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Is negative thinking part of our nature?

Each of us has between 60k to 90k thoughts per day.
Most of these are repeated thoughts from yesterday.
And most of these thoughts are negative.

Unless you learn to manage some conscious control over this endless stream of thought, it can easily become a habit which for many of us it is.

THE MAJORITY OF US DEFAULT TO NEGATIVE THINKING.

It’s normalized in our culture to the point of being considered human nature. It’s common for us to see someone who’s being blatantly positive and assume that they’re being fake, putting on an act, or just in plain denial.

So what does this mean? Are we doomed for life? Is our fate sealed into negativity or can we turn it around?

The mind can take a life of its own when unchecked. Most of your psyche and mental mechanisms can work against you, and will typically continue to do so as long as you leave your mind to its own devices. Your pathological inner critic will do everything it can to drag you down (very actively). Our negativity bias, a remnant of our earlier days of surviving by avoiding possible dangers, bad fortune, etc., will steer your focus towards all things negative. And the wonderful concept of neuroplasticity, which is neither good nor bad, has the power to hardwire your brain into negative thinking if you don’t interfere.

Going up against these odds can seem impossible. But what’s the alternative?
Can you afford not to?

Without taking action and awareness against your negative train of thought, you’re allowing self destructive patterns into your life. These include but aren’t limited to deep depression, anxiety, self doubt, lack of energy and motivation, and an aimless life of emptiness.

What can you do to cope with your negative thoughts?
How can you counteract them? And best, rid yourself of the habit of negative thinking?

First you need to know, you cannot get rid of negative thoughts without consciously acknowledging them.
This can be extremely unpleasant and too painful for some. Many people are more comfortable avoiding this and would rather stay in their negativity than even attempt to break the cycle. Others go from this first step of becoming aware of their thoughts straight into victim mentality. This is not where we’re headed.
Please be aware, that in a brief article like this, I can only provide you with some surface points and a rough outline of the process. Explaining all of this in detail requires a more extensive medium and we’re doing exactly that in our programs at Feel Different.

What you need to know about how to counteract your negativity is that first and foremost, you need to become aware of your thoughts and thought patterns.

Becoming aware of when, meaning, in what situations and context do these thoughts most often occur?
Upon recognizing this is when you must redirect them to other, consciously positive thoughts. Defaulting to thoughts of gratitude tends to be a healthy habit to replace the negative.

It’s easier said than done to begin with but with practice and patience, you’ll be able to naturally start intercepting your thoughts and steering them in a healthy direction. Like any habit, good or bad, it takes consistency.

In the long run, this will help you become more confident and self assured in any situation you’re facing. Be it confrontations with friends, family, coworkers, or just in life challenges in general.
You can’t fully eradicate all negative thoughts, that is an unrealistic goal. But you can learn to dismantle and redirect the destructive energy of negative thoughts. You can turn your pathological inner critic into a constructive critic and as a result, change the direction your life is heading right now.

At Feel Different, we will provide you with the practical everyday tools you need in order to do just that.

Fill out this quick survey to see if our newest program is the right fit for you.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or specific challenges you may be facing.
I’m happy to help.

Take care,
Orlando Owen

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Neuroplasticity at work – rewire and reclaim yourself

It is a common belief that once we reach a certain age, our brain is done developing and our personality, our traits and basically, our fate is set in stone. Unchangeable. We are who we are.

While some traits, like our talents and strengths definitively, are unique for each person, our fate is not.

YOUR BRAIN HAS AN UNLIMITED ABILITY TO REWIRE ITSELF.

To make new connections, new pathways for new habits and thought patterns. This is neuroplasticity and it’s technically why you can change your fate. It’s what enables us to make drastic changes and turn our lives around for the better.

It’s brain science that in its most simple understanding can be described as “what fires together, wires together.”

Neuroplasticity is always at play whether you’re aware of it or not. And while it’s kind of the magical wand to change your fate at any time, it is also the very thing that can keep you locked in place unconsciously and unaware. Life paths that become unchallenging, dull and overly routine, are often directly rooted in your daily thoughts and patterns.

