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  • Elsa's gotta put a ring on it.

  • Didn't you know we went that way, right? -Two. -She put two rings on it.

  • Hey, what's up there?

  • It's Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love.

  • And today is Q&A Tuesday and this question comes from Fred who writes:

  • "Hi, Marie.

  • I've run a business for about 40 years and my question is this, how can I give more attention

  • to my success and less attention to the setbacks?

  • I noticed that when a deal falls through, it gets a lot more emotional bandwidth and

  • feeling bad than the deals I make. I would like it the other way around.

  • Thanks for your help, Fred."

  • Fred, Fred, Fred, Fred, Fred.

  • First of all, you guys, Fred's in business 40 years. Can we? Come on.

  • And second of all, Fred, this is a great freaking question. Come on.

  • And I'll tell you why, because I have wanted to do an episode about this for a very long time.

  • Now, I am sure everyone watching right now can relate, because no matter who you are,

  • no matter how experienced you are, or no matter how successful or accomplished you are, all

  • of us tend to focus on that one negative commentthe one person that rejects us. Right?

  • The tiny little sliver of customers who are just committed to being miserable.

  • And the reason why is because of a well-documented phenomenon called negativity bias, which is

  • the tendency for us humans to pay more attention and give more weight to negative experiences

  • over neutral or positive ones.

  • Now, I gotta say, this is not just some fancy psychological concept, people.

  • This is real. This is how our brains are wired.

  • They are wired to take in the bad and ignore the good.

  • Now, I think we should talk about why.

  • So here's the deal.

  • This ancient brain circuitry helped our ancestors stay alive and for millions of years now,

  • mother nature has been training us to overestimate threats and underestimate opportunities and resources.

  • So back in the day humans would hear a noise in a bush and instantly think, "Tiger!"

  • versus, "Hm, I wonder what that is.

  • Is that Erik coming over for a cappuccino?"

  • Now, while back in the day that hair-trigger readiness to think "tiger" and go negative

  • was great, because it kept us alive, nowadays it just keeps us feeling awful.

  • And it's not just about feeling bad in the moment.

  • Negative experiences move more quickly into our long-term memory and, get this, negativity

  • is terrible for your health.

  • It can weaken your immune system, it can increase anxiety, and reduce your ambition.

  • You know, my favorite expert on this topic is a guy named Dr. Rick Hansen

  • who wrote Hardwiring Happiness, which I recommend.

  • He puts it best.

  • He says:

  • "The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones."

  • So the missed sale, that unsubscribe, the refund, the nasty commentthat's what

  • tends to stick.

  • But the good news here, there are abso-smurf-ly things that you can do to neutralize negativity

  • bias when it gets triggered and tip the scales towards the positive.

  • In fact, here are three to get you started.

  • Step number one is name it to tame it.

  • Now, we have to start with self-awareness, because you cannot change what you don't notice.

  • So step number one is to simply acknowledge what's going on when it happens.

  • So the next time you get a zinger, do not let yourself start thinking that you suck

  • or that everything is going to hell in a handbasket, because it's not.

  • You just need to say to yourself or to someone else,

  • "Ah, this is negativity bias.

  • This is my brain's ancient circuitry doing its job to help keep me alive."

  • Now, here's the thing, naming it doesn't instantly make the pain go away, but it does

  • help to lessen the sting.

  • Step number two is get deliberately distracted.

  • So, if at all possible, distract yourself with something else intentionally.

  • Now, this is all about learning how to put your attention where it serves you best, and

  • that just takes practice.

  • Because what you allow your mind to focus on shapes your brain.

  • So rather than amplify the pain, really shift your attention to something more positive and productive.

  • So, for example, you might want to whip out a piece of paper and start making the most

  • epic gratitude list ever.

  • Or you might want to throw yourself into a really good exercise class or go watch a fantastic

  • movie or go help someone do something.

  • Really, anything that can give your mind something else to focus on.

  • Step number three is use the 20-second rule.

  • Okay guys, so this is not a longer version of the three-second rule.

  • Hey, how long has that lasagna been on the floor?

  • Only about 18 seconds, buddy. You go to town.

  • No. What I'm talking about here is internalizing any positive event by savoring the shizzle

  • out of it for at least 20 seconds. You might be asking yourself, why? Here's the reason.

  • Because the best way to combat negativity bias is to embed as many positive experiences

  • and memories in our brains as possible.

  • So, for example, let's say your friend sends you this email thanking you for a great weekend together.

  • Don't just say, "Wow, that's sweet," and archive it. Don't do that.

  • Spend at least 20 seconds soaking in the memories from that weekend.

  • The goal here is to really cement that positivity in your mind.

  • And if you ever forget about your brain's ancient circuitry, I want you to whip out

  • this tweetable.

  • "When your brain gives more weight to the negative, remember you have the power to tip the scale."

  • That was my A to your Q, Fred.

  • I really do hope it helps. And now I want to hear from you.

  • So tell me, has negativity bias ever caught you off guard?

  • It's certainly caught me off guard. What helps you tame your lizard brain?

  • And a little challenge here, I want us to go beyond meditation and beyond EFT.

  • Those are really both valid and important practices, but I would love to see some more variety too.

  • Now, as always, the best conversations happen after the episode over at the magical land

  • of MarieForleo.com, so go there and leave a comment now.

  • Once you're there, be sure to subscribe to our email list and become an MF Insider.

  • You're going to get instant access to an amazing audio training I created called How

  • To Get Anything You Want, plus you'll get some exclusive content, some special giveaways, and

  • personal updates from me that, frankly, I don't share anywhere else.

  • Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams, because the world needs that special

  • gift that only you have.

  • Thank you so much for watching and I'll catch you next time on Marie TV.

  • Have you been thinking about starting your own business?

  • Is fear, confusion, or overwhelm slowing you down?

  • We can fast track your growth and save you years of expensive trial and error.

  • Get the guidance you need to make your dream business come to life, guaranteed.

  • Learn more at StartTheRightBusiness.com.

  • In the meantime, coffee. You did a great job. We did a great job.

  • We're a good team.

  • Lasagna nipples, take one.

  • We're doing it. We're doing it.

  • Had to make it weird, ha ha.

Elsa's gotta put a ring on it.

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3 Steps to Stop Negative Thinking In Its Tracks

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    Ken Song   posted on 2017/09/09
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