Have you ever found yourself feeling bad and you’re not sure how to get out of it?
So often, I see students try to use positive thoughts and affirmations to try to feel better, only to find the negative emotion keeps coming back up.
In this episode, I share with you a new way to pull yourself out of negativity.
This is something you can start using today to feel better right away.
Here are my favorite resources to go with this podcast:
- How To Pull Yourself Out Of Negativity (blog post)
- When It’s Hard And Problems Are Forever (podcast)
- How To Process Negative Emotions (blog post)
- Personal Development Master Class (free training)
- Personal Development For Her (course)
- Grow You (coaching)
Full Episode Transcript
Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.
What’s up friend? I’m so happy to be with you today. I’m just feeling all the emotions. I recently moved, if you follow me on Instagram at NatalieRBacon, you know this from my stories. I moved to a different unit in my building to a two bedroom plus den gorgeous apartment corner unit and I now have my own office and I just want to share that with you because it has been a long time coming. This has been one of my goals and like many dreams for a while just to have my office, especially where I can design my own background for those of you in Grow You. You get to see my apartment and where I live because we do a lot of video calls and it’s just been something on my future self letters and you know, identity shifts that I have my own office and now I finally do.
So I’m kind of delighting in that. It’s so amazing to have created what I want. And I share that with you because I want you to know that you can do that for yourself as well. And also to remind you that it doesn’t mean over here is better. I say that because there were so many instances with the move where I was finding myself frustrated or irritated and I’m just so thankful that I have these tools because I really, really use them. So when things are going wrong and I say wrong because I thought they should go a certain way and they went a different way, I was able to really quickly kind of adjust and practice that I’m self-coaching, get out of the negativity and kind of move forward without it really affecting my day. If y’all have ever moved, you know what I’m talking about, regardless of if you’re moving out of state or to a different unit in the building, it’s just something that typically we don’t find a super enjoyable. I’m really glad that it’s done and I will share a little bit more behind the scenes in Grow You.
Today I want to talk with you about pulling yourself out of negativity. So a couple episodes ago I talked about processing negative emotions. Go listen to that if you haven’t, it’s really about identifying, naming, describing the negative emotion, allowing it, and really just bringing that awareness to feelings in your body, which we don’t really do, right? We immediately say, I’m feeling stressed, and then we explain why we’re feeling stress and we do it in a way where we’re blaming it on something outside of us, on the circumstance. So I’m feeling stressed because the movers didn’t show up on time, right? That’s an example. Really what’s happening is I’m creating stress in my body because I have a thought the movers should have shown up on time, right? And bringing that awareness to it will help you process the stress, move through it, and decide on purpose, kind of what emotion you want to create in the future. Do you want to react that way? Et cetera. Right? So listen to that episode, processing the negative emotion.
This episode is going to be a little bit different and I hesitated whether to do it so close to the processing negative emotions episode, but I decided to do it anyway because I think it’s so valuable not only for myself, which is super, super valuable, but I’m just noticing this as I do the work more myself, I’m noticing it in other people including in particular my clients and so I want to share it and bring it to you so that you can apply it in your life.
I think this work can be the most helpful if you notice yourself in that subtle low grade negativity, like nothing is terribly wrong, right? Because a lot of times when something’s quote unquote terribly wrong, like you’re going through a divorce, your partner cheated on you, you lost a job, your mom died, like the big life events. There’s oftentimes a lot of support and you really focus on moving through it. Especially if you do this work in a way that helps you. Right? Hopefully. This I want you to think about in terms of that day to day kind of low grade negativity that you might not have as much awareness of.
The biggest mistake that I see most people making is that they try to jump straight from the negative to the positive. This seems like a good idea, right? Okay. I’m feeling negative. I want to feel really positive, right? You feel stressed about work, so you want to jump to feeling excited. You feel stressed about the movers, so you just want to get in a better mood and feel settled and like the move was the best thing ever. But a lot of times it’s too big of a jump. It’s going from a really negative place to a really positive place and you’re doing it kind of in a rush and that’s a really big clue to be on to yourself. You’re like judging yourself for being negative so you want to jump to being positive.
And this often happens with a lot of people who are really new to this work. They will try to practice new thoughts to replace the negative thoughts, aka affirmations. So let’s say you have a negative thought or it’s a thought and it’s creating a negative emotion. And what you try to do is come up with a more positive thought and you try to force that positive thought, but you don’t actually believe the positive thought. That’s why I don’t teach affirmations in the sense of you know, here’s a list of thoughts to practice. Because what happens is if you don’t believe them, you end up resisting what you actually believe and that negative thought will keep coming back. And that’s how you kind of know and you can check in with yourself to see if you are doing this work effectively or not. Are you constantly in negativity? Are you kind of obsessed with having problems? And would you describe your top three emotions as being pretty negative? Okay, so that’s a clue, like, hey, let’s jump in there and do some work. And instead of jumping straight from negative to positive, what I want you to do instead is to go to neutral.