THOUGHTS TURN INTO PATTERNS WHICH TURN INTO HABITS WHICH TURN INTO YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCE.

At least, for as long as you allow it.

To reclaim your life and begin changing your fate, you need to break the thought patterns and habits that do not serve you. The first step is becoming aware of those patterns. Start paying extra attention to your thoughts throughout the day. Try to observe your mind from the outside.

Where does your mind gravitate to when you let it go uncontrolled? Are you easily distracted? How often does your mind tend to ramble? Can you detect a pattern or specific habits in your mind?

Once you become aware of these patterns you can slowly start to redirect your unconscious thoughts and replace them with intentional and healthy thoughts.

This is absolutely necessary for keeping a strong focus. And ultimately directing your life in the way you’d like to see it progress to.

The more often you practice this method of thought control, the easier it will become and your brain will gradually rewire itself.

We are creatures of habit. And those of us who replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones, are typically living more balanced and fulfilled lives.

It can take time – typically 30 to 90 days – but the change is transformational.
Put your neuroplasticity to conscious work and it will reshape your way of thinking and, in turn, reshape your life.

Feel Different specializes in creating simple methods and techniques to help you rewire and transform your life. The surefire way to make change is to get to the root of your issue(s).
In most cases, the root can be found in a series of unhealthy habits, and even deeper, a lack of true confidence and self-esteem. This is our expertise and we’ve helped thousands of people turn their lives around.

To learn more, have a look at our programs page and fill out a brief questionnaire to see if it’s a fit for you.

Take care,
Orlando Owen

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Shifting the focus to your strongest self

We’re all aiming to be the best version of ourselves. It’s a lifelong commitment that can seem like a never ending process of development, which it actually is. There’s no final stop of growing unless of course, we completely give up.

As we continue to grow and learn to better ourselves, we’re constantly shifting our focus to areas of life that need attention.

How can I grow my confidence?

How can I be a better partner? A better friend? A better parent?

What do I need to do to become truly successful?

How can I find and create meaningful relationships?

Many people think it’s a matter of overcoming their weaknesses. And that is what society teaches us which can be very much ingrained in our everyday patterns and routines of thought and action.

Our pathological inner critic paired with our negativity bias focuses our attention on our shortcomings, our obstacles and all the things we’re lacking.

It’s logical to think that what you need to do is to improve in these areas. By becoming better at the things you’re not good at, you’ll eventually become better, period. Right? Not exactly.

As a result of this kind of focus, your energy goes directly to your weaknesses which in turn keeps you in a weaker state. All the while, little to none of your energy is going to your strengths. This is where your true potential lives. As they say, energy flows where attention goes. If all of your attention is on your weaknesses, you risk leaving your strengths to become weak.

And the sad truth is, the majority of people let their strengths fall where they may. Not realizing that this is exactly where they need to spend most of their time, energy, and focus.

The fact is, you can achieve more and grow faster, if you focus on your strengths. This is where your true potential lies and what will help you become more confident and in turn, more successful.

Your strengths are all of the positive attributes you have. The things that come natural to you. This is typically why you may not pay much mind to these things and dismiss them as something normal or unexciting.

But if you shift more of your attention to these parts of you, you’ll see that what comes natural to you, might be a challenge for others around you.

USE WHAT YOU’VE GOT

When you shift your awareness to the positive things you’ve already got, you start cultivating your life and the energy around it. This can help enable you to figure out how to further use your strengths to your benefit. This is the way to set you on your path to your life’s purpose.

Focusing on your natural strengths will keep you in a state of confidence and healthy self-esteem.

The first step in getting there is becoming aware of your strengths.

You can do this by looking at yourself from the outside and giving attention to what comes naturally to you. These may be small things like your ability to stay attentive, being thorough, or being able to see the bigger picture when others focus on the immediate details.

YOUR BEST STEP FORWARD

The challenging step is to cultivate your strengths and talents into something more. It’s common to see naturally talented people fall into contentment or laziness because what they’re naturally strong at, others may have to work hard for. This can be a setback for the talented person, simply because they were granted this strength without having to work as hard. This may lead to bad habits, contentment, lack of awareness, or an overall life imbalance due to overlooking their strengths. The real struggle for this person is in their self-awareness and really seeing their strengths and how they use them to provide value to the world around them.

