sit around thinking about money that a money bag will suddenly appear on my doorstep.)

What I mean is that you will notice and pay attention to the things you are thinking about, and that will become reality for you. If you think about the kindness and goodness the world has to offer, you will find it. If your mindset is one of abundance and gratitude, you'll find the world to be a plentiful place.

I'm going to admit to you right now that I struggle with this principle. There are times when my attitude is negative and I can only picture negative outcomes in certain areas of my life. Not surprisingly, a negative outcome is exactly what I get. And the negative outcome makes it easier for me to picture negative outcomes, so the negativity becomes circular and powerful and difficult to escape.

But it is possible to short-circuit negativity and to focus on the positive instead. There are several things we can do in order to break the negativity cycle:

Focus on the positive things in your life.
There are so many good things to be thankful for but it's easy to take them for granted. It's often easier to notice the negatives, so work at it and notice the positives!

Change your behavior. We often behave in certain ways that reinforce and help cause the negative outcome. Change the behavior that leads to negative. Choose to act differently. One example from my life is my tendency to nag. Nagging is a negative behavior that does not inspire positive change in others. In order to increase the positive outcomes in my life, I can choose to not nag.

Find faith and hope. Do you have faith in yourself, faith in others, faith in a higher power? It is important to be able to trust that good things will happen to you and that even difficult or painful situations can benefit you and lead to a positive outcome. How do you develop that faith? It's difficult. Meditation or prayer can help. It also helps to look back to past events. Haven't you learned important things, even from your most difficult trials? I know I have, and this helps me to have faith that the right things will happen in the present moment.

Seek and you will find. How do you want your life to be? If you desire goodness, abundance and happiness, you have to be those things; you have to send those things out into the world and seek for them in others. I think it's a life-long process. Sometimes I'm better at positivity than at other times, but I believe it's important to keep at it. There are good and wonderful things in this world, and it's up to us whether we see them or not.


Megan said...

I love this post, Holli Jo, especially your take on it (it's all about perspective, less about "magic"). Another way to shift from negative to positive (going along with your first suggestion) is to stop and make a gratitude list. I did this one day when I was feeling rather blah, and it raised my mood significantly. I felt happier, lighter and the rest of the day was fantastic.

Holli Jo said...

Yes, exactly, Megan! The 'magic' happens when we change perspective and act in positive ways.

I believe in the gratitude list too! I use that technique far less often than I should, but I try to reflect each evening on things I'm grateful for and look for the small 'miracles' in each day.

LeMira said...

I found your blog, Holli Jo via a friend's blog, and I just love your motivational stuff. You've got me thinking more and more about things.

I love this post especially because I can relate to it. I used to be so critical of weight and looks of other girls and women, and then I realized it was because I was so critical of myself. When I started accepting myself, I quit judging other people. Now my philosophy is that everyone is beautiful, and I have such a hard time when others do what I used to do.

And I love Megan's comment of the gratitude list -- it totally works!

LeMira said...

Oh and I hope you don't mind that I put a link to your blog on mine.

Holli Jo said...


I'm so glad you found my blog and that you like it! Comments like yours are what keep me going with this blog. I really enjoy motivating myself and helping others think about things.

I love your philosphy about everyone being beautiful. That's so true, but it's easy to fall into the cultural trap of believing what tv and magazines say is beautiful. Thanks for reminding me!

Anyway, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope you'll come around again.

Holli Jo said...

Oh, and of COURSE I don't mind you linking to me. :)

Iain Hamp said...

This is so spot on. I'm often reminded of that old joke "How many phychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but the light bulb has to want to change." Our perception of reality dictates our reality, without a doubt.

And yeah, every time I start shopping for a new car, the top two or three on my list are suddenly everywhere I go - strange how that works :)

holli jo said...

Thanks for commenting, Iain. Isn't it so weird how our brains can totally focus on one thing at the exclusion of others? It's not even a conscious thing. Anyway, I appreciate your insights.