So instead of rushing to feel better, you go to this neutral place where you don’t feel really negative. But you also don’t feel really positive. And the way that you do this is you focus on being present in the moment, in your circumstance without your thoughts. It sounds kinda weird, but it’s, it borders on the meditation side. So what you do is you release the words in your head, you clear out your thoughts and you let them pass through. So the result of that is you drop into this space where you are just in the moment without judgment. The result of doing this and letting go of the words is that you let go of the negativity. Because remember your thoughts always create your feelings.
So basically instead of jumping from this thought, that’s creating this negative emotion to a thought that’s going to create positive emotion. What I want you to do instead is to let go of the thought creating the negative emotion, right? Because it’s never the circumstance that’s causing the negative emotion. So it’s not Penny you my puppy being up all night that’s causing me to feel irritated. It’s my thought, this shouldn’t be happening, that’s creating the irritation. It’s not the fact that I wasn’t invited to Steve’s friend’s wedding that’s creating disappointment. It’s my thought, I wish I would have been invited, that’s creating the disappointment. Again, it’s not my brother’s communication style that creates, you know, feeling mad for me. It’s the fact that I constantly want him to communicate differently and when he doesn’t, I feel mad. Right? It’s kind of the control and I’m giving you those examples because I want you to know that even though I am constantly doing this work, it’s never complete. There’s always more growth to do. There’s always the next level of it. I love the gym analogy. It’s like no matter how much you work out, you’re never done working out. You’re not like, oh, I achieved physical fitness. The end. No, you do it forever.
So as my life changes and as I grow, right, I just moved in with Steve. We have this beautiful new apartment. I have a dog now, I think of my life seven months ago I had a very different life, which is super fun and awesome, and now I just have a different flavor of problems. So it’s different circumstances and I have different thoughts about them and I still create negative emotion. So when you really, really understand this work and you coach yourself and you get coaching, you understand that there’s this space that you can move to that creates a more neutral emotion. It’s letting go of that thought that’s creating the negative emotion instead of focusing on creating the positive thought. Because it’s always your interpretation of the circumstances that’s causing the negative emotion.
So for me, right, and any of those examples, if Penny is getting up all night or she’s really sick and I’m feeling irritated, I can identify the thought that’s causing it and I can let go of it and I can be present there at three in the morning with what is and let go of the words, right? And that will release the irritation. This only works if you really believe and understand that your thoughts create your feelings. And something that’s really helpful for newbies if you’re new to this work, is to kind of do the example of having a thousand different people in your exact circumstance and reminding yourself that they would all feel differently or different levels of a certain emotion. That’s just a good reminder to me that hey, someone else in my circumstance, someone with five dogs or someone who has had dogs in the past would unlikely be as irritated as I am right now. They would have totally different sentences in their head. Something like, oh yes, this is just what happens when you’re potty training dogs or puppies. Nothing has gone wrong. Like it would just be a totally different story in their head and so they would feel a different emotion.
So it’s always your thoughts, which are just sentences in your head, that are causing negative emotion. So instead of you creating a new thought that creates a positive emotion, I want you to focus on just being present with the circumstance and letting go of that thought. And you’ll notice that the negative emotion will release. This works because you’re removing the cause of the pain, the pain being that negative emotion. You remove the cause, you remove the thought that’s causing the negative emotion. Because the cause of your pain is always your thought. This is life changing work.
When you don’t do this, right, and when you push against the negative, so if you are feeling a negative emotion and you try to come up with a thought that makes you feel better, what happens is you create this push pull relationship. I like to think of a rope where there’s tension. On the one side you have the negative thought. On the other side you have the positive thought and you keep going back and forth and that negative thought keeps kind of popping up because you’re trying to resist it and push the positive thought on top of it. And if you do this instead, you let go of the rope, you release the tension and the negativity floats away. You will find yourself in a neutral, peaceful place that doesn’t argue with reality.
With all of my experience in coaching, I still do this often for little things. It wasn’t that long ago that I went home to Columbus. I’m from Cleveland, Ohio, but I was visiting family with Steve and Penny in Columbus and I organized and coordinated a lot of the events that we did with my family and it was really an amazing time, like just really amazing. But I noticed myself in certain instances in certain circumstances wanting things to go differently and instead of practicing thoughts or trying to do affirmations like this is exactly how it’s supposed to be and I should be having fun and this is the best time ever, that I didn’t really believe in that specific moment. I just released it and brought myself back to the circumstance.