The key is to control your focus. The more you focus on your weaknesses, the more you feed your lower self which takes from you and adds nothing more than self-doubt, fear, and all of your other limiting characteristics.

Shifting your focus to your strengths however, keeps you on solid ground. In a state of personal power and purpose.

At FeelDifferent we specialize in this. We provide practical methods and guidance to help you remove distractions, overcome toxic thought patterns and habits. We help you clear the way to your best and strongest self.

Explore our program by filling out this quick survey and one our team members will reach out to you.

Warmly,
Orlando Owen

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Undoing the Negativity Bias

game-over, netagivity

Have you ever wondered, why is it so much easier for us to dwell in our sorrows, fears, and doubts, while shunning and downplaying anything positive?

WHY ARE WE DRAWN INTO AND SO EASILY ATTACHED TO THE NEGATIVE?

It seems like each and every negative experience in our life is branded into our memory but the positive things slip away into the forgotten. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

The human mechanism at play here is called “negativity bias” and is something that is absolutely and unfortunately normal.

Some researchers from evolutionary psychology think our negativity bias is a remnant of times when it was critical to assume the worst of a situation for our survival. In early human history, the one who acted like there was a saber-toothed tiger behind every corner was more likely to survive than the one who did not. But we’ve long outlived saber-toothed tigers and most other dangerous predators of the wild. So why can’t we rid ourselves of this survivalist habit of old time thinking?

THE FIRST STEP TOWARD DEALING WITH YOUR NEGATIVITY BIAS IS AWARENESS.

As long as you’re unaware of this default pattern of thinking and feeling, it will continue to work subconsciously with no chance of you countering it.

“Your brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.” Rick Hanson

This leads us to holding onto negative things, continuing to feed them and blow them up to the point of being amplified, and usually exaggerated, in our memory.

WHAT IF YOU DID THIS EXACT THING BUT WITH POSITIVE THOUGHTS AND EXPERIENCES?

Seems simple and logical but it’s certainly not as natural or common. When you counteract the negativity bias by actively and intentionally embracing positive experiences and committing them to your memory, this rewires your brain to focus on the positive instead of the negative. I’m not talking about just “thinking positive” but about something much more effective and deeper. Something I call “taking in the good.”

Positive thinking is like forcing yourself to be positive, turning a blind eye to the negative and suppressing it as a form of denial. I’m not asking you to do that. I’m asking you to accept your natural tendency towards the negative but balancing it through an active practice of taking in good feelings. Whenever you have a positive experience, big or small, consciously give gratitude to it and lock it into your memory.

Allow yourself to feel the positive, bask in it, and embrace it as part of you and your life experience.

IT TAKES PRACTICE. MAKE IT A HABIT.

To escape the constant draw of the negative, you need more than some nice affirmations or motivational sprints. You need an overarching vision, something that will help you through times when you’re truly struggling and can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In order to rewire your negative bias, it requires conscious and healthy habits to replace the negative and destructive ones that continue to hinder you.

A series of daily positive habits eventually enable you to create space for yourself that’ll give way to your life’s purpose. This is crucial to you overcoming your negativity bias and to start living a fulfilled experience as you were meant to. As we are all meant to.

In our new program you’ll learn about this concept and how it is connected to your inner critic. To start living your life toward your potential, you need to learn how to deal with both. They are a part of you and always will be and the longer you allow them to live unchecked, they will continue to limit your life experience.

But with the appropriate tools, they can be managed.

In our program “Your Fate is NOT sealed”, we provide these tools in a way that’s easy to comprehend and can be applied to your daily life to bring real change.

To learn more, please fill out this quick survey to be sure our new program is a good fit for you.

Warmly,
Orlando Owen

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Exposing Your Pathological Inner Critic

As you navigate through life, there is a common obstacle we all share. It’s an antagonistic part of ourselves which can easily be mistaken as an inner guide and protector from harm. An inside assistant to help us avoid pain, prevent humiliation and to help motivate us.

