Self-Control and Negativism

A negative person is he who constantly has pessimistic thoughts and often thinks of himself as downtrodden. He is not able to stand up for himself, nor does he have an opinion to give. All of this stems from one thing – he does not think much of himself. Over time, this negativism starts reflecting in all aspects of his life, which ultimately leads to inferiority complexes and a low self-esteem.

Negativism can be both tangible and intangible. When tangible, it is reflected through harmful acts and behaviour by the individual. In the intangible sense, negativism spans the thoughts, emotions and beliefs of the individual and these unconstructive thoughts do not allow him to act or behave in a constructive manner.

It is often said, negative thoughts lead to negative actions, as the mind directs the body. It is, therefore, all-important, to seek control over such depressing thoughts and guide the grey cells to more productive and positive beliefs. Sometimes, this self-guidance to positivism can happen immediately while in most cases it is achieved over time through the application of self-control on the negative thoughts.

If a person is usually of a positive nature, he finds it easier to deal with negative thoughts whenever they happen. In such cases, because of his natural tendency towards positivism, he is able to guide his mind away from the negative thoughts to other thoughts that are beneficial and more constructive. The power of his positivism and ability to assert self-control has helped him.

However, for those who are steeped in negativism whereby they think that something bad is about to happen with every action or word that they mutter; these negative thoughts create depressive tendencies. Such people find it extremely difficult to see good in anything and will always see the darker side of life. This also happens due to low self-esteem and a belief that they are incapable of doing anything. They think a tunnel is like a cave, with no other exit; and, rather than looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, they are steeped in complete darkness.

Various techniques of self-control should be used to slowly overcome these negative tendencies. Success will not happen overnight as confidence –building requires time and patience. Even when on the path to progress, there will be instances wherein the negative mindset may dominate. However, every victory in converting negative to positive is a step in the right direction. One small candle in a dark room is better than being in complete darkness. Slowly, after a lapse of time, when the electricity resumes, there is illumination everywhere.

Negativism begins early in life and if not tackled correctly, grows along with a person and becomes all-encompassing. Take the example of the child whose cycle training wheels are being taken off. She tries her level best to stop the parents from removing them as she has negative thoughts about being unable to ride the cycle without the side wheels. These negative thoughts have entered her mind due to the fear of falling or the inability to balance herself. However, until she tries, she cannot succeed. If the training wheels remain, she would never learn to ride and would be in fear even as an adult. However, when removed, after practising a few times, she succeeds in riding her bicycle.

Hence, the removal of negative thoughts has to be practised. Someone else cannot do it with the wave of a magic wand. The magic wand lies in the form of positive thoughts. Taking a few lines from the classic song, My Favourite Things,

‘……when I’m feeling sad,

I simply remember a few of my favourite things

and then I don’t feel so bad.’

This song aptly states that converting negative thoughts into positive ones can make a person act and feel better.

Highly depressive people, or those with an inferiority complex, need to build on their strengths and abilities. If you think positive, you do positive; if you think yourself strong, you are strong! Self-control over these negative thoughts is a singular manner in which negativism can be conquered.