You can do this in the midst of whatever is going on. I really, really love to do it, but a little word of caution don’t stay in this place forever. So I am a big believer in kind of two parts of growth and this is what I teach in Grow You. It’s like on the one hand we have the meditation and the loving what is and the being present. And on the other hand we have creation, productivity, growth, goals, and you want both. At least that’s what I want. I want both. I don’t want to just sit there and meditate and be in neutral for my entire life, right? I want to grow and I invite that discomfort that comes with growth. Some people you’ll notice will disagree and that’s totally fine. You can decide what you want for yourself, but I think that you miss out on so much of life if you don’t include the part where you’re creating, where you’re producing, where you’re evolving, but you really, really need both. And I think that if you are in negativity, you can bring more awareness to it by letting go of the thought and bringing awareness back to you and noticing that you are not your thoughts, you are not your feelings and that the circumstance is neutral.
So the title of this episode is how to pull yourself out of negativity, but the truth is to do that you don’t pull at all. You let go. When you let go, you release the words causing the emotional discomfort, the negative feelings. And from there, from that place of neutrality, you can choose to create whatever thoughts and emotions you want. But don’t do that until you’ve moved through it, until it’s past. You can do this with anything.
So let’s say you are in the hospital taking care of your mom who is sick and she is in a lot of suffering and physical discomfort. So you can have thoughts like, I’m so worried, this is horrible. I don’t want her to die. And if you have these thoughts, you’re going to be feeling a lot of negative emotion and you can try to add positive thoughts on top of it like she’s going to get better, everything’s going to be fine, she’s going to recover. We’re going to be leaving soon and going home. I know this can work out. I’m going to pray. And if you do that and you’re still in the negativity, you’re going to notice that those negative emotions are going to come back up because you’re trying to kind of cover up the negative with positive. Instead, you can stay in the hospital room, you can be present with your mom, and as those thoughts come up, you can just release them and bring yourself back to the circumstance of being with her without judgment. So you clear out your thoughts, you release the words and you let them pass and the negativity, the negative emotion will pass.
The same is true for anything else you’re going through. Let’s say you’re going through a divorce. If you have a lot of negativity around it, you might be thinking thoughts like this is the worst thing that could ever happen in my life. I’m not going to be able to get through it. This is so horrible. And you could be trying to put thoughts on top of it to make you feel better like this is okay, we could resolve things or if not, I’m going to meet someone else. And you’re trying to pile on these affirmations on top of it to feel better and it’s not working and you know that you do this if the negativity keeps popping back up, that’s a clue that you haven’t resolved the negative emotion.
And instead what you can do is you can bring it back to the present moment right now I’m safe, I’m with me, I have a body. I’m going to release the thoughts about the divorce and be present in my life and by releasing those thoughts, the negativity will release and of course like I gave you those examples with Penny or with not being invited, you can apply it to kind of the small things in your life that might be causing negative emotion. It could just be something like a coworker said something to you or your husband, you know, kind of had an attitude or something like that. It can be anything that’s causing you negativity, negative emotion.
What I want you to do is release the words, release the thoughts and be present in the neutrality of the circumstance. I like to remind myself that it was always supposed to happen this way and sometimes my brain will argue back with me and I remind myself that when I argue with what is, I will always lose Byron Katie. If you argue with reality, you lose 100% of the time. And from being present from letting go, from allowing the negative emotion by releasing the cause of it, which is your own thoughts, you can then get into a neutral emotional state and then move forward.
If you truly believe that what makes something negative or positive is simply your interpretation of it, then you know that circumstances are neutral and that to get out of negativity you can let go of your interpretation, be at peace with the what is, and from there you can move forward. So start to practice this in your life instead of rushing to feel better, release your thoughts, let them pass through, be in the present circumstance of what is and notice the negativity pass. You can do this with anything in your life and it is life changing. I love you and I’ll talk with you next week.
Hey, if you liked this podcast you really should check out, Grow You, my life coaching program. I coach you on everything I teach on the podcast so that you can uplevel your life. We 10x it so you get the results you want most. Just like a monthly gym membership to get your body in shape, this is a monthly personal development membership to get your mind in shape. It is an investment your future self will thank you for. Check it out at Nataliebacon.com/coaching. That’s Nataliebacon.com/coaching. I will see you there.