But its methods and intentions are quite the opposite. This inside voice is actually a hindrance and only serves to limit our life experiences through fear and disempowerment.

Psychology calls this part of yourself your pathological inner critic.

As long as you don’t know how to deal with its destructive nature and how to turn it from your worst enemy into a level-headed friend and advisor, you’ll never find true fulfillment.

WHAT DOES YOUR PATHOLOGICAL INNER CRITIC DO?

It commonly blames you for everything and anything that goes wrong in your life. It compares you to others, their achievements and abilities and will always leave you wanting and yearning for what you don’t have. It sets unrealistic standards and baseless perfectionism, and will continually encourage you to beat yourself up for even the smallest mistakes.

Your pathological inner critic keeps track of all your failures and reminds you of them at any chance it gets. This happens most often when you’re thinking of taking on something new, for example, an opportunity to try and improve yourself. Your pathological inner critic will take this moment to discourage you by keeping you insecure and low. It’ll work its way into triggering you with dark thoughts and feelings of you being inadequate, unfit, incompetent, incapable, ugly, selfish, dumb, weak, etc. And the list goes on.

In addition, your pathological inner critic is an accomplished mind reader and know-it-all. It’ll have you convinced that it knows what your friends, family, lover, colleagues, and even strangers think about you. Once again making you feel inferior, unworthy, unwanted and unloved.

YOUR PATHOLOGICAL INNER CRITIC IS ALWAYS UNDERMINING YOUR SELF WORTH.

For something this commonly domineering and destructive, you’d think it’d be a known crisis among the majority of us.

But the fact is, many people are completely unaware of their pathological inner critic. It is so insidious and woven into the fabric of our thoughts and inner being, many of us are oblivious to it and live in our suffering as if it’s all just a part of life. To a degree, it’s true, it is part of life and is a part of all of us. It’s a part of our subconscious that lives in our weaknesses, in our darker energies, in our lower, subpar selves. It is all still part of us, but our will to accept it and settle for continual suffering is a choice.

And where we have a choice is how we choose to manage it. This is a lot easier said than done.

The self-attacks typically have some underlying truth and justifiable reasoning to them. Just like certain fears we learn come from an underlying wisdom. We learn at a young age not to jump in fire so as to not get burned, for instance.

But your pathological inner critic is persuasive and persistent. It will make you believe that it’s there to protect you. To keep you safe from harm, from getting hurt, or from making a fool of yourself. In truth, and in the long run, adhering to your inner critic will only turn you into the very things you fear. Fear will become you and your basis for life. This is extremely dangerous and limiting to living a quality life experience.

If you want to start living on your own terms, you need to start working toward dismantling the amount of control you allow your inner critic to reign over your mind and spirit. The first and most important step in exposing your inner critic is to become aware of it.

CATCH YOUR INNER CRITIC IN ACTION.

It is most active when you’re facing challenges. When you make a mistake, when you’re being criticized, when dealing with people who are disapproving, when you’re feeling depressed or when you are just simply out of balance with yourself.

Become aware how you feel in these situations. Especially how you feel about yourself. Then carefully listen to how you’re talking to yourself in these situations, or immediately after.

What are you saying to yourself? Most likely it is your pathological inner critic talking.

Remember, its goals are to fulfill basic, primal needs of yours. Either to avoid pain or to motivate you.

But its methods are counterproductive and are far from supportive.

Stop the downward spiral.
Stop your thoughts from spiraling further down by controlling your inner dialog.

To unmask your inner critic, you need to drain it of its purpose and learn to fulfill your own needs in a conscious and intentional way. This requires building healthy self-esteem, as this is your foundation.

And this will allow you to develop a principle vision for your life to function as your motivation, and to drive you through purpose rather than through fear and doubt. This is all fundamental to self-empowerment and to living a life of fulfillment and true potential.

How long can you keep listening to this inside voice as if it’s your truth?

All the while, it continues to rob you of any happiness and peace of mind you can only hope to attain.

How much of your life have you lost to your inner critic so far?
How much more can you withstand?

To learn more about how to start overcoming your pathological inner critic, take a look at our program “Your Fate is NOT sealed”.

Warmly,
Orlando Owen